It’s no secret that writing songs doesn’t come easy. There’s the vocal melodies, lyrics, chorus, verses, pre’s, structure, the list goes on. Starting out can be overwhelming and frustrating, but with these steps, you’ll be heading in the right direction to get your songs from good to great.
Great ideas can come at any moment. Be prepared.
Every songwriter and producer will understand how inspiration is the strangest and most exciting part of writing a song. Ever caught yourself suddenly coming up with a great songwriting concept while in the shower? Or on the toilet, or when you’re moments away from falling asleep, or even during your sleep, on a hike, mid-way through a Breaking Bad binge etc. The process is beyond unpredictable and the only way to ensure you catch those rare moments is to have your phone/recording apps, laptop or notebook at the ready anytime.
Let the bad songs be written
Even years after starting out as a songwriter or producer, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of average or plain awful songs under your belt. Understand that not only has every single writer been through this stage (even the biggest Grammy winners) but it’s important to know that this is exactly what needs to happen in order to write stronger songs/tracks.
It’ll be a frustrating few years and you will certainly contemplate giving up altogether, but developing skills takes a lot of time and practice.
Once you finish another average demo, think of it as you being one step closer to having your greatest catalogue.
Understand what you need to strengthen
Feedback is critical throughout every songwriter and producers career. In order to move forward and progress in the best way, you need to know exactly what you’re moving on from. Have you ever come across a talent competition like X-Factor and a singer comes on stage to botch a great song, all the while thinking they’re god’s gift? These are the singers that have only ever had feedback from either their family or not-so-trusty friends or the feedback is from strangers who happen to be sarcastic bullies. These people from the very start begin their journey of wanting to become a star and run with it without having honest constructive feedback or worse, not wanting to listen to critique.
Don’t let that be you otherwise you’ll end up like those overly-confident singers who will only have their dreams crushed. Develop your writing the right way and prepare yourself for the real world where critique is the only way to get that record or publishing deal or those 1M+ streams. Great songs happen by being honest with yourself.
Write consistently without forcing yourself
You may have come across songwriting tips online where the biggest highlight in the article is to write non-stop - wake up early, write. Eat your meals while writing. Don’t go to sleep until you’ve finished recording.
To put it in simple and honest terms, this does not work!! You do this and I’ll bet my career that you’ll either end up quitting the music industry or be in a consistent writer’s block 365 days of the year.
Write consistently, yes. Though write only when you’re in a creative and strong mindset. The fastest way to fail a songwriting career is by pushing yourself even on the days when you need a break. Don’t be afraid to take a day, a week or even a couple of months away from the guitar and Pro Tools. Taking this time away will allow you to gain inspiration, discover deeper musical passions and most importantly, will allow incredible development to happen without even noticing.
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