Songwriting

7 Tips Every Songwriter Should Follow

by Wes on April 16, 2011 · 3 comments

Songwriting is an art form and creative process that many people tend to have trouble with, when it comes to writing a song. While there are no set rules of songwriting, those are successful at writing songs do typically develop rules and/or styles that help them with their process. This article will discuss the different methods and techniques that I use to write my music. I hope that you can take away some of my tips to better improve your own process.

1. Have a pen and paper with you at all times! It is so super important to have a way for you to capture your thoughts at any moment in time. Song inspiration is a natural process that hit you at any moment. I can not tell you how many times I was at a dinner party, about to fall asleep or in the shower, and a song or hook just pops in my head. It is so important to have a way to capture those thoughts. Since I am male, I keep a mini pocket sized notebook with me (in my back pocket). If you are female, you will have the pleasure of using your purse to carry your notebook. I know some people that text themselves or level voicemails for themselves on their phones if they don’t have paper available. The most important thing is that you have a way to capture your thoughts, and trust me, ideas pop up at the weirdest times.

2. Get involved in mind clearing activities or exercise. It is important of a songwriter to have a clear mind to be able to write well. I personally enjoy yoga, it is my own way to keep the whole mind, body soul thing. There are many great ways that you can keep you mind clear, like hiking, boating, meditation, or gardening. This will be a great way for you to clear the stresses that we occur in everyday life, and allow for us to focus on the deeper issues that make up great music. If you are not involved in some sort of activity or exercise, make it part of your weekly routine.

3. Believe it or not, not all songs have to rhyme! While this is the normal tendency for a songwriter to gear towards a word that rhymes, but it is not necessary in many cases. The important back of the song is the melody of the song, and how the words fit into the rhythm of the melody. If you can convey your thoughts in a good rhythmic pattern, you will quickly discover that the need for rhyme is not necessary.

4. Hang our with your dramatic friends and family. Lets face it, we all have the drama kings and queens in our lives. Sometimes we just need to get away from them to have a little bit of sanity in our lives, but in the case of songwriting it can be the opposite. A lot of times when I would be having a case of writers block, I realized that I was at points in my life where I was uninspired and things were “normal”. I could quickly resolve my case of writers block by hanging out with my dramatic friends. Listening to their problems, and putting myself into their shoes almost always gave me inspiration for a new song. Bet you never though of a positive for having those kind of friends around, huh?

5. People like what they are familiar with. The truth is that most songwirters spend a lot of time trying to reinvent the wheel and write some new, super inspirational song that will change the world. The reality is that people really like music, melodies and rhythmic patterns that they are familiar with. This is called the 90/10 rule, which means that 90% of the music ones listens to is familiar to them through a different song. So keep this in mind when you are writing your next song. If you really start to analyze the most popular music in 1st world countries, you will discover there is a formula for success that makes a great song for the masses. You can save yourself self esteem issues, by just accepting that we are creatures of familiarity.

6.) Catch them with a hook. There is a little bit of theory that goes into writing a popular song, and the power of any song relies on that hook or the chorus. The chorus is meant to be the consistent reminder in the song where we identify what that song is about. This is typically repeated over a couple of times throughout the song to bring the point of the song. This is the portion that brands your song, and gives its flair. If you watch the people that are singing a song on the radio, you will notice that they always are singing along to the chorus and typically will be quite during the verses or a bridge. Make sure to harness the full power of “the hook”, and you will catch your fish.

7. Write consistently. People that typically make a career out of songwriting and make a lot of money from publishing in the music business, typically have developed a habit of writing consistently. This will keep you in good practice of writing thoughts, blogs and songs.

I hope that you find some of my tips useful and helpful, these are some of the methods that I apply for myself when I do songwriting. Remember, songwriting is a creative process and no two people do it exactly the same, but following some general rules and logic can help make the road blocks and difficulties at a minimum level.

If you have any methods of your own for songwriting, I would love to hear your comments and thoughts!

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