Great Songwriting Techniques
Writing a song with unforgettable melodies and creative lyrics can be challenging. Even the most experienced songwriters go through writer's block at some point in their career, and there are many different approaches to songwriting.
Great Songwriting Techniques
Unless you're producing instrumental music, the lyrics are arguably the most important part of your song - even helping you earn music royalties. Lyric writing can often be the most frustrating and difficult aspect of the songwriting process, especially for amateur songwriter's lacking in experience.
How do you handle the songwriting process? Have any great tips to share on how to write a song? Let us know in the comments, or share this article with your friends if you found any of the advice here helpful.
Andrea Stolpe is a multiplatinum songwriter, performing artist, and educator. She has worked as a staff writer for EMI, Almo-Irving, and Universal Music Publishing. Her songs have been recorded by artists including Faith Hill, Jimmy Wayne, Julianne Hough, and others. Andrea is the author and instructor of the course Commercial Songwriting Techniques, part of Berklee Online's songwriting program.
Writing a song is a pleasurable process for every singer-songwriter out there, yet they will undeniably recognize the struggle that comes with it if you ask them. We tend to see great songwriters like John Mayer as artists who drop new ideas over a great melody line, and it miraculously sounds good without any creative process whatsoever. When in reality every great songwriter has a complex songwriting process that they follow meticulously to produce a good song.
You started your music career, you dropped a beautiful chord progression over a catchy beat. Now you need to write, but the lyrics you put on paper can't seem to satisfy you. This is most likely a writing process issue, and in this article, we want to show you 10 actionable techniques that will showcase tangible results.
These songwriting tips apply to any type of songwriting career, and by reading them through you will be able to recognize all types of blocks in your creative process. You will then find yourself able to engage them with one of these actionable tips we're going to present.
Even if you don't like it in the end, you'll find yourself with more ideas you can come back to later while creating music. It is a great feeling to come back to an old idea on your voice recorder, and realize that it has potential. On top of that, the groundwork has already been laid for you by your past self.
The creative brain works better in low-stress environments, where it can relax and connect dots to provide more ideas. So if you're feeling stuck with your song, take a break. It is so important for our brain to rest from time to time. Forcing the songwriting process generally worsens its quality.
Not every song has to be made for publishing, especially if you are a beginner. You need rough drafts to build your songwriting muscles. It is one of the most important songwriting tips. We drop some chord progressions, add a kick and snare and decide this will be the next song out there. It doesn't have to be. Think of it the same way as a bodybuilder who needs to repeat the same movements for years before exposing himself in competitions, your songwriting needs the same type of repetition to achieve a certain mastery.
Creativity has an aspect of spontaneous inspiration that attracts artists, and it does have its perks. However, bringing some limitations to your inspiration might help you become more efficient in your songwriting process. Define characters, a short story, a limited number of chords, or anything that will set directions and make your decisions while composing easier later on.
This structure will breed your progress so naturally that you won't even notice yourself advancing in your song. You think you're only sticking to the limits you set for yourself, but instead, you're growing your songwriting in the same direction. This way every element of your song will fit in your vision because it was defined before starting.
When writing a song, it is very helpful to keep your track reference in the back of your mind. Use a song that inspires you towards the direction you want your songwriting to take. Study the beat, dissect the bassline and analyze the chord progressions. This gives you something to compare your song to in terms of sound quality and overall completion.
You can use this tip at any moment of your process, even if you're not writing music. Take your favorite songs and deconstruct them from title to outro. Learn what makes them great songs bit by bit, and you'll find this information ready next time you write a song.
It might seem like a fancy word, but music theory is just the meaning behind everything we do in music. Your songwriting will only benefit from it, and you won't stay stuck in the same four chords anymore.
The famous Tom Waits had a very unique way of songwriting. He would sit down around four or five radios, and turn on a different channel on each one of them. He would listen to the storm of overlapping songs, and get inspired for his next song. This shows that sometimes you have to step away from your instruments and try unique ways to find inspiration.
If you start a jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the final result looks like, you will most likely blindly gamble on which piece goes where. The same goes for songwriting. You need a canvas for your creative process, and you need it to be personalized. To each song its song structure.
We may have kept this one until the end of this article, but it is one of the most necessary songwriting tips. No artist made it alone, especially in the music industry. It takes a whole team to go to places, and a songwriter needs to ask for assistance.
There has been some kind of dilemma around this practice, where it was deemed inauthentic by many critics. However, some great pieces were produced by artists using samples, and there is nothing wrong with it. Music is still the same 12 keys repeated in different ways and patterns.
There are many other actionable ways that can help you improve your songwriting, these are just the ones that we deemed to be the most practical. Some of them might appeal to you more than others, but make sure to keep them all in the back of your mind. They will come in handy. Don't forget that songwriting is supposed to be fun before anything else, and make sure you write from an authentic place. The rest will follow.
Songwriting is as much about the mindset as it is about writing. Reading songwriting books is important for strengthening your writing abilities, developing your mind and your imagination. It also lowers stress and improves your memory, so there are plenty of reasons to check out the books listed below.
The Addiction Formula includes over 317 techniques with 331 examples of how they can be applied in order to learn them easily in a fun and quick way. This book appeals to a new generation of songwriters by focusing on modern music, using only examples of songs from the past 30 years including songs by Rihanna, Drake and Maroon 5.
This is a really great book for generating ideas and discovering new things in your own songwriting. You also get to understand your personality type from your strengths to temperament, and how to break out of your usual method of approaching lyric writing.
The more people that know of you, your brand, and your talent, the closer you are to success. That means every encounter you have on a daily basis is a potential opportunity to achieve your goals. All it takes is one conversation, just one. A great conversation with someone will give him or her a reason to respect you and your talents. From there the possibilities are endless.
The most successful songwriters in history have cracked the code to writing great song lyrics and the majority of the time, their works all revolved around the ability to tell a good story.
Of course, that topic is heavily debated, but the point here is that Tom Petty held a great deal of value in people squeezing every sonic drop from their instruments, capturing the natural essence of the sound and ultimately creating something that sounds and feels authentic.
When questioned about the inspiration behind his songs, Tom Petty once explained that he never looked at the germ that kickstarted or drove his songwriting as he felt it was kind of creative magic for which he, like many of his legendary peers, served as a conduit.
With this in mind, in my opinion, using MasterWriter will give you that all important edge and help you get from good to great. The comprehensive reference, tools, and organizational features, together with the ease of use, makes it a powerful songwriting tool.
Melody is a subject too often neglected in the teaching of music. This unique resource gives melody the attention it deserves, and proves that melody writing is a skill that can be learned. Through proven tool and techniques, you will learn to write interesting melodies, how melodic rhythm influences rhyme, what makes harmony progress, and the many dynamic relationships between melody and harmony.
The book is meant to be participatory, meaning there a lot of little prompts and assignments for practicing the techniques discussed. Most versions come with a CD, which has complementary audio material to help you practice (it used to be delivered via a CD and is now available online).
How to combine songwriting talent with various techniques to create lyrics with commercial hit potential. This book also defines more than 100 literary and musical terms and supplies advice and quotes on the creative process from more than 50 experts in the music industry.
In these pages, sixty-two of the greatest songwriters of our time go straight to the source of the magic of songwriting by offering their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on their art. Representing almost every genre of popular music, from blues to pop to rock, here are the figures that have shaped American music as we know it. 041b061a72