Category Archives: Songwriting Tips

How To Write Your First Song- 5 Tips To Help You Get Started

 

 

For some people, doing something like writing a song for the first time might seem as challenging and foreign as performing open heart surgery or building a computer from scratch. Writing your first song can be intimidating, but it’s essential that you start somewhere if you’re interested in becoming a songwriter. We’ve come up with 5 tips to help you write your first song:

 

Don’t Try To Sound Like Anyone But You Yes, imitation is the sincerest forms of flattery, but attempting to sound like an artist you admire will thwart and undermine all of your creative efforts. Writing your first song should be an exploration of your own ideas and creativity. Rather than trying to sound like an artist you admire, try covering a few of their songs instead. Attempt to define what it exactly is that interests you in a song and bring those ideas into your first song.

 

Set Goals and Stick To Them

 

A lot of would-be songwriters fail to get past a beginning lyric or melody because they haven’t learned to set goals. Songwriting might seem like a lofty or even spiritual type of work that’s devoid of anything tedious or mundane, but in reality it’s hard work just like anything else. Yes; some incredible songs have been born out of emotion and inspiration, but if you wait to write your first song until you feel a sense of divine inspiration, you might never write anything. Have goals like, “Today I will write lyrics for the first and second verse”, or “By the end of the month I will have finished this song.” This might seem unromantic or even ingenuous, but rules like this will help you get started with your songwriting practice.

 

Don’t Be a Perfectionist…Yet

 

Your first songs are probably not going to be amazing, and that’s ok. Don’t fall into the trap of, “My first song isn’t going to be that good, so why even try.” The very act of trying to express yourself through songwriting is massively important and valid no matter what song you produce. The trick with your first few songs is to learn how identify your strengths and weaknesses as a songwriter. Are your melodies good but you have no idea how to write lyrics? Then go discover what makes someone a great lyricist. The important thing here is to produce something and build from it. Be brave and learn from your mistakes and successes.

 

Record Your First Song and Listen To It

 

How can you build on your strengths as a songwriter if you don’t have a demo of your first song to listen to? You can record your first song on anything: Your phone, computer, it doesn’t matter. The idea here isn’t to record a studio quality song, but to have a rough reference of your song to listen back to. Listen to your song religiously. What do you love about it? What do you hate about it? These are important questions to ask.

 

Perform Your First Song In Front of An Audience

 

Some people might hate this advice, but it’s essential for anyone who wants to learn to write music. The experience you’ll gain from performing your new song in front of an audience is invaluable. By the way, an audience is basically one or more people. It could be an open mic night at a coffee shop or your best friend. Performing your new music for people allows you to get feedback about your songwriting. Get out there and show everyone what you’ve got.

 

 

The Indie International Songwriting Contest is an incredible songwriting competition that helps give recognition to some of the best emerging songwriters in the world. For more information, contact them today!

songwriting

Thoughts on Inspiration

 

 

Whether you’re new to songwriting, or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ve probably experienced some form of writer’s block at some point. It happens to everyone. You sit down with the intention of writing a song, and absolutely nothing comes out. After a while, you may even start to force it, thinking that you must have something, but what you make ends up being, at best, unoriginal and dry, and at worst, just plain bad. The good news is that you will get past it. No one has ever had writer’s block for their whole life. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to be able to get through it a little quicker. Here are a few ideas for turning writer’s block into inspiration.

 

Just wait

This isn’t always the fastest option, but it’s often the simplest. Writer’s block can sometimes be a mood, which means if you give it a few hours, or a few days, it will pass. The important thing here is to do something completely different. Waiting doesn’t mean staring at the paper until something comes out. It means cooking a meal, reading a book, getting some sleep, visiting a friend, and then maybe seeing if anything comes up. Sometimes, something will even surprise you while you’re doing something else.

 

Draw on your own life

Many of the best songs are stories. Think of a time in your life that caused you to feel a lot of emotion, or perhaps a time that caused you to feel extraordinarily little emotion. Really, any story that people might like to hear or read could also be a good song. Instead of thinking about the song, just think about the story. Tell it to yourself, like you would a child or a large crowd. Then start thinking about how you can fit it into the lyrics of a song.

 

Observe the world

Go to a public place, such as a busy coffee shop or a town square. Watch people and what they do. Listen to the conversations that are happening around you. Think about what they’re doing, and what their background is. Don’t be afraid to make something up. Sometimes the best stories are completely made up. As for the snippets of conversation, they might come in handy as lyrics, or even a general idea for your song. Remember that your interpretation doesn’t have to make any sense with the rest of the conversation. A lot of this is just creating random thoughts in your mind. Those can turn into ideas. They don’t actually need to have anything to do with where they came from.

 

Write out-of-order

Try writing the song out-of-order. Start with the chorus, or the last verse, or even the last line, and then see what comes before it. In the end, you may not even end up with any of the original idea, but it may lead to something that ends up being exactly what you are looking for.

 

Free write

There are a number of techniques that help you to directly access your subconscious. This also tends to make your ideas more random, which can also be helpful. One of these techniques is called free writing. Find a pen and paper, and just write words. It can be whatever’s in your brain, or it can be something that’s not even in your brain until after you’ve written it down. Don’t think, just write. Once you have some things on the page, look through and see if you can make any of it make sense.

 

A lack of inspiration is a problem that we’ve all experienced, but luckily, it’s never a permanent one. Hopefully some  of these ideas will help you work through it faster. If you’d like more inspiration tips, or help with anything else related to songwriting, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What Makes a Great Musician?

 

 

If you are a songwriter, then you’re also a musician. By now, you know that it takes a lot to be a musician, and it takes even more to be a good one. But have you stopped to think about what’s actually important in the life of a musician? Every great musician will give you a slightly different list, but most of them will agree on the most important things. Here are a few of the most important things you can do to be a great musician and songwriter.

 

Listening

A musician is always listening to music. Whether you’re in the car, or working, walking from one place to another, no matter what, listen to music. Listen to music you love. Listen to music you hate. Listen to music you’ve never heard before. Listening is what makes music a part of your soul, and it’s impossible to make good music if you haven’t heard someone else do it first. It also helps you diversify your background and influence. Even if you’ll never write anything in a particular genre, listen to it anyway. It might still give you good ideas for the songs you do write.

 

Learning

Go out of your way to learn as much as you can about music. If you’re really serious about it, get a degree, and maybe even more, in whatever you love most about music. Even if you don’t want music to be your life, if you want it to be important, read as many books as you can. Look up things you don’t know on the internet. If you can’t find the answers to hard questions, make musician friends that can answer them. However you do it, learn as much as you can, because you’re not really a part of the world of music until you know what you’re talking about.

 

Writing

Write as much and as often as you can, especially if songwriting is your passion. Don’t wait for a great idea to come to you, because that might never happen, and if it does, you won’t know what to do with it. Write constantly, even if you think it’s really bad. Write anything that comes into your head, and you’ll slowly get better. Then, when a good idea comes to you, you’ll know exactly what to do with it.

 

Instinct

A small piece of music comes from instinct. Some people are born with more of a gift than others. It’s important to understand that the lack of this gift does not mean that can’t be good. It doesn’t even prevent you from being great. It may mean that you have to work a little harder than those who were born with more of a gift than you, but you should see this as a challenge rather than weakness. No matter what you were born with, you can be as great as you want to be.

 

Passion

Passion is really, by far, the most important aspect of being a musician and a songwriter. You can be born with skill, and do all of the things you’re supposed to from time to time, but if you don’t love it, you’ll never get very far. On the other hand, even if you’re born with nothing, and you have trouble writing, and can’t afford to go to school, no matter what hardships you come up against, if you truly love music, you’ll become great. Passion is what makes everything work.

 

Are you looking for more information about become a musician or a songwriter? Please contact us! It’s what we do, and we’d love to help you with anything that you need.