Many people wonder how songs are composed or written. The art of songwriting can be described as an adventure. It takes inspiration as a foundation and a high level of discipline to keep you going. This is critical as there will be times when nothing seems to be happening.
There are several things to consider. It is never easy to describe what happens when people write songs. For most people, songs just “happen” – some even within minutes, and they end up hitting the top of the charts! Here is a compilation of some crazy ideas you could try to reinvigorate your songwriting skills:
You read that right. Silence helps you connect with your thoughts and dig deep into your reservoir of thoughts. Take some time out, and connect with your inner self and let the rhythms flow.
Take a temporary oath of silence. Your songwriting will thank you…And during all that silent time all those deep memories and feelings will have a clear path to the top of your mind. Y’know, all those thoughts that make great songs. Via Landr
Set Time Limits
Many times when you overdo something, you mess it up, and songwriting is no different. By the time you are writing a song for over an hour after the point of inspiration, you are probably being retrogressive than progressive.
Time is a hard scale to balance. Too much and you end up second guessing everything. Too little and you get nothing done. Via Landr
The catchiest songs have very few lines to them, and can easily be learned. Don’t insist on writing a long song with too many words. Simplicity will bless your songwriting and captivate your audience much more than you think.
Simple is a skill that every songwriter should master. It keeps your songs relatable, engaging and catchy. Who doesn’t like a good sing along? Via Landr
Connect with Nature
The beauty of nature cannot be overstated, whether you look out of your window, take a walk on a nature trail or better still, stare up at the night sky, you’re sure to stumble upon some inspiration for songwriting.
The small room that I make music in has a skylight in it. The view is quite limited—just a small blue square with the occasional cloud, bird or airplane.
But I think I’ve learned more about my own process from that small blue square than any guide, walkthrough, or manual could ever teach me. It lets me think clearly. Via Landr
Like any career, the importance of rewards in keeping employees motivated is a truth that cannot be ignored. Spoil yourself whenever you get a song done, it will keep you wanting to write more.
When Brian Wilson was struggling with his own songwriting—among other things—he was reportedly rewarded with cheeseburgers for every song he wrote. Via Landr
How To Remember A Tune
There are times when a tune will come into your head when you least expect it and you’re not in a position to record it. What do you do?
Find a similar song
Songs are different but keys and notes are universal. You can always find one that is similar to the one that came by inspiration.
Let’s say that you notice your melody starts with the same two notes as “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.” You may have trouble remembering how your melody starts, but you’ll likely remember “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.” Via Secrets of songwriting
Another way to remember your tune is to draw the highs and lows of it. Have you ever noticed how it’s easier to learn a new song when your teacher draws the pattern in the air? The same applies when that tune comes- sketch it.
This can be a great help because it reminds you of the basic contour of your melody. Quickly grab a pencil and paper, and place a dot on the left margin of the paper, about midway up the side. Then, as your melody moves up or down, sketch out a line that moves similarly up and down. Via Secrets of songwriting
There is something about doing something practically that makes it stick to your brain. Try and imagine yourself playing the tune on the instrument and it will go a long way in helping you remember what you did the next time you need to play it.
So if you’ve just conjured up a melody, take a moment and imagine that you’re playing it on your guitar, flute, piano, or whatever instrument you call your own. You will likely find that your ability to remember what your fingers are doing is stronger than your ability to remember a tune simply out of thin air. Via Secrets of songwriting
Ultimately, you will adopt your own songwriting style, but the following gives a highlight of the steps that you will need to go through:
The six steps to writing a great song; Preparation, Inspiration, Creative drama, Words first or music first?, Writers room, Aftermath Via Music Think Tank
Featured Image: Image Credit
Songwriting at the right time. pic.twitter.com/r6k1GJjxLx
— James TW (@JamesTWmusic) January 31, 2017
— Bebe Rexha (@BebeRexha) January 3, 2017
‘America’s Got Talent’ Star Grace VanderWaal Talks Songwriting, Katy Perry
Twelve-year-old Grace VanderWaal captured hearts nationwide after her America’s Got Talent debut aired Tuesday night. The sixth grader from Suffern, New York, had auditioned for the show back in March with an original song she performed on her ukulele. She received a standing ovation from the room and rave reviews from the judges; one of them, Howie Mandel, even pushed the “golden buzzer” in response to her performance, allowing the singer-songwriter to advance straight to the America’s Got Talent live show, where she will compete for viewer votes.
“[The reaction] is very great but it gets kind of confusing,” VanderWaal told Rolling Stone over the phone the day after her episode aired. She returned to class following the commotion the night before. “I used to sit alone at lunch with only Caroline, and now all these people are coming. I don’t know if they genuinely want to be my friend or they want to be the girl from America’s Got Talent’s friend.”
Nick Cave’s gift: a skeleton key that unlocks the source of songwriting
Last night I went to see One More Time With Feeling, by accident, with Justine, the French goth-rock anti-nanny who’s been helping me taking care of Ash while I try to write songs for a new record.
I’ve been struggling with the mystery of how to juggle everything. I’m a bit lost. I haven’t written many songs in the last two years, and not only am I rusty as hell, but my body and brain have been reconfigured by parenthood. My best friend died two months before I gave birth, and I met my newborn son while grief-stricken. Now it’s a year later and I’m sitting in front of a blank piano. It hasn’t been very clear to me what I should write about. And, I realized while watching the film, it hadn’t been clear to me what I’m allowing myself to write about. Via The Guardian
CAMILA CABELLO, OF FIFTH HARMONY, TALKS FINDING SELF-DISCOVERY IN SONGWRITING
“I think songwriting was the biggest way that I found my identity,” says Camila Cabello. The 19-year-old Cuban-born Fifth Harmony member has been growing up in the public eye ever since she competed on The X Factor at 15—the resulting girl group was signed by the Simon Cowell-owned Syco Music and L.A. Reid’s Epic Records—but she’s also made some musical moves of her own. “It’s hard to know who you are when you start doing that stuff, and songwriting has helped me stay sane throughout this whole thing.”
Last November, the duet Cabello co-wrote with fellow teen idol Shawn Mendes, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. “I felt like that was the first time I got to show people who I am and the music that I was writing while we were doing the mall tours—all the shitty demos on my laptop that nobody knew I was doing,” explains Cabello, whose day-in-day-out is dominated by a grueling schedule promoting the platinum-certified Fifth Harmony, full of stadium shows, press appearances, and radio station interviews. Via V Magazine