6 Tips for Improving your Songwriting
When we were young, many of us dreamt of being musicians. Seeing talented men, women, boys and girls up on stage with their names in flashing lights. It was something that for many of us would merely become a daydream. With society telling us it’s impossible, it’s easy for many people to give up on their dream of being a musician. But it’s important to remember that every artist had to start somewhere. For most successful musicians it takes years of hard work for them to get their ‘big break’. In reality, the only thing stopping you from reaching your dreams is yourself. So, if you’re wanting to reignite your passion for music, or even if it never left, here are 6 tips for you to improve your songwriting.
The main thing most budding musicians lack is confidence. You need to have faith in your abilities if you want to succeed. If you’re passionate about music and you’re willing to put in the work then there’s nothing stopping you from reaching your goals. Be confident in what you write and don’t be afraid to put your work out there. You can do this.
Inspiration can strike in the strangest of places. If you find yourself struggling to find the next word, get up from your desk or wherever you like to write and take a step outside. A nice walk will help to clear your mind and may even spark some new ideas. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not turn your walk into a hike. There are tonnes of great hikes in the US that will inspire your writing for years to come. Reconnecting with nature will help you feel more in tune with your emotions and therefore, your writing.
Invest in a Thesaurus
While it may seem like a trivial idea, you are above all else an artist, and your words are therefore your materials. With that in mind, it may be worth refreshing your knowledge and deepening your understanding of the English language. If you feel your lyrics are too plain or predictable, then why not crack out the old thesaurus and see if you can find a new word to better express what it is you’re wanting to convey. Just be sure not to make your lyrics too convoluted or use obscure or overly complicated language or your music won’t be as accessible.
Know Your Subject
To write the best songs you have to know what you’re writing the song for. Whether as an expression of love or anguish, it will help you keep your lyrics relevant and prevent you from going off on a tangent if you stick to a particular theme. If you’re looking at writing about love, sites like Why I Love You offer a fresh perspective on love and this site even offers up 100 reasons as to why you might love someone – plenty to choose from!
Think Outside the Box
The beauty of writing is that it gives you the opportunity to express yourself and present your thoughts and feelings to the world. But don’t fall into the commercial trap of writing generic songs that will just end up playing in your local shopping mall. The best musicians take common themes and spin them in a new way. Invite a new perspective or experiment with different genres. Don’t necessarily just copy what is ‘successful’ or ‘good’. Part of the appeal of music is that it’s all subjective. There will be an audience for anything you can come up with, so just have fun.
Make it Your Own
To set yourself apart, you should try experimenting with your pacing and your lyrics. Many great songs play with contrasting tones with their lyrics and the music. Songs that may sound cheerful on the surface actually may have very dark and impactful lyrics. These songs pack the most emotional punch. You can take your lyrics at your own pace. You decide how long or short you want your song to be and the tempo of how it will be enjoyed. Make sure your lyrics fit the sound you’re wanting to have for your music or you may find yourself struggling to make your lyrics fit your music or vice versa.