The most important player in the songwriting industry is the songwriter, and everyone knows this. The songwriter is the person who writes the song and without him, there would not be a song to sing.
A songwriter does not even have to be the singer of the song and in most cases, they actually aren’t. The majority of popular singers we see on TV and concerts almost never write their own songs, but have one or a team of songwriters who take care of the verses, hooks, and music.
No matter how beautiful the voice or the act of the singer is, or how charismatic they are, they can never be popular without the proper words to sing or speak. Therefore, if you want to craft a song successfully, you must learn the basic principles of songwriting.
What can you do to improve your songwriting skills?
- Learn from Others
Learning from others is one of the most promising ways to get better in the songwriting craft. Of course, this does not mean that you should check popular songwriters and copy their styles, but you can always learn important practices and techniques by checking their songs regularly.
In addition to this, you can always look up interviews, videos, and articles published about the songwriter in question. Whichever songwriter you have chosen and admire, you can always look up to them for guidance.
No, you shouldn’t write only on the rare occasions where you feel inspired to do so. This does not happen every day and may lead to inconsistency in developing your writing skills. Therefore, you should aim to master the craft with hours of practice.
Our advice is to practice a chosen, specific aspect of songwriting per day. For example, you can work on the hooks on Monday and switch to full verses on Tuesday. On Wednesday, you can dedicate some time on watching videos about songwriting to get some ideas about your songs, and so on.
Whatever strategy you choose, the important thing is to be consistent. As people say, ‘practice makes perfect‘.
3. Analyze Good Songs
This is the fun part – listen to your favorite songs to learn how to write songs. Probably one of the most popular songwriting techniques, analyzing your favorite songs can help you learn the proper structure, optic and sound of a well-written content and interesting music.
If you pay attention to patterns and details of a song, there are certain things that become apparent. Once you learn these things, you will create a good song more rapidly.
And don’t forget – listening to songs is actually proven to improve the health!
4. Keep Track
In order to become better at something, you must keep track of your progress. Keeping track of the things you have achieved in learning a craft gives you reassurance and confidence, as well as motivates you to practice harder and become better. It is a simple cycle, and all you need is a songwriting journal.
5. Get Feedback
Seeing that you are the one writing the lyrics and making the melody, you are surely connected to your music. Being the author of a song makes you biased toward its bad parts and features, which is why you need a second pair of ears to be able to create good music.
You can always turn to your friends and family and ask them to listen to your song, but it is best to go to a person working in the same field. Even though they can help you learn what the general public likes and does not like, your best shot is always a professional. A professional will know the flaws and traits of your creation.
6. Know the Basics
If you are new to songwriting, chances are you have missed a detail while learning about writing songs. Therefore, before you start writing your song, make sure you have the entire vocabulary for songwriting on hand – starting with verses and chorus to bridges and hooks.
Those who do not master the music theory cannot write good songs. Therefore, start seeing music as a science and study hard to learn the tricks of making good songs.
7. Pick a Good Place
As with any other work, writing a song also requires a proper environment without any distractions. The best area and environment for work is different for everyone, so find what you need to be inspired and make sure that you surround yourself with it when writing.
8. Use Technology
Nowadays, almost everyone owns a smartphone. Knowing this, you should grasp technology and use it to capture your ideas, write down notes and even record audio that will help you in creating the best song.
You can use laptops and tablets, too. Most of these have various applications that allow you to both track and produce a song while writing it.
The technology is right there in front of you – all you have to do is use it to your benefit.
9. Be Authentic
You cannot succeed if you are same as everyone else. Even though you should learn from other songwriters, copying their songs will hardly make you popular. People want to hear something good and something new, which is what you should always aim to deliver.
10. Make Changes
A song is rarely perfect with the first draft. However, since this is not the regular essay written at school, but a song that you worked hard on, you may find rewriting to be the hardest part of the writing process.
You are not the only one. Once they’ve written something, songwriters often feel like they have finished their job.
However, do not fall for this. You can always save your favorite parts for future compositions if they do not fit the current song. Make sure to combine the hookiest, strongest and most memorable tunes, regardless of how much you must erase.
One final advice – write what you know best and seek material for your tunes. Most importantly, put the song first at all times.