7 Ways to Boost Your Songwriting
If you write music you have probably had times where brilliant ideas have just fallen out the sky or you have found yourself coming up with absolutely nothing, sometimes for days on end. This happens to all of us but there are ways of improving the creative process so that you become much more consistent in coming up with great music.
Songwriting is the heart of the music industry. It’s the universal language that connects the artist and the listener. If you don’t write yet now is the time to start, not only can it be a great revenue earner through royalties it’s good for your soul.
A great song can make the worst singer in the world a star. A bad song can’t be saved by the three best singers in the world. – Quincy Jones
If you are ever stuck or think your ideas are best left untouched by human ears then try these 7 ways to boost your songwriting and make some good vibrations!
#1 Make It Groove
Often it only takes a small bit of inspiration to fire up an idea in your head. I find that a lot of the music I write ends up starting off from a great rhythm. This could be from a song you have heard, a drummer you play with, a drum loop or even the running noise of a machine! The point is to pick out the beat that you are hearing and imagine what it would sound like if you placed a chord sequence or riff over it. Once you have it in your head, write it down or even better – record it.
#2 Use Your Emotion
We tend to be good at writing what we know. So if you are feeling a certain way, use that to drive an idea. You have probably heard of songwriters describing the moment they wrote a song. Often it follows an emotional experience they had which was fresh in their minds at the time. This means it’s far easier to translate that emotion into the music and provides all the ammo needed to write the song.
#3 Listen to Music That inspires You
Now this may seem obvious but it works! Listening to music that gets you inspired is a great way to start an idea. One great benefit is that you can use it as a reference point for style, instrumentation, tempo, production and overall feel. This helps you picture your idea much easier but be careful not to copy, you just need to use it as a stepping stone to create your own songs.
#4 Keep a Library of Ideas
Sometimes ideas present themselves to you at the most annoying times! The one I hear most is when you are drifting off to sleep and you are hit with a bolt of inspiration. Rather than trying to remember it in the morning the best way is to have your phone or notepad handy and record it there and then. This way you won’t ever miss those golden moments and you can always re-visit them to kick start an idea, especially if you are having a dry spell!
#5 Take a Break
Go for a walk, stare out of a window, let your mind drift away from what you are doing. This can be all you need to refresh your ears and come back with renewed inspiration.
#6 Visualise a Story
Visualising a story will give a different angle to use when writing your song. Think about the details, imagery, mood, does the story have a beginning, middle and end? Once you have jotted down the details you will have a road map of where you need to go with the music and lyrics.
By co-writing with other songwriters you can see other peoples writing processes and bounce ideas of each other. It can be very prolific when you write with the right person but can also be a non-starter. Due to the different creative personalities that writers have you will find that you will need to try writing with a few people to find a good partnership.
The main thing to main remember that there isn’t a sure fire way to write a song. There really are no strict rules but hopefully these tips will get you thinking about how to come up with ideas and get you producing more consistent results!