How Is Taylor Swift So Good At Songwriting?Posted by Mike Schuck
As I mentioned earlier, songwriters are some of the most talented people in our country. They’re creative professionals who use music to express themselves and/or convey an idea or message.
Most people are familiar with the term “songwriter,” but what is a songwriter actually doing? What types of songs do they write?
It may surprise you to learn that not all songwriters pen catchy tunes full of universal melodies and lyrics about love. Some writers get paid to take very specific concepts and add their own personal twist to them by using storytelling and metaphors.
A writer might be asked to come up with a ballad for someone who just found out his or her partner is cheating on them, for example. Or perhaps writing a parody of a popular song is given the task of mocking a particular genre or individual.
More likely than not, though, writers are asked to create a narrative song based on a short story or event. This type of songwriting is often referred to as concept-based songwriting because it requires more focus on developing the storyline before adding music to help tell the tale.
Concept-based songwriting is probably the most common way professional songwriters produce their songs, so it’s important to understand the process if you want to become a better musician.
In this article, we will discuss how professional songwriters go about creating their songs and why Taylor Swift is such a good songwriter.
She writes down lyrics and melodies
As we mentioned before, songwriters are very creative individuals that use music as a tool to express themselves or motivate others. A lot of people can write songs, but how well they connect with their audience is totally dependent upon their writing skills.
Some people start off by creating their own melody and then adding lyrics to it, but most professional writers come up with a lyric first and then find a appropriate pre-existing melody that fits the rhythm and tone of the line.
This is sometimes referred to as matching the verse with the melody, which makes sense because the verse is usually longer than the chorus!
By starting with the melody, you save time looking for a fit for the lyrics. This is why some of your favorite songs may not have an underlying structure — the artist wrote the lyrics first and found a fitting tune later.
She keeps a journal
As we mentioned before, she is a very organized person. Not only does she keep her music collection in order of release date, but she also takes notes, writes down lyrics, and makes sure to organize them by theme or structure.
She even made her own website where she posts some of these songs along with some fun pictures! This gives us an insight into how she preps for song writing.
By taking time to do things like make your own site or take notes, you’ll give yourself more room to add onto what you already have. Plus, you’ll get extra practice writing down thoughts and creating new material.
And while it may not necessarily turn out as well as your original ideas, you will definitely learn something from re-arranging and editing your materials.
She develops her voice
As I mentioned before, songwriters are very diverse in their style. Some write songs that sound like no one else’s! But there is something about how Taylor writes her songs that sets her apart.
She develops her own unique vocal tone and style that fits her music. Her vocals have a natural quality to them, which she cultivates and adds onto as she writes more songs.
Her lyrics also never seem forced or unnatural. They always feel authentic and real – just like her singing voice. This is due to the way she writes poetry inspired by everyday life.
You can tell when she has been writing for a while because her songs become increasingly poetic and clever. These qualities make her music catchy and easy to listen to, especially if you are a fan of hers already!
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This article was written for English lessons via Vocabularybox.com with our vocabulary word being: develop. You can check out more articles here: www.vocabularybox.com/category/article-reviews/.
She learns to read music
As many of you know, Taylor is an incredible singer and songwriter. Not only does she have her own style that people recognize, but she also takes time to learn about songs and writing lyrics from source material.
She studies music extensively and has even made several references to it in interviews. For example, when talking about how she improved as a musician, she mentioned studying music theory.
When she was 19 years old, Taylor took some courses via Take Lessons Online (TLO) so she could study music theory. Her instructor was trained in composition, which means he or she teaches musicians how to write their own songs!
This gave her the basics such as modes, chords, and bass lines, but Taylor wanted more than just that.
So, she continued taking lessons and received very advanced training in musical notation. This includes learning about rhythm, melody, and lyrics.
She learns to sing properly
As mentioned before, songwriters are very diverse in their craft and there’s really no standard way of writing songs. Some people use templates or pre-written music as ingredients for recipes, but most writers create original pieces comprised only of chords and lyrics.
However, one thing that all great songwriters have in common is how they learn to sing! Whether it be practicing with a voice coach, listening to lots of music, or singing in front of a mirror, they spend time perfecting their instrument.
For example, look at these two lines: “You make me feel like I could take off my skin/ And live without it” and then compare them to this alternative version: "I wanna peel away my own face."
The second line isn't as strong because the rhyme doesn't work and the word skin can sometimes sound clichéd. The first line, however, is much better due to the use of the word my instead of my self, the replacement of skin with flesh, and the change of structure from regular verse to internal rhyme.
She practices often
As mentioned before, songwriters are very close in nature with other artists. They spend lots of time together outside of creating songs as well!
Most famous songwriters will write with their colleagues and even friends, sharing ideas and giving feedback to each other’s work. This is how most people learn how to create music — by doing it with others!
Swift seems to be actively engaged in this process almost all the time. On her Instagram account alone she posted about twenty pictures of herself writing lyrics or working on melodies.
She also shared several videos of her practicing her vocals and singing different versions of a song. All of these things show that she is very invested in his craft and he constantly re-evaluates what he knows and learns from himself and others.
This article will talk more in depth about why this is such an important thing for anyone trying to become a better writer. But first, let us look at some examples of how skilled she has become at her job.
She is a perfectionist
As mentioned before, songwriters are very close to musicians in terms of what they produce. Since writers create songs that other people perform, it’s important for them to be professional enough to write their own material.
Swift has always been known as a perfectionist when it comes to writing her music. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – she often times uses this quality to make sure everything in her songs is just right!
By being careful with every detail, she makes certain that her songs stay true to who she is as an artist and person. This helps to keep her music authentic and special.
She also doesn’t like to waste any words or music so she will sometimes go back and rework a line or even remove a word if she feels it isn’t needed.
This attention to detail is one of the main reasons why her lyrics have stayed popular over time. People love how smart and poetic she can be when she puts effort into creating something.
She is a hard worker
As mentioned before, she is very dedicated to her craft. Not only does she put in long hours writing songs, but she also invests heavily in music equipment and technology.
She frequently re-evaluates how she writes songs, constantly looking for ways to improve her style or find new tools that help her express herself more effectively.
Swift has always been known as an excellent songwriter, so it’s no surprise that she invested in music software and technology to aid her process.
Her main tool? The piano!
You may have heard of her using the piano to write lyrics, but she goes beyond just doing that. You can read about her musical journey here.
By investing in the right music software, you will be able to take your songwriting skills to the next level. Here are some of my favorite apps for writers.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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