How To Get Into SongwritingPosted by Mike Schumacher
A song is a piece of music that people listen to, so why not write your own songs? There are plenty of ways to get into songwriting! You can pick any genre or area of music and create your own songs within those boundaries.
There are many ways to learn how to play an instrument, so choosing one would be starting off by picking what tool you want to use to compose. What matters most is having fun with it and exploring different styles and genres.
You do not need to know how to play every instrument well to start writing songs. Many successful writers don’tplay instruments at all!
They instead focus on writing lyrics first and then find a voice for them through using rhythm, rhyme, and/or tone. Then they add chords to fit the melody and finalize their song by adding additional instrumental sounds and licks.
This article will go more in depth about how to learn guitar, bass, piano, drums, and vocals.
Make a recording device
Now that you have music in your ears, it is time to make some songs!
The first thing you will need to do as a beginner songwriter is get yourself a recording device. This can be anything from an iPod or smartphone with voice memo option, to a desktop computer with software like GarageBand, to a notebook or phone equipped with a good quality microphone.
Whatever device you choose, make sure it has excellent sound quality so you can listen to your songs later without having to use a different one. Some options are YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music, but any decent-quality headphone or earbud speaker is fine too!
Your device should also have enough memory for you to save your songs and other media files such as video clips. The more space you have, the better. Try buying a new device with plenty of storage to start off with.
Get a notebook
In song writing, there are several components that make up what we refer to as songs. One of these is actually writing your lyrics first!
When you’re starting out as a writer, it can be hard to get into the rhythm of writing lyrics. Luckily, this has become much easier with technology. You no longer have to write down old fashioned pen and paper or use a computer program to do it.
There are many great apps available today that allow you to create and edit your lyrics right from your phone or tablet. Some even connect to music software so you can sync your work and start composing immediately.
Having a notebook or diary where you keep all of your notes and ideas is an excellent way to begin writing lyrics. This will help you remember important details such as rhymes and word transitions for new verses.
Using our earlier example, if I were trying to write my own poem about how I would like to eat popcorn every day for lunch, I could look back in my diary and note funny rhyming words such as “popcorn” and “day.”
I could also add more detail by thinking about why I would enjoy eating popcorn for breakfast, or maybe some additional thoughts related to food. My poetry would not only describe my desire for snacks, but what foods I love and why I like them.
Even if you’re not very good at writing, you can pick up song lyrics and form great songs with them. There are many resources available free or for a low cost that feature new music every week.
You can also take some of your own material apart and re-arrange it into new pieces. For example, if you have an instrumental track, you could add vocals and other instruments and create a new song!
Many people begin as writers by copying what others do. Writing in different styles is a way to learn how authors use rhythm, verse, dialogue, and narrative within their stories.
If you’re already a writer, then editing and remixing your existing work is another effective method to hone your craft.
Having a goal to write a piece of music often helps get the creative juices flowing. Once you have that start, anything goes!
Practice making sequences, creating loops, and experimenting with instrumentation and genre.
Listen to music constantly
A lot of songwriters start writing songs by copying what already works. What I mean by that is, you look at how someone else’s song made an impact on you and then you try to re-create those elements in your own song.
That’s great for starting off! But it will only take you so far.
As hard as it may be to believe, the reason most songs aren’t very good are not because the writers didn’t use the tools successfully, but because they used them too quickly without putting in the effort to make their songs their own.
Your subconscious mind doesn’t care about what other people do; it cares about you. So if you want to get better at something, you have to be willing to invest time into it – even if everything seems like it’s going badly.
Join a songwriting group
As with anything creative, having an open channel for expression is very important to developing your writing skills. Creating a space where you can share ideas and get feedback from others is really crucial in music production.
A songwriter’s group is a great way to achieve this! By being part of such a groups, you will get to read, discuss, and contribute to each other’s songs. Some examples of these types of groups include: writers’ circles, music theory classes, critique sessions, or even just through meetup sites like pozible or facebook.
Any of these are excellent ways to hone your own songwriting talent and develop yours more creatively.
Try to get a recording contract
As with anything that requires money, trying to get into songwriting as a professional is not easy unless you are very passionate about it. This isn’t limited to music only — any career that demands money needs your passion for what they do.
Songwriters work in studios creating songs for artists or their own projects. They take lyrics and melody and blend them together with some good writing (pun intended) and then record those songs onto a piece of paper called a track.
From there, someone else takes that track and writes it down as words and music using an instrumentation such as guitar, bass, keyboards, etc. These writers are referred to as producers, engineers, or musicians.
Producers and engineers help make sure the voice can be heard clearly throughout the song while also helping create the soundscape of the song. A musician may write the chords and play the instruments, or even lead vocal parts depending on who the artist is.
Write down your dreams
Even if you have no idea what you want to write, writing down all of your dreams can help you get there.
As hard as it may be to believe, not every artist was born with a natural talent for music. It takes time and effort to hone your skills enough to really shine!
It’s easy to get distracted by other things when you’re in the early stages of songwriting, like having conversations about music or meeting people who love musicians. But spending time focused only on creative activities is a good way to develop your skill set.
Spending time listening to music and trying to identify songs is an excellent way to do this. By learning how music functions as a form of language, you can learn some basic rules that most successful artists use in their craft.
A lot of people get stuck trying to figure out what song style or genre they want to write in, without actually setting a goal. They never really focus on what songs make them feel passionate or how music makes them feel.
So, when they finally do pick a genre or style they would like to experiment with, it is mostly because of external forces- something happened that made them realize they wanted to write in this way.
They may have read an article about writing in this style, someone could have told them about it, or they might just instinctively know how to do it.
Whatever the case, their internal clock goes off and they start creating things in this style. It takes some time to develop your skills as a writer, so don’t worry if you take your own sweet time getting there.
But do set small milestones along the way – for example, “I will write my first draft of X genre within Y months.”
That gives you a target date to aim for, and can help motivate you.
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.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don’t hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.