Writing songs requires a huge amount of skill that many people don't take into consideration. Songwriting is a craft that can be consistently trained to get better and better over time. Where do you think you are with your skill level? Are you a beginner looking to learn the basics? More advanced and looking for ways to get professional quality? Or are you a pro who knows that you should never stop growing? No matter where you are in your journey, here are some ways that you can keep getting better and become one of the best of the best!
If you don't know where to go with your studies, the first place to go is to established songwriters. You can find countless interviews and full catalogs from famous songwriters that can give you their first-hand experience and tips for your journey. I like to get lost in Wikipedia for a while to trace my favorite songs to their talented writers and see what other projects they did, who they worked with, and how they got there. Watching interviews on Youtube is even better!
Studying the greats is a good idea, but they won't be able to tell you the technical must-haves when it comes to music theory and education. It's always a great idea to learn the building blocks of your career. Ear training and notation can get very complex, so I'm sure there are new things for you to uncover in the theory side of it all.
Learning music theory concepts can help take your style of writing to the next level and help you to gain a unique edge in the industry. While many people learn and utilize music theory concepts like 1 4 5 1 in a chord progression, you could be having complex progressions in your head that can be catchy and never-before-heard in your genre.
Don't stop at studying the music side of your skills. Creative writing without even thinking about the music is a key skill for all songwriters to have. You need to know how to have a way with words before getting to your melody sometimes. Many songwriters write lyrics first and not melody first, focusing on the poetry and depth of a song, which can be seriously underrated in music, especially in today's music climate.
Rewrite popular songs to challenge yourself and have a blast doing them at the same time. Borrow some of your favorite writer's styles and expand on their ideas with your own creativity.
Engage in freestyle writing to see how fluid your creative process can be, especially when it comes to creating melodic lines. Some of the best songs are made way quicker than you would think, with melodies and lyrics coming from thin air in under 30 minutes.
Try Stream-Of-Consciousness writing to help get yourself out of a lyrical rut. This type of writing involves grabbing a pen and paper and literally writing every single thought of yours down to get your brain rolling.
Check out my post on 10 fun songwriting exercises to get your wheels spinning.
Write with other songwriters in your area or with a virtual collaboration to get new ideas and perspectives that you would have never been able to see on your own. Writing with friends can be a very fun process in addition to giving you a chance to make your song as appealing as possible.
Writing collaboratively can also help your networking and career opportunities in general. If you're a singer that's used to writing on your own, step out of your shell and try something new. You may still prefer to write on your own after the experience, but you will appreciate the process and learning about a whole new set of pros and cons when doing a group project.
This blog was written by singer, songwriter and producer Yona Marie. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
If you are ever in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services for your music project or brand, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her song services page.