Have you ever felt as if you were born to be a songwriter? You have a melody in your head that seems to flow through all of the lyrics. You write them down and then listen to them as if they were the most beautiful thing on the planet.
But when it comes time to record or perform your masterpiece, you become nervous! What if no one likes this song? What if they make fun of me while I'm playing it? How can I fix this?
Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome those fears and begin writing better songs (even if we all face unique challenges). The following suggestions will be extremely beneficial to anyone looking to improve their music-making abilities by learning how to write better songs:
Don't be concerned about sounding perfect. It's important to remember that your audience doesn't care about what you sound like as much as they care about what you have to say. Musicians should be themselves; imitation will be obvious if they try too hard to sound like someone else. Recognize your human flaws and don't be afraid to make mistakes.
Don't waste your time attempting (and failing) to replicate the style of X artist or Y band in your own writing. Otherwise, your writing will be dull, uninteresting, and unoriginal. Don't waste time trying to compose the "perfect" song when there are plenty of excellent songs that defy expectations musically or lyrically but are still worth listening to.
Get to know your audience
Getting to know your listeners is the first step in improving your songwriting skills. This is challenging because it's common for creative types to live in their own bubbles and assume that their tastes are universally shared. But how can you get better as a songwriter if you don't know who your fans are or what they like and don't like?
It's crucial to know your audience inside and out if you want to write music that will connect with them. In this context, it is not enough to simply identify the types of sounds that people prefer or dislike; we also want to understand the underlying factors that make certain types of sounds so appealing to certain demographics. Saying something like, "I'm trying out a new style" or "I'm going for something edgy," however, is not enough.
Don't be afraid to tell a story
A song's lyrics can have a greater impact when they tell a story. It's a powerful method of communication, and it can be employed subtly to evoke strong feelings in your audience. By weaving a narrative into your songwriting, you can make your music more accessible to a wide audience while still conveying profound ideas.
So, how does one go about penning a compelling narrative? First things first, you'll need to decide what sort of tale you intend to tell. Do you want it to be humorous? Sad? Somewhat philosophic? Maybe something completely different? The overall tone of your song will be affected by the choices you make here, so if everything seems too gloomy, try spicing things up with some humour or lightheartedness.
Use metaphors as much as possible
Songwriters can gain a lot of power from the use of metaphors. You can use them to express in writing feelings that are hard to put into words, such as those evoked by falling in love or by feeling isolated after all your friends have moved away.
As an example, consider Taylor Swift's "All You Had to Do Was Stay" song. She likens her ex to a teddy bear that no longer represents who she is because it has outlived its usefulness:
"All you had to do was stay. I remember it like yesterday. You were my favorite shade of blue. And now I'm wearing black for two."
We can feel her longing for him and her sense that he should be right by her side through this figurative language. Because they have used objects as metaphors themselves, the reader understands exactly what she means, because they have also had similar situations in their lives.
Tell the truth (even if it's hard)
Always tell the truth, no matter how much it may hurt.
Yes, it is challenging to write openly and honestly about something you care about or have personal experience with. However, if the lyrics aren't genuine, the song will fall flat. If you want your listeners to feel connected to the emotions you're expressing in your music, you must first let them into your inner world.
Have a great song idea but can't come up with the right lyrics or melody?
● Pay close attention to the lyrics of songs you enjoy, focusing on how the artists use language.
● Take in some poetry reading.
Never throw away a good idea
If an idea doesn't pan out, you might be tempted to toss it. Please don't! If the song you write doesn't turn out well, at least you'll have the foundation for another song or the inspiration to keep going.
Using these guidelines, you can hopefully create a hit song. All right, get out there and do it! If you need help with your music production process, contact me to schedule a meeting.