Songwriting skills can come naturally, but we all need help from time to time – especially beginners. Below are some helpful beginner songwriting tips for those who want to start writing songs, but don’t know where to begin.
Know Your Audience
An important question to ask yourself is – Who am I writing for? Different genres will require different lingos and writing styles. Familiarize yourself with the style of the genre that you are interested in.
Also, think about the message you want to get through. Keep in mind that the average listener responds better to simple songs with great hooks.
Take Songwriting Lessons
Raw songwriting talent can only take you past a certain point. If you really want to be a great songwriter then you will have to work for it.
Keep writing and don’t be afraid to fail. If you feel like you need songwriting lessons, take up a course.
If you don’t have the time to go to songwriting classes, try purchasing an online songwriting course or a songwriting book or two. This is ideal for people who need a flexible learning schedule.
Mix It Up (Texturize)
The ear gets tired if it keeps hearing the same set of notes over and over again. This is where texturizing your song comes in.
Mix high notes with low notes, long lines with short lines, slow tempos with quick ones, and break up complicated arrangements with simple interludes. The same thing applies when considering instrumentation. Use as many textures as you can.
Different instruments lend different characteristics to a melody. Don’t go overboard with it though because too many textures can also ruin a tune.
Play the song for your peers, family, and friends and get their honest feedback. Keep in mind though that family and friends will most likely be biased towards giving you positive reinforcement.
As a beginner, you can upload a sample of your song to a music sharing site and get feedback from the community. If you know someone who is a professional songwriter, you could also ask them to listen to your song and give you some frank feedback.
People will have suggestions. Take each one into consideration, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you end up with a song you like.
It’s understandable if you find the idea of collaboration scary, but if you have never done it before, try it now.
Collaboration forces you out of your comfort zone and will, more often than not, produce great songs. Try finding someone who’s strengths make up for your weaknesses.
It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect
You don’t have to churn out a perfect song each and every time. Write as much as you can as often as you can.
Experiment – try for unfamiliar genres, using different styles. They don’t have to be perfect. Let your ideas flow and stop analyzing every little part.
Additional Songwriting Tips:
- Carry a pen and notebook with you wherever you go, you never know when inspiration strikes.
- If you’re stuck, try changing your routine. Try writing in a café, a crowded bar, or in the park. Or if you really need it, take short breaks from your songwriting.
- Get a rhyming dictionary. Your lyrics don’t necessarily have to rhyme, but this will take away some of the effort when they do.
- Take care of yourself. When it’s crunch time, you may find yourself wanting to pull an all-nighter and live on nothing but energy drinks. Unfortunately, this does you more harm than good. You’re better off healthy and rested.
Apply these songwriting tips and start writing today! Practice as often as you can. Follow rules, break them, mix it up, and best of all – have fun while doing it.