All About Songwriting

Your #1 Songwriting Resource

Month: July 2012

10 Places To Find Your Songwriting Inspiration

Finding that spark that starts off your songwriting process can be pretty difficult at times so when I came across an article called 10 Places To Find Inspiration For Songwriting, I was really intrigued to see what it had to say.

On finding songwriting inspiration the article states that…

“Songwriting can be a somewhat tricky venture. You’ll often feel the need to come up with something catchy, as well as words that fit well within the rhythm created by the music. But the hardest part of all might be coming up with a subject to write about in the first place.”

I couldn’t agree more as I’ve been in that same position.

There was one section of the article that particularly attracted my attention though. It was the part that mentioned being a history buff would help with your songwriting inspiration.

On being a history buff the article states that…

“Events from the past make a great inspiration for songs, especially when they involve struggle. There are many songs about war or political strife, so tapping into these difficult times can become an inspiration for a song promoting peace or independence.”

That one point certainly made me think of a new way to approach my songwriting. I’ve never attempted to write a song about an historical event before and before reading this article, it was something that I would never have considered.

What about you? How do you find your inspiration? What things keep your songwriting process flourishing?

You can find the original article 10 Places To Find Inspiration For Songwriting here.

Until next time, keep on writing

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

What Is The Definition Of A “Bad” Song Anyway?

I ask this question because it seems to me that we, as songwriters are real experts at naming which one of our creations are bad, so much in fact that for some songwriters, it stops them from creating altogether.

Here are some thoughts I have on this subject.

Call me strange, but I’ve never looked at any of my songs as being either good or bad. I just allow them to be.

At the end of the day, my songs can be put into one of two categories:

  • Songs I perform
  • Songs I don’t perform

Of course the songs that I perform are the songs I’m very comfortable with sharing with the listening public and/or other musicians

However, the songs I don’t perform go into one of two more categories:

  • Works in progress (for performance)
  • Archived songwriting ideas (for later)

You see, I never throw anything away. Everything that comes from my head is created into something straight away or recycled to be created into something else in the future.

Lets face it, the more songs you write, the more ‘good’ songs you’ll write and for every good song you write there are at least ten ‘bad’ ones lurking in the wings.

So, no matter how much you think your songwriting ideas are bad, write them down anyway. Besides, where does it say in the rules that you have to pitch or perform every song that you write anyway?

If you want to write good songs then writing the occasional bad songs is an inevitable outcome and besides, what really makes a song bad?

A bad song from one songwriter could be another performers treasure. What do you think?

There’ll be some songs you write that are meant to be performed and the other songs will just be the stepping stones towards even more songs.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

When you think about it, the concept of a song being bad is created from a subjective opinion and really, is proclaiming one of your songs as being bad your call anyway?

Here is a exercise to try on yourself. Try deliberately writing a bad song and see how you go. It’s like asking a seasoned musician to play like a beginner.

It’s harder to do than you think. What are your thoughts on this?

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Liberate Yourself From Your Songwriting Fears Today

“To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong” – Joseph Chilton Pierce

Today I want to share with you my personal thoughts on fear in songwriting.

You know, I’ve never heard of anyone dying from writing a song but I know some songwriters that fear their own songwriting like they fear their own death.

I used to feel this type of fear whenever I wrote songs. I feared that my songs were not good enough, I feared that I was not going to be taken seriously as a songwriter.

I wrote my first song at the age of 12, but it took me until I was well into my thirties before I faced my songwriting fears and conquered them.

This fear I had came from the assumption that any song I was writing would automatically fall short of an expectation of what I though the end result of my songwriting session should be.

That expected end result is songwriting perfection.

I felt like any song that fell short of songwriting perfection was a bad song and therefore it’s to be feared and avoided at all costs. I was essentially equating writing a ‘bad’ song to being a bad person.

How silly is that?

If you experience fear in your own songwriting process, here’s a little tip… Relax a little, relieve yourself of any expectation and just write without prejudice.

Conserve your energies for something much more useful and productive (like writing more songs).

Imagine what it would be like to just put down anything that comes into your mind and not feel guilty about whether it’s good or not?

Today, we live in a world that expects instantaneous results. It expects that one plus one will always equal two however, when you write songs, try to cultivate the concept that one plus one equals whatever you want it to be.

When you’re able to grasp that concept, you’re well on your way to songwriting freedom.

Every songwriter has fears. I have fears, you have fears and really when you think about it, fear is a necessary part of life.

Your job, as a songwriter is to look at your songs and dig deep inside yourself to find those spaces where you feel at your most venerable and ask yourself “what am I really scared of?” And write about it

For me, my main fear was of my songs not being liked by others. I thought that if people didn’t like my songs then they didn’t like me as well.

What absolute rubbish!

Don’t paralyse your songwriting by fear. Liberate yourself by taking some sort of action today. Write without prejudice and you’re well on your way to write songs without fear holding you back.

Imagine how that would feel like…

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Mariah Carey And Her Songwriting Process

I’m not a huge fan of Mariah Carey by any stretch of the imagination however, I was impressed by this video I found of Mariah and her longtime songwriting partner Walter Afanasieff talking about their songwriting process.

Please bear in mind that this video was made back in 1993 and I’m sure things are very different now for Ms Carey but I was fascinated with the tightness of the songwriting relationship she had with Walter and how much fun it was for both of them.

In our quest for writing THE song, I think we sometimes forget that the whole process of writing a song whether it be by yourself or with other people, you’re supposed to enjoy it along the way as well.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting