Here are some ideas I’ve picked up along my own songwriting journey on how you can improve your overall songwriting ability because it always amazes me how making the smallest changes to your songwriting process can make the biggest difference.
Listen To Music
It sounds simple enough but by immersing yourself in the music of others you are allowing that music to flow through you and the elements of that music that you really like will unconsciously come out in your own songwriting later on.
Don’t Listen To Music
The other side of the coin… There will be times where silence, not music, is needed to soothe the soul and when these moments happen, immerse yourself in the silence.
This is a great opportunity for your subconscious to process information or for you to just meditate. Either way, immersing yourself in the silence is sometimes a great way to invite the muse into your world.
Keep A Digital Recorder With You
Whether this be your smartphone or something purpose-built, always get into the habit of being ready to record anything that pops into your head while you go about your daily business because you never know where your next song writing idea will come from.
Watch A Movie/TV With The Sound Off
It’s amazing what you pick up when your senses are less distracted. Watching a movie or the TV with the sound off plus a notepad at the ready, allows your imagination to fill in the gaps.
Personally, I also use this activity as an opportunity to practice some guitar at the same time. I know that this multitasking can muck around with your brain a little bit but persist with it and you’ll find that the results are well worth the effort.
Jam With Other Songwriters/Musicians
Always look for an opportunity to get together with other people and just jam for jamming sake. You don’t necessarily have to have a formal agenda attach to it.
Jamming with others allows you to be exposed to other influences plus it keeps your improvisation skills in check and who knows, you might stumble onto a songwriting idea worth exploring.
Find Some Songwriting/Musical Allies
Having some songwriting or musical allies in your corner will go a long way to sustaining your motivation.
No matter where your allies come from (friends, family or mentors) the most important thing is that they are able to provide you constructive feedback without being either to patronising or fake in their praise.
Read Books, Poems And Stories
It stands to reason that if listening to music infuses musical ideas into your songwriting then reading books would infuse lyrical ideas in the same way.
By reading the words of others and utilising your imagination filtered through your own experiences, you’ll be putting a new spin on what you read and who knows, a song might come from that.
Challenge Yourself To Write Something Every Day
This point is all about creating discipline in your song writing practice.
I’m not saying that you necessarily write a song every day but to really get your songwriting process flowing, you need to write at least something everyday.
This could be a list of possible song titles, a verse, a chorus, a blog post, a poem or maybe even some free writing.
Even if it’s just a few lines anything will do.
Do you have some favourite activities YOU like to do to keep those songwriting fires burning? If you do, please let me know. I would love to hear what those activities are.
Until next time, keep on writing,
All About Songwriting