Here are some ideas I’ve picked up lately on how you can improve your overall songwriting ability because it’s amazing how the smallest changes to your routine can make the biggest differences…

1. Listen To Music

It sounds simple enough but by immersing yourself in the music of others you’re allowing the music to flow through you and the stuff that you really like will unconsciously latch onto your psyche and come out in your own songwriting later on.

2. 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 an opportunity for your subconscious to process information or for you to meditate. Either way, silence is sometimes a great way to invite the muse into your world

3. 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 songwriting idea will come from.

4. 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 and a notepad at the ready allows your imagination to fill in the gaps.

I also use it as an opportunity to practise some guitar at the same time. This multitasking can muck around with your brain al little bit but persist with it and you’ll find that the results are worth the effort.

5. 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 attached to it.

Jamming with others allows you to be exposed to other influences plus it keeps your improvisational skills in check and who knows, you might stumble onto a songwriting idea worth exploring.

6. Find Some Songwriting/Musical Allies

Having some songwriting/musical allies in your corner will go a long way to sustaining your motivation. No matter where they come from (friends, family, mentors) the most important thing about these allies is that they are able to provide you constructive feedback without being either too patronising or fake in their praise.

7. Read Books, Poems And Stories

If listening to music infuses musical ideas into your songwriting then it would make sense to say that 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.

8. Challenge Yourself To Write Something Every Day

It’s all about creating discipline in your songwriting practise. 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 every day.

A list of possible song titles, a verse/chorus, a blog post, a poem, some free writing. Even if it’s just a few lines, anything will do.

Do you have some favourite things you like to do to keep the songwriting fires burning? Let me know and I might write a post about it.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting