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Tag: learning

Songwriting – The More You Know, The More You Need To Learn

In order to master the craft of songwriting you must first embrace the fact that there’s always something to learn about it.

The more you know the more you need to learn.

I know of some songwriters that are either bored or restless with their craft. They complain that everything that they do all sounds the same and therefore they feel they’re not expanding and growing as songwriters.

However, in life, there are people that do things and people that don’t. Which category a songwriter falls into is not determined by genetics or how far the moon rises in Uranus.

It’s all determined by their attitude and as a songwriter, how you master your chosen craft is determined by you and you alone.

One of my ongoing goals is getting advanced musical theory and guitar lessons. I’ve mentioned this to a select number of friends and they all ask me “why?”

My reply is “why not!”

I have been playing music and writing songs since I was 12 and besides learning clarinet and studying music theory and composition in high school I have not had any other tuition in my life.

I am mostly a self taught musician.

It would be arrogant of me to think that I have nothing else to learn so I’m going to find out where my learning gaps are and I’m then going to fill them in with some new knowledge.

Doing this can only make me a better songwriter and musician.

My advice to anyone regarding learning an instrument to help you with your songwriting is threefold:

1. If you’ve ever considered learning an instrument then consider no more, start learning. Don’t believe the rubbish that some will tell you about being too old and things like that.

2. If you already play an instrument consider getting lessons no matter how proficient you are. The more proficient you are at your instrument the more important your choice of tutor will be.

3. If you already get lessons, make more of an effort to practise, learn to love it and find the time to do it. Challenge yourself with the lessons, try to feel your mind expand with the knowledge you gain from it.

Seek out books on songwriting, buy them and read them. Take notes and do what is needed to assimilate the new knowledge into your songwriting process.

Go onto the web and sign up to songwriting resources, forums, and communities. Ask lots and lots of questions.

In your research you’ll come across people you feel comfortable communicating with, keep in contact with them. Network and expand your relationships.

If you want to contact me and ask questions feel free to do so, just contact me through this blog and I will get back to you.

In short, get out of your comfort zone.

If you feel you have been spending precious energy complaining and not enough energy doing then stop, re-evaluate and change your attitude towards your songwriting.

It can be done, I know because I have done this for myself.

Reward yourself (and your songwriting) by embracing new knowledge and you will never, ever look back. In fact, let me know how you go with it.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Learn The Rules Of Songwriting In Order To Break Them

When I was studying music in High School some years ago, I remember having one of my many intense conversations with my music teacher Mr Morgan about the so-called “rules” of music  and why I had to learn them.

I remember saying to my Mr Morgan defiantly, “well, if anything goes in music, why are we having to learn all these rules and structures?”

Now, being a very knowledgeable and insightful chap his answer was simple and straight to the point. He said to me in the calm and measured voice of a Zen Master that I must “first learn the rules in order to break them.”

I was blown away by the answer and from then on, everything just made sense. My insatiable appetite for learning all about music suddenly doubled (no, tripled) right there and then.

What I’m outlining here is that even though the music industry seems to be only wanting young, good looking pop singers who can sing songs of little or no substance, someone will always come along and break the rules.

The music industry is indeed a constantly changing and dynamic beast with a voracious appetite for great songs. It’s always good to remember that the music industry would die a slow and horrible death if there were no more songs to be written.

Just think about it… The songs we write today could potentially shape the music industry of tomorrow so learn all the rules you can so you can then be that songwriter that makes a difference by breaking those rules.

When you’re honing your craft, perfecting your process, increasing your songwriting activity and researching your art, you’re not doing this to find some magic formula that will make you millions upon millions of dollars.

You’re doing all this work to exponentially multiply the amount of sonic colours that you can paint with.

Don’t use the songwriting tips, ideas, techniques and rules that you pick up along your creative journey as a means of corralling your songwriting output in a certain way under the misguided promise of finding some sort of songwriting holy grail.

Use that information as some sort of point of reference so you know how you’ll do things differently next time. Change your direction from time to time, challenge yourself and don’t ever be just content with where you’re at right now.

Nurture your desire to keep learning because in a world full of similarities, it’s the little differences that make you and the songs that you write, stand out the most.

I hope that in some small way All About Songwriting helps you to learn all the rules you’ll need so you then know which ones to break first.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting