There are two important ways that songwriters can improve. The first way is to learn whatever you can about why successful songs work, andwhy they sell millions. That’s been my particular area of interest – analyzing and dissecting great songs, and helping songwriters learn from the success of others. My five e-books are designed to show in comprehensive detail what makes a good song good, and why bad songs are bad.
The second way involves being in fairly constant communication with others, both songwriters and listeners. If you’re writing songs, but not getting them out there – not having them heard, I would question how much you can really improve as a songrwiter. Having others hear your songs is a crucial part of improving. And sometimes it’s not a fun part, because if you ask for an opinion, some people will be brutally frank. But thicken your skin, because those brutal comments, even if they’re hard to listen to, are a vital part of making your songs better.
So here are some specific pieces of advice for you, if you’re really interested in writing better songs:
- Get some good songwriting instruction. As I’ve said, this has been what I’ve been doing for years now, trying to show songwriters not just why good songs work, but why your songs might not be working, and what you can do about it. Most bad songs are fixable if you know how!
- Join an online songwriting community. There are many sites devoted to allowing singer/songwriters to post their music for others to hear. A simple online search will guide you. (Caution: I might recommend registering the copyright of songs you put online, to ensure others recognize your authorship. Others might think I’m paranoid on this point, but it’s something I would certainly suggest.)
- Find cafés or university-based shows that showcase new talent, and get your songs out there for others to hear.
- Listen to lots of music. Lots and lots and lots. And it doesn’t matter which genre. The more you listen, the more you’ll find that your creativity has been sparked.
And as a final bit of advice: I have a free newsletter that I send out once monthly. There are a couple of articles in each edition that deal with songwriting issues, and I think you would find it useful. Please feel free to subscribe. (Please note that I never give away, sell or rent email addresses.)