by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:
The previous article dealt with the benefits that result from setting aside a regular time to do your songwriting. But that’s just one thing you can do to make your songs even better.
There are at least five activities you can do that will improve your songwriting skills, and in basic terms, they all involve opening your mind:
- Listen to many different genres of music. Don’t just stick with the one you enjoy. You’ll find that by listening to other styles, your own musical approach will begin to modify. If you’re looking for the best way to set your writing style apart from others, allowing yourself to be influenced by other genres will allow you to reap rewards.
- Read everything you can about songwriting. It’s always a great idea to see what other songwriters are saying about the business, and you can certainly learn alot. And don’t just read songwriter biographies. Read about music theory, performance, production, and every other aspect of the songwriter’s world. Everything you read is an experience that will improve you.
- Save everything you write, even if it’s a dud. You would be very surprised that the musical idea you created last month or last year will find its way into that new song you’re writing. No partially written song should be thought of as a failure. It may just be waiting for another idea to couple with it.
- Compose a song in a different genre altogether. If you do metal, try writing a little jazz tune, or even a country song. These forays into other songwriting worlds will open your mind to new ways of expressing yourself musically.
- Write regularly. As I mentioned in the previous article on this site, nothing will kill writer’s block quicker and more effectively than training yourself to write every day, or at least almost every day.