Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website.
Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” e-book bundle, and save a bundle! 50% off!
Becoming better at something is a combination of experience and deliberate planning. If you want to be a better songwriter, you can’t keep doing the same old thing. Doing that means that you’ll polish up what you’re doing, but you won’t really be offering anything original. You need to think about what you can do to make your next song stand out. To improve, you need to innovate.
There’s a danger in offering something innovative: innovation can scare listeners, particularly if it goes too far into left field. Audiences feel comfortable with what they know, and less secure with elements that are novel or exceedingly creative.
All songs should show a balance between the predictable and the innovative, with the balance more toward the predictable. But songs with little or no innovation run the risk of boring listeners. So how do you make your next song better? How do you create something innovative that doesn’t scare off listeners? Here are three ways:
- Don’t use the same songwriting formula for each song. Think of a songwriting formula the way you would think of clothes: Don’t wear the same thing each day. For one song, you might develop a rhythmic hook as a starting point. For your next, think of a melodic shape. If you started your last song by creating a chord progression, don’t use that method for the next one. You’ll be surprised how changing your starting methods will change your entire song.
- Make a change to your basic instrumentation. If your last song used keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, find a way to add a new instrument to your next one. Have you ever tried singing a song a cappella (no instruments)? It may be the innovation that will get listener’s attention. Try string quartet, accordian, French horn… anything that gets you out of your previous mold.
- Get a songwriting partner. Most successful songs in the market these days are the product of songwriting partnerships. Finding someone who has a completely different take on songwriting will offer frustrations, to be sure, but will also offer a completely new way of looking at the world of musical creation. Your songs will sound different from anything you’ve written before, and you’re likely to benefit from the experience.
If you aren’t thinking about ways to improve your songs and enhance your audience’s experience, you’re doomed to keep providing the same old thing for your listeners. Improving takes deliberate thought. And innovating in this way will set you apart from all the other writers out there who are stuck in one mold, unable to offer anything truly unique.
Gary Ewer’s e-books will help you take a whole new look at the songs you’re writing. If you want to improve, these e-books will show you how.