Expanding Your Songwriting World

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Film CameraYou’re a songwriter because you enjoy it. It’s your creative outlet, your way of putting your musical imagination to work. Whether you’re a member of a band, or you simply write songs for your own use and pleasure, songwriting is, for you, the art of communication. But even people doing that thing they love can start to feel a little bored with that scene, and that boredom can lead to writer’s block.

If you’re feeling that your compositional activities need a bit of fresh air, it might be time to consider ways to expand your songwriting world.

So what can you do to make songwriting feel fresh again?

  1. Partner with a dancer and write a “ballet”. I put ballet in quotes because that term can mean many things. Obviously it’s not necessary to write a full-length hour-long work. But trying a series of songs or instrumental works that are written with the creative input of an experienced dancer will present your music to an audience that doesn’t normally hear what you do. How to get started? Contact your city’s dance instructors, or your local university’s Dance or Theatre Department.
  2. Write a film score. Contact your local university’s Theatre department, and see if there are any students who are looking for music for their latest film project. This kind of writing will open your eyes! It’s important, as you will likely know, to be flexible in your songwriting approach, especially as the music will need to partner seamlessly with the film. But it will take your creative mind in new directions, and will instill a sense of compositional discipline that may have been lacking in your songwriting procedure.
  3. Provide music for a local art show. Contact a local art instructor or school, and discuss the possibilities of providing a musical backdrop for an art show, or partner with an artist to present a music/art “happening.” I like the partnering idea, because you can schedule an event that starts at a specified time, and could present better opportunities for your music to be more front-and-center than simply singing and playing in a corner of the art gallery.

The possibilities are endless, really. And these and other similar ideas will allow you to feel an excitement for songwriting that you may not have felt for a while.

The biggest benefit coming from these three ideas is the expansion of your listenership. You’ll get your songs listened to by people who may not have otherwise come across your work.

-Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website
Follow Gary on Twitter


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