If you aren’t doing anything to solve your own specific songwriting problems, you’re never going to improve, period.
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Has songwriting turned from something that used to be fun into something that’s just frustrating you? You may remember a time when writing a song seemed to happen effortlessly. But now it seems that every time you pick up your guitar and try to write something – anything – your mind turns to mush. There’s a good side to this problem: writer’s block can actually be a symptom of your musical mind trying to improve. While a year or two ago you could write with ease, now you’re demanding much more from yourself. The old, simple songs just won’t cut it anymore, and, even though it doesn’t feel that way, you’re becoming a better writer.
But along with that improvement there often comes frustration. Your musical mind is trying to work on a higher level, and it doesn’t happen easily. There are things that will speed up the development of your abilities. One is listening, and you really need to try to listen to as much music as you can on an almost daily basis.
But another important aspect of improving is often overlooked: target your songwriting problem.
Every songwriter has those things they do well, and then the things that are weak and need improvement. It takes humility to listen to your own music with the purpose of targeting its problems. Maybe it’s lyrics. It could be that your melodies just seem like aimless, shapeless conglomerations of notes.
Whatever the issue, you need to target your problem if you want to improve. To not focus on your specific problems means you’re going to keep repeating the problem. And the only way you’ll know is that your audience base stays the same and doesn’t grow.
I’ve been writing this blog for several years now, and have looked at songwriting from every possible angle. So take a look at the following list of postings, and start becoming a better songwriter today. (All links below open in a new browser window.)
PROBLEM: YOU CAN’T WRITE A GOOD MELODY?
- The Importance of a Song’s Climactic Moment – Establishing a melody’s climactic moment.
- 5 Ideas For Making Melodies People Can Hum All Day – Writing memorable melodies.
- Getting Power from Melodies that Match Bass Lines – How a melody can interact with a bass line.
- How Important are Lyrics to the Success of a Song? – The best lyrics are easy, basic, and target the emotions.
- How to Generate Lyrical Excitement in Your Song’s Bridge – A bridge lyric needs to do more than simply present new lyrical material.
- How Note Length Affects a Lyric’s Emotional Punch – Comparing the rhythm and note duration of the verse and chorus.
- It’s Hard to be Unique if You’re Using the Same Tired Formula – Have a favourite formula? That may be a problem.
- Comparing Verse and Chorus Structure – How to structure a verse to lead naturally to the chorus.
- Variations on the Verse-Chorus-Bridge Song Form – There’s more than one way to structure a good song.
- Stealing from Classical Music to Write Your Next Song – Try these chord progressions from Classical hits to write your next song.
- Creating and Using Palindromic Chord Progressions – Using chord progressions that work in both directions.
- What Is It That Keeps a Listener Listening? – It all comes down to how you use tension and release.
- Five Tips for Writing Great Holiday Music – Have you ever considered the gift of song as a holiday present?
- Top 5 Song Intros, And What We Can Learn From Them – A song intro has a special role – don’t waste those valuable seconds!
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