Songwriting Within Your Comfort Zone

For you, and your own sense of imaginative creativity, your comfort zone can be your worst enemy.


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Metal musician - songwriterWhen was the last time you did something truly unique as a songwriter? Can you think of a song you wrote where your friends, family or fans said, “You wrote THAT?” If that’s never happened, it could be that you spend too much time inside your comfort zone, and not enough time exploring the possibilities that await you elsewhere.

Your comfort zone probably started becoming defined within your first year of life. Practically everything you write is a product, in part, of that zone. That’s not necessarily such a bad thing, mind you. Being a unique individual means that your comfort zone will always be somewhat distinctive to others, at least to a certain degree.

But for you, and your own sense of imaginative creativity, your comfort zone can be your worst enemy. Your comfort zone is a place where you don’t feel particularly challenged. Like a big fuzzy armchair, it’s meant to make you feel at home and restful.

And the dangerous part of that fuzzy armchair is that certain things are expected – a cup of coffee, a cookie and a favourite book. A comfort zone is no place for an artist who wants to grab attention.

Here are 7 symptoms of always writing songs that come from your comfort zone:

  1. Your chord progressions all sound the same.
  2. You keep writing about the same thing(s).
  3. The formal design of your songs all show the same verse-chorus-bridge design.
  4. Your songs all have a similar tempo and feel.
  5. Your songs’ message doesn’t challenge the audience out of their comfort zone.
  6. Your songs all use a similar instrumentation and backing rhythm.
  7. You constantly shy away from controversy.

If you’re writing a song right now, stop and ask yourself:

  • Am I doing something truly unique, or am I simply giving my audience the same old thing dressed in slightly different clothes?
  • What do I want to say, and is it any different from other songs I’ve written?
  • What am I doing to make sure my audience is experiencing something truly unique?

Answering those three questions should get you pointed in a direction that leads, hopefully, directly out of your comfort zone and into an area that challenges you to be more creative, and more innovative.

And don’t worry. Making a bolder statement through your music may lose you some fans, but you will gain far more than you lose. In that regard, you may find that building a fan base is not always a straight line, but is an ebb-&-flow pattern in a general upward direction. Making ripples leads to more positive results than negative ones.


Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle looks at songwriting from every angle, and has been used by thousands of songwriters. How to use chords, write melodies, and craft winning lyrics. $95.70 $37.00 (and you’ll receive a FREE copy of “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro.“)

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