Folk Singer - Songwriter

Identifying Your Current Songwriting Strengths

Do you ever go through periods of time when lyrics just seem to suddenly come easily to you? Or perhaps it’s creating melodies, where you used to find melodies difficult.

Every once in a while you’ll find that to be the case: you’ll suddenly go through a very creative time. You might wonder what to do with all the snippets of lyrics you seem to be coming up with. In fact, the question might be: What if all I’m doing is creating tons of material, but I’m not finishing any songs? Is this a bad thing?

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I’ve always thought that it’s important as a songwriter to be able to identify your current strength, whatever that might be, and then just go with it. Don’t worry that all those bits your creative mind is coming up with leaves you with little time to write or arrange music.

I suppose in a way it may not be much different from what the members of The Beatles went through when they spent several months in Risikesh, India, back in 1968, as they studied Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was a very creative time for them; much of the music that was eventually recorded for the White Album was conjured up, most of it not being assembled into finished songs until they were back in England and working in the studio.

So if you find that right now you’re experiencing a burst of creativity, don’t worry that the ideas aren’t being assembled into finished songs at this point. Just make sure you do the following three things:

  1. Record everything you create, whether it’s a great chord progression, bits of lyric, ideas for melodies, or ideas for song topics.
  2. Work quickly, and try to work on several things at the same time. This allows you to move from one idea to the next when you start to experience limitations to your creativity.
  3. Use spontaneity, improvisation and experimentation, and silence your inner critic. There will be lots of time to sift through materials later on.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.

Hooks & RiffsHooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” shows you how a good hook can make the difference between songwriting success and failure. With great examples from pop music history.

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