Are you feeling frustrated with the songs you’re writing? Do you find your songs aren’t written to the standard you feel they need to be? You may have unrealistic expectations of yourself and what a song should be. If you’re unhappy with your songwriting, you may want to take a step back and consider these four simple songwriting tricks.
What Do You Want Out of Writing a Song?
Whenever you set yourself to writing anything, ask yourself this: “What do you want to communicate?” Finding the answer to this question is extremely important in any kind of writing, but especially creative writing such as songwriting. Having a clear goal of what you are trying to say or communicate in your work helps you gain a lot of clarity in how to proceed with your writing.
Then, once you know what you’re trying to communicate, ask yourself where do you see this song taking you. Are you writing this for an acoustic set at the local coffee shop? Do you want to write something romantic for your partner? Maybe you have dreams of performing your song on late night TV in front of a viewing audience of millions. Knowing the journey you dream your song will take you on is equally important.
While a song may not go where you expect or say things in quite the way you intended, don’t be upset. Having these goals in mind will help you develop focus your writing style and give more cohesiveness to your songwriting work.
Write to What You Know and What You Can Do
When you sit down to write a song, don’t try to write for a symphony orchestra unless that’s something you know how to do, You want to focus on writing to what you know how to do musically. It doesn’t matter if all you know how to do is pick away at an acoustic guitar or hammer away on a synthesizer. Focus on what you know and your personal style will shine.
If you feel like your song needs something more to get it where you think it should be, that’s when collaborating with other musicians is a better idea. After all, this is how many bands are formed. A lot of very successful musicians started out as one-trick ponies until they met up with others who complemented them and brought each other up.
Get in the Habit of Writing Down Ideas Whenever They Come
Developing good habits is good in life, and it’s even more important to do so with your songwriting. The most important songwriting habit to develop is recognizing how you’re coming up with your ideas and getting them written down before they’re lost. Write down any lyrics or song ideas you have as soon as you get them. Do this even if it means carrying a small notebook and pen with you everywhere.
Keep in mind that your best ideas will often hit you when you least expect them. Also, take note of whatever makes you most inspired. If there are certain places, people, or activities that inspire your songwriting the most, be sure to cherish those muses. Knowing these things will help you better define your songwriting style and focus.
Songwriters Should Just Be Themselves
As a songwriter, don’t try to be anyone but yourself. You can be inspired by others and perhaps mimic them in some ways. But developing your own personal lyrical and musical style is paramount to success. Remember that what makes a “good” song is highly subjective. Don’t try to write a song everyone will love. Someone out there will love it, and someone will hate it. At the end of the day, the song you write should be one that you’re happy with. As with any other creative endeavor you make, that should be all that ever matters.
Now I’m sure many people around the world know who Natalie Imbruglia is. If you’re in America, though, all you probably know of her is one song: “Torn” that was released as a single around 1999. It is because of this song that I learned of her, but unlike a lot of my peers (actually unlike all of them) I decided to learn more about her. I got “Left of the Middle”, and loved it. When White Lillies Island (actually an island on which she lived for awhile) came out, I loved that too!
I’ve never understood why Natalie never took off in America. Around the world, she’s a pop idol. She’s full of talent, and has written some really great lyrics. She actually writes a lot of them, and actually, the only record she didn’t write many of the song on was her 2005 record “Counting Down the Days” which did well commercially in Europe and the UK, but I feel was her weakest album overall. Her most recent album, “Come to Life” was terrific, and none of the songs even touched the Top 40 in America. I don’t get it. I think it’s because she has never really toured all that much. I don’t think she’s been to the US that many times, either, mostly because she just never really had much of a following in America.
I just wanted to say something about her because I think a lot of people have really missed out on her music. During a time when American pop music was so sexually charged and at times raunchy, her music was just I think a lot better than what was being offered on radio at the time. Apparently, the rest of the world knew about her. So I must say, worldwide, she may be well known, but in America, she’s really underrated. I suggest you check her out. She really brightened up a lot of days for me when I was younger, and if you’re tired of hearing the same ole, same old pop music, give her a shot.
Another very important point is that just because one song or group of songs inside of a genre relay one type of message, doesn't mean they all do. It is one thing to discount a particular song for its message, yet quite another to take that out on the entire genre. Just as there are songs advocating violence across all genres, there are also songs about peace and love in all of those genres.
One should never discount an entire genre based on stereotypical notions alone. If you simply don't prefer the sound, that makes more sense than disliking music just because of the category it's placed under. Labels are extremely subjective and blanket applications rarely are true, due to variances.
For instance, the following selections are all from the same genre but are completely different, with entirely separate messages: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYG-jj0XkH0, www.youtube.com/watch?v=s716EpraBB4, www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNaeuNd0Ogo, www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQEhmT7AJ44). If one were to judge the entire genre on just one of those songs, that judgement would be inaccurate regardless of which one they chose.
I don’t expect everyone to enjoy every musical genre out there. We all have our own tastes. Mine happens to be varied, but that’s just me. However, it seems unfair to base a dislike on stereotyping, rather than actual taste.
Have you discriminated against music either knowingly or unknowingly? What are some of your favorite genres?
**Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
*** I originally published this here: http://www.bubblews.com/news/1428152
It’s long been my habit to check out all kinds of music no matter the genre or how famous (or not) the artist may be. Sometimes I’m looking up music on purpose and other times, I hear it in various places. Recently a very good friend popped on something new to me while we were hanging out. I was hooked on Raw-Rah’s smooth-sounding voice and relatable lyrics immediately. I of course had to ask who this R&B artist was. It turns out he’s a local Denver musician and my friend had gotten the CD directly from him.
I of course had to look him up and find the music for myself once I returned home. Currently, two of Raw-Rah’s songs are available via his website (raw-rah.com) or ReverbNation. The song “So Amazing” describes what is felt about a woman he’s trying to decide if he’s in lust or love with. The catchy beat and lyrics will have you dancing and humming along right away. This is definitely the faster song of the two. But the thing I like about both songs is that either could be danced to or be listened to while relaxing.
My favorite is “Facebook/Twitter,” which makes sense since I’m both a techie and a sucker for love. What girl doesn’t want to hear the lyrics “Cuz you’re a superstar, yes you are. You set the bar for other girls too far?” The song is about meeting up with someone he’s been communicating with via Facebook and Twitter. The raw and real lyrics of a situation that is very possible combined with the smooth, yet move-inspiring beat make it a must-listen. In fact, I must say that both my friend and I like to play it over and over again.
Curious? Go ahead and check him out for yourself. You may not hear this on the radio yet (or even catch it on YouTube). But it’s definitely worth the listen.
**The author has no commercial affiliation with the artist and/or brand mentioned in this content. The views expressed are the author’s own and no compensation or other monetary benefit was received by the author for this material.
**Image Credit: Lyn Lomasi
*** I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Janet Lewis, Contributing Writer
If you want to improve your vocal quality then you need to get voice lessons, there’s no way around it. A good vocal coach can mean the difference between a pure voice and screeching. Vocal lessons also help you to maintain a tone longer by using breathing techniques. Not everyone can afford to go to a vocal coach to get this training because it can be expensive. There is an alternative though by using an online vocal coach to give you lessons. There are many benefits to online voice lessons and below are just a few.
More Affordable Than in Person Lessons Online voice lessons offer a more affordable choice when compared to the cost of in person lessons. A private coach is not cheap and when money is tight you may have to pass on lessons in lieu of other bills. Also, you can spend upwards of a hundred dollars an hour for a live vocal coach so you may not be able to have as many lessons as you could if you were to get your lessons online.
Lessons When You Want This is a huge benefit because most people don’t have a great deal of time during the day when a vocal coach is available. Online vocal coaches are available when you are so you can work your lessons around your schedule rather than the coach’s schedule. Also, if you prefer to have a longer or shorter session that is not a problem, you set the time and the length of the lesson to suit your needs, not the needs of the coach you hire.
All Lessons are Private For the novice who may not have the chops to sit in a room full of other vocalists or who does not yet have the confidence to sing in public, the online lessons are private. You don’t have to worry about what others think about your vocal abilities and you can sing in front of other people when you are ready. You can gain the confidence at your own pace and time while working on your vocal quality and tone.
Lesson in the Comfort of Home Finally, you don’t have to go anywhere to take your lessons. Just fire up your computer and get started with your lessons. You don’t have to get dressed up in uncomfortable clothes and can wear your pajamas for your lesson if you want. It’s up to you where in your house you take your lessons.
If you have been thinking about getting voice lessons then you should consider the option of online voice lessons. They are all private and can be done from the comfort of your own home which is a huge bonus. You don’t have to worry about other people hearing you until you are comfortable with your vocal quality until you are ready. The lessons are much more affordable than they would be if you were to get your lessons from a traditional vocal in a live setting.
Janet Lewis has been a vocal coach for more than 10 years. She also enjoys blogging about singing and voice lessons to help others.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN