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Tutorial: Songwriting

Songwriting - How Do You Start?

Everyone has their own unique methods and styles to their songwriting. If you’re just starting to compose your own music, you may have to experiment a little before you really find your preferred and most effective method. If you’re a seasoned composer, keep reading, you may find some new ideas that you can apply to your routine.

As mentioned before, once you have your inspiration, you’re ready to start creating your own music. It is now time to literally speak your inspiration through your musical instrument.

The most difficult part of the songwriting process is usually the beginning. This is when you are trying to figure out a chord progression, melody, or voice line that you can build off of to continue writing the song. Composing a song is indeed a “block-building” process. You build one part, and feed off it to build another part, and so on until it’s finished.

Initially, try writing the song from the intro to the outro, in sequential order. However, that may fail and you might try starting with the chorus, or however you want to do it. Start wherever you want. Ultimately, you’ll have to find the best place to start until you get some flowing creativity and momentum.

Also, don’t rush the process. And I admittedly know how that goes! Sometimes I’ve wanted to finish a song more than I’ve wanted to take my time and make it as quality as possible. Take your sweet time. Not doing so will extremely jeopardize the quality of your song.

Find a quiet writing environment. All musicians have the common requirement of silence around them while they are composing music. If you find yourself not thinking clearly because of distractions, try isolating yourself from those distractions.

And lastly, be picky. Though not too picky to where it takes you a century to compose your song. It is very healthy for the song when you are constantly critiquing it. If you’d like, have other people listen and critique it as well. Be open-minded to what they might say. Open-mindedness is an important quality of a musician, especially in a band context. If you have four guys who just want to do their own thing without listening to the critiques of others, that won’t go very far. Be a “critique sponge” if you will, and soak in any advice that you possibly can.