Habits To Improve Your Songwriting Skills
or someone to succeed in, he has to develop a set of good habits that will prepare him for success. A boxer prepares for a match by doing all the routines he needs to be in shape.
To win competitions, athletes need to develop good practice habits and consistently stick to the plan.
That should be the same attitude even for songwriters. The way we approach songwriting affects our output in ways most of us don’t even realize.
To be a better songwriter, you have to develop good practice habits. Here is a list of beneficial songwriting habits that will help you how to improve your songwriting skills.
Be Confident And Believe In Your Gift
An essential habit that one must cultivate in any given craft is confidence. Accept that you are a songwriter and don’t be shy about it.
Yes, you may not have your hits on the radio right now, and no one knows about your songwriting skills yet. This should not stop you from writing your own music.
Believe in yourself! The moment you start creating songs, you are already a songwriter.
It’s only a matter of time and good practice until you start writing something that people will love to listen to.
Every journey starts with that one simple step, and you have to decide to take that step.
Do you want to start making your own songs? Start writing!
Make Time To Write
Don’t wait until you have time to write – make time to write. Songwriting is already challenging, don’t make it even harder by trying to make uninterrupted time.
Don’t wait to have a huge amount of vacant time because you might find yourself pretty occupied with your daily activities.
Remember This Tip
Practicing less but often is way more effective than practicing for two hours once a week. This concept applies to songwriting too.
Start writing a little every day, believe me, it will all add up. It’s called songwriting endurance and consistency, which you’ll never have if you try writing less frequent.
Find A Place To Write
Find a place where you can start writing uninterrupted. It may be at the comfort of your home, along a riverbank, or some secret hideout where you can find solitude to focus on your songwriting.
An Important Point
It doesn't have to be a big space, even a small desk or chair in the corner of your living room can be a haven for your creativity.
Dedicate a space in your home or your favorite place and make sure your writing tools are available. That can be your guitar, laptop, or the classic pen and paper.
Avoid Inactivity To Be More Productive
Study shows that inactivity kills more people than obesity in Europe. Well, you don’t have to be obese or to be in Europe to find that this is true even for songwriting.
Inactivity kills your creativity for songwriting.
When we practice our mental muscles, we get good at whatever it is we’re doing – in this case, songwriting.
Ponder on this
Writing a title a day keeps your songwriting mind active.
Doing so also gives you a list of titles you can refer to when you ran out of ideas.
Also, writing a title a day is definitely more achievable than writing an entire song.
Write For Short Periods Daily (As Often As Possible)
It doesn’t have to be five minutes, it can be ten, six or many minutes you want to commit. The point is, set a realistic amount of time daily where you can engage in songwriting.
It’s not every day that inspiration will come to you naturally. There are days where motivation is nowhere to be found. If nothing happens after five minutes of trying to write, you have nothing to lose. At least you have worked your mental muscles.
There’s no point in making yourself miserable by trying to sit down for hours and not having anything worth writing.
Condition your songwriting muscles.
There is a term in psychology that is important in having a sound songwriting mind – it’s called conditioning.
When we repeatedly do something, it then becomes a habit. Our muscles (especially our neurons) remember such repetitions, and we get better at it.
The key to any kind of craft is repetition or conditioning. We condition ourselves by repeating proven methods that work.
The more songs you write, the more you become consistent and efficient. That is how you condition your songwriting muscles.
Don’t Try To Achieve Perfection Especially In Your First Draft
When you are in a writing session, try not to achieve perfection, especially on your first draft. It may be gratifying if that approach works, but more often than not, it doesn’t.
Perfection is a dead-end, it's humanly impossible. Strive for excellence.
When starting out and writing your first draft, write everything that comes to mind, and don’t hit that backspace button yet.
You can always come back to what you have written and polish it. That way, you don’t interrupt the flow of your creativity by correcting every error you see in your first draft.
Remember, momentum is your friend. Don’t ruin it by trying to be perfect all the time.
Organize unfinished ideas
More often than not, we tend to finish songs in multiple sessions. Yes, there are times when inspiration strikes you so hard that it only takes us a few minutes to complete a song (so they say).
Always keep your unfinished songs in an organized manner.
Doing so will help you return to whatever you’ve written much easier.
You don’t want to come back to a bunch of scribbles, going up and down your notes trying to figure out where you left.
It’s incredible how a few days or weeks can give you a different perspective on an unfinished song. Try to make it easier to come back to it by organizing your unfinished ideas.
Being organized is a great addition of habits to improve your songwriting skills.
Record random and spontaneous song ideas.
A lot of our creative process tends to be spontaneous. You find yourself doing something very random, and suddenly a melody or lyrics come to mind.
Never Forget This
Don't let these random creative juices go to waste. Record them!
Don’t make the mistake of not recording them because they are forgotten just as fast as they come to you.
Ten years ago, people would suggest having a recorder with you so you can record random ideas when you are writing a song. Today, you can just grab your phone and do just that.
You can always come back to these recorded ideas later, and make a masterpiece out of it.
Record a rough demo of your song
Just as you need to record spontaneous ideas and inspirations, you also need to capture a rough demo of your song.
Once you’ve finished writing a song, forgetting how it goes is an easy thing to happen. You wouldn’t want something like that to happen after all the efforts you’ve done to finish a song.
Note To Self
Get the habit of recording your song after you've finished them. This way, it will help you remember how a song goes.
Your phone or laptop can do the job for you. Also, it would be easier for you to produce that song later if you decide to have it published.
Work with other songwriters
There are so many great benefits when working with other songwriters.
A Powerful Thought
Remember, having two or more brains working together is way more powerful than trying to finish a project on your own.
You will never know what possibilities await when you try to reach out and write with other songwriters. You learn new things, a new approach, and a lot of stuff which is not possible if you work alone.
You will also have the privilege to see things from the perspective of another artist. This will give you insights to ideas you’ve never thought of before.
Attend workshops and learn new materials
Learning is a lifelong process. As long as your breathing, learning never stops. It is definitely true in songwriting. When you think you’ve done it all, you’ll realize that you still have more to learn.
Another benefit of learning new materials is that it gives new light or a fresh perspective on things you have already known before.
Attending workshops does precisely all of these things.
You learn new insights and reinvigorates your passion for songwriting.
What’s more amazing about workshops is that it introduces you to new groups of people.
Show people what you have done
It’s pretty pleasant and gratifying to have written a song or two. It’s also very fulfilling if we have learned and improved our craft over time.
All of these are for nothing if you do not have an audience to consume your music. You need people to hear what you have done.
Hearing other people sing songs that you’ve written brings a new level of satisfaction to your songwriting career.
If you are someone who desires to get a record deal out of your creation, then you should have your songs published.
Find ways to advertise and have people listen to your songs. Doing so will slowly build your audience and followers who would like to hear more from your arsenal of original songs.
It won’t come easy. I promise you, publishing and letting people know about your songs will eventually lead you to more significant opportunities.
Consistency Is Key On How To Improve Your Songwriting Skills
These are all great habits to improve your songwriting skills. Now, all that’s left to do is to implement these songwriting tips into your workflow.
Not every songwriter has the same approach to songwriting. Not all of the ideas mentioned above will work for you, but if it does, make sure you do it.
Finally, be consistent with your habits. Don’t do things right for a day and start forgetting it the day after. Consistency and perseverance will produce great results in your songwriting skills if you commit to any of the following tips.