Aspiring songwriters usually want to get the best out of their time studying the art and craft of songwriting. It’s vital to remember, however, that it’s a continuous process which means you need to commit to it long-term.
To do this, you need to develop a particular set of habits that other successful songwriters have. These habits will make you more organized and will help you achieve what you want with your songwriting, whether professionally or personally. Hence, here are the top five habits to become a better songwriter.
why do you need habits?
So, why exactly are these habits so important? Of course, you can start with simple hacks to improve your songwriting skills if you want to see short-term improvements in your songwriting skills. Yet, if you want to get to a truly serious, professional level, you will need to be more organized and patient with your learning path.
Songwriting is a craft which means it can be learned. On the other hand, it is also an artform which means it will also depend on your talent. The songwriting habits you develop will help you improve your skills (i.e. the “craft” aspect) while directly influencing the level of your talent (i.e. the “art” aspect).
When you improve certain technical aspects of your songwriting, you will notice that the creative side of things will also improve. Once again, it’s a gradual process that takes time, but if you are patient enough, you will see results.
#1 Write – Don’t Critique
The first and probably the most important habit you should develop is writing. It may sound easy, but if you think about the way you interact with music most of the time, you will notice that you don’t actually spend time writing all that much. As Kate Bosworth from the writing service reviews site Online Writers Rating explains, “Many aspiring songwriters like talking about the songwriting skills of famous musicians, but they don’t get around to writing music themselves.”
Instead of spending time critiquing songwriting (whether it’s something you like or hate), you need to sit down and start writing yourself. Stop analyzing others and instead work on your own creations – and then analyze them to improve.
#2 Study your favorites
That being said, focusing on your writing doesn’t mean that you should completely abandon any and all discussions about the songwriting of other musicians. On the contrary, you need to spend time studying your favorite songwriters, composers, musicians, etc. What’s different is that you need to actually study them rather than try to critique them.
Why does this chorus work so well? Did the songwriter use their signature trick or is it something new they tried? Studying what makes other pieces of songwriting good will help you learn the right techniques and then use them in your own songwriting effectively.
#3 Get feedback regularly
While you should analyze your own work yourself, you should still seek out feedback from others. Moreover, it’s not something you should do once and then forget about completely. Instead, you need to make this an actual habit and get feedback on your work regularly.
As Jonathan Campbell from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online says, “You may think that your writing is absolutely perfect, but others will be quick to point out issues in it. In fact, you may see many of the problems your writing has but getting perspectives from others is still the only way to pin down most elements you should work to improve.”
#4 Explore and Discover
Any artist – whether a musician or a dancer or a filmmaker – needs to have an adventurous flair to them. After all, art is all about trying new things, exploring, and discovering something you didn’t know about. You are literally creating new things, inventing something that hasn’t been done before.
But how can you translate this into a habit? One way to explore is by changing the scenery. Visit different places every week, even if it’s just within your own city. Learn about things outside of the music industry – this will diversify your knowledge base. Co-write with other songwriters to get more experience (and feedback).
#5 Trust Yourself
Last but not least, you need to trust yourself. This is more about your mindset rather than your habits per se, but there’s still a way to turn this attitude into a habit that will help you improve your songwriting.
As Leslie Gibson from the essay writing service reviews site Writing Judge puts it, “Before you start writing, sit down and generate ideas for your song. Do this regularly: just sit down and think about as many ideas as you can. This will stimulate your creativity. And once you have a list of ideas, use them in your songwriting. But if you see that something doesn’t work, don’t use it. In other words, trust yourself and how you feel about the different ideas you came up with. If you need to let something go, just do it.”
To sum up, developing a good grasp on songwriting takes time. The habits listed here will help you become a better songwriter gradually by working on your skills. Use the tips from this article to help you start and keep these songwriting habits long-term.
Author Bio: Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English. Meet him on Facebook and Twitter.