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Tips On How To Improve Your Songwriting

Aug 17, 2007
Songwriting can be lucrative, but it can also provide a great creative outlet. Songwriting does not have to be difficult; just let the words flow from you. If you have something that you want to get out, then songwriting is a great venue. The good news is that you don't even have to play an instrument to be able to write a song.

If you hear the words, write them down and you can always find someone to write the music for you. So if you want to venture into songwriting, here are some tips to get you started.

Practice writing everyday

Songwriting is just like any other skill. You must practice it every day if you want to be good at it. Study the lyrics to some of your favorite songs. See how the words are used and note the rhythm of the words and melody. See where they lines rhyme and pay special attention to bridges and choruses. Studying is as important to your craft as actually writing is. Study a variety of music to see how the words play out over the melody.

You should also write every day. You don't have to necessarily write songs, but you should write some poetry and even prose. You can also take this time to study words. A good exercise for writing songs is to think of something that you like or like to do. Write it down and write first the emotions that it makes you feel, then characteristics. Create as many categories as you can and add on. You are learning to make connections and put words to those connections. What color is happiness? What smell does anger have? Bring another dimension to words and play around so that you grow accustomed to them and train your brain to move beyond "roses are red."

Sources of songwriting ideas

You can get your sources of songwriting from anywhere. It is a good idea to keep a small notebook and pen with you at all times. When you have an idea, jot it down. This can serve you later as a source of songwriting ideas. You can also just brainstorm. Write down a bunch of things and try to connect them or make something of them. Freewriting is also a great way to come up with songs. Just start writing, whatever comes to your head.

Your own life can give you some great song ideas. Think of your relationships, things that happen to you. Use your life as inspiration. Talk to your friends and pay attention to the things that they are going through, how they feel and what they think. This is a great way to get a subject for a song.


Improvisation means that you act and react to your surroundings. Be aware of the world around you. Watch the news, walk down the street. Your world is full of inspiration if you open you eyes, mind and heart. A good song comes from all three of these and it is vital that you adopt them as well. When you think of writing about a particular emotion, become that emotion. If you want to write a relationship issue, become the person or people embroiled in the relationship. Inspiration is wherever you choose to look.

Try a different approach or instrument to what you normally use

If you seem to hit a wall or some methods just don't seem to work, don't be afraid of shaking things up a bit. There are no hard, fast rules to songwriting. Just let the words take you over and let your soul sing. That is where your inspiration will come from. Don't be shy about taking a different approach. If you play the guitar, try playing the piano instead. If you write about sadness, try writing about happiness. This not only helps with your inspiration, it also expands you range and versatility.

Dare to be different

Music is a very individual, very personal experience and is enjoyed by different people in different ways. Be different, be daring. Where do you think the scream bands started? Obviously, at some point, someone thought it would be cool to scream the lyrics. It was daring. It was different. But now it is a mainstay in our musical culture. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box and do something different. In fact, daring to be different can actually set you apart from others. You are already unique, but when you are truly yourself and are different, try a different approach or take your music in a different direction, you are truly expressing yourself and that is what songwriting is all about.
About the Author
Kevin is the publisher and editor of musicianhome.com. For more songwriting tips, visit http://www.musicianhome.com/songwriting.htm .
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