Top Songwriting Tips!
Learn some essential advice around maximising the power of your songwriting…
The art of songwriting is one that many have tried to master with varying degrees of success.
It can be tricky – but while the creative process can sometimes be hard to pin down, there’s plenty of advice available on how you can give yourself the best chance of securing work as a fledgling songwriter for hire.
From collaborating with other writers to diversifying your pool of influences, here are some of the best pearls of wisdom we’ve found to help you enhance your songwriting…
New artists need to pair up with new writers
As a new pop songwriter, you should try and seek out artists who are also starting out or on the way up. This should mean that you can begin at the same level, then hopefully progress your career together.
Songwriter and record producer Jimmy Napes is a great recent example of this, an instrumental yet rarely heard creative cog in the success of electronic duo, Disclosure and Sam Smith. He has been writing with these artists since their early days.
So do some online research into new talent. Go through SoundCloud, Instagram and other social media platforms to find acts you like. Alternatively, explore gig listings and see if any new artists sound interesting. As a fledgling writer, it’s all about expanding your networks and making connections to help you elevate your career.
Don’t wait for inspiration to hit – work at your craft
Aspiring songwriters shouldn’t sit around and wait for inspiration to come. Instead, you need to do your work and write as much as you can. This will help you perfect your craft and hone your creative process.
Of course, there are always days when you might not feel like writing – but treating it almost like a job, and working at your inspiration can really help – sometimes, on the days you might not feel creative, you can come up with your best work. You need to be able to push through sessions where you feel uninspired. Sometimes, these moments or blocks can lead you to your greatest songs.
Stay on top of the latest trends – but don’t always follow them
If you want to succeed as a pop writer in today’s music market, then you need to have a broad knowledge of what is working and what isn’t with music lovers. Keep an eye on the charts and the kinds of sounds that are seeing high numbers of streams and becoming hits. Listen to music on these services and on the radio to check out the latest buzzy tracks and artists. But don’t be fooled into just trying to copy what’s successful now. Instead, use this research as a sounding board to pre-empt the kinds of sounds that might do well next. Avoid a straight up replication of what’s already worked and keep your songwriting locked on the future…
Be open to collaboration
Working alone is all well and good – but songwriters should also keep their doors open to collaborating. This can be an amazing way for songwriters to not only expand their list of contacts but also pick up new skills, creative insights or just different ways of approaching their music.
You might be experiencing a creative block – or even just unsure of how to progress a new piece of music to completion. In these circumstances, working with someone else can be a simple and effective way of getting past this challenge. If you can’t go as far as collaborating, then at least open up a conversation about creativity or seek some advice or insight.
And create a safe place for collaboration to take place
Writing music with other songwriters or artists is a very sociable experience involving plenty of communication. But it can also be a very personal and emotional experience if you are using your own feelings or perhaps things that have happened to you as inspiration. If you do need to be vulnerable, then you need to create a safe space where you feel comfortable in sharing such information, particularly if this is with a songwriter or producer that you might have only recently met. You need to do what you can to try and create a connection with your collaborator so you can trust them with how and what you’re feeling.
Diversify your style
In today’s musical world, we’re all exposed to a huge range of musical styles thanks to the magic of streaming services such as Spotify. As a writer, it means there are a number of avenues your music can take and different opportunities for you to explore. It’s an exciting time to be a music maker so make the most of it by opening up your ears to music from everywhere – and try and write in different genres too. Utilising variety in terms of your collaborators or creative palette will keep you on your toes and ensure your music stays fresh and vital.
Get your music heard
Once you have written a selection of songs you’re happy with, then your next task is to get your music out there. Consider your release strategy and how you want to show this off to the world. Perhaps you need to launch social media profiles and book some gigs – or if you want to stay behind the scenes as a writer, then you might want to consider finding a publisher or building a bigger team around you. Consider what you want to achieve, then plot your course accordingly. Good luck!