I thought I could share some of my own personal songs. Although they are very ruff "Song Of The Day!" Made under 24 hours. Please feel free to add to my list!
I write a LOT. My way is to churn songs out, bin them and churn more out. I'm no perfectionist. The aim is to improve over time, not to sit down and craft the perfect pop song on the first attempt.
By giving myself the freedom to experiment without pressure I will develop the creative part of my brain instead of the over analytical part. And I try to do that with other arts as well. Pop/Rock songwriter, Sting commented once that he finds it harder to write great songs now that he has become more analytical of music. So go with the flow, leave the analytical part for those who tend to forget why we listen music overall.
I'll try to be fearless with my songs. It’s OK if I write a crap song. What is not OK is to try and convince everyone that it’s a great song! I'll try to get feedback and allow people to be honest, that way I will start to learn what you like and do the opposite.
I am talking about combining opposites such as spiccato and ligatto (short and long). When you have long held chords, try a shorter or snappier vocal line. Have a funky bass line? You might want to opt for a simpler, more solid guitar part. It’s simple stuff, but worth thinking about when writing or producing.
As we learn to write songs we naturally analyse what works and what doesn’t. We absorb new chord structures and develop an obsession for doing things the ‘correct’ way. The way I have always tried to grow out of. This is great as far as improving song writing goes, but somewhere along the way you lose the ability to invent something new. I am not afraid to break the rules. If it sounds good then I'll do it!
Raw talent can take someone 10% of the way to success, but hard work and determination make up the rest!
The problem with naturally talented people is that they never learn failure and find it harder to accept defeat. People who are average (but with a desire to win) are in many ways better equipped to stay the course and succeed long term.
Once I had the technical knowledge I need to write music, try and develop the part of your brain that can listen to and analyse the whole picture, instead of focusing on tiny details.
I try to focus to hear instantly what is needed to make my songs work. Does it need more emotion? More energy? Is the vocal melody boring? By focusing on the whole picture I’ll be able to find the answers quicker by being honest and brutal with myself.
We all know that there are common lyrical themes in music. I would guess that the topic of ‘love’ is the most widely used lyrical theme. Using tried and tested themes can be a good thing, but I always try to say it differently.
I know so many musicians who agree that the best songs are the simplest, yet they can’t write simple songs themselves? It is a kind of ‘musicians curse’ to assume that complicated means better. Get used to writing simpler songs that have more hooks and adhere to common (natural) arrangement structures.
Remember, I will hear the song over and over but you as audience will have to ‘get’ it on the first listen. So I tend to keep it simple!
I like working with others, I've done it a lot. In many cases more heads really can be better than one. And there is always learning process behind working with other musicians and songwriters.
Working with others forces you to move away from your comfort zone and in my experience produces better songs. The process of getting input from more people during the writing process is healthy and makes it unlikely that you’ll write a real stinker!
Have you ever worked on a song for 15 hours straight and been totally disappointed with the result? It’s happened to me many times!:)
Doing anything and everything creative can lead you down a rabbit hole of endless ideas that (if no breaks are taken) it has spiral me into complex introverted expression. In other words, go to nature, listen birds, winds, rains, the sounds of nature and heal. Take a bloody break and come back with fresh ears!
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