In songwriting and music production, it’s tempting to think that more will translate to better, whether it’s more effects, drum fills, instrumentation, or extremes. This, as you probably know, isn’t true of course. Some of the best music out there embraces simple, uncomplicated ideas and minimal instrumentation. But something you may not realize is that laying the emotion as thick as possible in your songwriting could also taint your otherwise great ideas. Too much emotion can be as harmful as too much of anything else in the songs you create.
You might not realize this, but there’s an internal conflict that plays out whenever you write music. As songwriters, we carry the weight of our experiences and allow them to shape who we are and the music we make. Things like a traumatic breakup or the six months you backpacked across Europe inevitably show up in your music in subtle or overt ways. However, we often forget that our musical pasts have complicated impacts on the music we make in the present. Believe it or not, how you approached learning your first instrument could be bad for your songwriting process through an overreliance on control.
If you’re having trouble finding your musical identity as an artist, it could be because your taste in music hasn’t been defined yet. Alongside musical intuition, writing music as often as you can, and letting life experiences shape your songs, your musical taste is incredibly important for your work as a songwriter. When you’re in touch with your musical taste, creating music that’s meaningful and authentic to you gets much easier. Here are five tips for defining your unique musical taste as a songwriter.
When it comes to the things that can shape great music the most, inspiration is generally thought of as being the most important. But the hard truth is that inspiration is not the holy grail when it comes to factors that will help you write amazing music. Is it important? Yes, without a doubt. But it’s also deeply misunderstood, and, dare I say, overrated. We think inspiration falls into our laps and our ability to create our best work follows. This isn’t the case. While inspiration is an undeniable ingredient found in some of the world’s most impactful songs, it’s often not all it’s cracked up to be. Here are three big reasons why:
Write enough songs and you’ll eventually run into the problem of stagnation and feeling uninspired in your creative process. Combating this isn’t easy. It’s a process of willingly embracing newness and discomfort when we create. It’s the conscious decision to let failure and uncertainty shape your songs more than safely determining the outcome before you start writing. Bringing newness to your writing approach over and over again is one of the hardest but most rewarding things you’ll do as a music-maker, and it’s an essential part of sustaining a passionate songwriting approach. Here are a few ways to approach creating music in a completely new way:
The conventional knowledge in the world of music today is that CDs do not sell anymore. Yes, CDs are no longer the mainstream media for releasing new music. However, this does not mean that as artists we cannot generate revenue from CD sales. In fact, a lot of artists today still depend on CD sales for their merch revenue. Along with merch revenue, there are other potential avenues where releasing your new music in the CD format can prove useful. In this article, we’d like to outline five reasons why you should still release your new music in CD format.
Many music-makers liken themselves to anglers fishing on the shore of a peaceful lake. They cast their lines out and wait for musical inspiration to take the bait so they can reel it in and create something amazing with it. But if you’ve been at this game for a while, you know this isn’t how it works. There’s no question that inspiration is one of the most powerful drivers behind any form of great art, but if you sit around waiting for it to creatively engage, you’re sure to end up with no music to show for it. Here’s why:
If you’re a songwriter or professional performer, the thought of learning a new instrument might sound fun but not worth your time. You might figure there’s more than enough new ground to cover on your current instrument or instruments, so why take the time to learn something completely new? Learning a new instrument gets you out of the musical mindset you’re currently in, and this is essential for creativity and growth as an artist. You don’t need to master a new instrument in order to get the benefits of learning it. Instead, tackling a few basics will give you a new creative perspective and countless musical directions to work with. Here are a few important reasons why you might want to consider learning a new instrument as a serious musician: