A song is a song, but it becomes an entirely different thing once it’s shared with people. There’s nothing wrong with making music purely for your own enjoyment and never sharing it with another soul. In fact, without experiencing real passion and creative engagement during your songwriting process, you won’t be writing music for long. But taking the step of sharing your music with other people is a completely different game. Here are five big changes that happen when you decide to publicly share your music:
Despite what you may have heard, songwriting is absolutely a skill you can improve with time and practice. Having a natural knack for making music is clearly a huge advantage as a songwriter, but the truth is that a willingness to work hard, ask questions, and be willing to fail in music is arguably a bigger asset. Here are five ways to develop your skills as a songwriter:
Whether you’re a solo artist or a member of a 7-piece ska outfit, it’s paramount to show up to your live performances confident and prepared. Some artists even adopt a superstitious approach that helps them get ready before important shows, like wearing certain clothes or listening to a favorite album before hitting the stage. Decide for yourself if the superstitious route works for you or not, but adopting these five more conventional pre-show rituals will help you prepare for your concerts.
A problem we talk about a lot in songwriting is perfectionism, an issue that keeps many music-makers on the sidelines and keeps them from creating their best work. But more and more songwriters struggle with the opposite problem, which is rushing ideas to completion and releasing them when they’re still underdeveloped. With how quick and easy it is to release music now, this is becoming a bigger issue for independent artists. While creating lots of music and sharing it with the world can definitely be rewarding for you and your fans, you aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any favors by rushing to get your songs over the finish line. Here are five signs that you’re not devoting enough time to your creative process:
Lack of inspiration is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to creatives with excuses for why they can’t seem to get anything done. Maybe you have plans to write the best album of your career, something ambitious and exciting that you hope audiences will connect with. You set aside time to write songs but never get around to it. You figure you’re just not feeling inspired right now, so you put your plans on hold in the hopes that inspiration will fall into your lap and bless you with the motivation you need to get started. Months and then years pass and you still can’t get around to working on the album.
If you struggle with feeling forced to decide between following your creative intuition and staying stylistically consistent as a songwriter, you’re not alone. It’s not easy to know whether to stay the course or constantly forge new creative paths as a musician, and, spoiler alert, there is no one wrong or right way to go about this because every songwriter is unique. But there are a couple of universal truths you can look to for guidance if you find yourself in this tricky position as a music-maker.
Nothing substitutes the magic of sitting down with an instrument and experimenting when it comes to songwriting. If you want to make great music, this is a major piece of what the work looks like. But there are lots of other things you can do as a music-maker to integrate music creation into your daily life. Keeping a journal is one of them.
Writing in a journal might not seem especially helpful for your songwriting process, but it’s something easy that will provide big benefits for your work as a songwriter.
If you’re in a band that has trouble focusing and staying on task, you’re not alone. Getting things done in a group setting can be difficult, especially when bands are built on close friendships. Focusing as a band is a skill that doesn’t come naturally for some, but this isn’t a problem for musicians who are willing to put in the work. Here are five tips for building your focus while you write and rehearse as a band: