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’re new to making music, finishing your first song might not seem like a big deal but it actually is. It’s not easy to step away from what’s familiar to you to create something new, and this is the case whether you want to write music for fun or are interested in pursuing it seriously. Today we’re sharing some helpful tips for finishing your first song.
I bet you’re itching to get back out there on the road. And who could blame you? This past year has thrown us for a loop, and while it’s taught us new ways to connect with our audience, or given us the downtime we needed to recharge and reset, after a while, there’s nothing like the open road and the feeling of getting to see new cities, meet new fans, and spend every day doing what you love.
If you want to be a great songwriter or performer, you’ll need to be a great music listener first. What we hear and how we listen makes a huge impact on the way we write music, collaborate with other musicians, and perform on stage. So thoughtful music listening ends up being a massive deal if you’re a serious musician. If you’re looking for ways to improve your music listening skills, these tips will help:
Grief is an unavoidable part of life. If you’re a living, breathing human being, you’re bound to lose something or someone important to you eventually. You may experience it when a loved one dies, or when you have to part ways with a place or possession that was special to you. A romantic partner might decide they prefer life better alone or with someone else, leaving you feeling lost and empty. Grief shows up in our lives in countless ways, but it’s only a matter of time before we experience it. But as songwriters, we have a unique opportunity to process and accept loss through music creation. This is a very real benefit, and it’s an outlet that many living in the non-musical world don’t have. If you’re experiencing major grief in your life, here are three ways music-making can help you through it:
Writing and recording songs is one of the most hopeful things I can think of. Every new song is another opportunity to make your mark on the world, to express something completely unique about yourself and improve someone else’s life by doing something you love. If you’re reading this I’m sure you feel the same way. We all want to make the best music we can, and this desire can easily turn into an obsession.
Serious musicians hate failure. This disdain was bred in most of us back when we learned how to play an instrument for the first time. There are only a few ways to correctly hold drum sticks, finger guitar chords, or belt out vocal exercises; and there are countless ways of getting things wrong. When we master our instruments and start writing songs and playing shows, failure shows up for us in a myriad of new and painful ways, like when your local alt-weekly magazine trashes your album or when no one shows up to the show you’ve been promoting for months. Failure can be excruciating. But it can also deliver huge benefits to your music career if you let it.
Sticking to the same script when it comes to how you think about things like writing songs or connecting with audiences on stage as a musician is easy. But, unfortunately, limiting your perspective hurts your music and shrinks down your musical world as a musician. Reaching your true potential as a musician requires you to step back from the natural and comfortable ways you do things and ask if there are alternative paths for seeing, hearing, and approaching music-making. It’s not easy to do, but it’s something that can vastly improve your life as a musician if you put the work in.