It can be a massive letdown to pour everything into your music and find out that hardly anyone is listening. High streaming numbers of your song may show that it’s good and people like it. However, does a low amount of streams mean a song or album isn’t very good? Well, no, actually. This overly simplistic way of judging music’s value is inaccurate and damaging because many music-makers and fans believe it.
Think of songwriting like a romantic relationship. When things are going well and ideas come by effortlessly, it feels natural and doesn’t take much work. This is akin to the honeymoon phase of falling in love, when all you want is to be with the person you’ve fallen for. But when things go poorly — songwriter’s block, your album flops — staying the course is much harder to do. This difficult season of music creation is like a long-term relationship. It requires effort and hard work to keep things humming along. It can feel difficult and isn’t instantly rewarding, but putting the work in is worth it.
Running into dead-ends in your songwriting practice is inevitable – it could hit you at any stage of your journey. As creators, we can embrace that uncertainty or turn away from it. The former, however, may lead to unexpected inspiration and creativity. Try one of these strategies whenever you’re stuck with your projects.
You may not realize this if you’re a developing artist, but you have a unique songwriting practice. This includes everything: from your approach to writing lyrics to how you come up with riffs, beats, melodies, and song structures. It’s individual to you, and looks different for each songwriter. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your time creating, whether you’re new to music-making or a seasoned writer:
Does this sounds familiar? You wake up bright-eyed, ready to tackle the day. You have all the energy and intention to get your to-dos done and then some. Then somewhere along the way, you’re being pulled in many different directions. Someone needs your attention, or you’re just plain exhausted. We have all been there – some days are so chaotic that any semblance of a schedule seems impossible. It can feel like you’re constantly running behind.
On top of that, you’re probably wearing many hats as a musician – trying to create music, book shows, keep up with social media presence… the list goes on! It might leave you wondering how others get it done. But here’s the truth – we have to actively learn how to manage our time. Here are some tips to help you organize your day and make room for music.
With so much of the music we hear on a daily basis being chock full of heavy instrumentation and sleek production elements, it can be hard to understand and hear what the true bones of a song are. Dig deep beneath track automation, instrumental layers, and effects like EQs and reverbs, and you’ll discover the foundational elements of a song.
A firm grasp of music theory is one of the most powerful assets you can have as a songwriter. Music theory gives you a broad understanding of the music you hear and helps you apply what you observe to your music. It also places an array of musical options right at your fingertips. However, what if this isn’t always a good thing? This is not an argument against learning the ins and outs of music theory and applying that knowledge to your music. Instead, it’s a reminder that music theory alone cannot substitute your creative intuition as a songwriter. You can create incredible music with only your creativity, but not if you’re purely relying on music theory.
If you have been creating music for a while, you may feel like you’ve hit a brick wall with your writing. This could be the case for writers in all stages of their careers. Embracing risk and curiosity in your process can help shift your mindset when it comes to creation. Here are three new approaches to help get you in a groove and out of your creative rut!