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:
If you’re reading this, the chances are good that making music is something you live and breathe to do. You probably feel like writing songs is your life’s calling, and that it’s the only thing in life that truly makes you feel understood. If this is the case, consider yourself lucky. There’s a huge segment of the human population that floats through life without having any true passions. Whether you’re a mega pop star or simply look forward to producing music in your bedroom during every spare moment, it’s truly a gift to get wrapped up in the endless pursuit of making the best music you can. It’s something that will enrich your life as long as you choose to keep going.
When you first learned music, practicing your instrument was probably a daily struggle. Whether it was dealing with the pain on your fingertips from playing guitar or learning how to master the embouchure on the trumpet, it’s safe to assume you spent months learning the basics of your instrument and years honing in your technical skills. The world knows how hard it is for someone to sound truly great on an instrument and that musicians can’t excel without thousands of hours of practice. Unfortunately, musicians and non-musicians alike often don’t see songwriting the same way. Many musicians and non-musicians alike have the idea that songwriting is a talent that can’t be developed with years of practice. They’re wrong.
There’s a good argument to be made for why songwriters should create music for their listeners above anyone else. It’s natural to want to please your audience, and writing with their tastes and needs in mind is a way to try and do that. It’s also natural to want to win the approval of bandmates, managers, labels, and venues with the music you make. Plus, there are the added benefits of financial and critical success to think about if you’re a professional musician. But does writing for others first and yourself second actually result in music that audiences will more likely want to hear?
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:
Making music might be the thing you live and breathe to do, but it doesn’t mean you’ll feel motivated to write and record songs all the time. In fact, you might encounter months-long stretches of time where you’d rather do pretty much anything else more than writing songs if you’re a serious or professional songwriter with years of experience under your belt. This is normal, but you’ll need tools and strategies to get back to work eventually. Motivation is crucial for music-makers, but it’s not always easy to access. If you feel bored, aimless, or unsure how to make your next musical step, here are some motivation tips to help get you moving:
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.
More artists than ever before are finding huge audiences for their music with songs that were recorded from their home studios. Long gone are the days when creating and sharing great music meant having to record at a fancy music studio manned by professional recording engineers. But don’t be fooled. Home recording isn’t easy, and you shouldn’t confuse knowing how to write songs with the ability to record and produce music. Home recording is a skill just like anything else, and it takes time and practice to get better at it. If you’re new to recording from your home studio, here are five tips to help you get started: