If you feel aimless, stuck, and not sure how to take your next creative step as a songwriter, you’re not alone. Countless music-makers have been in your shoes. When creativity and exciting musical ideas seem easy to access, we forget just how hard and frustrating it can be when we’re lost and uninspired. The good news is that if you manage to work through the inevitable challenging and unproductive periods that come your way from time to time, there are better times ahead.
When you set out to write a new song, there are countless creative paths you can take. Most will lead to places you’ve been before, but some paths will take you to new musical territories. Obviously, new and exciting directions are the places we want to take our music as songwriters, but getting there is rarely easy. It takes work to write great music, but you already know that.
But what you might not realize is that embracing strategies and routines can up your chances of making excellent music in a huge way. Here are four of them:
Persistence is one of the most valuable qualities to have as a musician. The “I won’t take no for an answer” attitude is an amazing quality to possess when you can’t seem to move a song idea forward or get anywhere in your local music scene. But what about the times that you should really take no for an answer? Persistence is a gift in an industry as competitive and soul-crushing as music, but without a flexible mindset and a willingness to learn, adapt, and grow, it could be holding you back.
When it comes to creating music seriously, there’s what the world thinks and then what music-makers know to be true. Music is arguably the most impactful art form on the planet, but for how popular it is much of the non-musical world doesn’t know much about what goes into creating it. These are just five of the many popular misconceptions out there about making music.
A song is a complicated thing. In your mind, your favorite songs probably feel like concrete, unchangeable ideas that are forever fixed, but the artists responsible for making the music you love might feel differently. Knowing when a song is “done” is important for songwriters, but, as we’ll find out, it’s a complicated thing that’s different for everyone.
Recording can be a grueling process even when a professional audio engineer is at the helm. But when an artist acts as a performer, producer, and recording engineer, it gets even trickier. Between the affordable cost of DIY recording equipment and a modern listening audience that’s come to expect a constant stream of new music, more artists are recording their own sessions than ever before. Self-recording is by no means an easy process, but you’ll be far better off if you remember these basic tips:
Music makes us and our listeners feel big, sexy, and profound things, so it can be tempting to think embracing extremes all the time will help us make our best work. But, as it turns out, this really isn’t the case. So often, unsexy things like planning, consistency, and discipline are the things that will help you be your best and most productive musical self as a songwriter. Here are five boring things to import into your musical life to help you create your best music:
In a world ruled by social media and streaming platforms, it can be tough for musicians to detach from caring what the world thinks about their music. It’s normal to feel affected, but putting too much stock in other people’s opinions about your music can be detrimental as an artist. Here’s why: