Asking what makes a song valuable in 2018 seems sort of silly. With music streaming and video platforms displaying listener stats in real time, one doesn’t have to look much further than that to see whether a piece of music is valuable or not, right? If your metric for a song’s success is purely based off of how many times it’s bought, listened to, or downloaded, then no. But what makes a song valuable, in my opinion, is much deeper and more complex than what can be quantified with numbers. To figure out what makes music valuable, listeners and musicians alike need to look past the numbers.
Writing good lyrics is a difficult craft to master, and with every generation of brilliant lyricists, it seems to become harder to follow in the footsteps of the greats. But every great lyricist started somewhere – and becoming a good lyricist, like any other craft, is the result of study and lots of practice. Here are five of the best practices to get you writing better lyrics today.
When you first learned how to play an instrument, curiosity was unavoidable. Since you didn’t know what you were doing, you had questions that could only be answered with experimentation, trial and error, and failure. You set out to answer those questions one-by-one, and eventually you did. Most musicians don’t often think back to the early days of their training, but the curious energy that was so easy to access during that time is something that can benefit you no matter what you’re doing with your career in music. Here’s why curiosity is a vital trait in your songwriting process.
Faking it is something we’re sometimes told to do that will help us be successful in music, and there’s definitely some truth there. Getting up on stage and performing takes a lot of bravery for some musicians, and when they don’t feel brave, acting like they do is the next best thing. But when it comes to writing music that actually means something, honesty has to be at the core of your process. No, this doesn’t mean you need to sit through an hour of therapy before you write music, but it does entail coming to terms with who you are and how you really feel about the world around you in order to write engaging music.
Music is, was, and probably always will be an often brutal and thankless career path for most musicians. Summing a musician’s struggle up as lots of work for not much money would be way too simple because for serious songwriters and musicians, the emotional toll of trying to forge a path in music proves to be emotionally unbearable from time to time. For most musicians, money is secondary to their passion, but rejection after rejection and the creeping feeling that an artist’s sacrifice, talent, and work won’t ever amount to anything is often so damaging that it makes even the most promising musicians question themselves. Learning to cope with disappointment is not an option if you love making music and want to share it with people.
Songwriting can be frustratingly unpredictable. You might write for six hours and come up with nothing memorable one day and come up with something incredible the minute you sit down the next. But believe it or not, songwriters are best off pursuing all their ideas, even the ones they think won’t go anywhere. Musicians risk cutting themselves off from opportunities to develop good ideas when they’re too rigid about their own creative processes, and one of the best ways to combat this is by following through on finishing all of your songs.
Ableton Live has become one of the most powerful Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) on the market today. Although it was designed primarily for live performance, it’s become a studio favorite. Originally built for DJs and electronic musicians, it still has enough audio capabilities to compete with other big-name DAWs. We’ve launched a new video series teaching basic Ableton Live tips and tricks so you can get started in Ableton Live today.
As we have previously discussed, a copyright is first owned by its author (whether individually or on a “work made for hire” basis). Like with any other property, the author can transfer ownership of a copyright (in whole or in part as a fractional portion) to another person or party. However, copyright law has specific rules governing such transfers.