In 2018, solitude is a hard thing to come by. Because our daily lives are often revolved around technology, the non-stop noise of the internet seems to follow us everywhere we go. Whether we’re working on our computers or keeping up with friends and family on social media, solitude is something a person needs to seek out if they want to find it today. But while the distractions of modern culture brought on by technology impact everyone, songwriters are especially affected.
The idea of someone with tear-soaked eyes listening to sad songs in attempt to cope with a breakup seems like a tired cliche, but there’s definitely something universally relatable to it. The act of listening to music is often intensely personal and emotional, which makes it one of life’s best ways to understand and cope with being human. Because music reflects life, it benefits us in many different ways. Here’s just a few of them:
The process of crediting songwriters has always been somewhat tricky, but in today’s collaborative-driven songwriting culture it’s more important than ever before. Everything from songwriting collaboration software to trends increasingly favoring artists who feature one another in their work makes the process of properly crediting songwriters hugely important and often complicated.
In an era where the promise of instant gratification seems to penetrate most aspects of our daily lives, it can be tempting to look to technology and branding for ways to help us create better music. But in truth, the only thing that will improve your songwriting is practice. Yes, there’s a ton of non-musical work that’s involved in sustaining a meaningful career in music, but when it comes down to the sheer art of creating new music out of nothing, the time spent experimenting and honing in your craft is the only thing that will help you get better at what you do.
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’re introducing a new video series teaching basic Ableton tips and tricks so you can get started in Ableton Live today.
Unless the music you make is purely instrumental, the tone, felling, and narrative of the lyrical content in your songs is most likely going to be an important part of your musical identity. Depending on the kind of music you make, you might not think lyrics are all that important, but you’d be wrong. Yes, music speaks when words fail, but the stories portrayed in music often do a great deal as far as reaching out and relating to an audience. Approach lyrics with honesty, thoughtfulness, and poetic potency, and you’ll have a proven way to inspire real emotion and understanding from a listener. But all too often, songwriters rely on cliches to help tell the stories in their songs. Here are four lyrical cliches to avoid:
If you’re good at waiting for things, music just might be the career for you. Whether it’s the thought of a young band breaking out after playing together for just a few months or the unprecedented access to a constant stream of new music delivered via playlist, patience is a profoundly impactful asset not nearly associated with music as much as it should be.
No matter who you are and what sort of music you make, learning basic music theory is something that can absolutely change the way you think about songwriting for the better. Sheer songwriting talent, solid instruments, and compositional technology can certainly help you write great music, but nothing can replace music theory knowledge as being the best tool for explaining what music literally is and how it works. Rather than explain what basic music theory is––I already did that in a two-part series you can read here––in this article, I’m making the case for why every songwriter should take the time to master music theory basics, and how it will improve your songwriting.