While not everyone will become an accomplished songwriter. The most famous lyricists and composers in history – from Lennon and McCartney to Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice – had a unique quality for conveying emotion in their words and making their lyrics or music relatable to a mass audience. It’s also an interesting aside to note that all four of these artists chose to test their new compositions on the piano as they wrote them. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Can I be a songwriter?” you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a checklist of everything you need to know before you take the plunge.
Are you good at writing lyrics?
To become a professional songwriter, you will need to be able to convey emotion, feelings and issues through your music and lyrics. You don’t need to be good with grammar or have an extensive vocabulary to succeed. Some of the most popular songs in history have included simple words, sharp hooks and recognizable refrains that have connected with the public because of their simplicity. Start by keeping a songwriting journal where you can scribble your innermost thoughts and feelings. These might be the foundations for your first song or just a way for you to express your creativity. If you’re a person who feels passionate about many issues, you’ll be perfect for songwriting. Start by writing your first composition and see where you go from there. You might not be perfect right away, but over time you’ll be able to improve your songwriting skills.
Understanding the structure of a song
This one all depends on the type of musical genre you are interested in. However, as a general rule, pop, rock, soul, jazz, and R’n’B songs all share a similar structure. You will usually need to write lyrics and melodies for two or three verses, a middle-eight or bridge, and, of course, arguably the most important part of any song, a catchy chorus. Use your journal to experiment with different ideas for your composition and come up with some words that will suit your chorus. It doesn’t matter if you can’t think of any straight away – they should come to you over time. Develop a concept and a theme and the rest should fall into place. You can then play around with different words to make the song flow better.
Be a team player
If you want to be a songwriter, you’ll need to be a team player too. There are many people behind some of the songs you hear on the radio. If you are a songwriter who wants to compose songs for other artists, you will need to work with them closely and incorporate their ideas and visions into your songs. You might work with a composer who turns your lyrics into catchy melodies. Then producers will try and mesh different beats and rhythms to your lyrics. Everyone will have different ideas and various viewpoints about your lyrics so you shouldn’t be afraid to collaborate with a team. You will need to be disciplined, patient and be able to work with various people if you want to succeed in songwriting, but if you put the effort in, you’ll make it in the end.
Whether it’s soul, pop, opera, or rock, music can have a huge influence on our emotions and state of mind. But have you ever wondered why? Research has shown that songwriters have an excellent ability to tap into their listener’s emotional state – something that can have a positive effect on society as a whole. Here are just a few ways songwriters have changed the world.
Helping people express their feelings
Some of the world’s most famous songwriters have created timeless masterpieces that also help others share their own emotions through that music. Ever noticed how you might be feeling sad or angry and then suddenly feel better when your favorite song comes on the radio? That’s because music is an emotional art form that can convey deep feelings through words, rhythms and melodies. Studies show that humans assimilate their behavior when they hear a particular song or genre. For example, upbeat dance music might put you in a good mood while power ballads or classical music might help you relax. If you’re feeling tired, anxious or stressed, music can be like therapy. It can help you feel comfortable and creative positive feelings.
Bringing everyone together
Music is a very personal thing. Everybody loves different styles and artists. However, meeting someone that has the same musical tastes as you can instantly create a rapport whether you are in a personal or business setting. In fact, talking about music is an instant ice-breaker – that’s why you might be asked about your favorite band or genre in a job interview. Sharing the love of music with someone can help you build long-lasting relationships and create a sense of community. This is all down to talented songwriters, who are able to convey strong emotions – like heartbreak, lust or desire – in their lyrics and compositions.
Exposing other cultures
The best songwriters are talented storytellers. Who skilfully expose their listeners to new styles, trends, and important causes which they may not become fully aware of otherwise. A very famous example from the 1970’s would be of course John Lennon who shone a spotlight upon the Vietnam War for the entire world. Songwriters and musicians can also be great at introducing audiences to other cultures too. When you listen to music, you can find out more about the songwriter or artist by researching their influences, history, and the political or cultural issues that might have informed their work. This can help to broaden your horizons and teach you more about the world. Salsa music might help you learn more about Latin American culture for example.
Creating a positive effect on consciousness
Studies show that when you listen to certain genres of music – like opera and classical – your brain chemistry changes. This can have a positive effect on your body and can help to improve concentration or discipline. Some people like to have classical music on in the background when revising for an exam or doing work as it helps to clear their mind and focus on the job at hand. Songwriters – regardless of the genre of music – can change your brain chemistry with they way they fuse relatable lyrics to rhythms and beats that make you feel so good. Learning to become a good songwriter can be truly rewarding and enjoyable!