A guide on becoming a song writer.
Song writing is one of the best professions, most especially if you love music. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to convert your thoughts and emotions into words and be able to share it with the world. However becoming a songwriter like any artist, is not always an easy road. Although there are courses and lessons that will teach you all about music and songwriting, the fact is, most songwriters learn the skill by themselves. They’ve not undergone any form of training or studies. Music producers and publishers simply don’t care if you have a degree in songwriting or not, what’s important to them is pure talent – and of course, if you can make songs good enough to make money.
It takes creativity to be able to become a songwriter. But it doesn’t mean you need to be a musician to create songs. Think of it like poetry assisted with a tune. Ideally, a good sense of rhythm will help you with your projects. If you can’t play an instrument – that’s totally OK, the internet offers a lot of free self-help resources on how to sample or synthesize tunes – and of course, how to be a songwriter. You just have to choose the best songwriting website, study it, then cross reference what you have learned against other online resources – all while taking thorough notes and practicing on multiple projects. The songwriting process can be a bit challenging. Aside from writing a catchy beat, you also have to think about writing insightful lyrics. Will people like the lyrics of your song? Are the lines too metaphorical? or are the words too literal? Will people misunderstand the lines of the song? All these and more are just some of the things that you have to take into consideration. There is a fine line between a classy innuendo/double entendre and just plain crass trash. A perfect example of this would be Tom Petty’s classic “Last dance with Mary-Jane” or “Sympathy for the devil by The Rolling Stones. Compare that with any lyric’s written by Nikki Manaj (but she is still successful which goes to show how rules can be broken).
A rewarding skill
Although singers give life to songs and are usually the ones praised, songwriters are the brains behind every beautiful song. Yes, some singers write their own songs… Some are incredible at it and write songs for other successful singers. But at the same time there are a lot of singers who can’t write music… they need material. This opens up opportunities for music enthusiasts who can’t sing particularly well, or simply doesn’t want the direct limelight but are great at songwriting. The point is, that there are too many singers and not enough songwriters. This means there are A&R managers out there that are constantly on the lookout for new material for their new talents. This is a great opportunity for someone who has writing talent but not musically gifted enough to make it on their own. Some songwriters say the lifestyle is the perfect mix of fame and anonymousness. And at the same time rubbing shoulders with A-list celebrities giving you kudos for your work.
Songwriters can choose any music style based on their preference and don’t have to be pigeon holed into one particular style like singers have to. They can write country, rock, jazz and many more. With growing information technology nowadays, it is best that a songwriter is dynamic and flexible. They should also be observant so that they will be able to take notice of current trends and what appeals to people so they can cash in on “low hanging fruit”. Songwriters not only work with singers, they may also be hired to create jingles for companies and institutions to promote services or products which pays particularly well.
Becoming a songwriter: what should you do?
Writing songs is a great hobby… just like any other great art – like painting, or sculpting. It allows you to express yourself in a very unique way, and has the potential to live for generations. However, if you plan to become a professional songwriter and make it your full-time job, you have a pretty long way to go. So how to be a songwriter? what exactly do you need to do in order to become one? Here’s a step-by-step process to increase the chances on being one in the professional sense.
- Choose a highly rated online training system and begin to understand the basics of music theory. You may love music, and probably you’ve been listening to music since you were in your mom’s tummy, but it doesn’t mean that you understand proper music theory. It sometimes takes more than knowing the melody and tune of a song to become a professional songwriter. A songwriter must know how to write songs according to song keys, how to understand and follow the circle of fifths and how to create harmony in music. These are just some of the few lessons you have to learn. Take lessons, classes and trainings if you really want to learn how to become a songwriter.
- Its beneficial if you choose a musical instrument and learn how to play it. This is not a prerequisite to become a songwriter, however, it is a major advantage if you know how to play an instrument. You can write the song while creating the music yourself. Although there are a number of songwriters who just collaborate with singers and other artists, recording companies and music executives prefer those who can play an instrument because they are able to pitch in and record the sound on their own. The easiest option would be to learn how to use a basic online beat maker or synthesizer.
- Practice and improve your songwriting skills. This is the most essential part. Your ability to write striking and relatable lyrics which will capture the hearts of your listeners will be your key advantage that will distinguish you from other songwriters. The only way to do this is to be constantly scribbling ideas down and working on your skills. You may scribble a chorus or tune that doesn’t make the cut for the current song you are working on, but it may be perfect for another a month or two down the line, so make sure you keep everything you work on… even if its simply storing your doc’s in a shoebox.
- Familiarize yourself with the basic skills of recording. You don’t have to be an expert in recording, but you most definitely need to be aware on how to record songs or tunes. Although it’s not an exclusive requirement, it’s a very huge advantage on your part. You can even set-up your own recording studio at home! – don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and take advantage of free online training.
- Collaborate with other musicians and make an effort to network. Your road to becoming a songwriter starts when you are able to collaborate with other artists to make your songs something tangible. After finishing a final version song, you can proceed with creating a demo. A demo is essential if you’re pitching something to record labels and producers.
This guide will point you in the right direction… the rest is up to you. Start your poetic writing career now!