Music is a creative outlet that can be explored at any age, whether you are a teenager or well into your golden years. Songwriting is an excellent way to convey your thoughts and feelings to your friends and family, regardless of whether you aim to achieve fame or fortune in the music industry. The fact remains that few songwriters achieve fame or fortune, especially at first, if they wish to sell their songs or perform them. Nevertheless, whether you are writing music for fun or a living, having realistic expectations will make the experience worthwhile.
Songwriting takes many forms. Some writers compose the music first, while others write the words first. Some people write the words and melody simultaneously, while others write the melodies first and then the words. No matter your chosen order, you must decide what the song is about. There are many different types of songs, from songs that tell fictional stories to deeply personal songs.
If you decide to write a story song, an excellent first exercise is to write an autobiographical song, where you tell your own story or a story about someone you know. If you already have an idea for a story to tell, you can write it in poem form. You can try to make appropriate rhymes and structures that help communicate the song’s events.
Since music is so expressive, many songwriters use their compositions to convey their feelings, whether about a person, a situation, or a place. Songs of this type can be highly personal, so everyone writes them differently. When you feel strongly about something, write it down in a notebook and return to it later. Writing down your feelings can be a great way to process them and can act as a reminder of how you felt in the moment. By writing down your thoughts, you can reflect on them and figure out how to best express them in a song. It is possible to build an entire song around a single line that expresses an emotion well.
Your musical prowess and focus will determine how you write the actual music for a song. When you write primarily to communicate words, well-chosen guitar chords may be all you require. On the other hand, an instrumental virtuoso approaches writing music quite differently. Those with a strong musical background tend to approach songwriting with a more creative process. They can play around with different musical ideas and chords to create a melody that works with the song. It is common for songwriters to construct entire pieces, melody and all, without even knowing what the song is going to be about. After the melody is finished, the writer will sit down and think about lyrics that fit the mood of the music.
Performing your new song might seem like an obvious next step once you have put together the words and music. Playing for friends and family first is always a good idea before playing to an audience. Open mic nights at local coffeehouses and bars are a great place to showcase your song when you feel comfortable enough to do so. Open mic nights allow songwriters to perform one or more of their songs for an appreciative and attentive audience. By discussing their craft with other writers, performers can gain insight into how they write.