I really love Linkedin Learning, and a little while ago I took one of the courses named ‘20 Unofficial Rules of Songwriting’ (because my songwriting can always use some serious work). And I thought the course was pretty useful, so I figured I’d share some of the best tips I’ve learned (from videos like this and from personal experience), because songwriting is great and I think anyone interested should give it a try.
Don’t overthink it – This was my biggest problem when I started. I would contemplate every word I wrote and it took forever, it always led to me never finishing any songs. Yikes. But one day I just sat there and started singing and just let it be what it was, and I wrote the first song I ever finished. It wasn’t any kind of masterpiece but it made me realize that I was being way to uptight and it was ruining my creativity, so I think relaxing is a good way to combat that. To quote Rick and Morty ‘Good music comes from those who are relaxed, just hit a button’.
Improvise – I recently made a friend who wanted to start songwriting together and when we got together I realized we had totally different ways of doing this. I usually come up with an idea and then start building slowly. He just straight up starts hitting keys and improving until it feels right. And while I’m sure both ways have their place I also think improv is also just another form of being relaxed and letting it happen, so you might accidentally end up making something amazing. Who knows?
Listen more – My music teachers are avid that listening to a lot of music and analyzing what they do will help give you ideas. I have to admit they’re kind of right. Just listening to more music will help give you ideas and inspire your own work, and it’s just fun.
Think about talking to someone – This is the only technical advice I have (but if you are interested in more stuff like this I’ll link that course below) but writing as if you’re talking to someone is a real crowd hitter. It makes the music feel a bit more personal and natural and usually makes for good hooks.
Do you have any songwriting tips I could use? (anything would be appreciated)
– DJ Psyched