By. Stephanie Lam
Songwriting is one of the best ways to express your inner emotions and thoughts. People can be intimidated by the idea of writing a song, or think it is a skill reserved for accomplished artists, but anyone can write a Billboard-Top-100 worthy song if they are willing to put in the time and effort. Here are some tips to get started:
Take time to think about what you want your song to be about and how you want your audience (including yourself) to feel while listening to it. Do you want to write about a bad break-up or a fun night out? The content of the lyrics will contribute to the overall mood of the piece. Narrowing down your intention can help you discover the right lyrics. You should also think about your musical capabilities. What instruments can you play to help you form the melody? What software are you willing to download and learn to produce your song? Some people may want to record a song professionally, while others are content with just recording a song using the voice memo app on their phone.
Let it All Out
Once you’ve set an intention for the song and become familiar with the instruments and software you will use (if any), it’s time to let your ideas out. There’s no such thing as a “bad idea” in songwriting. Any phrases that you write or melody that you tinker with can generate inspiration for the song. You can take words from your old poems, short stories, or personal writing to start the flow. With your thoughts written down, it will be easier to choose the best words. Be selective during this process, as this will help you organize your lyrics into verses and chorus.
As you begin the editing process, you might find it frustrating to complete. Sometimes the song doesn’t sound as genuine as you had hoped, or maybe you have odd melodies or words that you need to change. It’s important to accept that songwriting can be challenging, especially if you are brand-new to it and don’t have a tried-and-true method. If you feel like you don’t have the energy to complete a song, it’s ok to take a break and come back to it or change your music and lyrics completely. You can also ask family members and friends to offer feedback on your lyrics and music.
Upload (to social media)
This last tip may not apply to the actual songwriting process, but it can help you achieve the mindset of a songwriter or musician. Once you are satisfied with your song, don’t be afraid to share it with people! You put a lot of your time and energy into writing your song, and it deserves to be recognized and heard by others. You can upload a video of yourself singing your song on YouTube or Instagram, or post your lyrics on Twitter or Tumblr. When you allow others to critique your song, you will learn how to improve the quality of your next one. Reading or hearing positive reviews about your song can help boost your self-esteem and encourage you to keep writing. Whether positive or negative, feedback will make you a better songwriter and give you the tools to hone your talent.
Stephanie Lam is an editorial intern who likes finding unique ways to write about culture, fashion and lifestyle.