How To Become A Better Songwriter Fast In 3 Powerful, Yet Frequently Overlooked Steps
Are you making slow progress at becoming a better songwriter? One of the biggest reasons why most musicians give up on becoming better songwriters is they don't see 'fast' improvement in their songwriting ability after writing only a few songs. If you have used this same approach, you've likely felt frustrated at your lack of progress. However, it's a fundamental misconception to think that you will become a great songwriter after writing only a handful of songs. To improve at a much faster rate, you need to organize your efforts and practice consistently (just as you would for any musical instrument).
To help you quickly get on the fast track to becoming a better songwriter, I have assembled 4 key action steps that you should take. Follow these steps consistently and you will see HUGE results in much less time than using the traditional approach mentioned above:
Step 1: Get Absolutely 100% Clear On Your Songwriting Goals
One of the most important starting points for improving in any area is setting crystal-clear, easy to understand 'goals'. That said, almost NONE of the songwriters you will meet actually do this! This is because most musicians who want to get better as songwriters think too generally about the improvement process. They think something like the following: "To become a better songwriter, I must... write songs!" Of course, it's true that you need to 'write songs' to get better as a songwriter, but this mindset will not bring you the greatest results in the least amount of time. Instead, you need to set clear goals within specific areas of songwriting and determine the exact action steps you will take to improve in these areas. In other words, focus on improving your songwriting for specific musical elements, instruments, types of songs, types of expression, etc. in addition to mastering a feel of the general songwriting process. Think of at least 5 areas you want to improve and make these your main focus. Learn more about the specific musical elements in songwriting by downloading this free eBook with effective songwriting techniques .
Additionally, the more specific you are about what TYPE of music you want to write, the better you can become at writing for that style. Don't make the mistake of 'writing for all styles' for no particular reason when you truly want to become a great 'rock' songwriter (or blues, pop, jazz, etc.). Pinpoint the exact musical characteristics in the style you want to write for and focus heavily on improving those things to become a great songwriter in that genre. Later, after you have developed a strong foundation in your primary musical style, you can branch out to include different styles into your repertoire.
Step 2: Organize Your Songwriting Practice Using An Effective Practice Schedule
Even if you have set clear goals for yourself, you won't become a better songwriter fast until you have determined the best actions steps that will get you the greatest results. Once you've determined your specific songwriting goals, it's time to put together an effective, organized practice schedule that will take you directly from where you are now to where you want to be in as little time as possible. It's not enough to simply say, "I want to get better at writing melodies" and then just write entire songs that involve focusing on 5-10 additional musical elements. You must narrow your focus and think of creative ways to 'isolate' the areas you want to improve in your songwriting. For example, if you want to write better melodies (and this is your main goal), invest 75% of your songwriting practice time into ONLY writing melodies (in different keys, time signatures, using various amounts of notes, etc.) and the additional 25% on other less crucial aspects of your songwriting or simply writing songs as a whole. Make sure to write down your specific action steps so you don't forget them.
Of course, this is only one example. To get a much more in-depth explanation of how to create an effective songwriting practice schedule, take this songwriting ideas audio course .
Step 3: Write Songs 'Consistently' In Order To Quickly Build Your Skill Set
As I mentioned earlier, you will not quickly improve your songwriting by writing just a handful of songs. Think of songwriting like weight training: If you go to the gym and train once or twice a week over the course 6 months, you will see only slight gains in terms of muscle building. However, if you consistently train everyday for 6 months with the right goals and the correct actions for reaching them, you will see VERY significant results in muscle gains. You will not reach your songwriting goals overnight - but you will greatly speed up the process by practicing 'consistently' rather than 'occasionally'.
One way to stay consistent and quickly improve your songwriting is to dedicate yourself to writing at least ONE song per week for an entire year. Think about it, how many songs would you normally write in a year? Three? Five? Twelve? How about 52 (there are 52 weeks in a year)!? If you are reading this article, chances are you haven't written more than twenty complete songs at most. Imagine how much progress you will make in your songwriting by writing 52 complete songs that are both in-line with your musical goals and the specific actions steps needed to reach those goals... that's A LOT of progress!
To get help for completing a song, study the solutions in this article with additional songwriting help .
Bonus Step: Expand Your Musical Tastes To Include Both New Musicians And New Genres
[Note: Although this step is a 'bonus' step, it is still very important to your development as a songwriter!]
In step one, I mentioned that you should focus on learning how to write for the primary musical genre you want to write for. However, this does not mean that you should completely ignore all other styles of music. Every different style of music has specific characteristics or attributes that make it unique and appealing in one way or another. You will greatly benefit by exposing yourself to new styles you aren't accustomed to because it will give you the opportunity to learn new ways of expressing yourself through music (that you may never have thought of before).
Periodically work on expanding your music collection to include about 75% more of the musical artists in the main genre you want to write for and 25% more artists in a new genre you aren't familiar with. Make sure to look for both more popular artists AND lesser known artists to get a bigger picture of the genre as a whole. As a general rule, you want to become very familiar with the music of at least 15-25 (or more) artists in your main musical genre. This is about how many artists it takes to really begin to understand the songwriting nuances of a genre. Then, set aside time to not only listen to these artists, but also to focus/take notes on the different ways they use various songwriting approaches and musical elements.
After following the steps in this article, you WILL make tons of progress at becoming a better songwriter. Now it's time to get inspired to write! To help you managing your inspiration (and calling it forth when it does not come) I have created a course on how to get inspired. You can check it out by clicking on the button below:
Learn many new ideas for songwriting to become a creative songwriter.