On one of our other websites, we talked about good flea drops for cats. Because cats are not usually a good source of inspiration for writing songs, we thought that, if you’re an aspiring musician or composer, you might want to find some tips and tricks about how to be a better songwriter. So that is what we’re going to discuss in this article.
Tools to help you
In order to be a capable songwriter, you need to have the tools to do so. There are some obvious low-tech options that everybody has. This is the case of pen and paper. Of course, you know that you should have something to write your ideas one when you want to be creative, but the secret with these is that you always need to have them on hand.
You don’t know when inspiration hits you, and when it does you better have something to write it down on. That is why a small handbook that you can keep with you all day long will be really useful. It can also serve as a notebook where you write some small ideas that you want to work later on.
The upgrade to that is having access to Google docs, or other digital writing platforms at all times. This replaces the need for a physical object that you need to carry with you. While some prefer writing on a piece of paper, others express their feelings, emotions, and creativity on a phone. And you know you always have that with you.
The good thing about Google docs or similar platforms is the fact that more than one person can work on a document. So if you’re in a band and you all come up with ideas, you can keep a file on which all of you write from time to time.
Although you might have an idea of what you want to write, you don’t always find the perfect word or rhyme. Fortunately, there are certain tools that can help you with that. One website that always comes up when you search for something to help you rhyme is Rhymer.com. RhymeZone.com or B-Rhymes.com are also of great help.
These websites will help you find the word that you don’t quite have the inspiration to discover by yourself. By placing in a word, the sites give you a list of other words that rhyme with it. They are great tools as they allow you to construct different kinds of rhymings, depending on the tempo of your song, and the syllable you want to be accentuated.
Websites like these, alongside apps that have the same function, will help you play with different words and styles of composing. Of course, you could always read a rhyming dictionary, if you’re the kind of person that likes to read and learn every day.
Now, although some people like composing by writing, which makes them something like poets, others think in a more musical way. If you’re that kind of person, you might be getting a certain tune in your head and you want to capture it as fast as possible, so it won’t get away from your head.
But of course, writing a tune is not that easy, so instead, you would do better by recording yourself singing or humming the tune that you have in your head. Remembering an original tune that you create on the spot is hard, so having a recorder with you will always help. The phone can help you greatly with that as well.
At least you can record an idea that you have, whether it’s just a small phrase, a title, or anything like that. People owning an iOS device can make use of the Memos app that the phone comes with and this will allow them not only to record but to send that to someone else. Of course, there are many apps that will allow you to do that, and if you really need to record something, you can always do it on your phone.
There are some apps made particularly for those looking to become better songwriters, and these apps will help you record, but they will also offer so much more. Coming with functions that allow you to cut or edit the audio file, an app like this will help you play with your creations.
There are also some small programs or apps that you can use to help you in the writing process. Available only on iOS, Melody Miner is an app that lets you compose different little songs and it then comes up to variations of that song. You can make use of this great tool to come up with innovative ideas.
If you’re the kind of person that spends more time on a computer, using the Forte sofware you can write, arrange, and edit pieces of music that you create. There is another software called Crescendo that is basically a digitalized music sheet that comes with all the functionalities and symbols you need to start creating. It looks a bit archaic but it’s a good choice for those that like the classic look of a written piece of music.
Write your favorite songs
Apart from certain tools that you can use to make your songwriting skills come to life, there are some exercises that you can do every day that will boost your creativity. Although inspiration sometimes comes from places you don’t expect, with some experience you will find out that you can induce yourself into a state of increased creativity.
One point to start with is learning your favorite songs. Although music should be unique, it’s almost impossible not to find inspiration in different pieces of music. You need to get your inspiration from somewhere, and sometimes the hardest part about that is trying to listen to your favorite songs and let them inspire you, but without copying them.
That is why it might be beneficial to learn to play a song or write it. This is how you can see how the person who created the song initially saw it, from their perspective. Writing songs down as if you were transposing them is a great exercise because it transforms something that you only perceive by hearing into something that you can actually see, which can bring you more sources of inspiration.
Try to freestyle
You can also try the exercise of freestyling. Although it seems complicated at first, those who practice it say it is simpler to do than it looks. It all works by training your mind to get ideas out without your mind stepping in to adjust them. Coming from your subconscious, or from your gut feel, freestyle rhymes can turn out to be great.
Of course, they aren’t awesome all the time, but every now and then you get a good idea out of them. That is why it’s great if you record yourself while freestyling. Another great advantage of freestyling is that, if you pay attention, it will show you tendencies, patterns, or ideas that you lean too much on.
Write with a partner
“Two minds are better than one” is such an old phrase, but it is still true, especially in the world of songwriting. Writing with someone by your side is most of the time a good idea, no matter if she or he is less experienced than you are. When you compose alone, you have a limited number of ideas, and you only see your creation from one perspective.
But when somebody else is there with you, the two of you can juggle around with ideas, share impressions, and generally have different perspectives on how the song should end up like. Furthermore, when you write alone you can get distracted easily, but when you’re with someone else, there is a certain sense of urgency and teamwork that sets in and that makes you finish the job faster and maybe even better.
Set aside time
Although writing music seems like an activity that only implies you getting some inspiration from somewhere and then frantically writing your ideas down for a couple of minutes, most of the time it doesn’t work like that.
The best way to ensure that at the end of the day you actually got something written down is to treat this songwriting process as a job. Set aside time especially for it. Try to write for 2 straight hours a day and that should help you greatly.