Success in the music industry depends in large part upon your songwriting talents. If you’re looking to improve, consider trying the following 5 tips!
1. Limit Yourself. Whether it is limiting the amount of instruments that you use in a song, or deciding to stick to a catchy and concise vocabulary, putting a few restrictions on your songwriting can be strangely liberating. Many of Bob Dylan best works work completed with nothing but an acoustic guitar, for example – and who doesn’t love singing along to the Beatles early hits such as Love Me Do? Don’t forget that this adorably simple and catchy track uses only 19 unique words in its entire 2 minutes and 22 seconds!
2. Write Fast and Edit Later. Ernest Hemingway once famously advised his fellow writers to write drunk and edit sober. (And to be certain, there are probably quite a few famous musicians to do this from time to time as well!) But a healthier way of overcoming your inhibitions is to write extremely quickly, knowing that you can always make changes later. This can greatly reduce the amount of time that you spend hunched over your guitar or piano agonizing about the little details. And it can also help you create that sense of spontaneity that all songs need to be successful. Don’t believe us? Award-winning artist/songwriter Sia wrote Rihanna’s Diamonds in 14 minutes. That song has gone platinum five times over in the US alone!
3. Seek Tons of Inspiration from Every Corner of the Artistic world. Listen to Mozart, then jam some Metallica. Gaze into a Rembrandt piece than watch a Warhol film. The more eclectic your sources of inspiration, the better. Songwriter Tom Waits prefers to listen to 5 radios all at the same time listening for interesting overlaps, so there is no danger that your inspiration-seeking method will be the craziest out there!
4. Cut it Up. Try chopping up your lyrics and singing them in a different order than you wrote them. Alternatively, rearrange the sections of your songs in an erratic fashion. David Bowie was a big fan of this method, which was originally pioneered by author William Burroughs.
5. Reward Yourself. Last but not least, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys used to go hungry while songwriting, rewarding himself with one cheeseburger for every song he completed!
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