The whole goal of creating music is to create songs—that’s what you’re producing. Songs are the skeleton and the soul of music. And when it comes down to it, no amount of production and mixing and brilliant musicianship can turn a bad song into a good song. If the foundation of the song isn’t good, then everything else will just be polishing something that already doesn’t work. So, understanding and working on your ability to create songs that speak to people is an essential skill as a producer, a musician, and an artist, no matter what kind of music you’re making.
If you’ve ever tried to write a song, then you know firsthand that it’s hard. There are so many songs out there that get across massive points in such simple ways, and trying to get your words to cooperate like that can be challenging. Anyone who has ever written a song knows very well that becoming a songwriter is a long process, but despite that, it is always worth the challenge. Learn how anyone can start writing songs and make music that they are truly proud of.
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One of the best ways to become a songwriter who is consistently developing is to listen to as much music as possible. Find songs that inspire you lyrically and sonically, and pull from them for inspiration. Of course, don’t just straight up plagiarize the lyrics because that’ll cause all kinds of legal troubles down the road. But listen to new songs because you never know where you’ll get your next great idea. Diving into new songs is especially important when you hit writer’s block because getting fresh inspiration will help you move forward in your own writing.
One of the best ways to do this is by listening to music that is entirely new to you. If you spend most of your time listening to rap, try listening to some punk, jazz, or even metal. If you’re a big fan of EDM, try out some classical, indie rock, or blues. When you listen to music that entirely opens up your whole scope of music as a whole, it serves to inspire you to make new sounds and songs within your own genre.
Create a Concept, and Expand on It
All songs are written about something. The best place to start is to establish the mood of the song and try to see what you can do with that feeling. Think of the words and experiences that you have that are related to that feeling. What comes to mind?
After you have an established feeling or concept, start to brainstorm how you can communicate that musically. That can be through creating melodies, chord progressions, words, stories, or anything else. You’re trying to understand what makes you feel that way, so you can figure out how to communicate that expressively to someone else. The goal of a song is to make someone feel something, and so once you know what you want the listener to feel, think about all the things that might create that feeling inside of someone else.
To really create great music, you need to be honest. As a songwriter, your goal isn’t to simply impress someone or create something that just sounds nice. It’s to tell the truth. Listeners can tell when a songwriter isn’t being honest, and that will cause the listeners to feel like the song is fake.
So, be completely truthful with both yourself and your listeners. That might mean saying something vulnerable, which can be scary. But those vulnerable feelings are shared by countless people, and when someone hears those feelings in a song, they are more likely to connect with the music. That’s the whole point of songwriting: creating connection.
One of the best ways to start writing honestly is to just improvise words. Sing over some chords, and just say what’s on your mind. Once your songwriting muscles are more developed, brilliant lyrics tend to just flow out of you when you let your mind run freely. Your subconscious mind is much more likely to be completely honest, and it will say things that your conscious mind is too afraid to say. These subconscious thoughts are what will really connect with listeners, and create the best possible songs.
Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to get really good at writing songs is simply by writing songs. Many songwriters will challenge themselves to write one song every day for a month, simply because the practice is going to improve their craft in the long run.
Writing as much as possible will help you figure out your style, what you like, and how you can speak in your own voice. The more you write songs, the better you will be at writing songs that you truly love. Invest into yourself as a songwriter by trying to finish as many songs as possible.
This doesn’t mean that the song has to be completely produced and released anywhere, but try recording a rough demo of it into your phone’s voice memos app, or briefly onto your computer. Just get to the point where the song itself is complete. Creating as many songs as possible is a great way to get to a point where you are creating songs that you love on a consistent basis.
There Is No Right or Wrong in Songwriting
Many songs tend to follow a pretty set way of organization. The whole Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus structure is tried and true and often produces great results. But when you’re writing a song, you don’t need to follow any actual rules. Just write about what’s on your chest, and the rest of the song will follow. Your songs may fit into that regular structure, but don’t be afraid to break free from it and write exactly what you want to say.
The whole point of writing a song is to express yourself and a feeling, so if you need to do that unconventionally, just go ahead and do it. Honestly is still one of the most valuable parts of writing songs, and if the most honest way to do that is by writing a song in a unique way, then just write it however you want.
How Unison Can Help
Unison is made up of a team of producers who have legit experience in the field, and we’re looking to pass along that knowledge. We have a number of different packs for musicians who want to expand their sound and discover inspiration.
Our MIDI Packs contain chords and melodies that help any songwriter write a better song in just seconds. Our Serum Presets provide sounds that are amazing straight out of the box, and our Artist Packs make your music sound unique with similar sounds from top artists. Your next masterpiece of a song is right around the corner, and Unison wants to help you get there.