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Creative Songwriting

Updated on October 28, 2014

Creativity in songwriting

Creativity in songwriting is not rocket science. If you want to write the next big song, you need to work on your creativity. It is good to know that we all have our creative side. Experts say there is a “pool” of creative ideas somewhere in each of us, and it is possible to tap this creativity. Ideas are internal and develop in our own conscience mind. It doesn’t matter where they originate; it’s true they exist, and there are things that we can do to capture them when they come to us.

It is important to know that we all have different time and activities that these creative ideas are associated with. At times, you will find yourself getting more ideas in the morning than evening hours. You can get a lot of ideas when you are taking part in exercises that you love. To discover your best creative times, you should keep a diary or journal to know when you write a lot.

What you need to know is that many things trigger creativity and immediately you get lines to write, you need to pick a pen and paper and write down before you forget. With time, you begin to notice that there are specific times when you get more ideas than others. This is essential because you can be able to capture various ideas at different times or when you engage in different activities. When it comes to songwriting, immediately you get an idea, write it down immediately.

You need to write down everything that comes to you, but be careful not to judge your material at this point. This is because some of the ideas may not be useful at all, but you never know if they will answer something for you down the road. For instance, you may think of an amazing idea to put in a song you are working on, but when you bring an instrument on board, you find it doesn’t work. Months later, when you are working on another song, you can simply refer back to the previous idea you had and include it in your song. Creativity is a very powerful tool for any songwriter.


Are you writing about what you know?

If you frequently write songs, but are underwhelmed by what you have created, it might be time to take an objective look at your own work. The following three tips will help you identify what is is that may be missing from your work.

1. What makes you write songs in the first place?

Who are you talking to when you write? This may seem like a pointless exercise, but it’s actually more important than you think. The road ahead becomes a whole lot clearer when you have a true sense if where you want to go. Are you writing songs with dreams of performing to the largest crowds possible, or are you writing songs that have a message specific to a certain group of people? Do you dream big or imagine a cozy setting when you play? Knowing the answers to these questions will help shape your writing style.

2. Are you writing about what you know?

You may be incredibly gifted when it comes to playing instruments and understanding the most complex of musical elements, but it can all fall flat if what you are trying to deliver does not accurately represent you. It can take a great deal of courage to lay your heart bare for your intended audience, but in doing so you will create an aura of authenticity that is seldom seen in today’s vapid music world. Identify your signature sound and style, and then do all you can to deliver it to the best of your ability.

3. Are you writing regularly enough?

Are you aware of where your song ideas come from? In order to do something well, you need to get in the habit of doing it regularly. Songwriting is no different, which is why you should carry a notebook or recording device of some kind with you at all times. You never know when inspiration is going to strike, so you should always be prepared to act the moment that it does. Ideas, no matter how great, will wither and die if not cultivated ASAP.

Inspiration can come from the strangest of places: it may be a little snippet of overheard conversation or the rhythmic beat of a jackhammer that sets the gears in motion. How you translate those little moments is what will help you develop the style that will propel you forward.

Getting into the habit of following the three tips above will see your writing skills start to truly blossom. You should, first and foremost, try to write for yourself and the style that you want, as you are never going to be able to create something that everyone loves. Songwriting, like all art, is subjective, so never try to write to make someone else happy, as this will only pull you away from your writing strengths. Forget the plaudits and negative reviews, as all that really matters is the voice in your own head telling you that you are happy with the words being created.

Creativity is not something reserved solely for one specific age group. You are never too young to start experimenting with words, and old dogs can absolutely learn new tricks. Songwriting is a fantastic way of taking the thoughts and feelings in your head and getting them out in a way that everyone can understand. You don’t have to be a musical genius to do it, so get writing.


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© 2014 Egils Petersons

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