In 1676, Isaac Newton delivered the famous quote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In this bit of wisdom, Newton tapped into a timeless truth that historical progression comes from taking what has been learned from the greats before you and building from there. Check out these bits of wisdom from 10 songwriting giants.
Why is it that some songs will only stay on the charts for a short period of time, while others are able to stand the test of time? Analyzing the qualities of timeless songs is a great tool to enhance your songwriting. Let’s explore three commonalities that you can practice applying to your own writing.
It’s easy to get in the habit of writing songs in your perfect key, in the same style, and always on your same instrument. The hard part is figuring out why you’re not happy with the finished product. Sometimes small details can dramatically change the bigger picture. Try these tips to instantly spice up your songwriting!
For some, hearing the words “step out of your comfort zone” will cause immediate aversion. For others, it may stir up a sense of excitement. Whether the concept holds immediate interest for you or not, pushing yourself out of your neutral territory is key for personal growth, which is especially true as it applies to creativity! Trying new things with your songwriting is a great way to create inspiration. Here are a few ideas you can experiment with.
The most surefire way to keep making progress with your songwriting craft is to practice, practice, practice. The great part is that it doesn’t take much – even devoting just 10 minutes a day to songwriting will help you improve. Not sure what exactly to spend those 10 minutes on? Try experimenting with these ideas, and watch yourself become a more creative songwriter in no time!
When faced with a lyric writing challenge, employing games – or, to be fancy, chance operations – to generate new ideas always helps me out. The idea is that by getting yourself outside your typical headspace – the one that’s causing your writer’s block – you can stumble upon ideas you might not have come to otherwise.
Many of us in the creative world are under the false and dangerous assumption that creativity begins when inspiration strikes. Sure, you may occasionally wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea that just popped into your head, but more often than not, creativity is something we encourage through discipline and hard work rather than something that strikes like lightning. So if you feel like you have a case of songwriter’s or composer’s block, instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, use some of these exercises to stimulate your creativity.
If you’re a songwriter and you can plug your instrument of choice into a 1/4″ jack, you can use pedals to color your songs with texture and elegance. Stomp boxes can aid you in creating sounds you just can’t make otherwise, thus inspiring unique moments that can add personality and dimension to your songs. Get started by checking out seven of our favorite pedals!
Virtually everyone knows about the big U.S. music capitals: New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville, with Austin, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, and New Orleans trailing right behind. Those are the largest cities that produce some of the nation’s biggest acts in popular music. However, there are several lesser-known “flyover” cities that are becoming burgeoning music scenes in their own right.
It’s hard to believe, but the New Year is here! Have you decided what your resolutions will be yet? Success comes by making habits out of manageable goals, and songwriting is no different. Try working a couple of these songwriting resolutions into your routine starting today, and 2016 might just be your best year yet!