It’s taken me a long time, but I’m at a point where I both really like and am really proud of the songs I write. I’ve been writing songs for around ten years now, and I’ve written more that enough genuinely terrible songs to have learnt from my mistakes and figure out what works for me, but I hope these tips can help you figure out what works for you!
Write what you know
Sure, you might love country songs about going down to the horses after breakfast on the ranch, but if you live in a city and eat breakfast on the way to work it’s not going to come across as genuine and you’re probably going to find it difficult to write. You can still write in any genre you enjoy, but keep the topics centred around the things you know and have experienced.
Write for yourself
Sure you can write a song for someone else, but every song you write should be one that you wanted to write. You should be writing songs for you, it doesn’t matter if you think no one else in the world would ever like it. If you like it no one else has to, it’s your music and only your own opinion of it should ever matter. Lots of people will hate your music and be rude or nasty and if you don’t even like it yourself I imagine it’d be extra crappy.
Create your own chords, write a song without any chords, listen to a genre you’ve never heard and try to write a song in that genre. Making music should be fun and a learning experience. Every time I play around I learn something new about my music, how I make it and about myself. It’s important to experiment and helps to create a unique style and sound.
Whether it’s by playing in a band, creating a song with people online or just jamming with a few friends, collaborating will really help improve your playing and performance as well as song writing. You can get constructive criticism in a safe environment from people that care about music, you’ll learn from other musicians and you’ll get a chance to see what other people’s song writing process is like which can help form your own.
Whether you just post your music online, go out and play or send it to a few select people, putting my music out into the world has been incredibly satisfying and educational. You’ll get a mixture of comments and criticisms, but it’s so worth it just knowing that someone at some point has listened to your music.
These are the song writing tips I have for now, when it comes to music I’m constantly learning and finding out new things, but these are the tips I currently think are most useful, especially for people just getting involved in creating original music.