Part of being in an up and coming band is answering a lot of questions, the most common being tips for songwriting. While a lot of pop sensations don’t write their songs, some do, and even the best songwriters need help sometimes. Here are some tips for songwriting that have helped me over the past few years!
1. Don’t Overthink
One of the most important tips for songwriting is to not think too much about what it is that you’re writing. If the words flow out of you, just let them be. And if at first they don’t make sense, you’ll find a way to piece them together when you’re done writing the verse, or song.
2. Walk Away
If you get stuck on a word or a verse, just leave it alone and come back to it later. The more you stress about finishing it, the more you’ll cloud your thoughts and they won’t be genuine. Some songs take weeks, months or even years to finish.
3. Don’t Hold Back
It’s hard to try and not be cliche if you’re writing a love song or a break-up song, but sometimes you just have to let things go. What may sound cheesy to you, might sound genius to someone else. The more personal you get with your songs, the more people will be able to relate to them.
4. Don’t Focus on Rhyming
Rhyming is really the last thing you should worry about when writing a song. Most Top 40 hits these days actually don’t rhyme, or even follow a certain format. If you ever do start a song with a rhyme scheme, I'd suggested referring to rhymezone for help!
5. Don’t Worry about a Genre
This one is a huge point for me because my bandmate and I have been known to perform songs from pop to blues to country to old school rock and roll. At first we were afraid people would not take well to this approach, but the great thing about this new era of music is that we’ve just been labeled as "indie" and people LOVE indie! So unless you’re pitching a pop/country/rock song to a primarily hip-hop radio station, I think you should be okay.
6. Find a Thesis
It’s easy to get lost in lyrics if you’re writing freely, so it’s sometimes good to know what you’re writing about. Mind you, not all songs have just one main topic but having one makes the flow better and easier to write verses around your hook. And in finding a thesis you may come up with lyrics that you may not use for the current song you’re writing, but for another one you can start in the future!
7. It’s Okay to Need Help
I used to think that looking to others’ work was cheating, but unless you’re directly stealing lyrics or a melody, the only thing it is, is helpful! Skim through old lyrics or click through your Pandora stations. I’ve found that the best ways to find new music is to just click through covers of your favorite songs. There are so many up and coming artists out there that could inspire you!
Songwriting should be a fun and meaningful experience, but never stressful! The important thing is to never doubt yourself, you never know what you can come up with! If you want to hear some of my originals (influenced by Joss Stone, Michelle Branch and Adele) , feel free to check out my band Pretty In Blue on YouTube... and subscribe! Who are some songwriters that influence you? What other songwriting tips can you share?