How to Become a Songwriter – Break Those Bad Habits

May 14, 2012 | admin | News

Do you consider yourself a real songwriter? If yes, then you should learn how to become a songwriter by breaking your bad habits that hinder songwriting. Real songwriters write songs as often as they can. Although they are aware that most don’t make the grade; they keep on keeping on.Why?

It is because of the basic fact that songwriting is a craft. Any craft should not only be practiced, but perfected. Let me ask you a question: Can you expect to become a great golfer, pianist, painter or novelist if you don’t take the time to practice everyday?

Learning how to become a songwriter involves avoiding some of the most common pitfalls on songwriting.

1. Never rely on your memory. Don’t ever assume that you can hold an idea in your memory for 5 minutes – keep in mind that a hundred distractions may come your way within that 5 minutes. If you have a new song idea, capture it immediately on a recording or in writing; and don’t forget to collect those scraps together in place for future reference.

2. Perfectionism. Remember, no first draft is perfect! It will take time for you to write a great song from scratch, so be gentle to yourself. Just jot down the best lines you can think of to finish your song – you can always rewrite and judge later. Doing this will still give you the advantage of having a foundation to build upon.

3. Don’t just wait for inspiration to strike. Learning how to become a songwriter won’t be fruitful if you don’t take action. If your writing strategy involves waiting then I am telling you now: expect to wait a long time in between songs. We’re talking about a couple of weeks, months – some songwriters wait for years! Fifteen minutes of writing songs might turn up an idea. One writing prompt could set of a domino effect that leads to a finished song by midnight! Actively pursue inspiration instead of waiting for it. If you are a procrastinator; then here’s a good mantra for you: “any words on a page is better than none.”

Remember how I told you to jot everything down? This would be effective only if you consistently go back to reading all your song ideas and fragments from time to time. Reviewing your ideas encourages you to think about them – to build on them. Keep a pen handy at all times; encircle any lines that seem promising. Take pleasure in going through the pages of your drafts to discover the diamonds!

Jim A. Byrne is a musician and recording artist who has been writing songs for over 30 years. As well as writing songs for his own Folk and Country Blues albums he has written songs with other people including the pop star Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet and Jazz singer Carol Kidd MBE.

Visit Jim’s website for more tips and to download two of Jim’s latest songs for free:

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