Writing any song can become such a chore. If you are a beginner, you’re probably puzzled about how to start. So as a result, you never, ever start it. At all. When you are a seasoned pro, it becomes a challenge to find stimulation for songwriting. At least if you are in one of those life periods when nothing stimulating happens. And yet you all sit down at the piano… or pull out the good old guitar. And start banging chords out. And boy, these are the same old progressions, over and over. Is writing a tune, a memorable one, really that difficult?
Your instrument doesn’t know any songs
- It isn’t. Just get away from your instrument.
- Take a walk. Leave the mp3 player at home, unless it can record audio. At this point, I really hope you are one of those true music people. If that’s the case, music will start playing in your head. Sometimes it’s someone else’s music. Music you already know. Enjoy it. Other times it’s an original idea. A melody, or a melody with chord accompaniment. Sometimes even words come with these.
- Record it. Hum the melody first, then hum a bass line to indicate the chords. A simple one will do. You’ll work out any kind of complex harmony later.
- Also record any ideas that you feel belong to your newly born tune. No matter if it’s a counter-melody, a specific rhythm in the bass line, or a certain chord. How to record a chord with a single voice? Arpeggiate it. The idea of writing has never been easier before, right?
Just make sure you record little pointers and comments. It’s because when you come up with something, it sounds so clear and awesome. But later on you might find out the horrors. That you don’t have the slightest idea of what it wanted to be.
- When you are home again, make sure that you save and date your song ideas. That’s all the so called “left brain” tasks required during this process of songwriting.
- Some other time, when you’re in the mood, pick one of these song ideas. Take out your guitar, or go to your piano. Find the melody, the chords, the bass line on your instrument(s). At this step of creating the music, you can truly fine tune it. Tailor it around your own playing style. Especially if it’s an instrumental piece. Make sure that you move it in the right key. It’s crucial if there are vocals. Then record the whole thing the way you wanted.
Let your piano sleep
Man, was it really so hard?