If you’re reading this, you most likely have a passion for music so much that you would like to write your own songs, but probably don’t know how to start or where to begin from. Yeah, it seems a bit confusing how to go about it, and we totally understand. Being able to express yourself, your thoughts, feelings and ideas in lyrics and melody and making a career out of it is one of the most fulfilling experiences in the modern-day music business. It’s an even better feeling when you’re lucky enough to create a hit or a global anthem with your words. This write up is meant to explain to you how you can become a songwriter from scratch, or become better at the craft if you are already one.
According to wikipedia, a songwriter is a musician who professionally composes musical compositions and writes lyrics for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated with writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. Songwriters work in every genre of music, creating original music and lyrics that can either be performed by singers, musical groups and bands, used by advertisers specifically or featured in TV shows and Film placements.
Becoming a songwriter means that you should actually learn how to write first. That's the first step. Knowing how to write helps you when you want to write and structure your lyrics for your songs. Some basic music theory and fundamentals like rhythm, melody and dynamics are very important to be understood. This is because the basics behind the output for every written song lie within these concepts. There is also the need of becoming familiar with terms that are applicable with professional songwriting. Workshops, classes, reading article publications from platforms like Tunedly, or even enrolling in music programs will help in getting a better understanding of these concepts.
People with some knowledge of music already but without prior venture into actually writing their own songs don’t need to square off from the direct beginning though. Understanding some other topics like song structure, lyrics, chords etc may be what you need to start putting your own music together. Some added advantages can be gotten from being able to play one instrument or the other, or being a good singer. But these are not to say that one cannot be a successful songwriter without these pre-learned skills. There have even been many famous songwriting professionals who do not know how to read music. A number of these things will not be difficult to learn, especially for someone who already has a huge passion for music.
Becoming a songwriter can literally be you writing that first line of lyrics, or playing that first chord of your guitar. To be sincere, the minute you start these, with or without the mindset of chasing a career path with it, you’ve become a songwriter. It’s however important to remember that your first song may not be great. In fact, it may be total trash. Having the willingness to continue experimenting with your writing and exploring your creativity is one of the best ways to keep improving your writing. Constantly seeking new knowledge as well in broadening your writing scope, and joining songwriting organizations and communities afford your educational opportunities. But most importantly, you need to actually record these songs. Getting yourself in tune with easy recording technologies like low cost phone apps like GarageBand or high cost tools softwares like Logic or Pro-Tools are important for getting you your demo.
To be a professional songwriter, you need to have the ability to write songs, obviously, and the ability to sell your work. Having music knowledge and knowing how to use recording softwares is also important. But some other soft skills are imperative for a songwriter to have as well. A songwriter needs to be creative and be able to craft very appealing original melodies. Inspiration comes from almost anywhere, and as such a songwriter needs to always pay attention to detail in the world around themselves. Communication skills are also very important. As a songwriter, you will always have to share information with clients or collaborators. Knowing how to communicate with them is key. Finally, you need to be able to develop discipline and self motivation, for obvious reasons.
You will need to learn how to protect your written work or “original song”. This is extremely important when submitting samples (samples of your song, not samples to use in productions) to record labels or musical artists. This will ensure others cannot take your ideas and use them for themselves while profiting.
All in all, it takes time to build a career in songwriting. Building and honing your skills one day at a time is your safest bet to becoming the best version of yourself. Collaborating with other musicians, especially the extremely talented professionals here on Tunedly can bring your biggest songwriting dreams to life.