As a forward-thinking songwriter, it’s important that you understand that there is more to making a good song than putting catchy lyrics and rhymes together.
Songwriters want to impose their own personality – and experiences – on their lyrics, in order to have maximum effect. To do this, there are specific routines and ideas that can be followed, which ensure your body and mind are in sync when creating.
For starters, it’s a good idea to take note of the abilities and work ethics of other songwriters, who have managed to make a mark with their music. In addition, there are things you may not always remember but are critical to the continuous improvement of your skills. Here are four things you might forget to do but which can (positively or negatively) affect the quality of your work:
Treat Your Body Well
Writing deep, engaging, or witty lyrics, whether they come naturally to you or a skill you develop over time, requires a healthy mind. And creating/ maintaining a healthy mind is driven by a healthy body. However, keeping in tip-top shape is not always easy, what with finding time for songwriting sessions, going to music events, and having to cope with other daily stresses. Combined with poor eating habits, all of these can contribute to a poor quality of life. Try these tips to promote a healthier, music-fit body:
- Eat several small portions instead of a few heavy meals. Nicole Scherzinger does this, reportedly eating six small, balanced meals throughout the day, instead of dieting.
- Supplement with recommended vitamins (ask your doctor) if your lifestyle is pretty hectic and you’re not able to get all the nutrients from your food.
- Practice meditation to unclutter your mind. Paul McCartney is one of many musicians who has hailed the powers of meditation, once stating, "In moments of madness, meditation has helped me find moments of serenity."
Following these tips are not only vital to your growth and development as a person, they will also pay dividends as it relates to doing well in your songwriting craft.
Putting in enormous levels of time and commitment into your music career isn’t always easy, regardless of your level of passion. But if you aren’t willing to consistently put in the necessary hard work and devotion then you aren’t likely to see the benefits and growth that is possible. Even if you never become a best-selling artist – and very few ever do – you want to feel content that your music represents you and fulfills your aims. Accomplishing this requires that you devote the time necessary to grow your skills and create works that feel genuinely unique.
Take Criticism with a Pinch of Salt
No matter what you do or don’t do, you won’t be able to escape the clutches of criticism. People simply have different tastes, expectations, and measuring sticks when it comes on to deciding whether they like a musical creation or not. With that said, sharp (negative) criticisms can leave you in the dirt and make you feel like you never want to write anything again.
If that happens, you need to remind yourself of one critical fact – the creative arts bring out more faux-experts than anything else in the world. The truth is, if you want to progress as a songwriter, you need to have some amount if "thick skin." There will certainly be days when scathing reviews and unkind comments are thrust into your face. When that happens, instead of allowing it to get you down, take a moment to look at the credentials of who’s talking. If it’s someone with a genuine background in music and no apparent ulterior motive, you might want to check yourself to see if there is any meaningful takeaway or lesson you can learn. On the other hand, if it’s some random comment on YouTube or a Twitter post, you probably shouldn’t give it much thought.
Make Use of Experiences
Consider every day a school day. Use your new experiences and new pieces of information that you pick up to inform your career moves and give yourself the best possible chance of being a legitimate, long-term success. Your life experiences, from whatever you went through during high school and/or college to lessons learned from relationships, should never be brushed off.
Instead, look at how far they have taken you in life, the things you have achieved, and then try to draw on these experiences to forge the basis of creating your next song. Writing about the same stuff over and over gets you nowhere. Drawing on different experiences from your life can help you to pull out different ideas and sounds, making for a dynamic mix.
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