My Top 5 Songwriting Tips!
Written by Christi Given | October 17, 2012
PI readers, I want help those of you who like writing poetry or songs, or who are interested in songwriting. There are many different approaches, but I want to give you my personal tips on how I write my music and helpful tips for songwriting!
1. Sit in a quiet place
If you want to write a song, it helps to have a peaceful, quiet environment where you can focus on your work. While you may be working on a song with a co-writer, it’s still useful for both of you to meet either at a studio or a peaceful place where you can share your musical ideas. If there are distractions, it can disturb the flow of your thought process and creativity.
2. Bring the right tools
If you are songwriting, you need tools such as a notepad or journal to help. You may also want to bring something that inspires you, such as a song to listen to before you write, or a Bible. If you’re writing a Christian or Gospel song, obviously prayer and the Word are vital.
Note: Be careful not to imitate the song if you choose to listen to one for inspiration, and be cautious to not copy similar melodies. Some songs may inspire you, but people tend to imitate others or follow similar patterns, so make sure your song is unique.
In addition, if you use an instrument to give you melodies or to assist in your songwriting, prepare your instrument by tuning it.
3. Bring a recorder to document melodies, harmonies and sounds
If you are writing lyrics and music, you may want to bring a recorder, your laptop or cell phone to record a melody. If you get an idea for how the chorus, bridge or verses go, you will want to record them immediately. You’d be surprised how quickly you’ll forget it otherwise!
I use my cell phone recorder when I write lyrics, harmonies or melodies. I love being able to go back and listen to the tunes I come up with! It is so fascinating because most of the time, I will see that had I not recorded my idea, I would have not remembered it to the best of my ability, let alone at all!
Note: Most cell phones have a “voice recording” feature, and there are different apps for songwriters worth checking out!
4. Stay positive–even if you have writer’s block!
Writers often get what is known as “writer’s block,” when they come to a mental wall and just are stumped at where to go next. This also happens to songwriters! But even if you’re stuck, keep your head up, stay positive and keep up the good work!
If you need to take a break, walk away from the song for a while and come back to it, just as you would with any big project or assignment. It will help you to refresh and come with a new, clear mind, ready to refocus.
5. Copyright your song!
This has to be the most important tip out of all the tips listed! If you write a decent song you think has potential for a song collection or recording, then you need to go to www.copyright.gov and register your song for a fee of $35. There are different instructions you will need to read and follow if you want to register your music with the Library of Congress.
Remember, this is an idea that you own and if you want to protect it, you must register your work.
Note: Copyright laws are an important part of the songwriting process. If you want to become a serious songwriter or musician, it is wise to educate yourself on how the system works and what steps you need to take in order to make your songs covered by the law.
I also encourage you to read about songwriting and learn from other songwriters about what they do to make a successful song! Also, if you are doing worship music, it is so important that you come to it with reverence and a willingness to let the Holy Spirit lead you when you write. I will pray that you will be motivated and encouraged to write, compose and to explore your musical adventure!
PI readers, songwriting is so fun! For some people it comes naturally, and it’s tougher for others, but no matter what type of songwriter you are, you have a voice and it is important that you use your gifts and talents! It is so encouraging to see young people using their gifts for God and exploring the different creative outlets.
Have you ever written a song? Do you have any extra tips? Comment below!