The Art and Skill of Writing a Song

1. Establishing the Discipline

The initial presumption here is that you want to write songs, or if you already do, you want to write more songs or better songs. First let's ask ourselves a few seemingly obvious questions:

Where does a song come from?

What stops us writing songs?

What if we could free up our creative flow? This would go some way to overcoming some of those obstacles. Would it be enough?

First, there is no magic formula. Like playing your instrument, you have to do it, you have to do it often and you have to make mistakes. In short, you have to practise songwriting. Daily is good.

Second, when you sit down to write a song, you have to decide that that is what youíre doing. Itís a job of work. Set up your environment and time-plan as follows:

Fiddling around on the piano or guitar for an hour waiting for inspiration is not going to be productive nine times out of ten for most of us. Getting a great idea and then looking for a pen and paper (if that's your modus operandi) is a perfect mood-killer. Playing the same two brilliant lines over and over and then giving up is not helpful either. These are all traps we too easily fall into.

So, having decided that we are going to write a song, and having prepared ourselves and our environment, we need to find a way forward when we come up against obstacles.

Next: Overcoming Obstacles: Right and Left Brain Thinking

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