If you’ve always wanted to be a songwriter but you’ve never made the leap into creating your own music, it’s time to overcome your inhibitions and get started. There’s no better time than the present to write your own songs!
Though it may be tough to put yourself out there and expose your innermost ideas, thoughts, and feelings to a potential audience, there are a few things you can do to journey down the path to composition.
Here are 5 ways to conquer your fears and truly find your creative voice as a songwriter.
1. Boost your confidence with music theory classes.
If you’re not a seasoned musician, it’s a good idea to perfect your musical knowledge and understanding of music theory.
Find a local music school, instrument teacher, or community college where you can try out a few classes. Spending time on the basics of musical composition may help you learn additional songwriting techniques and could help make you feel less self-conscious as you begin the writing process.
2. Take small steps with your songwriting.
Don’t get overwhelmed. No one expects you to crank out a hit tune in 30 minutes! Take baby steps in your songwriting. Instead of writing an entire song, start with composing a simple melody.
Once you’ve got that under your belt, if you haven’t already, brainstorm some ideas for a few lyrics. As you master each component, slowly put the pieces together to make connected segments.
3. Get feedback on your ideas.
At some point, you’ll need to get feedback. Share your songs with close friends or family members. Ask for input about the sound and the themes they convey.
If you’re not getting helpful constructive responses from the people in your life, consider joining a songwriting group for a no-pressure way to have your work peer-evaluated. Observe how other songwriters put their music on display to get more feedback.
4. Practise songwriting every day.
As you gain more knowledge and skill in your craft, foster even more creativity by doing songwriting exercises each day. Eventually, you’ll get into a familiar routine, which could have you generating even more great ideas.
Sticking with a process like this can also lead you to forget about the fear of opening up and sharing your music.
Finally, you can help yourself feel more comfortable writing music and lyrics if you experiment with different types of subjects and musical styles. This exercise will allow you to flex some creative muscles and stretch your own capabilities.
For example, if you primarily want to write country songs, try writing a rock ballad instead. For those who want to focus on hip-hop jams, see what happens if you write an old-fashioned standard. If most of your songwriting ideas are autobiographical, do something that’s centered around someone else. Go for a more fictional approach that creates a new character in your music.
Being a songwriter can be a scary thing if you aren’t comfortable revealing your thoughts and feelings to an audience. If you go for it and move outside your comfort zone, you can begin to truly express yourself through song.