1.Learning to write songs is difficult
- Learning to write songs is difficult because learning any new skill is difficult. It takes time to become great.
- Along the way, you are going to get frustrated, make mistakes and write a lot of shit songs. That’s just the way it is. Accept it (and enjoy the journey).
- Perversely, I’m a big believer in the idea that it is essential to write as many crap songs as possible; because you need to ‘write out’ all of your cliches and you need to develop enough experience to even know that you are writing cliches.
- It takes experience to know the difference is between a crap song and a good song. Every song you write gives you more experience.
2. All great songwriters start from the same place
- Just because you are struggling right now – does not mean you will always be struggling.
- You are at the exact point in your journey that you need to be. Every great songwriter has been at the point you are at right now.
- You might look at your favourite songwriter and think that they are operating at a level you could just never attain. What they have is a form of magic, not just songwriting craft. Well let me tell you, that’s not true. Their gifts appear magical because they put in the time to become that good. It’s a result of years and years of learning and applying that learning to their songwriting.
3. Stick at it and I guarantee you will master your craft
That’s all you need to know. Keep on keeping on and you will:
- Be more creative.
- Get a better understanding of the craft.
- Become a great songwriter!
Becoming a great songwriter is not the same as becoming famous or successful. That’s a different thing entirely; it requires a different set of skills and often it’s down to luck and timing rather than songwriting competence.
4. You learn by writing songs – not by reading about it or watching songwriting videos
- So write songs. Getting better is a circle you go round and round. Round and round and round and round and round and round and round again.
- You don’t become a great songwriter by wanting to be great – you do it by writing songs.
- You might be frustrated, you might think you are not writing good songs. Just plow on regardless – and plow on and plow on – and every song you write will make the next one better.
- When you feel you are getting nowhere; just keep writing. The prize for all that hard work will be your ability to write great songs.
“Do something as well as you can. Realize there’s more to it than you thought. Be a bit smarter about it next time”. Ed Bell in The Art Of Songwriting
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. Inn practice there is.” Yogi Berra.
5. You will never stop learning
I’ll let you into a secret. I still write songs that don’t work – that aren’t works of genius – I’m still learning – after doing it for over 40 years.
If you continue to write you will continue to get better and continue to evolve as a songwriter.
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