Many songwriters may start off their careers with dreams of being the next Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell, with soulful and unique lyrics easily pouring directly from their minds and hearts onto the page. But no matter how much raw talent and personal drive you may have, developing solid songwriting skills can be difficult. Whether you are a novice looking for your first great hit or a seasoned songwriter experiencing a bout of writer’s block, it never hurts to find new ways to improve your skills. From your recording studio in San Antonio, here are five ways that you can improve your songwriting skills:
- Know your stuff: Great songs come from the heart—but they also come from a solid understanding of hooks, melodies, bridges and the entire anatomy of a song. If you have tried approaching things from a free-verse perspective without much luck, it might be time to dig out some old technique books and brush up on the basics. Studying some of your favorite songs to see what they have in common will not hurt, either.
- Find a community: Sometimes, just knowing there is someone out there with the same dreams, ambitions and challenges as you can make everything seem a little easier. But beyond the camaraderie, finding a community of songwriters will give you more valuable insight and diverse perspectives than you can find anywhere else. If you are not sure where to find this community, try checking out an open mic night at a nearby bar or cafe, or a community bulletin board at your local recording studio.
- Challenge yourself: If you wait around for inspiration to strike, you might be waiting for a very long time. Instead, force yourself to do the work and put in the time, even if nothing you write feels good enough. Having a structured goal, such as writing one song per week, approaching a different topic each month for a year or promising you will have new songs for a friend on a certain date, should help you get the ball rolling.
- Always write it down: Whether it is a fully formed lyric or just a vague idea about a theme, you ought to get in the habit of always writing down your ideas as they occur to you. Carry a small notepad in your pocket, or keep a running list on your phone that will be at your fingertips at all times, before a great idea can slip away.
- Find the right environment: Some writers prefer to write alone on their bed, while others like to cowrite with others in a loud, bustling environment. Whatever works for you is great, but you should also make an effort to switch things up every once in a while to keep things from getting stale. And if you want to record as you write, make sure you find a recording studio in San Antonio that is inviting, creatively focused and remote enough to give you some peace and quiet.
If you want to record some of your best new material, remember that Windmill Valley Recording is always happy to take on new clients. Contact us today to learn more!