Different Ways To Kick Start The Songwriting Process


Every guitarist dreams of being an accomplished songwriter some day. In fact, songwriting is more difficult that singing or playing the guitar. Most guitarists who want to begin the songwriting process are sometimes faced with difficult choices. It's common to find them torn between writing music first, or the words. Luckily, there are several ways to go about this. One can start with either the music or the lyrics depending on a number of things. Alternatively, a guitarist can choose to begin with a combination of the two.


There are many ways to write great songs as a guitarist. This article gives a guideline on the different ways to write a song and some of the dos and don'ts when writing songs.

The following are sure tips that will help guitarists build songwriting confidence and be in a position to write better songs.


Use Chord Voicings

The big mistake most guitarists make is being contented with the barre and open chords they are good at. The common chords featured in blues, rock, and country are not enough. Dig deeper. Explore extended chords, triads, dissonant notes, and partial chords. Some of the chords that are deemed wrong may beautifully serve a different song.


Start With A Title Or Lyrical Hook

Great songwriting requires one to come up with a captivating title or lyrical hook. Without this art, writing a good song will be an uphill task. Everything in the lyrics should point to and support the lyrical hook. A catchy hook is consequential when a foundation is built around it such that there is a sense of drama and release when the hook arrives.


Start With A General Idea Or Lyrical Concept

Songwriting becomes easier when one has an experience or an idea they want to create a song about. The idea should be strong enough to capture the feeling and emotion of the concept. Try as much as possible not to be vague. Bring the overall concept to a heightened climax by summarizing it a phrase or hook line. The good thing about the hook is that a musician can easily come to it as they develop their lyric around the idea. The story from which a lyrical concept is developed should have a summarizing point so that it easily attracts the listener's attention.

Try Switching Instruments

Many pro songwriters had to lay down the guitar for a while and try other instruments. Being glued to the guitar while writing a song denies one opportunity to find inspiration in other instruments. Switching to instruments like drums, piano, flute, or a harmonica helps to find riff and melodies for new songs. Playing other instruments, regardless of how bad it may sound helps a guitarist to get new ideas to take back to the guitar.


Start With Lyrics First

Musicians usually write from riffs or chord progressions. Go the other way round. Try writing the lyrics first and then sing them aloud. That way, it might suggest guitar sounds that can perfectly propel a particular tale forward in a song and avoid chasing the same old progressions and other tune construction habits.


Try Cowriting

Sometimes a guitarist may lack a perfect combination of skills to write unique songs everyone would want to listen to. In such a situation, it's advisable to work with an acquaintance who may be doing well in songwriting. The sharing of musical or lyrical ideas will get the ball rolling.


Final Thoughts ...

Again, there are many ways to write a great song. The more songwriting approaches a musician employs, the more the chances of succeeding. Although it might be comforting and productive, using the same approach over and over again is not advisable as it might not provide the most inspired or unique songs.



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