Learning to play a song is one thing, but when you want to create a song for others to play, you’re gonna have to put it down on paper. Let Gashaus guide you as your start out on this imporant stage of your musical development…
1. Sharpen your Songwriting skills every day. Like an athlete who strives to practice so as to reach the peak of his/her performance, a songwriter or a composer should also practice regularly… OK. you are talented and everything, but your talent means nothing if your brain doesn’t get used to using this talent. Make a 30 min. music writing time per day and use it to experiment with chords, write themes or maybe rearrange something. But always keep in mind that you are just practicing, so there probably isn’t a "hit" coming out of these 30 min… Hits come like a flash so be always prepared!
2. Listen to music every day.
The very famous Suzuki violin teaching method requires that the student listens to a tape containing the pieces he/she learns everyday to "develop musical ability"(Schinichi Suzuki). Guess what? It works. As you listen more you will unconsciously adapt more to music in general and, on the conscious level, discover tricks and techniques in music writing that you didn’t know about. Nobody can create music De Novo, it has got to have some roots!
3. Don’t limit yourself to one style.
My music education was classic, but I adore Rock and Metal (my favorite bands are Scorpions and Pink Floyd) as much as I adore Bach and Dvorák and, since I’m Egyptian, I also like my share of oriental music… Such a style mix can create the most wonderful ideas, and this is how most songwriters come up with new styles (ex: Pink Floyd’s Psychedelic Rock). Always explore and experiment with new styles, if you take a look at the history of any band, you find out that’s what songwriting is all about.
4. Learn the rules of the game.
You probably think that since you can come up with a nice theme, that your are on the right track … WRONG!). It is true that songwriting has no specific rules, but here you are looking for "Five Songwriting Tips", eh?! A song is music + words… As much as you can, learn music theory and the basics of lyrics/poetry writing. Learning never stops and it’s a fact that as you learn more about the rules of the game, you become more skillful bending those rules… And never forget that writing catchy melodies and smart rhyming lyrics needs lots of practice.
5. Don’t be shy.
Make everybody know about your songwriting skills. Show it to friends and family first, then to songwriting communities and finally, seek professional critiques. As you get your work more fine tuned, you will become more confident and, consequently, more open to new ideas and suggestions. Remember, it’s the people whom you are writing for, their thoughts do matter.
Mahmoud Ibrahim is a young songwriter from Egypt. He is the owner of www.songwritingfever.com, the first website to be dedicated to songwriting collaboration.