It’s hard to say when songwriting first started albeit the earliest song that we know of is the Hurrian Hymn (melody only) written by Syrians 3400 years ago. The earliest complete song (music and words) is written by the ancient Greeks and called The Seikilos Epitaph, written around 200BC – 100 AD. Some even argue that the earliest music was from the Neanderthal Bone Flute found in an archaeological site in Slovenia in 1995 which dates back 43,100 years. This flute, however, is a much-debated topic.
There are many methods and creative ideas used by artists all over the world when it comes to writing songs. No method is the “right” method. Songwriting styles and approaches are completely unique to the individual or individuals doing so. What works for some may not work for others. It is best to analyse your own songwriting style and see what works well for you. In saying that, there are still some very good tips and tricks out there to help us get started writing, continue writing or get through writer’s block.
As someone who has written a multitude of songs over the last 24 years, songwriting coach, producer and mix engineer Simon Paparo (click here to hear his music) at Four Doors Studios is the right person to help you on your songwriting journey.
Below are our top 5 songwriting tips to give you insights into the parts of songwriting that are easy to overlook.
- Instinctual Songwriting – There are many tactics to use when writing a song. One of the most important tactics to use is to write solidly with interrupting your instincts and flow. Many great songwriters have always said their best songs were written quickly. “My best songs were written very quickly. Just about as much time as it takes to write it down is about as long as it takes to write it.” – Bob Dylan
- Write First, Edit Later – This tip is connected with tip 1. Let the writing happen naturally and freely without interruption. This is where the gold is found. Once the whole song is written is a good time to overlook the piece as a whole and see if any edits are required. There is no need to edit as you go. This is only destructive to your songwriting rhythm.
- Plant The Seeds Of Inspiration – Writers often complain about writers block and lack of inspiration. The reality is that in order to help prevent writers block we need to plant the seeds of inspiration in order to bear the fruit of song. There are many ways to do this, for example:
- listening to music you haven’t heard before
- experimenting with a new musical instrument
- actively listening to conversations (in public or watching a movie etc) for great lyrical content ideas
- always having a notebook (or the notebook on your phone) at the ready to write down ideas you may come across in day to day life
- watching live music, etc etc.
So, as you can see the list goes on and all of a sudden you want to write again!
- Actively Listen To Your Mind – If you are going about your day and ignoring what your gifted artistic mind is telling you then you are potentially missing out on writing many great songs! Have you analysed what is happening in your mind prior to writing a song? This may sound ridiculous, however, the more actively you listen to your mind, the more you will notice when the niggling in your mind starts and you will better be able to identify the minds signal telling you that you have an idea ready for a song.
- Write Songs With Others – This is invaluable. When you write songs with other people you gain insight into their songwriting skills and approach. By co-writing with others, you will also create new ideas of which you may never have come up with on your own.
So that’s our top 5 songwriting tips. We hope this helps you on your songwriting journey.
Thank’s so much for reading our blog. If you’d like to book a songwriting coaching class or a recording session or have your songs mixed by Simon Paparo please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find more great tips on songwriting head here.
To see a list of songs we have recorded at Four Doors Studios click here.
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