In a pinch, you can improvise sheet music staves on graph paper or dot paper.
Songwriters value creativity. We want to write songs that sound fresh and exciting.
Through talking to musicians over the years, and reading interviews, I’ve been struck by how many act chafed when compared to other musicians, or even when you ask about their genre. These are creative people, and proud. They resist comparisons and labels. They’d rather be thought of as unique.
I can relate to that desire to be bold and original — but it’s dishonest to act like nobody and nothing ever influenced your songwriting.
Quick link: sign up for Album Writing Month on their website.
Hi! This is Nick for The Lyric Writer’s Workroom. Today I want to talk about speed songwriting challenges – exercises that encourage you to write complete songs quickly.
In this episode of The Lyric Writer’s Workroom Podcast, we’ll talk about some ways to help reduce the sense of pressure you may feel in your writing room. Whether you’re dealing with a close deadline for your sophomore major-label album release, or just trying to get fifteen solid minutes of your own material ready for your first open mic, I hope the tips here will help.
Here are some highlights, time stamped from the show:
00:45 — Stage fright doesn’t just happen onstage. We songwriters often find ourselves feeling pressure at home in our writing rooms, too.
04:24 — When you enter the room where you write songs, do you feel safe from the judgments of others and protected from the outside world?
04:50 — Could your cell phone be sabotaging your songs?
06:43 — Sometimes our dumbest song ideas have the most potential. It pays to be patient with them.
Podcast running time: 9 minutes
Do you every worry that, as a songwriter, you just don’t have any talent? I’ve been there. I practically live there.
In this songwriting podcast, we’ll talk about “talent” and where it comes from. Here are some podcast highlights, with timestamps:
02:45 — Songwriting is difficult, and it draws from up to six different disciplines. You can expect there to be a learning curve. Or many curves.
04:40 — Here’s the secret to making peace with your mistakes and making fewer mistakes in the future.
07:33 — A preview! Two choruses and one verse of a new song called “Until You Run Out”. You’re the first audience I’ve played it for.
In case you’re skeptical about whether talent is really something you can learn and develop, here are some sources you can investigate:
- “On the Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance” by professor K. Anders Ericsson
- Mindset by Stanford researcher Carol Dweck