How do you improve your songwriting skills? Here are a few ideas.
The first step to improve your skill as a songwriter is practice. Just like an athlete needs practice, so do you. Just like a guitar or keyboard player needs to practice regularly, the same applies to songwriters. Set aside a few minutes everyday to write. It doesn’t have to be perfect and whatever you write doesn’t have to be a hit. Write down chord progressions, ideas, song titles, or whatever comes to mind.
To become a better songwriter, make songwriting part of your daily routine. Be ready for new ideas at anytime, and wherever you may be. If you’re out at a party for example, see what songs people respond to the most. Learn what works and what doesn’t. If you see something happening around you, try to come up with a song about it. Learn about your craft and make songwriting your life.
Another way of improving your songwriting skills is to listen to music. If you’re looking to write popular songs for the radio, by all means you should be listening to the radio. Discover the kind of music that radio stations love. Don’t limit yourself to one genre of music. If you listen to several genres you might be able to combine elements of different genres and come up with your own style.
Learning to play an instrument is a good way to improve your songwriting skills. Learn to play keyboard and guitar if you don’t already know how to do this. And you don’t have to become too advanced in playing the instrument. Learning to play a few chords and melodies is a good start and can go a long way. By learning to play an instrument you will understand exactly what you’re doing when you compose music and melodies.
Record your song and seek the advice of your friends and associates. Some of them will give you constructive criticism while others will just tell you what you want to hear, so be careful. Some people are very good at telling you whether you have a good song or not and such criticism is priceless. Seek the advice of musicians as well as non musicians. Personally, I value the ideas of non-musicians even more than those who can play.