[sg_popup id=”2″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]As a songwriter, the dreaded feeling of writer’s block is all too familiar. Sitting at the piano and singing a plethora of unmemorable melodies.. until slowly you’re staring at the piano wondering why you’re even a musician in the first place. Luckily, you are not alone. Like any other creative industry, songwriter’s block is one of the most challenging aspects of being a songwriter in a constantly developing music industry. Generally, there are hundreds of sworn-by techniques to help break the gloom of writing doom. To spice up your life, we’ll be focusing on more unusual ways which as a songwriter, I’ve found does the trick.
Take a break
Although tip #1 isn’t particularly ‘alternative’, it is probably one of the most CRUCIAL elements of successful songwriting. If you consider how busy our day-to-day lives are, especially with the abundance of online content, it is far too easy for our minds to slip into information overload. Give yourself time and silence to reset yourself. That means no guitar playing, no melody humming and certainly no lyric writing. Take a break. Writing music is your passion and definitely meant to be enjoyable so don’t make it a chore. It’s true that the best songs are worth waiting for and you’ll be so happy you did.
Write the worst song imaginable and be proud
Grab a pen, paper, instrument (optional) and warm up those vocal chords. Leave your usual standard outside the door and start playing. Give yourself an hour to create something outside your comfort zone. I’d recommend writing at least two verses and a chorus. Trust us; lyrics such as ‘I went home so leave me alone’ will be forgiven. Once you’re finished (and most likely not happy) with your new creation, record and save it. Done.
So what was the point of that?
Congratulations – You wrote a song! Most of the time, our creative juices are demotivated due to our own inner judgements. It’s almost impossible to stay concentrated when everything you write ‘isn’t good enough’.
Now you can look back, listen to your awful song and know you beat writer’s block that day. Maybe, you’ll listen back a few months later and realise it’s a number one hit.
Take a shower
Surprisingly, I would label this as the most effective (and strangest) tip for songwriters. Referring to tip #1, our daily lives can be so hectic that it’s rare to just sit back and think. Yet, our bodies can switch to autopilot and complete tasks without concentrating; walking and breathing. One of those tasks; showering. You’re completing an action whilst having nothing to concentrate on. Essentially, your thoughts have no agenda. This gives space for the creative lightbulb to spark and great melodies to be born in the bathroom. Just make sure your recording device is on hand and stays dry!
Record your way through the darkness
Currently there are 723 voice recording on my phone. These recordings are comprised of full songs, half-finished songs, songs that I’m proud of… and some I am not. The point is, I still have 723 pieces of music to work from no matter how restricted my writing has become. It cannot be stressed how important it is to document every melody, lyric, chord progression, concept, etc., that you create. A song from 2014 could be the missing puzzle piece to your 2017 creation. Similarly, you have created a musical database comprised of original content. Let this be motivation for how far your songwriting has come. Listen back whenever you get the chance to remind yourself that you can only add more to this list of authentic material. How cool? You should be proud.
*Top tip: Upload all recordings to a computer and back up on USB/External hard-drive
The key component to a successful life is to do what you love and love what you do, right? So why not do that in the company of other musicians from the comfort of your own home? Go to melosity.com, log into your Melosity account and upload that song you’re finding difficult to complete. If you haven’t heard yet, Melosity is an online platform that allows musicians to connect and collaborate on the same track from anywhere in the world. Users are given really simple recording tools which allows them to connect and create projects together. As they say, two heads are better than one! Sit down at the computer and prepare yourself to be inspired by other musicians, whilst finding that motivation again.
To conclude: Take time out, write an awful song, scrub up well, record every musical idea you have and log onto melosity.com to co-write and gain inspiration from other musicians online. Songwriter’s block may seem daunting, but once you start writing again you’ll be on your way to finishing that number one hit.