Apart from writing and practising every day, there are some other things that you can do, to make sure you keep growing as an artist. Here are 7 things that will help you evolve as a songwriter. Just like everything else written on this blog, I’ve tried these things too, and so far, I’m satisfied with the results.
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1. Learn a new instrument
Playing a guitar or a piano is enough while writing a song and there’s nothing else you need. But learning a new instrument is always rewarding. It’s a scientific fact that learning a new instrument helps your mind unleash creativity, just like learning a new language does. Oh yeah! With that being said, you can learn a new language too! And I’m sure it will help you grow as an artist. Coming back to learning a new instrument; it broadens up your horizons musically and can help you find new ways to compose a melody and much more. As an added perk, if you want to produce your own songs, knowing multiple instruments is always useful. I learnt a harmonica just because I wanted to, and it surely did open up new songwriting possibilities for me.
2. Learn new things on your instrument
Like everything else, learning new stuff on your instrument never stops. It’s a life long process. New techniques, new licks and riffs, new playing styles, etc., not only help you find more melodic and harmonic ideas, but also improves your ability to enhance the overall sound of your song, while producing as well as performing live.
3. Reading more
Reading more books! Yes ladies and gentleman, it has been said a million times before me, and I won’t keep myself from saying it again. Out of all the ‘7 things that will help you evolve as a songwriter’, this particular habit has been the most effective one for me. Not only fiction, but reading in general, can open up a lot of possibilities for you in terms of songwriting. I’ve found things that I’ve included in my songs while reading Wikipedia pages, news articles, and what not! So keep reading stuff; fiction, non-fiction, memes (lol), social media captions, quotes, and whatever you want to read.
4. Listening to new music
Listen to new music, preferably every day. By new I don’t mean the latest music necessarily. By new I mean the songs you’ve not listened to before. Some good places to find new music are Spotify playlists and music blogs. You can also search for music playlists on Pinterest and check out the Song of the day section of our blog. You can also apply it to No.2. Listen to a new song, and then learn playing it on your instrument – the rhythm, licks and riffs, solos, etc.
5. Exploring different genres
Whether you write pop songs, rock, country, jazz, or whatsoever, exploring different genres is always helpful. Just like I’ve mentioned in the above examples, exploring a genre of music that you don’t usually listen to will open up plenty of new possibilities for you. You might might a different way of narrating the story of your song, new chord progressions, new rhythm patterns, etc. Also, you’ll get to know how different instruments are being used in that particular genre. You can then utilise all that in your songs.
6. Exploring forms of music from a different part of the world
Exploring some forms of music from different parts of the world will help you same as exploring different genres does. You’ll come across various scales, chord progressions, usage of instruments, rhythm patterns, etc., which you can later use in your songs.
7. Observe the artists you like
Not just the artists you love, observe the works of all the artists whose music intrigues you. Look into different aspects of their songs like the arrangements, lyrics, composition, etc. You’ll learn many new things this way and they’ll get stored in your subconscious for later use.
Also check out: Ways to find inspiration for your next song
That was all for now! I hope you found it useful.