As a songwriting coach, I have learned that there are five essential skills that all the best songwriters possess.
These five skills are craft, connect, communicate, create, and critique.
A good songwriter is always working on their craft. They are constantly trying to improve their writing skills and become a better songwriter.
One way to improve your craft is to study the great songwriters of the past and present. Learn everything you can about songwriting and listen to as many songs as possible.
The second skill of great songwriters is the ability to connect with their audience. A writer must tap their listeners’ emotions and create a connection beyond the words on the page.
To do this, they must understand what makes people tick and what drives them emotionally. They must also be able to craft their lyrics to resonate with their audience on a deep level.
The third skill of great songwriters is the ability to communicate their ideas clearly. A writer must be able to take the thoughts and feelings swirling around in their head and turn them into coherent, well-written songs.
To do this, they must learn how to structure their songs so that the listener can easily follow along. They must also be able to use vivid language to paint a picture in the listener’s mind.
The fourth skill of great songwriters is the ability to create something new. A writer must be able to add their unique spin to the world of music and create fresh and exciting songs.
One way to come up with new ideas is to brainstorm with someone else. Collaborating with another songwriter can help jumpstart your creativity and take your songs to the next level.
The fifth and final skill of the best songwriters is the ability to critique their work and gracefully receive feedback from others. A writer must be able to step back from their songs and look at them objectively. They must be willing to identify areas that need improvement and make the necessary changes.
They must learn how to listen to their songs with a critical ear (without crying!). They must also be honest about their strengths and weaknesses as writers.
TIP: When you’re asking trusted songwriters for feedback, be specific. Instead of asking, “What did you think?” Ask, “What did you like and why?” Or “what didn’t you like and why?” This will help you get more helpful feedback.
So there you have it, the five skills that all the best songwriters possess. If you want to become a better writer, start working on these skills today. If you do, I do not doubt that you’ll be able to reach your full potential as a songwriter.
And if you ever get stuck, don’t forget to consult Speed Songwriting.