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 writing songs, improving their writing skills, and becoming better songwriters.
One way to improve your craft is to study the great songwriters of the past and present. It's probably the best songwriting school. 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 write songs that 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.
Songwriters must learn how to structure their songs so 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 the five skills that all the best songwriters possess. To become a better writer, start working on these songwriting 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 for musical ideas, don't forget to consult Speed Songwriting.
"A song is like a dream, and you try to make it come true."
"There's no wrong way to write a song. Put your heart into it and let it flow."
"The most important thing in songwriting is, to be honest and tell a story that is true to you."
"Songwriting is like painting with words. You have to find the right colors to create something beautiful."
"Songwriting is like a puzzle. You have to find the pieces that fit together to create something special."
"Writing a song is like reading a book. You have to get lost in the story and let it take you away."
—Lana Del Rey
"Songwriting is a craft. You have to put in the time and work to make it great."
"Good songwriting takes practice. You have to perfect your craft and never give up."
One Last Thing...
Learning how to improve your songwriting skills can be a challenging endeavor, but with dedication and practice, it can be a very rewarding one as well.
One important aspect to focus on is music theory. It may seem daunting at first, but understanding the fundamental principles and structures of music can greatly enhance your ability to write good songs.
Additionally, seeking out songwriting tips from experienced writers and analyzing your favorite songs can help you develop your own unique style.
When it comes to writing lyrics, honing in on the message or emotion you want to convey and utilizing strong imagery can make all the difference in creating a compelling and engaging song.
Above all, remember that songwriting is a personal process. So allow your own experiences and insights to guide your own songwriting journey.
If you're having trouble implementing your songwriting process, I can help. Subscribe to Speed Songwriting.