by Marty Dodson
Feb 7, 2022
There are some simple steps you can take to improve your songwriting instantly. Try these steps to see a dramatic improvement overnight:
1- Write with someone who is strong where you are weak.
Years ago, my mentor told me to identify my strengths (honestly) and to let him know what I thought I was world class at as a songwriter, or had the potential to become world class at. I’m a mediocre guitar player. So, I ruled that out. I can’t do tracks. And, at the time, I was pretty weak melodically. But, I really had a knack for coming up with unique ideas and I had a strong sense of lyric.
So, I told him that I thought I could become world class at lyrics and ideas. He said “Ok, starting tomorrow, find great guitar playing melody people to work with.” When I started doing that, my songs improved overnight. Every song I wrote with a great guitar player who excelled at melody was 1,000 times better than the songs I wrote alone.
2- Improve your songwriting by finding stronger ideas.
Instead of simply writing the best idea in the room each day, start spending 15 minutes a day looking for BETTER ideas. The stronger idea you start with, the better your song is likely to be. Become intentional about finding great song ideas. Don’t wait for them to come to you.
3- Quit chasing things and write songs you love.
You will improve your songwriting drastically if you are writing songs you LOVE instead of chasing something you don’t love. I write a song I love almost every day and they are still commercial. I’m just staying in the lane of things that I like instead of trying to write the “popular” or “trendy” thing.
4- Write with people you enjoy working with.
Having a great day in the writing room gives you the best chance of a great song. So, work with people you enjoy creating with. If you are new to co-writing or want to get better at it, a good book to check out is Mastering The Art Of Co-Writing.
5- Bring your best self to every write.
If you show up tired, hung over, or in a bad mood, your chances of writing something great diminish immensely. Come to every write, whether it’s a co-write or a solo write as your best self. Be hungry to improve your songwriting. I find that if I have my morning coffee, respond to all of the previous day’s emails, workout, eat breakfast, and then arrive, I’m giving myself the best possible chance to succeed.
Try these five steps and you’ll see an improvement in your songs instantly!
Write on! MD
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