“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” – Neil Gaiman
Writing music, like writing anything or making any new art, is a creative process. Everyone has their own unique creative process, but what are ways in which we can get a track started? For the next few music related blogs, we’re going to go through things that we can do to practice the process of making a music, from the first chord or first word to paper, right through to finishing a track.
Step One – Just Actually Start
Cellphone, guitar, keyboard, pen and paper… there are numerous ways, and it doesn’t have to be hard. Making a song needs one thing, and that is just a starting point. It doesn’t matter if you’re using an app on your phone or just messing around on an instrument. Some songs start with just humming a melody. The important thing is to actually start, and try where you can to save what you’ve come up with.
The more practice you have with starting out, the faster you will find yourself creating things which you like. Don’t be afraid to look at songs from other artists as references, they can often be a really good starting point for you to be able to form a better idea of what you want to write or say.
There’s A Reason There Are So Many Love Songs
Emotion is one of the biggest aspects which music touches on, and using those situations is a great way to inspire your own art. All kinds of artists do this, with musicians, actors and visual artists being some of the most common people using their lived experience to create the best performances. This makes what you create more accessible for audiences too, because when you make art with emotion, you speak to things happening in their lives too.
Creating an emotional toolbox sometimes means digging into what you may not really want to touch on, so it can sometimes be a challenge to go down that road. It’s not always easy to be open, but you will find that the more you do it, the easier t becomes, and the more you will start to connect with audiences and with your own music too.
You have to allow yourself as an artist to tap into those places that sometimes are harder to bring up, because those are often the ones which end up creating the best, most authentic music.
Perfectionism Is The Thief Of Joy
Being your own critic is sometimes a good thing, but being a perfectionist can also hold you back from your own creativity . You don’t have to have a fully written track with everything done by day one. Many (if not most) of the projects we get at our studio are nowhere near complete, and they still have to be fleshed out and finished.
Being sure of what you want is perfectly fine as well, so don’t think that having a good idea of where you want the track to go is a bad thing either. It doesn’t actually matter how much of your track you have done before you want to record it, as long as you have an idea of where you want to go.
Knowing When To Rest And Reset
We all have those moments when we listen to what we’ve done and we love it, but we come back the next day and suddenly we think it’s terrible. This is totally normal, and it’s usually because we’ve forced ourselves to work on something for too long and decided what sounds good without giving our minds and ears a chance to rest.
Pushing yourself is good, but allow your ears and your mind to rest. Creativity isn’t something that we can just keep tapping into and we often need to recharge. Go for a walk, do something that removes you from that creative space just for a little while. Trust us, it really helps.
Chords, Lyrics Or Ideas -Which Is Better?
The truth is there’s no rule and not one of these is really above the next. You can start with any of these and still get a track, so you have to figure out which one works best for you.
Some artists like to look at songs that are out there already and get inspired, others start writing first and then match what they have to something they’ve heard. Whatever the process if for you, there isn’t a hard and fast rule that you have to stick to. Creative work is one which has very few boundaries so allow yourself to explore and find what works best for you.
The Key Note
Your creative journey is your own, and it’s as unique as you are. Being true to your own creative ideas is what makes the best art. Lean in to what your experiences and life lessons have taught you, there will be listeners that might just need to hear what you have to say.
The most important thing to do is actually to start, and practice your starting point as often as you can.