In order to master the craft of songwriting you must first fully embrace the fact that there’s always something to learn about it.
The more you know, the more you need to learn.
I know of some songwriters that are either bored or restless with their craft. They complain that everything that they do all sounds the same and therefore they feel they’re not expanding and growing as songwriters.
However, in life, there are people that do things and people that don’t. Which category a certain songwriter falls into is not determined by genetics or how much Mercury is in retrograde.
It’s all determined by their attitude and as a songwriter, how you master your chosen craft is determined by you and you alone.
One of my ongoing goals is getting advanced musical theory and guitar lessons. I’ve mentioned this to a select number of friends in the past and they all ask me “why?”
My reply is “why not!”
I have been playing music and writing songs since I was 13 and besides learning clarinet and studying music theory and composition in high school, I have not had any other tuition in my life.
I am mostly a self taught musician.
It would be arrogant of me to think that I have nothing else to learn so I’m going to find out where my learning gaps are and I’m then going to fill them in with some new knowledge.
I’m really excited to see how these lessons will affect the way I approach music, writing songs and life in general as I believe that how you approach your craft is a metaphor of how you approach your life.
My advice to anyone regarding learning an instrument or expanding their music theory knowledge to help with your songwriting is threefold:
1. If you’ve ever considered learning an instrument then consider no more, start learning. Don’t believe the rubbish that some people will tell you about old dogs and new tricks.
2. If you already play an instrument, consider getting lessons no matter how proficient you are. The more proficient you are at your instrument the more important your choice of tutor will be.
3. If you already get lessons, make more of an effort to practise, learn to love it and find the time to do it. Challenge yourself with the lessons, try to feel your mind expand with the knowledge you gain from it.
Seek out books on songwriting, buy them and read them. Take notes and do what is needed to assimilate the new knowledge into your songwriting process.
Get online and sign up to songwriting resources, forums, and communities. Ask lots and lots of questions.
In your research you’ll come across people you feel comfortable communicating with, keep in contact with them. Network and expand your relationships.
If you want to contact me and ask questions feel free to do so, you can also comment below as well.
In short, get out of your comfort zone.
If you feel you have been spending precious energy complaining and not enough energy doing then stop, re-evaluate and change your attitude towards your songwriting.
It can be done, I know because I have done this for myself.
Reward yourself (and your songwriting) by embracing new knowledge and you will never, ever look back. In fact, let me know how you go with it.