In an earlier blog post I introduced the concept of the “5 Pillars Of The Songwriting Process” which were as follows…

Pillar #1: The Songwriter
Pillar #2: The Foundation
Pillar #3: The Creation
Pillar #4: The Revision
Pillar #5: The Business

I’ve decided to create a blog post series that expands on each of the five pillars and attempts to really define what each pillar is about.

I believe that songwriting is a very personal journey but when it comes to creativity, there are some similarities in the process that can be quantified.

Below is the expansion of Pillar #2: The Foundation

Embarking on the journey of songwriting is akin to setting out on a voyage across uncharted musical waters. In this odyssey, the role of the second pillar, “The Foundation,” emerges as pivotal.

Just as a ship needs a sturdy base to weather storms and navigate the seas, a songwriter requires a strong foundation to foster creativity and bring their musical visions to life. This foundational pillar is not just a segment of the process; it is the bedrock upon which all creative endeavours in songwriting are built.

Understanding “The Foundation” requires us to delve deeper than mere physical space. It’s an intricate tapestry woven from the threads of environment, mindset, and the tools of the trade. It is where the ethereal whispers of inspiration find a tangible form, where the abstract becomes concrete.

A songwriter’s foundation is a sacred space – a crucible where fleeting thoughts and emotions are transmuted into lyrical gold. It’s a realm where the mundane meets the magical, a nexus between the inner world of the songwriter and the outer realm of musical expression.

My aim is to explore further the depths of “The Foundation” as the second pillar of the songwriting process, offering insights and guidance to help you build a nurturing environment for your songwriting journey.

Whether you’re a seasoned lyricist or a melody weaver at the dawn of your musical path, understanding and solidifying your foundation is key. It’s about creating a space that not only resonates with your creative spirit but also amplifies it, allowing every note to echo with the essence of your artistic soul.

Understanding “The Foundation”

The concept of “The Foundation” in the songwriting process transcends the traditional understanding of a physical workspace. It is an amalgamation of the tangible and intangible elements that coalesce to form the perfect breeding ground for musical creativity.

This foundation is not just about the walls that surround you or the instruments within your reach; it’s about creating an atmosphere that resonates with your innermost creative spirit. It’s the psychological and emotional state that you cultivate which allows your artistic flair to flourish.

This foundation is where your musical identity and artistic integrity find their true expression.

The Foundation is as much about the environment you create as it is about the mindset you foster. It’s an ecosystem that nurtures not just the birth of a song but its growth and maturation.

A well-established foundation provides a sense of security and freedom, a paradoxical blend that is essential for creativity. Security in having a familiar and comfortable space, and freedom in allowing your thoughts and creativity to roam unbounded.

The physical aspects of this foundation – be it a quiet corner in your home, a bustling café, or a professional studio – are mere vessels. What truly matters is how these spaces are imbued with your personal energy and how they reflect and enhance your creative process.

Understanding and developing you own foundation is in itself a journey of self-discovery. It’s about exploring what stimulates your creativity, what calms your mind, and what ignites the passion in your soul.

This pillar is not static; it evolves with you as you grow as a songwriter. It adapts to your changing needs, preferences, and experiences.

Therefore, taking the time to truly understand and invest in your foundation is not just about improving your songwriting; it’s about nurturing your creative self, ensuring that every melody and lyric you craft is imbued with the essence of who you are as an artist.

Creating a Conducive Environment

The creation of a conducive environment is a fundamental aspect of “The Foundation” in songwriting. This is an atmosphere that nurtures and invigorates the creative spirit. It is where inspiration breathes freely, where a songwriter’s inner world finds resonance in the outer surroundings.

The key is to create a space that not only accommodates your songwriting process but also inspires and propels it. Whether it’s the tranquility of a home studio, the dynamic energy of a bustling coffee shop, or the structured ambiance of a professional recording studio, the environment should be a reflection of what stimulates and comforts you as a creator.

In crafting this environment, consider the sensory elements that impact your creativity. Visual aesthetics like lighting and decor can set the mood and tone for your songwriting sessions.

Acoustic considerations, whether it’s the serene silence of a secluded space or the ambient sounds of nature or city life, can significantly influence your creative flow. The tactile aspect, such as the comfort of your seating and the accessibility of your instruments and tools, also plays a crucial role.

Remember, this environment is not just a backdrop; it is an active participant in your creative process, a catalyst that can spark and sustain your musical journey.

Moreover, this conducive environment should also extend to the mental and emotional realms. Cultivating a positive mindset and a resilient spirit is integral to your songwriting process.

It involves creating a mental space where ideas are welcomed and nurtured, where self-doubt and criticism are balanced with encouragement and self-compassion. Emotional well-being, achieved through practices like mindfulness or engaging in activities that rejuvenate your spirit, is equally crucial.

A conducive environment, therefore, is a holistic concept. It’s a symphony of the physical, mental, and emotional elements that together create a sanctuary for your songwriting—a place where your creative soul finds its voice and your music finds its wings.

Tools and Resources

In songwriting, “The Foundation” is significantly enhanced by the right set of tools and resources. These are the instruments of creation, the physical embodiments of your musical thoughts, and the allies in your journey of song crafting.

Choosing the right tools is not just a matter of preference but an essential part of shaping your creative process. This can range from traditional instruments like guitars and pianos to modern technology like digital audio workstations (DAWs), recording equipment, and software plugins.

The key is to have tools that not only align with your musical style but also inspire you to explore new territories in your songwriting.

However, the organization and accessibility of these tools play a pivotal role in maintaining a productive creative environment. A well-arranged workspace, where each tool is easily accessible, can significantly streamline the creative process.

This involves not just physical arrangement but also ensuring that your tools are in good working condition. Regular maintenance of instruments, updating software, and organizing files and recordings can save precious creative time and prevent frustrations that can stem from technical disruptions.

Beyond the tangible tools, resources also include educational materials, reference books, and online platforms for learning and collaboration. In an era where information is abundant, leveraging these resources can exponentially enhance your songwriting skills and knowledge.

Subscribing to online songwriting courses, joining songwriter communities, and attending workshops can provide invaluable insights and networking opportunities. Additionally, resources like lyric writing books, rhyming dictionaries, and music theory texts can be constant companions in refining your craft.

These tools and resources, when effectively utilized, become more than just accessories; they transform into extensions of your creative self, each adding a unique color to the palette of your songwriting process.

Time Management for Creativity

Mastering the art of time management is a critical component of “The Foundation” in songwriting. This isn’t about rigidly scheduling every minute of your day, but rather about creating a structure that allows creativity to flow naturally and effortlessly.

The key lies in balancing disciplined routine with the flexibility to embrace spontaneous moments of inspiration.

Designing a schedule that dedicates specific times for focused songwriting can help establish a rhythm, making creativity a regular part of your life. This structured approach ensures that songwriting doesn’t become an afterthought but a priority, nurtured consistently over time.

The unpredictable nature of creativity however, also demands flexibility on the part of the songwriter. Inspiration can strike at the most unexpected moments, and being open to these spontaneous bursts of creativity is absolutely crucial.

This might mean keeping a notebook or recording app handy to capture ideas as they come, regardless of the time of day. It also involves giving yourself the liberty to deviate from the set schedule when a wave of inspiration hits. This flexibility ensures that you don’t miss out on those magical, unscripted moments that often become the heart and soul of a song.

Balancing structure and spontaneity in time management also means recognizing the need for rest and rejuvenation. Creative burnout is a real challenge, and allowing time for relaxation and other interests is essential.

Engaging in activities outside of songwriting can refresh your mind and often lead to unexpected creative insights. Time management, in the context of songwriting, is thus a holistic practice.

It’s about carving out time for focused creativity while embracing the unpredictable nature of inspiration, all the while ensuring that you nourish your overall well-being to sustain your creative endeavors in the long run.

Personalising Your Foundation

The concept of personalizing your foundation in songwriting involves tailoring your creative environment, tools, and practices to align perfectly with your unique artistic identity. It’s about creating a space that not only functions efficiently but also resonates deeply with your personal style, preferences, and inspirations.

Every songwriter has their own distinct rhythm, themes, and processes, and your foundation should reflect and complement these aspects. This personal touch transforms your workspace from a mere physical location into a sanctuary that speaks to your heart, stimulates your mind, and encourages your artistic expression.

Personalization starts with understanding your individual needs and preferences. Are you inspired by the quiet solitude of nature, or do the bustling sounds of a city ignite your creativity? Do you prefer the tactile feel of pen on paper, or do you find a digital interface more conducive to your songwriting?

Reflecting on these questions can help you craft a space and choose tools that are not just functional but inspirational. It might involve decorating your workspace with objects that hold special meaning, choosing instruments that feel like an extension of your body, or using software that seamlessly fits into your creative workflow.

Personalizing your foundation is about making each element of your creative space a reflection of your inner world. It also extends to the intangible aspects of your foundation, such as the way you manage time and handle the ebb and flow of creativity.

Some songwriters might thrive on a strict routine, while others may require a more fluid approach. It’s about finding what works best for you and embracing it without comparing your process to others. This also means being adaptable and open to change, as your needs and preferences might evolve over time.

Remember, personalizing your foundation is not a one-time task but an ongoing journey of self-discovery and adaptation. It’s about continuously shaping and reshaping your environment, tools, and practices to keep them in harmony with your evolving artistic journey.

Overcoming Challenges In Establishing Your Foundation

Establishing “The Foundation” for your songwriting process is not without its challenges. These hurdles can range from practical constraints like limited space and budget to psychological barriers such as self-doubt or creative block.

Recognizing and addressing these challenges is a vital step in creating a conducive environment for your songwriting journey.

  1. Finding The Right Physical Space

For many, especially those living in cramped or busy environments, carving out a quiet, dedicated space for songwriting can be difficult.

This calls for some creativity – it might mean converting a small corner of a room into your creative nook, using noise-cancelling headphones to create a bubble of tranquility, or even finding inspiration in the very limitations of your space.

Remember, it’s not the size of the space that matters, but how you use it to fuel your creativity.

  1. Acquiring The Right Tools And Resources

Another significant challenge is the financial aspect of acquiring the right tools and resources. High-quality instruments and recording equipment can be expensive, but there are ways to circumvent these financial constraints.

Consider starting with basic, affordable equipment, or explore second-hand options. Remember, some of the greatest songs were born from simplicity. The value lies not in the cost of your tools but in the creativity they inspire.

  1. Encountering Self Doubt And Creative Blocks

Additionally, psychological barriers like self-doubt or creative block can impede the establishment of a solid foundation. It’s important to cultivate a positive mindset, where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities and creative blocks as temporary hurdles.

Techniques like setting small, achievable goals, seeking feedback from trusted peers, or even stepping away temporarily to gain fresh perspectives can be immensely helpful. The key is to keep a resilient spirit and remember that every artist faces these challenges at some point in their journey.

Integrating The Foundation With The Other Pillars

The integration of “The Foundation” with the other pillars of the songwriting process is crucial for a harmonious and productive creative journey. While the Foundation sets the stage for creativity, its true effectiveness is realized when it seamlessly interacts with and supports the other aspects of songwriting.

This integration is about creating a cohesive workflow that aligns the physical and mental aspects of “The Foundation” with the processes of inspiration, creation, revision, and understanding the business of songwriting.

For example, when considering the pillar of “Inspiration,” your foundation should be a space that not only allows for, but actively encourages the flow of new ideas.

This could mean having inspirational materials at hand, like books, music, or art, that stimulate your creativity. It could also involve setting up your space in a way that allows you to quickly capture ideas when they strike, whether through a handy notepad, a voice recorder, or an instrument within easy reach.

The physical and mental comfort of your foundation should serve as a catalyst for those sparks of inspiration.

Similarly, when it comes to the “Creation” and “Revision” phases (which we will expand and explore further in later posts), your foundation plays a pivotal role.

The layout of your workspace, the tools you choose, and the atmosphere you create can significantly impact the efficiency and quality of your songwriting and editing processes.

For instance, a well-organized space with easy access to instruments and recording equipment can streamline the transition from conceptualizing a song to bringing it to life. Likewise, a calm and comfortable environment can be conducive to the introspective and often meticulous process of revising your work.

Finally, in terms of understanding the “Business” aspect, the last pillar of the songwriting process, your foundation should also support your endeavours in navigating the music industry as a whole.

This might involve making time for researching the business side of music, understanding copyright laws, or networking with other artists and industry professionals.

It could also mean setting aside time in your schedule to focus on marketing your music, seeking collaborations, or exploring opportunities for your songs.

Integrating ‘The Foundation’ with the other pillars means recognizing that it is not an isolated aspect of your songwriting process but a fundamental part of a larger, interconnected system.

By ensuring that your foundation supports and enhances every other aspect of your songwriting, you pave the way for a more fulfilling and successful creative journey.

It has become much clearer now that by diving deeper into the meaning of “The Foundation” this pillar is not just a part of the creative journey – it is the bedrock upon which all other elements rest.

A strong, well-crafted foundation is essential for nurturing and sustaining your songwriting endeavours. It is where your creativity is born, nurtured, and blossomed into full-fledged musical expressions.

Remember, the foundation you build today sets the tone for your future as a songwriter. It’s a space that should evolve with you, reflecting your growth, experiences, and artistic shifts.

The journey of establishing and refining your foundation is as unique as your music. It requires patience, experimentation, and a deep understanding of your own creative needs and preferences. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned songwriter, continually investing in and evolving your foundation is key to a fulfilling and successful songwriting career.

This is not a static process but an ongoing journey of discovery and adaptation – one that requires your commitment and passion.

I invite you to reflect on your own foundation. How does it currently serve your songwriting process? What changes can you make to enhance your creativity?

Let me know your thoughts, experiences, and insights. I want to create a community of songwriters where we can learn from each other, inspire one another, and grow together.

Remember, every great song starts with a solid foundation. Let’s build ours to be as strong and vibrant as the music we create.

In an earlier blog post I introduced the concept of the “5 Pillars Of The Songwriting Process” which were as follows…

  • Pillar #1: The Songwriter
  • Pillar #2: The Foundation
  • Pillar #3: The Creation
  • Pillar #4: The Revision
  • Pillar #5: The Business

I’ve decided to create a blog post series that expands on each of the five pillars and attempts to really define what each pillar is about. 

I believe that songwriting is a very personal journey but when it comes to creativity, there are some similarities in the process that can be quantified. 

Below is the expansion of Pillar #1: The Songwriter

In this exploration of the songwriting process, we recognize it as a multifaceted journey comprising five pillars. Each pillar is crucial, but it all starts with the first and perhaps the most personal: The Songwriter

This first pillar isn’t just about the individual’s ability to craft words and melodies; it’s about a deeper understanding of how a songwriter’s mental, physical, and spiritual well-being profoundly influences their creative output.

We’ll dive deep into the essence of the songwriter. We’ll explore how personal experiences, emotions, and the environment play a pivotal role in shaping the music that resonates with us. 

From the nuances of mental and emotional health to the impact of physical and spiritual wellness, we’ll uncover how these elements intertwine to form the foundation of every song that is written.

The Essence Of The Songwriter

At the heart of every song lies the essence of its creator – The Songwriter and every songwriter carries a unique universe within them, filled with stories, emotions, and experiences that are waiting to be expressed through song.

The essence of a songwriter is shaped by their life experiences. The joys, sorrows, triumphs, and defeats they encounter don’t just influence their worldview; they become the raw material for their art. 

Songs like Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” or Adele’s “Someone Like You” exemplify how personal experiences can be transformed into universal truths, resonating with listeners across the globe.

A songwriter’s emotional landscape plays a significant role. How a songwriter feels, what they think, and the way they perceive the world around them dramatically colours their creative output. Emotions, both positive and negative, can fuel the creative process, leading to songs that capture a spectrum of human experiences.

In essence, the songwriter is not just a creator of music but a storyteller who weaves their inner world into a tapestry of sound and lyrics. It is their authenticity, vulnerability, and willingness to share that makes their music relatable and powerful. 

As we delve deeper into understanding the songwriter and their role within the songwriting process itself, we begin to appreciate not just the songs they create but the human experiences that inspire them.

Mental And Emotional Health In Songwriting

Songwriting is not only an artistic endeavour but it also can be an emotional journey. The state of a songwriter’s mental health can greatly influence their creative output, dictating the tone, depth, and authenticity of their music.

When a songwriter is in a good mental space, their creativity can flourish. This positivity often leads to a flow of ideas, making the process of songwriting more fluid and enjoyable. On the flip side, struggles with mental health can also find a powerful outlet in songwriting. 

Many artists have channelled their struggles with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues into their music, creating deeply moving and relatable songs.

A fantastic example of this in action is “Hi Ren” by Ren.

Emotional health plays a similar role. Songwriting can be a cathartic process, allowing the artist to process and express complex emotions. This emotional honesty not only aids in the songwriter’s personal healing but also creates a deeper connection with the audience. 

Songs that stem from genuine emotions tend to resonate more, touching the hearts of listeners who may be experiencing similar feelings.

However, maintaining mental and emotional health is a continuous process. It’s important for songwriters to find healthy ways to manage stress, nurture their mental well-being, and stay emotionally balanced. This might include practices like mindfulness, therapy, or simply ensuring a supportive social network.

The mental and emotional health of a songwriter isn’t just a footnote in their creative journey; it’s a driving force that shapes the music they create and how they connect with their audience.

Physical Wellbeing And Creativity

A healthy body can significantly contribute to a healthy mind, thereby enhancing creativity. Physical health impacts energy levels, focus, and overall mood, all of which are crucial for a productive songwriting process.

Regular exercise, adequate rest, and a balanced diet are key components of physical well-being that can positively affect a songwriter’s creativity. 

Exercise, for instance, is not only beneficial for physical health but also stimulates brain activity, leading to improved cognitive function and potentially more innovative ideas. Adequate rest, including quality sleep, is vital for rejuvenation and maintaining a clear mind, crucial for creative thinking.

Moreover, the act of songwriting itself can be physically demanding, especially for those who play instruments or perform. Maintaining physical health ensures that a songwriter is able to handle these demands without undue strain.

Therefore, taking care of one’s physical health is as important as nurturing the mind and spirit for a songwriter. A healthy body supports a healthy mind, creating a conducive environment for creativity to thrive.

Spiritual Health And Artistic Expression

Spiritual health, though less tangible than mental or physical health, plays a significant role in a songwriter’s artistic expression. It encompasses a sense of connection, purpose, and inner peace, which can profoundly influence the creative process. 

For many songwriters, their spiritual beliefs or practices become a source of inspiration and guidance in their art. This spiritual dimension can manifest in various ways. 

For some, it might involve meditation, mindfulness practices, or connection with nature, which can provide a sense of calm and clarity. These practices can help songwriters tap into deeper levels of creativity, allowing them to create more profound and meaningful work.

For others, spirituality might be closely tied to their cultural or religious beliefs, influencing the themes and messages in their songs. This connection often brings a sense of purpose and authenticity to their work, enabling them to express their deepest values and convictions through music.

Nurturing spiritual health can enrich a songwriter’s creativity, providing them with a wellspring of inspiration and a deeper connection to their art. It’s about finding balance and harmony within, which in turn, reflects in the music they create.

The Songwriter’s Mindset

The mindset of a songwriter is a critical component of their creative process. It’s not just about having talent or technical skills; it’s about cultivating a mental state that fosters creativity, resilience, and openness to new ideas. A positive and growth-oriented mindset can significantly enhance a songwriter’s ability to create impactful music.

Key elements of a productive songwriter’s mindset include the following:

Curiosity and Exploration: Embracing curiosity leads to exploring new themes, sounds, and storytelling techniques, keeping the creative process fresh and dynamic.

Resilience and Perseverance: Songwriting can be filled with challenges and setbacks. Developing resilience helps in overcoming writer’s block, criticism, and other obstacles.

Openness to Feedback and Learning: A willingness to learn and adapt, whether from personal experiences or feedback from others, is crucial for growth and improvement.

Balance between Discipline and Spontaneity: While discipline is necessary for honing skills and maintaining productivity, spontaneity allows for capturing unexpected moments of inspiration.

Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing one’s own emotions, as well as empathising with others, can greatly enhance the depth and relatability of songs.

By nurturing these aspects of their mindset, songwriters can not only enhance their creative output but also find greater satisfaction and joy in their artistic journey.

Creating a Conducive Environment

The overall environment in which a songwriter works can greatly influence their creative process. Creating a space that is conducive to creativity is about more than just physical comfort; it’s about setting up an atmosphere that inspires and nurtures the creative spirit.

Physical Space: Whether it’s a quiet home studio or a corner in a bustling cafe, the physical space should align with the songwriter’s personal style and creative needs. This might involve organised workspaces, inspirational objects, or specific tools and instruments.

Ambiance and Atmosphere: The ambiance of the space, including lighting, sound, and décor, can significantly impact creativity. Some may prefer a minimalist, distraction-free environment, while others thrive in a more vibrant and stimulating setting.

Technological Setup: In today’s digital age, having the right technology at hand – from recording equipment to music software – is crucial. This doesn’t mean the most expensive gear, but rather what best suits the songwriter’s workflow.

Mental and Emotional Environment: Creating a conducive environment also means fostering a positive mental and emotional space. This can involve practices like setting aside dedicated time for writing, minimising distractions, or establishing rituals that signal the start of a creative session.

A conducive environment for songwriting is a blend of the physical, technological, and psychological, tailored to the individual needs and preferences of the songwriter.

Overcoming Challenges

Songwriting, like any creative endeavour, is fraught with its share of challenges. Recognizing and developing strategies to overcome these obstacles is a vital part of the songwriter’s journey.

(Song) Writer’s Block: Perhaps the most common challenge, songwriter’s block can be tackled through various methods like taking breaks, seeking new sources of inspiration, or switching creative mediums temporarily.

Self-Doubt and Criticism: Building resilience against self-doubt and external criticism is crucial. This can involve cultivating a positive self-image, seeking constructive feedback, and learning to separate personal identity from one’s work.

Maintaining Consistency: Establishing a routine or set of habits can help maintain creative output, even during less inspired times.

Adapting to Change: The music industry and audience tastes are always evolving. Adaptability, both in style and approach to songwriting, is key to staying relevant and fresh.

Balancing Art and Life: Finding a balance between the demands of everyday life and the need to create is essential. This might mean setting boundaries, prioritising tasks, or even integrating life experiences into the creative process.

By facing these challenges head-on, songwriters not only enhance their skills and output but also grow personally and professionally.

So, in exploring the first pillar of the songwriting process, “The Songwriter,” we’ve delved into various aspects that shape a songwriter’s creative journey. 

From mental and emotional health to physical well-being, from cultivating the right mindset to creating a conducive environment, each element plays a significant role in the art of songwriting. 

Overcoming challenges along the way is part of this enriching process.

As you reflect on your own songwriting practices and well-being I want to ask you…

How do these insights resonate with your experiences? Are there aspects you hadn’t considered before? I encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences either in the comments below or let me know personally.

Let’s continue to learn from each other and grow as artists and individuals in this beautiful journey of songwriting.

A process is defined as “… a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular goal.” As for a songwriting process, that goal is of course the completion of a song from start to finish.

Songs are what makes this music industry go round and the more that songwriters are encouraged, educated and most importantly, empowered about their own creative workflow, the better off this music business will be.

How you write your songs, from the initial spark of a songwriting idea to the final stroke of your pen, all comes down to how you work your creative process.

Now, there are as many variations to the songwriting process as there are songwriters in the world; however, I sincerely believe that all of this can be distilled into five pillars of a songwriting process.

How effective your songwriting is depends on how you handle these five pillars which create the foundation of your songwriting process.

Below is an outline of the five pillars…

  1. The Songwriter:

The first pillar of the songwriting process starts with the songwriter themselves.

Every song begins with an individual’s inspiration, motivation, and personal experiences therefore, maintaining a healthy state of mental, physical, and spiritual health is fundamental.

When the songwriter is healthy in mind, body and spirit, they are in a better position to translate their thoughts and feelings into lyrics and melody.

Moreover, the songwriter’s mindset and environment significantly impact the songwriting process. Their thoughts, moods, and the physical surroundings can all influence the style and substance of the song hence, finding an environment that nurtures creativity and aligns with the songwriter’s comfort is crucial for the successful genesis of a song.

  1. The Foundation:

The second pillar involves creating an environment and process that fosters creativity and inspiration.

It’s about building a structure that can accommodate the spontaneous nature of inspiration because songwriting often springs from moments of inspiration that can occur at any time, thus having a system that allows for these moments to be captured is vital.

This means setting up a workspace that encourages focus, equipping it with the necessary tools, and arranging your schedule to allow time for creativity.

Whether this means having a quiet home studio or working in bustling public spaces, the important thing is to build a foundation that aligns with your creative style and rhythm.

  1. The Creation:

The third pillar focuses on the process of transforming an initial idea into a song.

This can be an emotional experience as it involves pouring personal feelings, ideas, and narratives into a coherent structure of verses, choruses, and bridges. It’s about bringing something into existence from nothing.

Each songwriter’s creation process is unique. Some might start with a melody, some with a lyric, and others might begin with a chord progression or a rhythm.

This pillar encourages songwriters to explore different methods and to find a process that best resonates with them.

  1. The Revision:

The fourth pillar involves the revision and refinement of the song after it has been written.

This process is crucial to ensuring the song’s quality, and it involves scrutinising the song, editing out any unnecessary parts, and refining the lyrics and melodies.

The revision phase is also about knowing when to stop refining. A songwriter needs to recognise when their song has reached its full potential.

This pillar allows songwriters to engage with their inner critic in a positive way, refining their song without letting self-doubt hinder their creative process.

  1. The Business:

The fifth and final pillar concerns the business side of songwriting. After a song is finished, it’s important to think about its purpose.

Is the completed song for the songwriter to perform at gigs? Is it for another artist? Could it be licensed for use in film or advertising? Or, was it merely (and just as importantly) a therapeutic endeavour?

This pillar requires a strategic mindset, understanding that songwriting is not just an art but also a business. It requires an understanding of the music industry, copyrights, and song placements.

This doesn’t mean losing the love for the craft; rather, it’s about finding the best platform for your work to be heard and appreciated.

If you pay attention to and integrate these five pillars into your songwriting process you’ll find that you’ll be a more productive, efficient, creative and self aware songwriter.

What you’ll find is that you will finish more songs than you start and you’ll not be afraid of songwriters’ block, procrastination, the blank page or your inner critic.

In fact, they will all become your friends.

These five pillars are a work in progress and I intend to explore the many facets of these five pillars through created and curated content in future posts, so if you have any questions you want answered regarding your songwriting process or, you have your own experiences you want to share, please let me know.


Corey 🙂

As songwriters, we need to be eternally vigilant to any opportunity that might arise which enables us to replenish our repository of songwriting ideas.

When we talk about a songwriting process though, we generally talk about engaging in a set of activities that is separate to our lives in general. We live our lives and in between that we try to make the time to write songs then, we start living life again.

My question to you is… “Why limit your songwriting process only to activities where you have to make time? Why can’t you make your whole life become one continuous songwriting process?”

By doing this, you create a day-to-day life/songwriting ideas loop where one activity (songwriting) can exist within another (day-to-day life) at the same time

Think about it for a moment. When we make the most out of our lives, the experiences gained will make great songs but in turn, when we also write songs about what is happening around us it helps us make the most out of our lives.

Looking at our lives as one continuous and never-ending songwriting process forces us to pay closer attention to what we do in and with our lives and be more mindful it.

I have mentioned in another post the well worn Socrates quote…

“… an unexamined life is a life not worth living.”

There is no reason why you couldn’t find songwriting ideas through the activities that make up your everyday life which will in turn inspire you to find more songwriting ideas.

Imagine your life becoming one big songwriting ideas loop. That would be very cool indeed.

Of course, this concept would only really work if first of all, you’re able to internalise the habit of being vigilant to any songwriting opportunity that comes along and secondly, to have a means to record the songwriting idea as it happens if it cannot be worked on straight away.

At the end of the day, all of this is another way of enabling us to live more in the present. It’s all about being in the NOW, and with that in mind, I’ve now got a song to write.


Corey 🙂

In a previous post I wrote about my fascination with artificial intelligence (AI) and how it could either be a help or a hindrance to my songwriting process. 

When I wrote that post back in October 2022, I was really at the beginning of my exploration into what AI could do for me as a songwriter. I also wrote that post before ChatGPT was released and what an absolute game-changer that was. 

For those of you that have been hiding under a rock, ChatGPT is a computer program designed to understand and process natural language, just like the way that humans do.

When you ask a question or type in a message prompt, ChatGPT uses AI algorithms to analyse the input, understand the meaning behind the words, and generate a response that is as accurate and helpful as possible.

It’s like having a conversation with a really intelligent friend who always has the answers to your questions or in my case, a really intelligent songwriting collaborator but bear in mind, the responses from ChatGPT are only as good as the prompts you type into it.

Now how could ChatGPT help me as a songwriter?

Well, I’ve always thought that when it came to writing songs, I was pretty strong in the composition department but not so strong in the lyric writing department. Using ChatGPT has opened the doors to a whole new world of songwriting ideas and lyrical concepts.

Quite simply, this technology has the potential to revolutionise the way I’m able to write songs. It’s created new possibilities and infinitely expanded my songwriting process, especially when it comes to writing lyrics.

Now, I can understand that you might be thinking to yourself that I’m going to just use ChatGPT to write all of my lyrics from now on but that would be so far from the truth. 

For me, letting a robot do the work would take all the fun out of writing songs.

One of my favourite ways to start writing a song is from a title or a phrase that incites my imagination and curiosity and this is where ChatGPT comes into its own. Let me give you an example of what ChatGPT can do.

Ok, here is an exchange with ChatGPT from a random songwriting prompt that I asked it to generate for me

User (me)
Give me a random songwriting prompt that I can use to write my next song with

Songwriting Prompt: “Whispers of Time”

Explore the concept of time through the whispers of the past, present, and future. Craft a story that unfolds as you hear these subtle voices guiding your protagonist through key moments in their life. Use the whispers to illustrate lessons learned, the beauty of fleeting moments, and the eternal nature of time itself.

Give me a detailed synopsis for the song titled “Whispers In Time” using the above songwriting prompt as a guide

Title: “Whispers in Time”

Verse 1:
Our protagonist, a young dreamer, embarks on a journey to find their purpose in life. As they walk along a winding path, they hear soft whispers carried by the wind. These whispers are the voices of the past, speaking of their ancestors’ trials and tribulations. The protagonist learns that their lineage is filled with resilience, and they gain strength from these voices.

The whispers in time grow louder, guiding the protagonist as they navigate their way. Embracing the echoes of their ancestors, they feel a deep connection to their roots and a newfound sense of belonging.

“Whispers in Time, carry me through,
Voices of old, a story so true,
Ancestors’ tales, eternally bound,
In every step, their wisdom is found.”

Verse 2:
As the protagonist continues their journey, the whispers shift to the present, speaking of friends and loved ones. The voices tell stories of laughter, sorrow, and love, reminding the protagonist of the importance of cherishing every moment. They begin to understand that life is fleeting, and the present is a gift to be treasured.

The whispers transition to the future, painting a picture of possibilities and potential. The protagonist sees a vision of themselves, standing tall and proud, having overcome obstacles and achieved their dreams. They realise that time is always moving forward, and it is up to them to make the most of it.

“Whispers in Time, carry me through,
Voices of old, a story so true,
Ancestors’ tales, eternally bound,
In every step, their wisdom is found.”

The whispers in time fade away, leaving the protagonist with a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of the past, present, and future. With newfound courage, they embrace their destiny and continue their journey, knowing that the whispers of time will always be with them.

Using the detailed synopsis above as a guide, name 10 music artists/songwriters that you think could write a song such as “Whispers In Time”

Joni Mitchell
Bob Dylan
Sufjan Stevens
Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine)
Leonard Cohen
Paul Simon
Stevie Nicks
Ben Howard
Brandi Carlile

Ok, now using all of the above information at your disposal, write for me the lyrics for the song “Whispers In Time” in the style of Sufjan Stevens

Verse 1:
In the heart of a young dreamer’s quest,
Winds carried whispers from east to west,
Ancestors’ voices, their stories untold,
Of courage and battles, of hearts brave and bold.

Whispers in time, they call my name,
A journey unfolds, a destiny to claim,
Through the echoes of ages, I walk this path,
Guided by whispers, I’ll conquer my past.

Whispers in Time, carry me through,
Voices of old, a story so true,
Ancestors’ tales, eternally bound,
In every step, their wisdom is found.

Verse 2:
Voices of present, they speak to my soul,
Of love and of laughter, of pain that consoles,
Cherish the moments, they gently remind,
For life is a breath, and time’s river unwinds.

Oh, whispers of future, a vision I see,
A world full of promise, a life meant for me,
Through trials and triumphs, I’ll forge my own way,
With whispers to guide me, I’ll seize each new day.

Whispers in Time, carry me through,
Voices of old, a story so true,
Ancestors’ tales, eternally bound,
In every step, their wisdom is found.

As whispers fade softly, their lessons remain,
The thread of existence, a tapestry’s frame,
In every heartbeat, in each breath I take,
Whispers in time, my journey to make.

Not bad for around ten minutes of work

Normally I would approach a ChatGPT lyrics session with a song title or phrase already in mind plus a strong concept of what the song is to be about. From there I try to use AI to flesh out the concepts so I can then rewrite the lyrics in my own words at the end of the process.

What this means for me is that I don’t have to worry about songwriters block anymore. For me, ChatGPT is just another songwriting tool that I can use in my process if I ever get stuck.

As for the validity of AI generated songwriting ideas, I wrote this in my last post about my fascination with the role of AI in songwriting

“These AI generated songwriting ideas will still need (and will probably always need) the discernment filter of a human brain that’s been trained by years of experience to steer those song ideas to completion.”

Would I use it all the time… No, not at all, but it’s nice to know that it’s there just in case.

What do you think about all of this talk about AI, ChatGPT and other tools of this nature? Have you used any of them and if so, what are your thoughts? Let me know what you think.


Corey 🙂

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a great believer in using anything that can create, inspire, stimulate and expand on my songwriting ideas and turn them into a finished song.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in our day to day lives has just exploded over the last few years and the world of songwriting has not been immune to this phenomenon. 

It seems that “AI” is the newest buzzword around and there’s a huge demand for AI to be involved with any and every part of the creative process. 

It’s easy to come to the conclusion that any human involvement in the creative process will become obsolete. I don’t think this will be the case at all.

Now I myself have used AI songwriting/musical tools to expand, embellish and enhance my own songwriting ideas and to get myself out of writer’s block. 

I do this because I’m truly fascinated by the promise of AI and what it can do for songwriters and musicians alike. The promise being a never-ending flow of randomly generated songwriting ideas.

Of course these ideas are not going to be perfect but that is the beauty of working with AI songwriting tools. These AI generated songwriting ideas will still need (and will probably always need) the discernment filter of a human brain that’s been trained by years of experience to steer those song ideas to completion.

Are songwriting ideas generated by an AI tool less relevant than if they were 100% generated by a human? 

As far as I’m concerned, no way because at the end of the day an AI songwriting tool is just that… A TOOL

It’s a means to an end and when you think about it, any tool that can generate a songwriting idea is a good tool in my book.

Recently, I updated my most popular blog post The BIG List Of Songwriting Prompts And Lyric Generators to now include a list of AI powered songwriting and lyric writing tools because whether we like it or not, THIS is going to be a big part of the future of songwriting.

Whether they’re created by a computer program or, through machine learning, these songwriting ideas and prompts are just there to help stimulate creativity within the human mind.

They exist to merely take your creativity to places you’d never go. For me, it’s like a mate giving you a tip on a great fishing spot but there are some advocates against AI in songwriting who talk about how using these tools is tantamount to cheating. 

Yes, I suppose you can technically “cheat” if you really want to, but having AI write a song for you and then claiming it as your own work is a hollow victory (if you can just watch the film Yesterday and you’ll know exactly what I mean). 

Just letting AI do all the heavy lifting would simply take all the fun out of creating and besides, is a guitarist who uses a capo a cheat? No, not at all.

I personally want to be on the forefront of these developments rather than be lagging behind to play catch up. I’ll continue to use AI songwriting/lyric writing tools in my songwriting process and if there’s anything that I can share with you all in the future I will.

So, in conclusion… As long as we control the technology within the process rather than the other way around, I think songwriting as a craft is not going to diminish in its humanity.

What do YOU think about the role of AI in the songwriting process?

The role of AI in songwriting has already launched some robust discussion and will continue to be an interesting conversation topic now and into the future so let me know what you think because I’m always up for a good chat.


Corey 🙂

Sometimes writing songs is a linear experience.

You come across a possible song title that jumps out at you and after writing the first line of the first verse, a first draft is suddenly completed from start to finish.

Sometimes writing songs is a puzzle solving exercise.

You take a piece here, a song title there, a bit of a verse here and a half written phrase there and, after discovering the common thread that connects everything, a song is eventually completed.

Sometimes writing songs is like incubating an egg.

You finish writing a chorus but find you can’t go any further however, after leaving the half finished song for a period of time something triggers in your mind and the song magically completes itself.

Sometimes you start writing a song from the beginning and work forwards, sometimes you start writing a song in the middle and work outwards and sometimes you start writing a song from the end and work backwards.

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start somewhere.

What do you think?


Corey 🙂

Just think, as songwriters, every time we write a song we start off with a blank page.

It sits there and it waits patiently for us to pick up our pen and pour out our songwriting ideas from our hearts and minds onto its surface however, a blank page can mean one of two things to a songwriter.

It can either be either something to be fearful of, a scary journey into the unknown or, a doorway to infinite songwriting idea possibilities.

Let me ask you this.

Are you free to create whatever you want, whenever you want without second guessing, self-censorship or prejudice on your part? Or, are you a songwriter that feels shackled by the belief that you must obtain some sort of quantifiable result every time you put your pen to paper?

Which headspace would you rather be in?

I know that I’m asking a lot of questions here but as songwriters, this is something we face every time we sit down to write a song and as our answers to these questions are automatic and unconscious, we wonder why at times we don’t write anything.

This is when we start blaming things like songwriters block.

So, try this simple exercise the next time you sit down to write a song. Look at that blank page in front of you as your friend and playmate.

You see, just the very thought of sitting down to write a song means that there is possibility that the muse will knock on your door and ask if you can come out to play.

It just takes a shift in our perspective

We need to remind ourselves that writing a song can be one or more of these three experiences:

  • A linear experience – You come across a possible song title that jumps out at you and after writing the first line of the first verse, a first draft is suddenly completed from start to finish.
  • A puzzle solving exercise – You take a piece here, a song title there, a bit of a verse here and a half written phrase there and, after discovering the common thread that connects everything, a song is eventually completed.
  • Like incubating an egg – You finish writing a chorus but find you can’t go any further however, after leaving the half finished song for a period of time something triggers in your mind and the song magically completes itself.

Sometimes you start writing a song from the beginning and work forwards, sometimes you start a song from the middle and work outwards and sometimes you start writing at the end and work backwards.

When it comes to songwriting, it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start somewhere.

Just remember, a blank page is not proof that you’ve not written a song. It’s merely the doorway to an infinite world of songwriting idea possibilities and all you need to do is have the courage to walk through it, regardless of the outcome.

So get out of your own way and allow yourself to be free to create.

Okay, take a deep breath… How is that blank page looking now? Let me know if shifting your perspective towards the blank piece of paper works for your songwriting process.

It certainly does for me.


Corey 🙂

I, like many, many songwriters have a problem with my songwriting process…

It’s called “perfectionism” and along with an extremely over-zealous inner critic, this problem has plagued me my whole songwriting/music career.

I have tried many times to snap out of it and to some extent have been temporarily successful numerous times over the years but at the end of the day, my default songwriting position is of being paralysed by too much choice.

My main curse is that I don’t finish things. I absolutely love to start things but I’ve never really finish things… Songs, tasks, projects, activities. I rarely finish things to the standard that I’d would like but then again, maybe that’s the problem.

Maybe, I set impossible standards for myself.

Anyways, I stumbled across an article all about this very problem of perfectionism in songwriting and the author was going through the very same issues as I am, right now.

Reading David Silverstein’s article Why It’s So Important To Finish Your Music And Share It With The World resonated with me on so many levels. In regards to his situation of not finishing his music he writes…

I realized that finalizing and sharing my music was the part that scared me the most. I was afraid. I was afraid of marking something complete because then I would have to answer to my own work. I could and would be held accountable for the result, which my perfectionism was never going to be happy with. If I was going to wait until I was 100% happy with something, I was going to be waiting a very long time.

BINGO! Therein lies my issue… Fear of being accountable for my work, fear of being criticised and the fear of having to answer to trolls online.

He goes on by offering some suggestions as to how to get past this fear and for me, the first things that I need to do is to stop setting outlandishly unreachable goals for myself. My goals should be smaller and happen more often.

Maybe what I need to do is to stop looking at my songwriting process as a series of sudden bursts of productivity and try to create a songwriting process that is more streamlined, organised, consistent and sustainable.

More than ever, good music needs to be written and shared with the world so why should fear and doubt in my own abilities get in the way of me sharing my music with the world?

David Silverstein finishes off his article with a simple quote from Leonardo da Vinci

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

I’ll be using this COVID-19 downtime I find myself in to finally conquer my songwriting fears and doubts. I hope to be finishing a lot of songs.

Do you have the same issue? Love starting off projects but don’t take it to completion? Let me know what experiences you’ve had with this and how you managed to work around it. I’d love to hear from you.


Corey 🙂

Check out the original article: Why it’s so important to finish your music and share it with the world

Let’s look at the word SONGWRITING for a minute. The dictionary meaning of the word is the “… writing the music and words of songs.”

Now that should give us a clue but I think the definition it goes deep enough. I reckon the meaning of the word SONGWRITING should be something like…

“The process in which a song is created using words and melody”

The word itself is comprised of two words, song and writing. The song part is the end result of a process and the writing part is the process itself.

Get it… Without the writing there is no song.

It seems like a simple concept doesn’t it? But it’s amazing how many songs aren’t written. They are started but never finished.

You see, you can talk all you like about verses, choruses, middle-eights, bridges, pre-choruses, the length of the intro and hooks and so on but without the physical activity of writing the song, all of that theory is meaningless.

Introducing the Songwriting Process

Personally, songwriting is much, much more than the song itself. The act of writing a song is a whole process in itself. It’s a discipline, a meditation and for me, a way of life.

Without a songwriting process, a song (being the end result of the process) would not exist at all.

If we, as songwriters didn’t have our own songwriting process, then all of our thoughts, feelings and songwriting ideas will become random, haphazard and lacking in organisation.

How would you be able to maintain a creative and sustainable songwriting environment with all that disorganisation going on?

Pablo Picasso once said that “… inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” and I think that sums everything I’ve been trying to say in this post nicely.

In future posts I’ll be writing about how you can create, adopt and manage your own songwriting process and in turn write more songs rather than just waiting for inspiration to come your way. Plus, I’ll be giving you insights as to how I write my songs.

What does songwriting and the process involved in writing a song mean to you? Feel free to let me know as we all have something to learn from each other.


Corey 🙂