As most of you know, I wrote my very first song earlier this month for Mother's Day. What most of you do not know is that I am putting the finishing touches on my next song - for Father's Day - and I am also starting to work on my 3rd song that I hope to have ready for our church's 1st Annual Folk Fest -a.k.a. Talent Show - which is happening in a couple of weeks. I may not be an expert (yet) but I have already learned many things in these few song-writing endeavors.
1. If you have ever thought you might like to try to write a song one day - go for it!
2. How a song comes about won't be the same every time. Sometimes you'll start with the lyrics, other times with the melody and sometimes with just the chords.
3. Pick different chord progressions each time to give each of your songs a different sound.
4. Listen carefully to your melody to make sure that your verse doesn't sound like the chorus of a Third Day song...or, you know, any other song already out there!
5. Not every song needs a bridge.
6. It's just as hard - if not harder - choosing a title for your song as it is to write the song.
7. You can't force it. Just because you have a chunk of time to write a song doesn't mean it's going to happen. If it turns out to not be the right time, just leave it and try again a different time.
8. Not every song takes the same amount of time to write. Some will take an hour, others will take days.
9. You will eat, sleep and breathe your song until it is 100% finished...so be prepared to get a little sick of it. :)
10. If your song comes together in one afternoon, don't just leave it at that. Take a few days to do some fine-tuning. Play around with it; even change the melody up a bit before you mark it as "complete."
11. If a melody suddenly comes to you, record it! You may think you won't forget it by the time you have a chance to sit down at the piano to actually write it out...but you just might!
12. Working on multiple songs at a time can get confusing. They may tend to flow into each other and you won't be able to tell one apart from the next.
13. Unless you have every note written out, play your song often until it's completely ingrained in your memory.
14. Even while it's still "in the works" play/sing it for somebody to get their opinion. They might notice something about it that you have not. Or they might just give you the positive feedback that will keep you motivated to keep going.
15. Don't be afraid to scrap what you had and start over. Not every attempt needs to be turned into an actual song.
16. Once you have written a song it becomes addicting!
ps: Above picture is intentionally blurred. It's the rough draft of my newest song, which of course cannot be revealed until Father's Day!