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I've had songs just come to me on occasion that were pretty complete the way they were, and other times I can work on a song for over a year and although I like the idea of the song when I start on it, I can't seem to make it to the finish line. The songs that just come to me, cause me to wonder if I didn't accidentally tune in to some sort of cosmic energy source for song writing. Does any one know of a method to sort of channel such an energy source, if in deed one actually might exist?

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Suggest you checking out Nahre Sol's youtube channel. She gives tons of ideas (and techniques) that help you formalize a particular musical idea. She had an hour long discussion on how to end a song. One such composition technique that i found useful was to isolate a looping musical idea (e.g., a repetitive section) and then building other voices on top of it.

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The answer is simply "write more songs." If you write 10 songs a week, you will produce 10 times as many "good songs" than if you only write one.

By all means put something on one side if you can't figure out "what is wrong with it," and come back to it later, but spending a year trying to make one idea "work" is probably not the best way to make progress.

  • I thought I've read that the "write more songs" technique results in far more bad songs than good songs, and because the sheer volume of bad songs is expected, you have to learn how to be discerning in the process. From what those said, I'm not convinced that if you write 10 songs a week, you will produce 10 times as many "good songs" than if you only write one--you will quite possibly produce 9 bad songs and 1 good song because you would have otherwise have spent all week on the one good song. – Dekkadeci Jul 23 at 5:31
  • A few things will happen if you write more songs. First it will strengthen your song writing skills. Like a muscle that is developing it will get stronger with use. You will decently learn something writing even a horrible song. Not every song will be 100% bad. A mostly bad song with a great bridge or a cool riff can be worked into a great song. If you were just working on the one song you may not have found the one good part in that bad song. Don’t forget if you write just one song you could wind up with one bad song. It would be better to have 1 good and 9 bad. – b3ko Jul 23 at 12:27
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Does any one know of a method to sort of channel such an energy source, if in deed one actually might exist?

There are plenty of books, videos on YouTube and other sources both online and not which are dedicated to this topic. It's hard to answer so generically, hence the so broad recommendation: I suggest you research on your own based on where you are (composingly speaking), what genres you're interested in, etc.

Some time ago I read some Pat Pattison's book and made a Songwriting course with him on Coursera. He worked with great people and is very clear when transmitting his ideas.

Hope this helps!

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