Have you been looking longingly at your piano, wondering when you’re going to sit down and write a song? I used to wonder that, too…and was relieved to find out that I could get published as a songwriter with the answer to that question being. Never. That’s right. I realized that I could write a great song and all I had to do as the very first step was.
Lay your creative hands down on the piano
There’s really nothing more to it than that. That’s the very first step. You are responsible for nothing more in the beginning than the beginning. What’s even nicer than that is that you can decide how much or little of that beginning you have the time and energy to begin. You can do a “10-minute artstorm” before work, or a “30-minute creative crunch” in the evening. It’s your show. It’s your life. And as we busy people all know, no two days are exactly alike. So if an art storm needs to happen on Tuesdays and a creative crunch can only work on Thursdays, that’s totally okay. Your song is your baby, and it will happily accept any love you give it.
Speaking of love…
Let your fingers tell you what you love, not like
The word passion is thrown around quite a bit, and we mostly associate it with love, a very good thing. But there is another dimension to passion- belief. None of us is ever going to be inspired to continue nurturing a song idea that would rate a 3 on a scale from 1 to 10. You must believe in that idea’s quality, before anybody else will. That’s what will fuel your relentless promotion of your song later.
Trust your gut. You have food, clothing, and music loves. Be honest about your love here…even if it means scrapping part or all of your “start”. A great way to determine whether you have a “keeper idea” is to do what I call the Clear, Sincere Ear Test. First, record what you have. Walk away for at least 8 hours. Then, play it back and stand back. Quick-what’s your first reaction? Don’t candy-coat it. Your reaction is real. You will love it, or not. I’ve loved some of mine, and rolled my eyes at some of mine. The good news is, your gut will tell you immediately if it’s a hit or miss. Then you really are one step closer to success as a songwriter.
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A great book I recommend to students is Songwriters On Songwriting.
Stay tuned next time for part two (2) on Songwriting at the piano.
Article by: Christine Arens