The main element job of a songwriter is to publish a song. Not to perform the song. Not to record the song. Not to promote the song. Not to offer the song. But to publish the song.
Much of your skill as a songwriter is to select the proper notes and right chords to go with the proper words and right song title and write them into a song.
You write a tune for whom?
Firstly, for the end listener. The one who will in truth emotionally and financially purchase the song, either through purchasing a CD or record or purchasing a live performance of the song How Much is Tekashi69 Worth.
Secondly, for the record company, who’ll turn a tune into a product (like an archive or CD) that may be brought to the end user through radio or retail stores.
Thirdly, for radio programmers, who decide what their listeners will listen to.
Fourthly, for the performer of the song who has to offer a performance that the record company will want to capture and the air station will want to play.
Now you could argue for more visitors to be added to this list or for this list to be reordered. But essentially they’re the people for whom a recording songwriter writes.
So, so you know who to publish for, how to become a songwriter for these listeners is the important thing question.
What key skills do you really need to become a songwriter?
As a songwriter you need to understand how to write lyrics, how to publish melody, how to publish chords and how to publish your song as a lead sheet. As a tune owner and seller you need to also understand how to choose the song to demo and how to record a compelling demo.
Put another way, as a songwriter, you are a lyric writer, a melody writer, a note writer and a lead sheet writer. That’s, to be considered a songwriter, you need to write in these four dimensions.
You might be a solo songwriter like Billy Joel and Bob Dylan do all things yourself. Or you may engage in a partnership like Lennon-McCartney or Holland-Dozier-Holland and specialise in the lyric or music role or move between the roles, with regards to the song.
So, how to become a lyric writer is one of the sub questions of the big question: how to become a songwriter.
The main element skill is the ability to have the ability to tell a story rather than throw words or rhymes together. Among your key lyric skills is always to have the ability to create song titles and then write your lyric around that.
There are numerous conventions about loading your chorus up along with your title lines and making use of your verse and bridge to support that line. Furthermore you should try to learn to publish your story within conventional forms.
Fortunately, there are lots of resources both on and offline that can coach you on how to publish lyrics. Naturally, to become a lyric writer you need to publish habitually and exercise your skills daily.
The task of melody
Unfortunately there’s less resource around that can support you in learning to be a melody writer. Whereas there’s a sound lyric writing literature available to songwriters, no comparable literature exists for melody writing skills.
A lot of what passes for melody writing advice lives is often the twins of superstition and obscure theory in drag, neither of that actually tells the melody writer how to choose the best notes because of their melody. Nor guide them how to become a songwriter.
Both main melodic skills you need will be the concepts of contour and span. Contour means melodic direction and shape and whether any given note is at a higher, lower or same pitch as the last one.
Jack Perricone identifies four contour shapes in his book entitled Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Processes for Writing Hit Songs (Berklee Guide).
There are actually a huge selection of contours, depending on how many notes there are in your melodic phrase. These contours can effectively demonstrate how to become a songwriter. At the moment there’s only 1 melodywriting site online that educates songwriters about these melodic goldmines.
Span can be vital that you your melodies and ensures that you write for ordinary people who’ll sing and hum your melodies while they wash their car or vacuum their residence or console themselves. Awareness of span means you’ll write for the fans, not for virtuoso singers who never buy or sing pop music generally, aside from yours.
Anyone seriously curious about how to become a songwriter will not neglect melodic span.
Chords and harmony
Fortunately one area where songwriters are relatively well served is in the chord writing area. There’s no shortage of stuff that teaches you scales, chords and chord progressions. In comparison to learning lyric writing and melody writing, learning scales and chords is straight ahead, like learning a yellow pages directory.
The more songs you write, the more you realise how secondary chords and voicings are when you are working with the absolute core of songwriting: deciding which notes go best with which words.
Scales and chords are not useful only at that time. They’re essential however once you have selected the notes and words for the song and it’s time for an arranger and a company to prepare your notes and words into voices and sounds your fans will love.
Nevertheless, selecting the most appropriate chord for the melody is a significant section of how to become a songwriter.
So in learning to be a songwriter you are learning to be a lyric writer, a melody writer and a note writer. But as important as these skills are, the main skill has not been mentioned yet.
Rhythm to song is like oxygen your
An integral section of how to become a songwriter is how to become a talker, reader, writer and player of rhythm.
While we are able to consider rhythm to be a separate concept (and there are reasons for this view) it is so embedded in lyric, melody and harmony, that you’ll require to understand how rhythm integrates each aspect as well as how it separates from each too.
Words include meaning and rhythm. Melody contains pitch and rhythm. Harmony contains simultaneous sound and rhythm. Rhythm contains rhythm and timbre. There’s no escaping the importance of rhythm and understanding, talking, reading, writing and playing rhythm is really a key section of how to become a songwriter.
Again, like melody, the news headlines is not too hot here.
Ethnomusicologists report on many cultures all over the world who’ve rich, verbal languages for counting and talking rhythm. Musicians of South India are full of this regard. Musicians of the west are not so blessed. Which slows our rhythm education down a bit. And hamstrings us as songwriters if we do not overcome this handicap.
Fortunately with the emergence of rhythmeggio–which is like the solfeggio for rhythm—songwriters are in possession of a simple to master language that allows them to talk, read and write rhythm like their first language.
And speed up their knowledge of how to become a songwriter and their ability to publish a satisfactory quantity of songs to acceptable levels much faster than they otherwise would.
How to become a songwriter to sum up
Therefore the keys areas of successfully knowing how to become a songwriters lie in becoming proficient at writing lyric, at writing melody, at writing chords which in turn is accelerated by your capability to talk, read and write rhythm.
They are the skills that enable you to pick the proper notes and right chords to go along with your words and song title and so earn you the proper to call yourself a songwriter.