You just write songs.
A song is music and often (but not always) lyrics.
At first, your songs may suck.
Unless you were born with innate talent, they most definitely will suck at first.
Especially if you don’t know how to sing or play an instrument.
If your passion is to write songs, you will be compelled to do it. That is the true sign of a songwriter – DOING.
Songwriting is about systematic DOING. That is, getting up in the morning and being driven to go write songs.
A book like Jason Blume’s “6 Steps to Songwriting Success” is also a great tool for getting the job done.
Don’t get discouraged. Sucking is part of not sucking. 99% of the songs you write might suck. But that one out of 100 will be a gem, and that is what songwriters live for. The other 99 songs are just “practice” for that one awesome song.
Consider this guy Andrew Huang of songstowearpantsto.com…
He writes prolific amounts of short, catchy, funny songs that people request.
There’s a market for his songs and he is self employed writing them. No day job, yea!
He became a songwriter by writing songs. Real simple basic catchy songs.
That’s it. Simple.
You don’t need a fancy studio.
You just need to DO IT.
You can write down music and lyrics on paper if you have to.
I do it all the time. It’s easier than setting up microphones and running computer programs. Old school pencil and paper.
Sure, it’s nice to have some kind of recording capabilities to document your songs when they are finished, especially if you don’t know anything about writing down music.
But even the most basic computers nowadays have built in basic multitrack recording programs.
Your song demos don’t have to sound awesome. They only have to be good enough so that someone who has good production capabilities (like me!) can take them and make them sound awesome.
If you feel you have a passion for songwriting, you will be compelled to do it.
But if you don’t have that passion, don’t do it. There are much better trades than songwriting if your goal is just to make some money.
Do songwriting because you like it. Songwriting requires soul fire and a drive to pursue your craft and PRACTICE it. How are you going to be motivated to write songs every day unless you are passionate about it?
Become an accountant if you like money.
Check out February Album Writing Month (fawm.org). It happens every year, and it’s coming up soon. Thousands of songwriters, amateur to expert, do it every year.
FAWM is a personal challenge to write 14 songs in 28 days. And it’s FREE.
Not 14 GOOD songs. Just 14 songs. And it is very doable.
If even one of those songs is decent, that is one more song than you would have if you sat on your arse and did nothing, am I right?
And FAWM is totally EASY and FREE to do online. Their web site is so user friendly.
Plus, all the other “fawmers” on the site will hear your songs and critique them, which helps you become a better songwriter. Don’t take anything personally. You need to be brutally honest with yourself and have a thick skin to be a songwriter.
When I do FAWM, I typically end up with 3 or 4 songs I think are pretty good (and generally my fawmer friends concur). Here are some examples of some of my past FAWM successes.
(NOTE: Mind you, many of these demos are crude – writing songs is not about production, only writing the song – music and words. That’s all. If you have a killer song, you can always hire people for production, but a crappy song will always be a crappy song.)
2. Thrice Heart (FAWM 2009) – Another crude recording, but a truly inspired (by a girl, of course) song. Note the catchy guitar melody behind the vocals. Pure gravy there.
3. Road Hog (FAWM 2010) – A year of songwriting (and a full band) later, my demo production quality had remarkably improved, as you can hear in this AC/DC-esque song about “firing” your boss and becoming a free agent, which is exactly what I did for a year, just to see if I could.
And I did. And I loved it. And you can too.
Here are three more songs I just wrote at random: