If singing is one of your passions you are more than likely to play with the idea of writing your own songs if you don’t already. It’s not essential, since you can be a great performer and not an author, but many times it goes hand in hand and is most natural. In fact, I think more and more that one of our most essential drives as human beings is to create, it may even be number one. To create, not only art or songs but anything (companies, relationships, projects, systems, applications, life…) I think it’s a primordial part of what we’re in this life for. Or rather, one of the most important means to feel fulfilled and fulfilled. In fact, in the end, our passage through this world may be just that: a creation.
But although I love to be philosophical, my intention here today is different. Offer a practical guide for you to start writing and composing your own songs. Writing songs is deeply satisfying.
I wouldn’t dare consider myself an expert in this field. In fact, I’m not. And I wouldn’t consider this a definitive guide, but rather a guide to help those of you who are beginning to compose or have that idea in mind and that worm. In case you’re not new at this, I hope you can come up with some new and interesting ideas to add to your own methodology. Years ago I set out (and I’m pretty stubborn) to learn how to write my own songs and I finally made it. Of course, making the road difficult, stressful and not by far the most effective. A road of years. That’s why today I want to share with you some ideas and strategies. To save you some headaches.
To put you a little in context I will summarize a little my history regarding this matter of writing songs. When I was very young I dreamed of being a music star (yes, me too). And I think it’s a dream that’s as legitimate as it is achievable. But like any object that you want to achieve, requires a way of thinking and acting to achieve it. Well, I had no idea what that way was. And I said a lot of blind sticks. My musical knowledge was limited to the solfeggio and recorder classes I had at school, and they weren’t taught in a very seductive way. I liked to listen to a lot of music and sing in the shower (well, everywhere). Something I didn’t do very well at first.
My first instrument, apart from the then repudiated recorder, was a Casio organ in which you played the Tico Tico and the Guantanamera following some little lights. Later I had a bigger keyboard in which I invented film soundtracks that I also invented (the only problem is that most of the result was only in my head). But what is said music, music knowledge, well few?
So later, while studying Drama, I started to teach Modern Piano and Guitar. But it was a strategy that was neither well thought out nor successful. Getting into jazz with piano and bossanovas with a guitar when you want to compose rock and pop songs can be a bad decision in some cases. At least it was in mine. Not because of the genres themselves, but because of the complexity (and the virtuosity that these teachers wanted to instill in me). It took me years to let go with the guitar in order to do the most basic thing. And with the piano, well, if you put one in front of me, I just play with it (although the good thing is that it was a time when I heard a lot of jazz). The fact is that I was getting lost in a sea of complexities without understanding or seeing the most basic concepts of music.
Why am I telling you all this story? Simply because you have to know how to focus things clearly and concretely. The processes have to be simplified. In fact, everything has to be simplified. Because if you don’t, you get entangled in many paths and you get frustrated without getting what you really started to look for. In this case, write your own songs. I never wanted to be a piano or guitar virtuoso. I wanted to sing, to get on stage, and for people to listen to songs that would freak them out and make them dream and get excited. Obviously, I also wanted those songs to be good and for that, I needed extra knowledge, but I couldn’t start the house from the roof.
Luckily, along with those failed strategies, I started to develop others that were more in line with my main objective. The only thing was that when I didn’t see the intrinsic simplicity of how a popular song works in its foundations, my procedures were a little ridiculous. Some were as absurd as going note by note on the keyboard creating a melody for a lyrics I had written. When I think about it, I find it ridiculous, but I must also say that this is where one of my favourite songs came from, even almost fifteen years after that.