The main element job of a songwriter is to write a song. Not to execute the song. Never to record the song. Not to promote the song. Not to sell the song. But to write the song.
Most of your skill as a songwriter is to choose the best notes and right chords to go with the best words and right song title and write them into a song.
You write a tune for whom?
Firstly, for the finish listener. The person who will in actuality emotionally and financially choose the song, either through investing in a CD or record or investing in a live performance of the song How Much is Tekashi69 Worth.
Secondly, for the record company, who will turn a tune into a product (like accurate documentation or CD) which can be brought to the finish 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 provide a performance that the record company would want to capture and the air station would want to play.
So you could argue for more individuals to be added to the list or for this list to be reordered. But essentially they are individuals for whom a recording songwriter writes.
So, now you know who to write for, how becoming a songwriter for these listeners is the key question.
What key skills do you need becoming a songwriter?
As a songwriter you should understand how to write lyrics, how to write melody, how to write chords and how to write your song as a lead sheet. As a tune owner and seller you should also understand how to find the song to demo and just 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 is, to be described as a songwriter, you should write in these four dimensions.
You is actually a solo songwriter like Billy Joel and Bob Dylan do all four things yourself. Or you may engage in a partnership like Lennon-McCartney or Holland-Dozier-Holland and specialise in whether lyric or music role or move between the roles, with regards to the song.
So, how becoming a lyric writer is one of the sub questions of the big question: how becoming a songwriter.
The main element skill is the ability to be able to tell a tale rather than just throw words or rhymes together. Among your key lyric skills is to be able to create song titles and then write your lyric around that.
There are many conventions about loading your chorus up along with your title lines and using your verse and bridge to support that line. Furthermore you should find out to write your story within conventional forms.
Fortunately, you will find loads of resources both on and offline that could educate you on how to write lyrics. Naturally, becoming a lyric writer you need to write habitually and exercise your skills daily.
The process of melody
Unfortunately there is not as much resource around that could support you in learning to be a melody writer. Whereas there is 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 find the best notes for his or her melody. Nor guide them how becoming a songwriter.
Both main melodic skills you need are the concepts of contour and span. Contour means melodic direction and shape and whether any given note reaches an increased, lower or same pitch as the last one.
Jack Perricone identifies four contour shapes in his book entitled Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Approaches for Writing Hit Songs (Berklee Guide).
There are in fact hundreds of contours, depending how many notes you will find in your melodic phrase. These contours can effectively demonstrate how becoming a songwriter. At this time there is just one melodywriting site online that educates songwriters about these melodic goldmines.
Span can also be vital that you your melodies and ensures that you write for ordinary people who will sing and hum your melodies because they wash their car or vacuum their residence or console themselves. Awareness of span means you will write for your fans, not for virtuoso singers who never buy or sing pop music generally, not to mention yours.
Anyone seriously curious about how becoming a songwriter won’t neglect melodic span.
Chords and harmony
Fortunately one area where songwriters are relatively well served is in the chord writing area. There is no shortage of items 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 an orange 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 as of this time. They’re essential however when you have selected the notes and words for your song and it’s time for an arranger and a producer to prepare your notes and words into voices and sounds that your fans will love.
Nevertheless, choosing the right chord for your melody is an important section of how becoming 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 most important skill hasn’t been mentioned yet.
Rhythm to song is like oxygen your
An integral section of how becoming a songwriter is how becoming a talker, reader, writer and player of rhythm.
While we are able to think of rhythm to be a separate concept (and you will find reasons for this view) it is so embedded in lyric, melody and harmony, that you need to know the way rhythm integrates each aspect in addition to how it separates from each too.
Words include meaning and rhythm. Melody consists of pitch and rhythm. Harmony consists of simultaneous sound and rhythm. Rhythm consists of rhythm and timbre. There is no escaping the importance of rhythm and understanding, talking, reading, writing and playing rhythm is a key section of how becoming a songwriter.
Again, like melody, the news is not so hot here.
Ethnomusicologists report on many cultures around the globe who have rich, verbal languages for counting and talking rhythm. Musicians of South India are rich in this regard. Musicians of the west are not so blessed. Which slows our rhythm education down a bit. And hamstrings us as songwriters when we don’t overcome this handicap.
Fortunately with the emergence of rhythmeggio–which is like the solfeggio for rhythm—songwriters are in possession of a simple to learn language that enables them to talk, read and write rhythm like their first language.
And speed up their understanding of how becoming a songwriter and their ability to write an acceptable amount of songs to acceptable levels much faster than they otherwise would.
How becoming a songwriter in summary
So the keys facets of successfully knowing how becoming a songwriters lie in becoming proficient at writing lyric, at writing melody, at writing chords which is accelerated by your capability to talk, read and write rhythm.
They’re the skills that enable you to pick the best notes and right chords to go along with your words and song title and so earn you the best to call yourself a songwriter.