I consider myself an amateur songwriter. So I am constantly looking for ways to grow and get to that next step. Here are 4 resources that I use to get me there!
1.Conferences – Now, here’s a great way to cram a lot of knowledge into your head in just a few, short days. Talk about information overload, but in a good way. I know that it can be tough on the pocketbook, but songwriting classes from the pros are a quick way to spur growth in your own music making. I have been to 2 in the last year, and I would recommend both. Write About Jesus (www.writeaboutjesus.com) was AMAZING. There were tons of classes to choose from and the best part: small class sizes! I never felt like I was just one of many. The instructors genuinely cared about my questions and struggles as a songwriter. I am always going back over my notes to review what I learned.
I also went to IMMERSE (www.experienceimmerse.com) and had a blast! They offered a wide variety of classes from singing lessons to songwriting to artist development. It was a phenomenal learning experience and I’m headed back this year.
What songwriting conferences do you love?
2. The Bible – I truly believe the higher my Bible intake is, the better songwriter I will be. This is a great place to find topic ideas. Or maybe while you are reading through the Psalms, you’ll think, “Oooooooo they said that so beautifully! I need to put a melody to it!”
You will also be learning and absorbing God’s truth (obviously). Memorizing scripture and continuing to learn will only help your music become more true and glorifying to God.
Here’s a fun one for ya. As I read, I’ve started to circle verses that I’ve heard in songs. I write the title of the song out to the side. It’s so cool to SEE the songs I love pop out of scripture.
3.Other People – Co-writing has helped me grow in so many areas. I see my strengths and weakness more clearly while I’m working on a song with someone else. This helps me know what to work on in my own time.
Being around others and how seeing how they approach songwriting is fascinating. I have a friend who practically speaks in rhyme. She just spits out these perfectly balanced rhyming lyrics so quickly! And I’m sitting over here going, “What rhymes with need?? Bead, deed, feed, greed, lead, need…nope same word…peed…there’s no way that will work…” *sigh*
So I practice my rhyming and lyric balancing skills in my down time because I want my brain to work like hers!!! See how I’m growing here??
4.www.analyzemysong.com – You just finished up your song and you are feeling great!! For like 5 minutes. The relief of being done wears off quickly and now you are thinking, “Is this any good?” This is me. Every. Time.
I have found AnalyzeMySong to be an excellent help in this area. For $45, they will give you a 4 page analysis on your song. What?! It’s so awesome. They will break down everything from your melodic structure to your prosody. I have learned so much from their feedback!
What about you? Let me know how you are taking your songwriting to the next level!