How To Become a Songwriter

Do you love the power of both words and sound? Do you spend long nights up in your room, picking out chords on your brother’s old guitar and writing pages and pages of lyrics about your life?  Have you always imagined hearing your words sung on the radio for the whole world to hear? As a song writer, you can express yourself in some many ways.

Why is it important to be a songwriter as well as a singer?

Although the reverse is not the same, a singer should train to be a songwriter as well as a performer. Some songwriters never perform their own work publicly preferring to stay hidden in the background, and that works fine if they have no desire for the stage.  However, if you are performer, imagine how much more control you would have over your own career, if you could write your own songs.  You can make sure that every song choice speaks to what matters to you and  fits the image you want to present to your fans.  Being able to write your own lyrics and play an instrument will make you stand out in the large crowd of people who all want to be a star.


What are the key skills for becoming a songwriter?

If you hated English class in school and don’t enjoy creative writing in any form then becoming a songwriter is not for you.  A genre of poetry is referred to as lyrical poems because the earliest of them were set to music.  Words and music go hand in hand, and you need to have the desire to create powerful images with your word choices as well as with your musical arrangement.
As the writer, you are responsible for creating not only the words, but the musicality of the song as well.  It is very important that you have a basic understanding of music theory and that you have at least learned one instrument. The guitar and piano are popular choices. You need to know the parts of a song from the bridge to the chorus and how to read and write notes.
Although you could just work with a musician who will set your words to music, when you can build the words and notes together, the piece will have a stronger sense of harmony. The more you understand how music is made, the better songwriter and performer you will be.

Having a good business sense is also important whether you are a singer or songwriter in the music industry.  Knowing as much as you can about copyright issues and how to pick an agent will keep you from losing money and dealing with legal issues.  Think about having a lawyer on retainer as well to protect your interests in all business dealings and to read over contracts for you before you sign anything.  Having the right knowledge will always be the key to your success.  The music industry is not for the faint of heart.  You  need the drive and passion to succeed.