My songwriting process begins when the feelings in my heart are too strong to contain. I'm often surprised how well my overflowing feelings write songs for me. Over the years, I’ve noticed a natural flow to the way I write songs. So here’s my songwriting process for you.
I sit down with my ukulele, try different chord progressions and zero down on the one that matches my feelings. I also move the capo up and down the fretboard to find the right sound and pitch. Once the chords match my feelings, I begin to write.
I always write on post-it-notes. They’re easy to stick anywhere, don’t fly around, and are great for organising and sequencing ideas. Its also easy to dispose off bad ideas. Earlier when I would write in a notebook, it’d look ugly because of all the scratched lines on bad ideas. With post-its, there’s no baggage. *
Keep what rhymes with how you are feeling, discard the rest.
I don't write songs in one go. I start with a verse or chorus and sing it over the chord progression. I then tweak it until the chords and lyrics together sound like they're made for each other.
Once the post it notes are filled with words and the music is written and composed, not only do i have a song, but I've also successfully removed the pain or any other strong feelings from within me. Now the feelings are trapped in a song and I'm free to feel other things and move on.
Some songs take years to complete. What you feel today is incomplete. You’ll feel something similar in the future which will give you a complete perspective that’s necessary to complete the song.
There have been songs which have evolved. I’ve written and modified them with time and experiences. These are the songs that a songwriter doesn’t want to part with, just like how artists like to hold on to their best paintings.
I've written songs for people I've loved and for myself. The songs I write for someone stays back with me even after they are no longer in my life. When my heart is breaking and I'm in pain, writing a song gives me hope.
A wise man once adviced me to write songs from the perspective of others. I took his advice and it has brought some variety to my songwriting. As songwriters we should be able to feel strongly about things that are happening to us, to others and to our surroundings. Then we can transform these feelings into songs that touch people's hearts.
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