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-   -   What have you done to be more efficient in songwriting? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=570215)

slewis 01-23-2020 01:44 PM

What have you done to be more efficient in songwriting?
 
My songwriting and creative process is severely flawed, I know. I'm the very definition of distraction, clutter, scattered thought, lack of focus, ADD, you name it. If anyone here can shed any light on something you've done to kick your creative process into a higher gear of efficiency and productivity, or even simple clarity and focus, in putting the creative pieces together and eliminating the unnecessary and extraneous, please share! I bet there's some good insight out there. THX.

Chipotle 01-23-2020 02:46 PM

Making sure I have a way to jot down ideas/phrases/melodic scraps & riffs, and keep it handy. Otherwise, I will always forget, even though I swear I will remember it! I have an app on my (Android) phone called Note Everything--I can use it to jot down text, make a quick drawing, or record a quick snippet, all in one place.

Aside from that, it is to actually make a schedule time to sit down and work on stuff. 30 minutes, an hour... but put everything else away and start writing. I may spend the whole time perusing the thesaurus and rhyming dictionary looking for words or phrases, or play a single riff the whole time, and not get much done. But that's fine. Other times will be more productive.

FrankHudson 01-23-2020 03:34 PM

A great many creatives find that setting a regular scheduled time to try to create is helpful. As the poster above notes, you may not get anything particularly satisfying each time, but when the muse does show up, you've got your work clothes on.

Similarly, some find that committing to write x number of songs in a month, quarter, year or some such interval is helpful. This is not a commitment to write x number of great songs, good songs, or even acceptable songs. If you do that, you may find that some method that works for you will emerge.

Why does one skip the stipulation that what one's works on has to be good above? Again, applying oneself to task generally or scheduling a time allows you to find and develop the tools and practrices that let you create better songs on the days your ideas or the muses present that opportunity.

A few years back I set myself the goal of creating 100 musical pieces in a year. In the process of doing that I discovered all kinds of things I could do that I didn't know I could do before that year.

slewis 01-23-2020 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chipotle (Post 6273659)
Making sure I have a way to jot down ideas/phrases/melodic scraps & riffs, and keep it handy. Otherwise, I will always forget, even though I swear I will remember it! I have an app on my (Android) phone called Note Everything--I can use it to jot down text, make a quick drawing, or record a quick snippet, all in one place.

Aside from that, it is to actually make a schedule time to sit down and work on stuff. 30 minutes, an hour... but put everything else away and start writing. I may spend the whole time perusing the thesaurus and rhyming dictionary looking for words or phrases, or play a single riff the whole time, and not get much done. But that's fine. Other times will be more productive.

Good stuff. I've done some of this off and on... but gotta do it more consistently!

slewis 01-23-2020 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 6273699)
A great many creatives find that setting a regular scheduled time to try to create is helpful. As the poster above notes, you may not get anything particularly satisfying each time, but when the muse does show up, you've got your work clothes on.

Similarly, some find that committing to write x number of songs in a month, quarter, year or some such interval is helpful. This is not a commitment to write x number of great songs, good songs, or even acceptable songs. If you do that, you may find that some method that works for you will emerge.

Why does one skip the stipulation that what one's works on has to be good above? Again, applying oneself to task generally or scheduling a time allows you to find and develop the tools and practrices that let you create better songs on the days your ideas or the muses present that opportunity.

A few years back I set myself the goal of creating 100 musical pieces in a year. In the process of doing that I discovered all kinds of things I could do that I didn't know I could do before that year.

Excellent! Thank you...

ryanspadafora 01-23-2020 04:31 PM

I highly recommend the book, "The War of Art" by Stephen Pressfield.

I find myself going back to it often, and I've struggled mightily in my creative pursuits over the years.

Here's a link to the audio version:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12z4...ew?usp=sharing

Mr. Jelly 01-23-2020 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slewis (Post 6273592)
If anyone here can shed any light on something you've done to kick your creative process into a higher gear of efficiency and productivity, or even simple clarity and focus, in putting the creative pieces together and eliminating the unnecessary and extraneous, please share! I bet there's some good insight out there. THX.

The creative process isn't expedient and efficient. When you do that it kills the part of the process that is creative. It does favor the prepared though. To do that one must always be writing. Meaning thinking about it all the time. Carry a little note book. Think about music away from your instrument. And wait. I found that the best results came from pressure release from building up with all the thought and writing and trials and errors. At some point either because I though I'd just accomplished something or just relaxing or giving up. Bam! Things happened. But mostly the biggest trick is rewriting, rewriting and rewriting. There isn't a some created that couldn't benefit from a rewrite. When you can say I've written a perfect song and explain how and why it is perfect. Then you are at the starting point of being a writer. Good luck.

Idaho Guitars 01-23-2020 05:39 PM

Great topic. Only a songwriter/artist knows and understands -can relate to the struggles and ups and downs and the dry times and the feeling of accomplishment that occasionally happens . Good songs are scarce for most. Often Itís a bit of mystery where songs come from. Sometimes they just appear -out of ya likeóI really Donít know where that one came from. I read a lot. Iím a History buff. Love old west Americana. I find much of what I write is spawned from my lifetime of Reading history and The people that weave those past trails. Some I write from inward life experiences. I always keep an old good sounding beater guitar handy that hangs within instant reach. I take advantage of the I-Phone. As soon as I pluck out a Chord tangle or a few words to a inspiration to a possible song I Record it with the I-Phone Video. I probably have a hundred recorded small bits of what could work into something. I often go back and review samples. Some I Save/keep. Some eventually sometimes work into a song. Some ill delete after a time. I do sometimes write inspiration down. But the Recorded method works best to -save the unique spur of moment inflections of the way I might word/sing something spontaneously created or the particular way I might finger pick or flat pick or strum something totally new.

Pitar 01-23-2020 06:30 PM

Arrange poems into songs.

The Bard Rocks 01-23-2020 09:05 PM

It takes some noodle-time to get me started. I only feel like noodling at certain times; usually I want to learn something new or improve on something I have worked on. Sometimes, it's fun to just just rehash old favorites. Noodle-time gets what's left over.

Straw 01-24-2020 04:04 AM

I confess I'm neither particularly efficient nor productive, and I'm somewhat wary of both in my own creative process. I would love to have written many more songs, but I just don't work that way.
I stumble on ideas when I am simply playful--not playing songs or practicing but daydreaming, drifting, fooling around on the guitar (or banjo, or simply whistling). On occasion, I'm lightning-bolt inspired, but that's rare. I've kept a folder of happenstance recordings for years; it takes up the majority of my computer's hard drive. I work on the melody first, and, given my poor memory, this method allows me to return and listen and play some more. When I think I've developed an interesting melodic idea and I have a lead on some possible words, there is still the long phase of revision: better lyrics, alternate arrangement possibilities, the question of a bridge, etc.
What I've found is that I almost never finish or like pieces I try to force (as with a deadline); my best work emerges when I have an open-ended attitude of playful insistence.
Robert

JonPR 01-24-2020 04:25 AM

How to get more efficient at songwriting?

GET OFF THE INTERNET! STOP POSTING/LURKING ON GUITAR FORUMS! :rolleyes:

That's pretty much the answer to getting more efficient at just about anything in life. Real life, that is. Stop reading about stuff and DO stuff.

(Yes, I know, I just wasted 2 minutes of my life posting this... :))

MikeBmusic 01-24-2020 08:11 AM

Join a local songwriting group that meets on a regular basis (even monthly) and offers prompts and challenges.

Join an online forum that offers the same.
https://www.musesongwriters.com/forums/

Join this year's FAWM (February Album Writing Month): http://fawm.org

Chipotle 01-24-2020 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeBmusic (Post 6274175)
Join a local songwriting group that meets on a regular basis (even monthly) and offers prompts and challenges.

Join an online forum that offers the same.
https://www.musesongwriters.com/forums/

Join this year's FAWM (February Album Writing Month): http://fawm.org

I'll say that having someone else to bounce ideas off of can get you over the hump on a song you are stuck on.

I have a friend or two that I can send of some partially finished lyrics to (lyrics are typically my bottleneck). Numerous times, they've suggested a word or phrase that I hadn't thought of, and suddenly the rest of the piece clicks into place.

DukeX 01-24-2020 11:29 AM

I can't help you on writing processes. We're all different. I can say that everytime I read a songwriting book it stimulates my song writing in multiple ways.


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