One of the most important and complex challenges we face as authors is to connect on a deep and honest level with our audience. Imagine meeting a person and having only 3 minutes to make them feel any emotion, by talking and making gestures. In practice using every verbal communication technology available to you. Do you think it is easy to do that? The answer is obviously no, but difficult does not mean impossible.
To make your audience feel something, you have to be as real as possible in your writing. The final goal of each song should be to allow your listeners to get into your shoes and live with you the story voiced in the song.
Today we are continuously connected, we have social networks, we have smartphones and computers that only a few years ago seemed like pure science fiction and yet today, all this is a reality.
However, the sense of loneliness and isolation of most people has increased rather than decreased, creating all these small worlds has disconnected us from the only world that matters, the real world. Your songs can become bridges, can serve to reconnect your listeners with real experience, even if distant in space and time, but certainly more real than a like on Instagram.
What is the songwriting tool that allows us to make an experience as strong as possible? The only tool that can tell you that the song will work or not, is the feeling you experience by listening to it. Each artwork is built on the concept of tension, i.e. construction of tension inside the verse, increase of tension in the bridge and release of energy in the chorus. Immediately, you must feel hatred or love towards a song. Only then will you know if your song is strong enough to convey feelings.
Your judgment can be influenced by the fact that every song is a child of yours and Then how can you remain objective?
I will never get tired of stressing the importance of feedback in creative work. Choose a friend, a girlfriend, a cousin, someone who is not in the record industry or even better, someone who knows nothing about music. Let them listen to your songs and ask them to tell you what they honestly think. It might hurt, but know that this is the best way to grow as songwriters. Ideally, you want somebody who you trust and respect, that will give you an honest opinion of the song, rather than tell you it’s great all the time.
You should not be ashamed, but you should use all the tools at your disposal to be an author of better songs. Even the big brands, radios, and multinationals in the discography industry have listening and critics groups that allow them to always bring out the best possible product. Berry Gordy and Motown were famous for this. Berry would organize listening groups and he had one question. If you had a dollar, what would buy, the single or a sandwich? That’s how they approved the releases of the songs.
So why should you not apply the same principles as well? If you have difficulty finding someone to help you with your feedback, remember that there is a very special group on Facebook called SONGWRITING & TOPLINING 4.0 where a group of songwriters works together to grow and share resources. To have access to the group just CLICK HERE.
The exercise I invite you to do is to immediately choose three of your songs, one that you think is really terrible, one that you think is a masterpiece and one that you do not know how to consider. We are the worst judges of ourselves and often what seems horrible to us is actually extraordinary and vice versa.
Once you have chosen these songs, send them to at least three people and listen to their opinions. They obviously have to be people who are not afraid to tell you what they think. If you overcome your fears and inhibitions and do this exercise systematically, you will certainly rediscover that you can write better songs every day.
‘Music and rhythm together are able to find the mysterious path that leads to the soul.’
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Photo by Nicholas Githiri from Pexels
Photo by jonas mohamadi from Pexels