Please listen to the podcast below while reading this post. What you will hear, which is my third attempt at song writing, is far from good. I would like you to listen to it, however, to share what song writing has been like for me, a beginner.
From my experience, actually being able to write music is a completely different challenge than just simply being able to play music by reading sheet music. In my nine years of piano lessons, I never branched out to attempt to write my own songs. Doing so always seemed like a cool idea; I mean who doesn’t wish they could be in band jamming to their own music? I could never, however, bring myself to write songs, maybe because I was never sure how to go about it.
It was not until two years ago, in my freshman dorm that I tried writing my own music for the first time. Why did I decide to do this? The inspiration to write actually emerged from a relationship gone wrong. Emotions and stress seemed to be the driving force. From this, I discovered that much of what music writing is all about is expressing emotion through sounds other than human speech. Even though my song did not have lyrics, the combined sounds produced the feelings I wanted to express.
Writing the few songs that I did, served as an outlet to release what I was feeling rather than saying what was on my mind through words. I know all of this may sound cliché or “emo” like, but a main reason we listen to music is because we can relate to what the song expresses. Knowing this, we can conclude that the writer writes what they do because they know the audience can connect with it.
With out my need to release emotion, I don’t think I could have ever begun writing music. It was not any formal process, more so me just sitting at the piano randomly playing chords to try to piece together the sound I was reaching for. Eventually, when I would hear a measure I liked, I would repeat it again and again, and then continue on to slowly add the rest of the song to completion.
Nothing of what I have ever written is good enough to take seriously; however, my attempt has allowed me to see music in a new light.
I would like to hear your thoughts on how you go about writing music. What inspires you?