Throughout this past month, I’ve been taking an online course in songwriting. While this is part of my attempt to continue getting an education of some sort without having to be formally enrolled in an institute, this is conveniently enough something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do.
Songwriting is something I’ve been interested in for quite some time now. Already I’m able to adapt and write in a wide variety of forms (such as novel writing, short story writing, journalism-based writing, poetry, etc.). I’ve always been told that if you can write poetry, then one can just as well pick up on songwriting. That and the fact that I do have a bit of a background in music makes it a bit easier too.
Since day one, I’ve learned a lot from the class; from song structures, to rhythm, and even the various types of rhyming mechanisms too. Aside from lectures, there are also the weekly assignments I have as well and from that, I’ve actually gotten to do a bit of songwriting and song structuring myself. It’s been an interesting experience and I know that there’s more where that came from with our upcoming final project at all.
It’s from this course that in my own time, I’ve gotten to think a lot about songwriters whose works I enjoy and I think of how they go about their material. I think of Phil Collins and how he’s able to direct an emotion into a song and have it be clear-cut about it, while also providing a thought provoking feel to it. I think of Lorde and her poetic styling of songs about media portrayals and life in the suburbs. I think of Sia and her effective, catchy lyrics, while keeping in mind as to what would be considered marketable in the present time. It’s through thinking about the songwriters whose work I admire do I try to channel a similar energy into the songs I attempt to craft.
There are so many songs out there, whose stories only explain so much in the lyrics, whereas their back stories may be far more extensive. Also, as I’ve learned through the songwriting course, there are also so many songs that vary between telling a third-person story (maybe one that had never even happened) to a first-person story about a very personal experience. I recently got to speak with a singer-songwriter who explained how each of his songs are like a journal entry, and how there’s a person’s name attached to each song that only he knows the identities to.
Of course, I’ve also given a lot of thought as to the kinds of songs there are out there; not genre-wise, but in subject matter. Two people can write two separate songs about a heart-wrenching breakup. However, the trick is to make sure it’s as original as possible. But, as you can imagine, that’s how it normally is when you write any type of narrative.
I only have two weeks of lectures remaining for this course. What I plan to do with these acquired skills beyond it, I don’t know. I’ll admit that I’ve had little fantasies about writing songs for people to sing, for I cannot help but imagine that to be a fun experience. But who knows if that will ever actually happen. I guess in the mean time, I’ll just be simply satisfied with the fact that I have this skill set in my pocket.
A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 5 reviews so I’m already a quarter of a way to my goal).
Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.