Almost everyone has some sort of coping mechanism they use to get through tough times or just to keep them balanced and centered. For some they use exercise, others create art and some write music. All of us at some point are going to experience pain, sadness, loss, loneliness, fear and anxiety, but you get to choose how you deal with it. For many writing music as therapy is how they cope, and it is also how some incredible music gets created.
All of us go through some personal tragedy, but just because heartbreak is something that eventually happens to everyone doesn’t make it any less painful. Some people just internalize that pain, some throw themselves into work to deal with and some people turn that pain into some incredible music. Think of Adele and her album “21” it sold millions of albums and topped the charts for nearly 2 years. The songs were all about heartbreak and the end of a relationship, things that everyone has gone through. Instead she took her pain and used song writing as a means to deal with it.
If you talk to many song writers they will tell you that they definitely using songwriting as a form of therapy, it helps manage their demons and writing is a way to exorcise them. Many of them will tell you that if it weren’t for music they would never be able to cope. Each has their own process for writing songs some are very analytical while others just let the creativity flow. Here is how to use songwriting as your personal therapist.
each songwriter has their own process for getting their songs on paper. Some sit in a candlelit room with pen, paper and a guitar and the music flows for them. Others need don’t need the quiet they prefer the feedback of others and collaborations help them work through a song. Whatever inspires your muse or whatever environment you need to create to let the writing flow is perfectly fine.
Some writers can crank out song after song and are very good at channeling their pain into words. There are artists that have libraries full of unreleased material. They don’t always want that work made public or don’t feel it is good enough. Music or song writing can be a great cathartic experience and sometimes that is exactly what you need.
Most people believe they can write a song. Some even take classes on it. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. However, most anyone who thinks they can do it could probably write a very good song. At least that is what I say.
When I wrote my song back in high school it was mostly lyrics. I didn’t really have a melody per se but there was a melody. All the same note though. No variation in tone or anything. Very simple. I think anyone could do better than that. So here are my tips for you to be the songwriter that you want to be.
Decide on what type of music. If it’s classically based, pop and catchy tunes, or R & B with some bass and a nice beat. Then pick a topic to sing about or do as I do- go from the seat of your pants. Writing a song is not just writing the lyrics it’s also for writing the music. The notes that a person who plays the song actually sees to play the song that was written. That is a song. Both lyrics and the music.
Lyrics can determine what the type of music is. For example, I will borrow from Maya Angelou. “It was in the swing of my hips”. Put that with say a beat or a melody. Singing in a high melodic voice or a more husky voice. Sing with a sympathetic beat or a slow calypso beat. Anything you want to do in order to make your song.
I started off with the words. As if I was writing a poem. And the poem had to have a rhythm to it. You know the beat. The beat had to be a nice steady beat that would vary at a different pace every so often. Then came the rest of the song.
My favorite music has a nice steady beat that uses say snare drums or a bass drum beat or the drum set. Then the guitar comes in with steady chords and riffs. Then the special instruments beside the voice. Like a trumpet, alto or tenor sax and your tambourine. Put it all together and you have a helluva a musical sound to now put your lyrics too. I use a program on my computer that you can use too. It will write the music notes and your lyrics.
When you put them all together you have a song that you wrote and can play. You didn’t need all those instruments just a computer program to simulate what you wanted.