Music isn’t just random notes strung together to form something coherent. Well, it may start out that way, but it’s much more than that. Music is an art; a creative process of crafting melodies in specific forms and patterns pleasant to the ears.
It’s a process that goes along the same lines of Van Gogh and his paintings, or Ramsay and his cuisine. In songwriting, composing a song is very much like creating a dish—it requires the right balance of ingredients to make a good melody. But songwriting doesn’t just happen at random. Before the construction, the planning, and all other means of composition can take shape, what first has to come out is an idea.
Inspiration is the Key
Inspiration is the key in the process of songwriting. To be inspired, all it takes is a look at the world itself; from friends and family to the party happening down town, inspiration has a tendency to strike in the most unpredictable of ways from the most unexpected of places. Maybe it could come from hearing about a friend’s broken heart.
Perhaps it could be taken from a life-changing experience that happened with a lover. Even other songs, other means of music performed by different artists, can contribute greatly in the venture. Whether it’s positive and bright or sad and lonely, inspiration is nevertheless the beginning of the creative process.
But songwriting, of course, doesn’t simply end there; out of inspiration, the idea has to form. After all, inspiration is only its seed—from there, thought needs to be applied in order to build the idea, the essence of the song itself. Ideas form its core, the message any creative artwork is constructed out of. Once a clear idea is well underway, that’s when the real construction efforts actually begin.
The Nitty Gritty Stuff
Songwriting isn’t a linear process—like any good artwork, it occasionally takes a lot of running around circles, of weighing different stanzas, and of throwing away unwanted melodies in order to build and refine the finished piece. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out; ideas are scrapped for better ones.
At times, entire projects can be shelved away completely. Yet even in those moments when it seems nothing can go right and words or melodies aren’t coming as easily as they should, persevering is the only right way to go. In those instances, it’s best to step back and allow a moment to breathe. Soon enough the inspiration will strike again, and with it, the creative energy to keep going on.
Ultimately, while inspiration is the key to beginning the process, the energy and creative means to do so is held within. Keys only unlock doors, after all—everything else was already there to begin with. As long as passion is kept, as long as the drive to create and form music is had, then any song can be written. Anything is possible.
All it takes is one idea, and a drive to do so—and anyone can have that drive working within them.