Each songwriter has their own strategies for working on their craft; some like to work in a certain environment, and others can only work at a certain time of the day as their productively levels decrease as the night falls. Ideally, songwriting or production should be something that comes naturally to us on a daily basis, but unfortunately, life can get in the way and push us further away from our goals. While we certainly cannot control everything that happens in our lives, there are ways to make time for what we’re truly passionate about. It’s just a matter of exerting a little more effort to execute these activities.
One of the biggest distractions for musicians (and everyone else, really) are electronic gadgets. The first few tips that Nicholas Tozier shares when it comes to dedicating more time to music are related to the TV, phone and computer. It’s important that you take yourself away from these diversions, whether that means completely shutting down your laptop or locking yourself in a room with just a pen, paper and your instruments. Because there are a myriad of apps these days that are tailored to the songwriter, many musicians incorporate smartphone or tablet usage into their craft. In this case, it’s recommended that you disconnect from wifi and mobile internet so that you can just focus at the task at hand.
This infographic entitled ‘Improving Concentration and Focus’ explains that our ability to focus can actually increase when we’re exposed to loud background noise, tapping into the creative part of the brain can be rather difficult when you’re trying to sing or play back a few bars. This is applicable to a whole number of different circumstances and can be applied to almost everything in life.
Inspiration can arise unexpectedly from anywhere at any given time, while checking out a busy night market or quickly having a coffee break at new cafe. However, if you’re trying to create some consistency in music writing, you do need a quiet workspace at home to collect your thoughts and translate it into song. Preferably, your workspace should be away from distractions previously mentioned, as well as places like your bedroom.
Lastly, practice writing on command. Setting aside some time every day, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes, doesn’t automatically guarantee you’ll compose a hit by the end of the week. But in the same way that memory improves when you do brain training exercises, having daily music making assignments will help get those creative juices flowing. Some suggestions from My Song Coach’s article entitled ‘When Do You Write Songs’ include writing song pitches for an artist with a style you identify with, or rewriting a score for your favorite movie or series. It’s the little things like this that will make music writing easier over time.
How do you make time for music?
– Jackie Davis
While the kids in high school went to band practice after, Jackie would spend her time either in a coffee shop writing lyrics or in her room, teaching herself how to play the guitar. Currently working as a marketing manager, she likes to attend open mic nights and indie musician showcases in her free time to share her craft.