Almost everyone says they like music. Everyone, I think, remembers a song. Some of them also turn to the other side and discover that they have something to say, a need or perhaps a hobby that leads them to compose musical pieces or songs.
The truth is that we are surrounded by music, sung verses, rhythms, sound experiences with intention, but have you ever wondered why we make songs?
Let’s see what use it is for us to compose new works and, perhaps, show them to acquaintances and strangers, to those beings we call humans.
Who can write songs?
And the key to answering it is to understand what a song consists of.
There I collect some definitions that more or less agree that it would be “a musical composition for the human voice, with lyrics”.
Therefore, if you have a voice, whatever it is, and you know how to speak, you already have the basics to produce songs.
We can add the musical instruments, if you want, but actually, playing an instrument is not mandatory to make a song.
So, a priori, anyone can do it.
Think for a moment about the following, an everyday situation.
You are at home doing a household chore or on the street, on the way to somewhere, and the memory of a song comes to mind. But it is an incomplete memory, some parts of the song are not clear to you. Even so, you can’t help but sing it or hum it or hum it and, in the spaces you don’t remember, you improvise, you fill them in with other memories, with your experiences, with your resources.
Congratulations. You are composing a song.
Believe it or not, that’s the same process a songwriter goes through, professional or not, successful or not. Exactly the same process.
Trial, hit or miss. Trial, hit or miss. I like this more than that, this does not fit with the rest, etc.
These trials and decisions, recorded or stored somewhere, physical or virtual, are the basic workflow of a composer.
A good part of the tasks involved in writing a song are no different from other daily tasks that we do every day in our lives.
From cooking, to DIY, or any activity that involves putting together different things, mixing them according to criteria or personal taste and achieving a specific result.
This is also how songs are made. With more or less experience, with more or less self-satisfaction, what we understand as music, lyrics and purpose are the elements that mix in each song in a particular way and result in a more or less unique combination.
The obstacles that we find when we write music or songs are similar to the problems of cooks or architects or almost any job or trade.
Too strong, too long, too sweet, fragile, boring, out of place, … These types of thoughts and many others are common during the creative process of many activities without the supernatural aura that surrounds what is called “artistic”.
Thinking about the detail and the whole, about what we say and what we wanted to say, about continuity and surprise, taking into account balance and meaning when choosing words or notes or tones when we write a song are equivalent to thinking “salt or pepper”, “how much salt or how much pepper”, “maybe better sugar”, who is going to eat this dish?
I will not go into here to talk about insecurity, self-demand and many other mental obstacles that lie in wait for composers in their work. I would give for several entire programs.
Today we are going to focus on the positive, which is a lot.
I repeat this popular saying a lot because it seems to me a jewel of eloquence and human knowledge.
To make a song it is not necessary to be a singer, but we do have to sing, and singing is, to a large extent, synonymous with health.
This, more than a phrase or the voice of wisdom, is an experience. We have all felt that relief, that special emotion when we sing or hum a melody, when we sing the lyrics of a song, and also after doing it.
We feel better, more comforted in difficult life situations and we feel even better when celebrating good or happy moments.
Writing in general, moreover, and making songs in particular, is an extraordinary tool for getting to know ourselves better.
If you think you know everything about yourself, you probably know very little, actually.
We are, to a large extent, strangers to ourselves. We are too close to ourselves, so to speak. We have too many interests involved to easily see our circumstances with a bit of objectivity.
It is not something so simple.
Writing a song gives us some distance. Our words, our melodies are ourselves in front of our eyes and ears, and they give us the opportunity to see ourselves unfolded, so to speak, and value ourselves with a bit of objectivity, with a bit of perspective.
These two benefits, by themselves, already give an idea of how powerful this activity is.
If we add the social and relationship dimension to which expressing ourselves in this way can give rise, we would still find many more.
In short, if you think it’s impossible for you to ever compose a song, you’re wrong.
It’s that easy.
Right now, right now you could write a sentence on a piece of paper, or record an expression, or an idea or a concern on your mobile phone and you would already be in the process of creating a letter.
If you use your voice for it and add some intonation or melody attempt at the time of recording, you will already be testing musical possibilities for that idea.
The most famous composers and the lesser known, all use this type of media to collect material, seeds that with time and some dedication will or will not become complete songs. Some better than others, some very different from the first form or idea they had, others preserving the initial essence.
The music of a song will lead to its lyrics and vice versa, like a braid of sounds and meanings.
It doesn’t matter. Each song has its history, its birth, its development and its conclusion. The paths that this process will follow and the times are extremely varied.
Some songs will be written in a fairly linear way, from beginning to end, others will not. Some will be completely written in days or weeks, others will wait in a drawer or in a computer file for months or years until they find a complete development.
This program is designed to tell you one thing. We don’t need anything extraordinary to write a song.
In fact, there is only one requirement for it: wanting to do it.
Basic skills are available to everyone, any of us, anywhere, anytime.
The specific skills, the habit, the techniques, the specific knowledge that help us to give a complete shape to a song are nothing esoteric. They are easily assumable and, with some practice and interest, they are learned and give better and better results.
Well, I’ve already vented. It is very angry when a person, and I am a living example of this, limits himself in activities that he can effectively do due to personal or collective beliefs.
Our brain can be our ally or our main enemy. We must watch it and force it to work for us and not against us.
You have to look a little at how we think and if the results of our thoughts lead us to do what we want and can do or if they hinder us.
Our head must be at our service and not against our wishes and possibilities.