Originally, I wanted to call this “Why Do People Write Songs?”.
There are so many reasons for people to write music and “inspiration” will always play a part. For this reason, I decided to go with “The Inspiration… blah blah blah”.
It may seem like a simple question but I wanted to explore. I wanted to find out exactly why it is that people actually write songs and not just play instruments.
Playing Instruments is fun, isn’t it. You can spend countless hours, unavailable to the rest of the world, playing your instrument of choice. That much is clear. Then, why do people take it one step further and begin to compose pieces of music? What kind of person does it take in order for this development to happen?
Do you have to be confident?
I don’t see why, because you don’t necessarily need to showcase your music, although most songwriters seem to eventually go that extra mile, at least to a small, private viewing for their friends or relatives.
If someone is to avoid being creative on their instrument, I find that their reasoning is most-likely in parallel with low self-esteem. This can be caused by an enormous number of things. For example, living with/around people who cause you stress/discomfort can be an obvious cause. Even just feeling neglected can initiate a negative approach. Someone could simply be the odd one out at work, at school or at home. Any of these things can have a lasting effect on people and any of them can lead to a negative approach towards creativity, or a feeling of inadequacy. Not always.
Others release their creative attitude through their built-up emotions. It does entirely depend upon the individual’s personality and their experience but these are the people who help to prove our claim that confidence is not necessary when starting to write music.
So other than issues with low self-esteem, I don’t really identify “confidence” as being a factor for songwriting.
When beginning to compose, some might find confidence to be beneficial to their own personal songwriting process, although I can imagine that most musicians aren’t exactly eager to share their first pieces of music. I certainly wasn’t!
Bravery, I think is a more beneficial and suitable trait to possess, although even bravery would only really make a difference if someone is to showcase their compositions. Again, nobody needs to showcase their creative work.
I think everybody encounters those normal feelings of thinking your music is undesirable, of poor quality or simply unsatisfactory.
Is it down to attention-seeking?
Not at all. As mentioned earlier, many of the musicians that I’ve met have started songwriting as part of an emotional outlet. Whether their emotion is “overjoyed”, “angered”, “empowered” or “fearful” (among many others), there’s always music to be made encompassing those emotions. Not only that but songwriting is also an industry in which we can all be creative. A large percentage of songwriting cannot be defined as right or wrong. That causes songwriting to be a very attractive industry, not just for those who seek attention.
Is there anything else that can drive people towards songwriting?
In my experience, I’ve found countless reasons for people to open the door to songwriting so I’ve listed a few of the main reasons below:
They accidentally find out that they’re good at it
Going by my own experience, I found that I could recreate the noises that people made using instruments and it rapidly became something that I didn’t really think about. I just did it. I didn’t have to think about how to write a song and it wasn’t something that I had to develop; certainly nowhere near the amount of effort that I needed to put into learning techniques on my instruments.
A few others have found that their story is similar to mine, in that “I should start writing music” wasn’t a conscious thought. I just happened and after many songs had been made, you stop and you see that your efforts have taken shape (which is an extremely ethereal state by the way; stumbling across an accidental, creative accomplishments for the first time).
Dismantling and rebuilding someone else’s song, with modifications
Some people find that they want to recreate their favourite songs using an instrument of their choice. Often, as beginners, people will realise that some of their favourite songs require a much higher technical ability than they currently have, and so they tweak those songs and from there, some people find their creative flow. Again, this is almost an accidental approach to songwriting.
A sense of togetherness, with other musicians
Whether you’ve been to a concert or you just admire a band’s record, you can’t help but notice the sense of togetherness from the musicians involved. It’s a typical feeling when you’re a part of a group that acts like a well-oiled machine. For many beginner musicians who are in cover bands or just jamming groups, the sensation of accomplishment as part of a group can spur them on to the next step in their musical development. I can’t speak for everybody but I would assume that most people are of the same opinion of “writing music” being the next step after successfully playing cover songs with a band (depending on the point of the band of course).
A sense of togetherness, with a target audience
This one is a little bit difficult to describe and I’ve only come across this a handful of times.
An example of this scenario is when one or more of a band’s members are extremely sociable, to the point where they experience their own music as though they are in the audience. They feel connected by the way their music makes themselves, and their listeners, feel.
This sense of togetherness seems like a much less selfish approach from the creatives, although some may see this as more of a conforming approach from the band, to abide by their audience’s wishes. At the same time, those band members wont see it that way, they’ll see it more like a united community of listeners with their band as the leaders of the community.
I think many more people are attracted to the idea of creating the music that they love, sometimes in complete disregard of their listeners, than the few who are more attracted to “conforming” and feeling instant unity with an audience. Some might call it the bridge between an indulgent songwriter and a sell-out songwriter. Not to put a negative spin on songwriting!
The best musicians I’ve met have grown into songwriting with a sense of togetherness with both their band and audiences. A very desirable trait for all performing songwriters.
Finally, I believe that some people begin their songwriting careers with the intention of simply developing their skills. Flexing their creative muscles. A very simple reason and yet, I don’t see anything wrong with it. More creatives in the world can never be a bad thing.
Have Fun & Keep Playing
Director of Content, Buden Bay
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