A big mistake many recordist make is they over tweak their song so much, they end up wasting time, losing interest, and the creative fire can go out real fast.
I have written over 2,000 songs, recorded several hundreds of Songs; let me tell you something I have learned. If you are a perfectionist, are trained to read music, and are over doing every beat, syllable, note, you can lose your creative spark.
Some write and record fro the head, others from the heart, I am one that writes and records with emotion from the heart, I am not trained in music theory, and I have always just made music, from the heart. Once I started to master Recording Engineering and later Mastering Engineering, I found myself over tweaking a song, days later to find, the first take, the first final mix, was the best, I wasted time and became frustrated.
I am not saying you should not master your craft, but guess what, that happens with time, not your first recording or CD, you should sound and become better with each recording, with each year.
Composing a song, or writing lyrics should be done the same way that a story is written, I have written seven books and have many film scripts and finished non fiction novels. I have learned as a writer of stories and lyrics, just write, do not stop, a writer writes. If you just write what ever comes to your head and heart,........... That is the best start. I just write, and write and later if needed I will change a word or a line. I have been bale to do most of my stuff in the first rough draft with no re write, it’s a gift not everyone is a natural word smith, but no matter what, just write and do not stop, do not check rhymes, spelling, punctuation , nothing, this is where the creative process takes place, during your first draft.
One you learn the craft of writing esp. lyrics or poems a dead give away of a novice writer in song is to much rhyming, unless its rap LOL. Over rhyming is the dead give away, do not try to rhyme every ending verse, sometimes for artistic purposes I over rhyme, like on a song I did called Intensity-Chem trails, it called for it. Look at say U2 lyrics and see a pro lyricist and wordsmith at work see how few rhymes there are.
David Bowie said many times he would write one or two lines of lyrics cut them into slices toss them in the air and however they fell, he wrote them that way, I kid you not. I would not suggest that way, I am making a point, look at Pink Floyd lyrics, many veiled messages, allegories, and many do not even know what they are talking about. Sometimes I love allegorical lyrics, poetry that says things in a allegorical thought, it takes many listens to get what the song is saying, but I am an Indy artist, commercial artists, Country and western writers would never do that, the rule is (in commercial music) tell a story have a start, a middle and an end, so be it, I have done that as well. One song I wrote from a short story I did years ago, called Anthers Haven was a story song. Great song, depressing, about a Korean vet that sat in a N.Y. city, small grey dingy room, drinking and wanting to end his life, the pitchers painted in word are vivid, be vivid when writing, don’t over describe, make it vivid as writers will tell you, don’t tell the reader, listener, show them, you do this with dialog, scenery and action words.
Art is art, do not let anyone tell you, you have to follow any rules, most new writers should learn the rules and later break them at will, this is art.
Also in commercial music you normally have, the intro, verse 1, choir 1, verse choir 2, break, choir 3.
Many times I use the Choir first and the verses second, or no verse at all choir and breaks, its up to you. Other times I have three verses and music breaks with no choir, see, just write.
The hardest part for ant new writer is the hook; even in Indy music you need a hook. At this stage in my life and with many seasoned writers we write the hook first, and build the song around the hook. You can have a hook as an instrument part and not even a lyric, but a hook of music and lyrics is a very powerful way to write, I do that often, it will make the listener want to hear your song over and over.
The other problem that can and will hinder your creativity is using extremely complicated recording software, some software takes six months to a year to master, like pro tools, and I like to just write. I was brought up on a four track cassette I loved it, old analog sequencers and built in sequencers in my synths, loved it, I would just compose, create, hit a button and go.
To you who use tabletop digital multi track recorders, eventually you will at least need to use a USB port to upload your song to a PC for the final edit. I know there are products out that allow you to do it all in one tabletop. Most are wanting, aside from one that records at 24 bit, if not forget it, 24 bit recording is a must and to have a great mastered audio it must be in Wav. Format at 24 bit and if possible 96 KHZ, this is the pro recording standard. I wrote on the free Kristal Sound Engine that records 24 bit and up to 192KHZ and its free, uncomplicated and just like a tabletop recorder, but free.
A cheap 4 or 8 track digital multi track is great if you’re a song writer doing demos, and that’s all you would need, also with a USB upload you can master on your PC and still have a good enough product to sell where ever you play out.
I stated in my book, The Poor Persons Guide To Market Your Music- For Pennies On The Dollar, if you have never read it, the link to free books is there. What is said was now days the only way to make money in music is from your sales table you set up, wherever you perform, no one is buying music online as they once did, but a band, a soloist anyone that has a CD, can make a good living by having them sold where you play out, mark my words, now days that’s the way to go, you can make more than from a shabby recording contact, I covered the truths a bought getting signed on this blog.
So, play from your heart, a writer writes, a musician plays and we all get the joy of hearing your great music one day.