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Create Your Songwriting Practice Routine

How to practice songwriting, learn to create your own customized songwriting practice routine to focus your efforts and maximize your songwriting results!
Create Your Songwriting Practice Routine - don't leave your songwriting up to chance, deliberately develop your songwriting practice

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Build a consistent songwriting practice routine to focus your efforts and maximize your songwriting results!

Every decent music teacher or vocal coach has advice for creating a practice routine… but nobody seems to talk about how to practice songwriting!

It might be the belief that songwriting is so personal, that every songwriter does it differently, but there are important things that every songwriter needs to work on.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to design your own songwriting practice routine,
  • To work with your strengths and build up your weaknesses
  • Maximize your songwriting potential and get the most out of your songwriting sessions!
what do you mean i have to work at my songwriting, sleeping grey cat, songwriting meme, songwriting advice that works

Every person is different, this isn’t an “out of the box” solution… instead you’ll learn the tools to design your personalized songwriting practice routine.

Don’t give in to the amateur excuse: “I just wait to be inspired and then write from the heart” … professional musicians practice systematically and consistently, so should songwriters.

If you are serious about writing great songs, it’s time to set up or re-evaluate your songwriting practice so you don’t need to:

  • Wonder what to write about
  • Hope inspiration strikes before you get frustrated
  • Worry you are stuck
  • Write multiple versions of the same song
  • Feel like you aren’t improving
  • Think there must be a better way to write!

First, let’s visualize an Ideal Songwriting Practice Routine. 

Then set your priorities and carve away the extras to build a practical practice you customize for yourself.

An unfinished song is an evaporating dream, dandelion with seeds blowing away

Ideal Songwriting Practice

I think of 5 general categories of songwriting activities:

1. Warm up

2. Technique

3. Learn / Analyze Repertoire

4. Write and finish your songs

5. Cool Down / Reflection

Warm Up – Find the Flow

Review your notes from your last session, do a brief writing warm up, or play through one of your songs. I also like to brainstorm song titles or lyric ideas.

Songwriting Technique

Work on exercises that focus on one or more of these areas:

  • Lyrics
  • Music
  • Melody
  • Chords Progressions
  • Accompaniment – how each instrumental part fits into the song, the notes played by each instrumental part

https://epicsongwriting.com/5-songwriting-exercises/

Learn New Music

  • Listen to new songs
  • Learn to sing and play new songs
  • Transcribe Songs – learn new songs by listening and playing/singing them & writing them down 
  • Analyze Songs – Tear apart great songs to figure out how to do it and find great songwriting ideas you can adapt for you own songs.

Research Songwriting

Although you can do this anywhere, when I do it in my songwriting space I apply it and get better results… otherwise I read about great ideas and exercises but don’t try them

Read Songwriting Books and Blogs – then try out tips, exercises or new songwriting techniques.

Practice Your Finished Songs

Play songs you have finished, either for performing or recording, and to keep them fresh. Listen for new ideas to improve these songs.

Record yourself playing a song and then watch / listen for ways to improve the song or your performance.

Write like you mean it, piano keyboard

Write New Songs

I listed this last because otherwise you would have ignored most of the other areas where you have to learn new things and stretch outside your comfort zone. Instrumentalists and vocalists usually do technical exercises first so they can apply their technical improvements to their repertoire.

Self Reflection – Check in with Yourself

Considering how you write and feel about your writing is a wonderful way to improve. Here are some sample questions to consider writing about in your songwriting notebook:

  • How are you writing?
  • How do you feel about writing?
  • How do you feel about what you have written?
  • What works well?
  • What needs improvement?
  • What do you avoid?
  • How do you distract yourself?
  • What happens when you start getting distracted?

Cool Down

Review your session: choose a place to start for your next session, and write notes on what you worked on, what went well, what needs more attention.

I explain an awesome 2 minute Cool Down process of self reflection and planning your next writing session in Daily Songwriting… enter your name and email address to get your free copy in your inbox…

I get my best songwriting ideas when I'm chilling, how to write a song without the frustration, songwriting process is more important htan songwriting tips

Bonus Songwriting Practice Tips

Dedicated Space

Create a place especially for your songwriting, free of distractions and interruptions.

Dedicated Time 

Choose a time of day that easily works with your life, as frequent as possible.

Take Breaks

Take a 5 minute break or change tasks when your focus wavers.

Change it up

Avoid boredom, use variety to keep you fresh, do regular tasks in a different order

Organize your Songwriting

Keep your finished songs and song ideas where you can find them. Use notebooks, computer files, playlists of voice memos, playlists of rough demos and finished demos….

Keep Track of your ideas 

Keep lists of:

  • Songs to learn
  • Playlists of songs to transcribe
  • Future song titles to write
  • Song lyric ideas
  • Interesting chord progressions
  • Songwriting books to read
  • Songwriting techniques and exercises
What do you mean I need to know songwriting stuff to write songs, white and orange cat crying out, songwriting meme

How Do I Create My Own Personalized Songwriting Practice Routine?

This isn’t cookie cutter time, let’s figure out what you need and want to focus on so you’re writing the best songs you can!

Set Your Priorities

An Ideal Songwriting Practice is lengthy and difficult to do consistently… so figure out where you need to focus by deciding what is most important for you. Use these sample questions to get started. 

To help you follow through and create your own songwriting practice routine, you can

Click to get the free Create Your Songwriting Practice Routine PDF worksheet

Use these sample questions to start prioritizing

  • What are my goals?
  • What are my songwriting strengths?
  • What comes easily?
  • What are my songwriting weaknesses?
  • What do I avoid trying or doing?
  • What do I need to work on the most?
  • What small improvements would give me big results?

Then decide how important each area is for you

For example – choose a personal rating for each area in the Ideal Practice Routine:

1. Every time

2. Every time bonus (when there’s time)

3. Every other time

4. Weekly

5. Monthly

6. Maybe when I get some time – or next month

7. Not a priority, not going to do it right now

Don't put more pressure on yourself

To give you some ideas, here is my latest Practice Routine:

Daily

Warm Up – check session notes, turn guitar and play a finished song (5 minutes)

Songwriting Technique – freewrite new title ideas or write from a title idea (5-15 minutes)

Write SongsNext Best Song (5-30 minutes), option work on other songs 

Options

Usually

  • Try a new Songwriting Technique exercise (1 per week)
  • Record a finished song on phone, focus on memorizing and vocal delivery
  • Listen to songs on studio speakers (not earbuds)

Weekly

  • Review incomplete demos, decide where to focus on next production day 
  • Brainstorm and outline songs (15+ minutes) twice a week
  • Brainstorm and outline blog posts for epicsongwriting (15+ minutes) twice a week
  • Research new songwriting technique exercises, choose one to try

Monthly

  • Learn to play and sing 2+ new songs a month (10-20 minutes a session)
  • Transcribe 2+ songs a month (15-30 minutes a session)
  • Review Songwriting Notes, looking for old ideas or songs to work on
  • Review my Practice Goals
  • Review my Practice Routine 

Cool Down / Self Reflection (3 minutes)

To help you follow through and create your own songwriting practice routine, you can

Click to get the free Create Your Songwriting Practice Routine PDF worksheet

Comment and share your thoughts… 

What are your must do’s in your Practical Songwriting Practice Routine?

or

What would you add to the Ideal Songwriting Practice?

Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff has taught, played and written music professionally for the last 25+ years.
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