Monday, January 31, 2011

Yes, You Too Can Write an Album’s Worth of New Songs in February

Here’s an exercise for you, if you’ve always thought about writing songs, or if you write songs but haven’t written any in a couple of years. It’s February Album Writing Month, where the objective is to write 14 new songs, enough songs for an album with perhaps a few to spare, during the 28 days of February. That’s one song every two days — an easily achievable pace, even if you’re working in your spare time and have limited skills at songwriting.

In truth, if you’re familiar with the basics of music and listen to songs all the time, songwriting is not as difficult or mysterious as most of the books on the subject make it out to be. If you need songwriting tips, spend some time flipping through Paul Nordquist’s Unruly Beast of a Songblog. I think of Paul as the private detective of songwriting coaches, the one who can track down your missing inner songwriter. Take a look at The Rock Songwriter’s Deck and you’ll see what I mean.

Why would anyone take on the challenge of writing 14 songs in one month if writing one song seems difficult? That’s precisely the point: the action of writing song after song forces you out of the mindset of thinking that it’s too hard to do. When you start thinking of work as something you can do, you may find yourself doing more and better work. That change in perspective — not so much the actual 14 songs — is the point of February Album Writing Month.