A young songwriter often begins as a poet. Followed by song writing to express feelings. Writing is an effective way to lower stress and cope with anxiety and fear. It helps you make sense of life. When your thoughts are on paper it’s easier to see what is wrong and how to resolve it. It becomes more than words. You want those close to you to know how you feel and comfort you.
If you’re writing for yourself, family and friends, it’s fun doing something creative isn’t it? When you are next walking, test out your lyrics to the rhythm of your steps to make inventing a melody easier. Record your song on your phone to help you remember it. Keep writing and you will soon find it easier to improve your lyrics.
When you are hoping to be heard by millions, you may be at a loss of what to do next. Talk it over with your parents. Here are some marketing ideas. However, first be aware that what you do next with your lyrics or full song can depend on the following:
A Young Songwriter Needs Courage
As a young songwriter, you will need courage to step outside of your home and begin marketing yourself as a singer/songwriter. Lyricists are rarely successful without being able to perform with music and produce a full song. (Remember if you are a young songwriter, you will need a parent or a responsible adult involved to keep you safe.)
Be aware that if you want to market your talent as a singer/songwriter, responsibility follows. There will be times when you don’t feel like being surrounded by hoards of people. You will have to learn to fight your own feelings and do what you need to do rather than what you want to do.
Songwriting and Music Lessons
Why not take a course in songwriting. It could help you get started. Take singing lessons to learn more about your very individual voice. Hints and tips from singing teachers are very helpful. They will help you extend your range and versatility. You will discover that your voice suits certain types of songs but not others. You will refine your singing style which in turn will help your songwriting. It may all seem like effort but you will get back what you put in.
Learn basic chords on a guitar or piano so that you can add music to your lyrics. Take music lessons if possible. There is always You Tube, if you can’t afford lessons. Look for simple videos on how to play guitar or piano.
If you are determined to make this work, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Young singer/songwriters can enter talent contests at school or other venues. This feedback is important, it will let you know whether to keep your songwriting as a hobby or to take it further.
- Create a You Tube video of you singing your song. If you begin to get lots of hits you know that others feel that you are worth listening to.
- Read blogs written by people that have been in the same situation as you, to find out how they succeeded.
- Contact a website that will help you promote your work.
- If you can’t already play an instrument, you will need to learn or work with a friend who can play guitar or keyboard well. Better still, learn yourself. You should be able to find chords which match your ideas for melodies and just play simple chords whilst you sing. Most artists want to hear a full song prepared preferably in a recording studio or home studio.
- Contact a recording studio, explain what help you need and be prepared to pay for their assistance and time with production.
- Busk in high profile, safe locations.
As you will see, all of these suggestions mean hard work for a young songwriter. Watch out though, it could well take you out of your comfort zone. Taking your song writing to the next level will take commitment, time, energy, courage, money and a willingness to take a closer look at the songs that you’ve written to see if they really are marketable. Be realistic. Maybe only a few of your songs are good enough to be sung by your favorite singers. Could you imagine them on your favorite artist’s album? The deeper and more thought provoking your lyrics, the more likely it is that someone will take notice. Alternatively, inject an element of fun into your lyrics. It may be just what depressed people need.
Have you got what it takes to shine?
Often, our family and friends are very kind and supportive because they care about us and don’t want to hurt our feelings. So, they may say that EVERYTHING that we write is wonderful. If you truly are an amazing songwriter and are willing to take it to the next level, you will instinctively know what is good and what isn’t. Therefore, your good songs will win through. Remember though, that not everything a songwriter writes is good enough to hit a chord with their audience. View your song writing as good practice for that moment when you really do come up with an amazing song that lots of artists want to sing. If you intend to take up songwriting as a career you will need a plan of action.
Taking song writing to the next level needs careful thought. Take a deep breath now and think:
- Is this what I really want?
- Am I strong enough to take disappointment?
- Do I have the ability to cope if I am successful?
- Have my lyrics and music ideas got a unique twist that makes me different enough to succeed?
One thing you need to know though is that the music industry is a ruthless business. Unless you have an exceptional talent, people can be very critical. To ‘make it’ in the music industry, people will usually only take you on if they can make money out of you. Sad but true. That said, there are a few that have had enough money to get started on their own and control their own career and market their talent. Remember, that although you may desire fame and fortune you need the back up of a sound education. Sometimes we have to bide our time until the right moment arrives as a young songwriter. Use that time wisely to write songs on a regular basis. Become alert to ideas for song writing. Learn how to re-write your lyrics if you are beginning to dislike your lyric.
Learn Your Songwriting Craft
Now is the time to study the lyrics and music of successful songwriters. Make an effort to understand what made their songs successful. How did they get started? Read interviews with songwriters. They will often give tips on how to succeed. Many started as a young songwriter and their careers took off as artistes when they reached their late teens. So, don’t try to run before you can walk. Having written one good song is not enough to have a career. Therefore, it is essential that you write and finish as many amazing songs as possible.
As a young songwriter, writing songs and singing can be fun. Keep a level head and involve those that love you every step of the way. Whatever you decide, keep writing and enjoy the journey that’s song writing.
If you need extra help changing thoughts to words then into lyrics. Buy the’ Help Me Write a Song eBook’ sold on this website. It is a useful little guide for a young songwriter.
An organisation in London called Song Academy runs workshops for young songwriters. They also hold an annual songwriting competition. Check out some of the songs written by young songwriters: https://www.songacademy.co.uk/
A word of warning. Many lyricists have had their work stolen by artists who claim it as their own. A new organisation has been set up to address these grievances. It’s called The Pact. Stay informed. I had this with one of my lyrics. To write for fun or make a career from songwriting needs careful thought. The music industry can be full of people with large egos who are only interested in furthering their own careers at the expense of others. That’s the world for you. If you lower your expectations you avoid becoming bitterly disappointed. That said, always give it your best shot and stay grounded to stay happy.