THE LYRICS JOURNEY: WHERE TO BEGIN?
As mentioned earlier, there is no formula for starting a song. Sometimes, the song begins with the lyrics and other times, the song begins with a tune and not necessarily a musical instrument. It may be a tune that comes to naturally or not. Most of the songwriters I know actually record lyric ideas and possible titles in their little black book! My little black book is my mobile phone and/or my tablet. And then, there is the music. I highly recommend you begin recording your musical ideas whether humming the melody, singing the melody or play an instrument. Whatever it takes to not lose your original ideas for the song you must capture or you'll lose the idea and then be forced to start over.
In an odd sort of way, songwriting is somewhat akin to the old adage to always go with your first answer on a multiple choice or true/false quiz. The same thing applies to songwriting. Often, your first ideal is your most original idea. And read....read books about love....about challenges that were overcome....etc....etc! And most of all, don't give up.
There are several tools that you might consider as you set out on your first songwriting journey. My first recommendation is to obtain a rhyming dictionary. I have several rhyming dictionaries both in digital format and paper. There are some excellent APPs that work well with mobile phones and tablets. I must admit that I'm a little old fashion and find that some of the rhyming dictionaries published in book form offer additional resources that some of the APPs don't include. Whatever you choose, be sure and have a rhyming dictionary at your side when you start recording the lyrics.
A couple of years ago I attended a songwriting seminar and one of the more successful Nashville songwriters made a statement that caught most of us by surprise. He reminded the seminar attendees that a song with music is a poem. Now before anyone starts fussing with me about that statement, I acknowledge that many poems have been transformed into songs but remember, success came only after someone wrote the music. Thus, a song is a combination of the lyrics and the music. No music, just a poem.
I remind you again of this fact to suggest that if you are a poet and not a musician, you should in my opinion, find a partner who is musically inclined and co-write. Many successful songwriters collaborate either with other lyricists or musicians as they finish the journey of finishing song. For the novice songwriter and even the experienced songwriter I suggest searching the internet for a songwriting organization or association in your locale and join. I first joined the Fort Worth Songwriter's Association in 1997 and since then, joined other songwriter's associations which specialize in the genre that interests me. The small fee to join these organizations is one of the best investments around if you are truly interested in becoming a pro at songwriting.
More to come....please stay tuned.