If you have read my article about why you should start writing your own songs or the best beginners tools to do it, (links at the bottom of the page) you probably have some of your own insights on the process of songwriting – where your thoughts come on in on one side and a full song comes out on the other side.
I have gathered a bunch of quotes about songwriting and the process of songwriting so we can have a look on some insights from people who have already “done it” and perhaps soak some inspiration and tips for ourselves from in between those lines. Enjoy! Please share more quotations that you like about songwriting in the comments if you have any.
16 Influential Quotes About The Art Of Songwriting
“Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction.”
“I never sit down to write. When I’m moved, I do it. I just wait for it to come. You just hear it. I can’t really describe writing. It’s in my head. I don’t think about the styles. I write whatever comes out and I use whatever kind of instrumentation works for those songs.”
As a songwriter, Gram (Parsons) worked very much like I do, which is to knock out a couple of chords, start to spiel and see how far it can go, rather than sitting around with a piece of paper and a pen, trying to make things fit neatly together. But he would also work very hard harder than I ever did — on honing it down.
“You wind up creating from silence, like painting a picture on a blank canvas that could bring tears to somebody’s eyes. As songwriters, our blank canvas is silence.”
“I have a structured songwriting process. I start with the music and try to come up with musical ideas, then the melody, then the hook, and the lyrics come last. Some people start with the lyrics first because they know what they want to talk about and they just write a whole bunch of lyrical ideas, but for me the music tells me what to talk about.”
“For a songwriter, you don’t really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they’re made of, and wonder if you can make one, too.”
Each song has its own secret that’s different from another song, and each has its own life. Sometimes it has to be teased out, whereas other times it might come fast. There are no laws about songwriting or producing. It depends on what you’re doing, not just who you’re doing.
“I wish I were one of those people who wrote songs quickly. But I’m not. So it takes me a great deal of time to find out what the song is”
“I got this cheap little empty plastic notebook at my local drugstore, and bought a little slab of filler paper and the very first title I wrote in it was ‘Proud Mary‘. I had no idea what that title meant. I work hard at that, but the fact that there are a lot of good songs means there are also a lot of really bad songs I’ve written that you never hear.”
“I think songwriting is the ultimate form of being able to make anything that happens in your life productive.”
“Songwriting is an art unto itself, not to be confused with performing.”
“I always found very strong images for my songwriting in New York.”
“My songwriting and my style became more complex as I listened, learned, borrowed and stole and put my music together.”
“If you like someone’s work, the important thing is to be exposed to everything that person has been exposed to.”
“It’s therapy. It’s fun. It’s creative. I love getting on a big writing binge and staying up a couple days working on song and knowing at the end of those two or three days that I’ve created something that was never in the world before.”
“I hope that what it comes down to at the end of the day is that people believe that I believe what I’m singing. It comes down to being believable.”
Great, and now that we’re wiser, go, pick up the guitar and start working on your next song…
Peace and have fun!
Who’s your fave songwriter? You can comment below and let us know.
You are also welcome to check out these other 2 articles about songwriting to get some more inspiration.
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