How to Become a Songwriter – Secrets of the Pros

Published: October 11, 2023

Music is a fascinating and creative business for anyone looking for work. It is a business where individuals compose tunes and lyrics that either emotionally touch their listeners or market a product or service.

Knowing how to become a competent songwriter is helpful if you want to work in the music industry. With the average salary of a songwriter being $64,491, young individuals with a creative mindset are attracted to this field.

How to Become a Songwriter

Therefore, we at Internet of Learning have come up with this write-up to guide such individuals.

This article will explain what a songwriter is, how to become a songwriter, and some of the songwriters’ most significant abilities when writing music.

7 Steps to Become a Songwriter

You will come across various approaches and techniques on your journey to learn how to become a professional songwriter. However, based on expert guidance, we have listed the following steps to emerge as a great songwriter.

Steps to Become a Songwriter
  1. Understanding the Basics of Songwriting
  2. Developing Your Songwriting Skills
  3. Finding Your Unique Style
  4. Collaborating with Other Songwriters and Musicians
  5. Improving Your Lyrics
  6. Recording Your Songs
  7. Sharing Your Songs with the World

1. Understanding the Basics of Songwriting 

If you are wondering how to become a successful singer-songwriter, then understanding the basics of songwriting is the first step.

You may have a natural talent for creating music, but do you understand the fundamentals? When you grasp music theory, you can properly build your melodies. Your verse and chorus, for example, should complement one another.

You’ll learn about balance, rhythm, and melody, as well as how they all interact. You’ll consider song structure and how factors such as pace might impact the overall sound.

If you’re serious about songwriting, you should study music theory. Depending on your learning style, you have a few alternatives. You can learn online through a brief virtual course or in person at a nearby institution. For this, we recommend that you check out the best music theory courses to learn online.

2. Developing Your Songwriting Skills

If you’re already into songwriting and wondering how to improve, the answer lies in developing her skills. It says that practice makes perfect, and you also need patience and perseverance in a profession like songwriting.

Improve your songwriting skills by approaching a topic with different poetic possibilities to become a more approachable songwriter. Not only that, we recommend that you focus on your inspiration for entering songwriting and develop your own personal mechanism for identifying inspiration for different songs and overcoming writer’s block.

You can do that by practicing meditation and looking at nature for inspiration. Not only that, you can investigate something that is important to you in life or is a hobby. It can be friends, family, or even a mundane task such as doing the laundry. Inspiration can strike anywhere.

3. Finding Your Unique Songwriting Style

If you are wondering how to become a good songwriter, the answer lies in being authentic and finding your unique style. It is critical to identify and develop a unique style as a songwriter if you want to become successful.

Until or unless you don’t stand out in a certain niche, then your work is just generic and can be done by any other songwriter available as well. It is extremely important that you always come up with something original and that none of your work is plagiarized, as this industry has zero tolerance for copied work. As trademarks and other creative license systems are in place, creativity is king, and so is originality.

For inspiration on developing your unique style by finding it within your creative aesthetics, we recommend you look at the examples of Ryan Adams and other such singer-songwriters available in the industry.

4. Collaborating with Other Songwriters and Musicians

In order for you to become a successful and renown songwriter, it is important that you collaborate with other songwriters and musicians, including different music producers. The benefit that comes with it is that, given the popularity and repute of other professionals in the field, your work is also highlighted. Not only that, you also learn a lot during the process, and your creative juices become more refined and polished.

It is recommended that you connect with your local artist community, which includes songwriters, singers, music producers, etc. to help find possible collaboration opportunities and work. 

For this, you need effective communication mechanisms, and for that, we recommend that you work on your networking skills and persuasion skills so that, given the quality of your work, you’re able to persuade the other individual to bank on it.

5. Improving Your Lyrics

This one is a no-brainer on your journey how to become a songwriter. You need to ensure that your lyrics are not only top notch but they’re able to tell a story that is compelling and attractive to the audience. Your lyrics should resonate with what an individual is feeling and should also be rhythmic in the sense that they’re able to be transformed into a song.

It is always recommended to ensure that your lyrics should connect with your audience through emotions and should focus on their inherent psychological needs rather than the apparent physiological demands. Because, after all the human connection in something like music is the ultimate critical and defining factor.

6. Recording Your Songs

How to work with producers and engineers to achieve your desired sound

The next step towards becoming a successful songwriter is ensuring that your songs are recorded in high quality so that their true essence is actually understood by the audience. No matter how good your song composition and lyrics are but given that the final output is not clear and has a lot of distortion, the audience will not like it.

You can also record your songs at home in case you currently do not have access to a professional studio. Software like FL Studio is one of the best options in this case. You can check out FL Studio courses in order for you to learn the software for song recording purposes.

In case you do have access to a professional studio that it is very important that when working with music producers and sound engineers, you communicate your vision for this song to them in a very clear manner so that the final outcome is as per your desires and vision for the song.

7. Sharing Your Songs with the World

Last but not least, to become a known songwriter it is important that your compositions and lyrics are heard by a larger audience. For this, we recommend that you share your compositions and promote them on different social media platforms as well as streaming apps that let songwriters upload their compositions, such as SoundCloud.

It is also very important that you work on building relationships within the industry, as networking within the music industry has proven to be the deciding factor at times. 

You may be the most creative and amazing songwriter, but if you do not know anyone in the industry that can help you put your work out there, then your creativity and heart-touching lyrics will just remain as mere words in your composition book.

Therefore, get out there, make friends, and become part of different communities within the music industry.

What Skills and Qualifications Are Needed to Be a Songwriter?

Skills and Qualifications Are Needed to Be a Songwriter

A songwriter is a professional who writes the lyrics for songs for an artist or record company. Songwriters collaborate with other songwriters or work independently to provide lyrics and melodies for an artist’s future performances. Let’s look at skills needed to become one.

  • Problem-solving: When adjusting a song, songwriters apply problem-solving abilities. 
  • Computer Relevant Skills: Songwriters use computer skills while employing digital production techniques. Completing training classes in certain pieces of industrial software can help you improve your computer abilities, such as GarageBand courses, and the best FL studio courses can help you get a head start.
  • Creative Aesthetics: Songwriters employ their imagination when writing songs and crafting melodies. 
  • Patience and Ability to Rework: Often, songwriters are required to go back on the lyrics or even rework certain pieces. This involves a lot of patience on the songwriter’s part. Thus, it is a must-have skill or trait.
  • Songwriting Qualification/Certification: Having a songwriter qualification is definitely a plus. Different online courses and bootcamps help you refine and Polish your songwriting skills. We recommend these online songwriting courses.

How to Become a Songwriter - FAQs 

Do I Need a University Qualification to Become a Songwriter?

No, you do not require a university qualification to become a songwriter, but definitely, a college qualification supported by different songwriting certifications as well as music theory knowledge, is commendable and adds to your profile.

How Much Should You Charge as An Upcoming Songwriter?

Depending on your skill and niche, it is recommended that as a freelance songwriter, you can charge anywhere from $35 for a song. This pricing can go up to $500 to $600, depending on the skill, popularity, and experience of a songwriter.

Is It Hard to Be a Songwriter?

Becoming a professional and known songwriter is definitely hard work. As not only this profession requires years of passion and creativity put into play, but it is also heavily dependent on networking within the music industry itself.

Conclusion

Songwriting is a very creative and flexible field in terms of imaginative freedom. Individuals with a flair for lyrics and storytelling via words are the most suited for this profession. This is why we hope that our suggestions and tips on how to become a songwriter have helped direct your creative prowess. 

These bits of advice are not exhaustive but are definitely the best tried and tested steps to help you become a successful and known songwriter.

We recommend that once you have followed through this comprehensive guide on how to become a good songwriter, you keep on polishing and updating your skills, profile as well as an artistic portfolio to not only stand out amongst other songwriters but also to grow as a professional.

We wish you the best of luck on this professional journey of yours to realize your true creative calling!