Today’s Song Tip Tuesday is about my favorite part of songwriting which is listening to songs. What do you do for a living? I listen to songs. How cool is that?
A common approach to song listening is to play it, enjoy it and go on with life. But if you are a songwriter with an inquisitive mind to finding out how a song works, then you tend to listen in a more focused way. It is this focused listening that we are going to look at.
When I listen to a song, I automatically try to hear the elements of the song that I immediately feel something toward. It could be the hook, it could be the chorus, it could be the groove, or it could be something about the way the song is tickling my ear. I listen for these wonderful elements of the song that ‘get to me’. I have found that all songs, regardless of their level of craft, have something in them that can get a listener to respond to, even, if it is just the idea of the song itself. It is deep focused listening that triggers your visceral response.
Here is an easy listening skill to put in your songwriting toolbox. Next time you listen to a song, ask yourself, ‘What am I liking about this song?’ Everyone has different aesthetic taste toward everything, so what you may react to would be very different say, then what I would. Again, the question to ask is, ‘What am I liking about the song?’ Because, if you can identify it, it means you are hearing it. This is the first step to deep focused listening.
Focused listening is key to songwriting, it is an invaluable skill to have as a songwriter. Start here. ‘What am I liking about the song?’
Stay tuned for Listening To Songs – Part 2.
The art of writing is rewriting…and listening.