May. 21, 2014

Why Does Songwriting Matter?

By Marc Platt

“If you pour your life into songs, you want them to be heard. It’s a desire to communicate. A deep desire to communicate inspires songwriting.”


Without the song, there is nothing. Without the songwriter, there is no message to be heard and no audience to hear it. The songwriter is the creator and the chief cook and bottle washer when it comes to musical expression.

My belief is that ANYONE can write a song if they have the desire.

As singer/songwriters, we listen to a lot of good, bad and ugly songs by an assortment of writer/artists. Some are by accomplished writers with hit songs on their resumes and some are by newer, younger and less-polished writers. What can we do as writers to better our material and make it listenable to the audience we are trying to grab?

The first thing I do as a writer is remember what I like as a listener. I try to approach all my creative ventures as a consumer. Listening with a critical ear is essential, but what makes someone like or love a song more than another song?

I hear a lot of songwriters complain about the triteness of it all in pop music. You can say “I love you” in a song and it IS trite without context. What I mean is…What surrounds “I love you” that gives those three overused words CONTEXT.

Example: “I love you, but you let me down/You broke my heart/It’s always that kind of love/That tears us apart.” I just made that lyric up, but I think it makes the point. Context is a huge part of “MESSAGE.” Too many writers don’t have a clue, but do this by instinct.

I truly believe more enlightened writers who set out to write about context and meaningful things that are relatable in their lives. Chances are good if you believe something, others do also.

Being afraid to write what you believe is a major roadblock on your way to having a message…Something to say…Something I will believe in as the listener.

The truth is always a great place to start. Write, sing and perform YOUR truth and people will go along with you. The truth is simple when you get down to it. If you feel that the truth is complicated, please re-examine the way you have told the “Truth” in the past in your art. Did that work for you? Really? If it did, you don’t need advice on how to write better songs.

Great songs are the key. You cannot fake it until you make it without material. Whether you write it, or can find it to perform, you must be able to recognize it. There is a huge difference between something that SOUNDS great and something that IS great.

It is imperative that you as a songwriter do everything in your power to make all the elements of your game the best it can be.

Anyone can write a song, but not everyone writes great songs. That takes effort, as well as time and mileage. The elements of great songwriting are obtainable and certainly gratifying. You just have to be willing to open your heart and mind to the possibilities.


Marc Platt is the author of the Audio Songwriting book:
“So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star. Why Songwriting Matters. You Can Do It”
If you want to order the book—>>> Click Here