If you are a songwriter looking to get "plugged-in" to where the action is, consider joining a songwriting forum. This is a great way to meet other songwriters, share your ideas, promote your songs and/or lyrics, find resources and much more! As the Good Book says:"iron sharpens iron," which simply means that we grow and learn from the exchange of new ideas with others. A songwriting forum is a great place for this kind of exchange to take place and will also provide you with an opportunity to get some feedback on your material. Because songwriting is often a very personal experience, the idea of being vulnerable and exposing yourself may seem a bit scary at first. Many would rather keep their songs to themselves than face the possibility of rejection. But there will be little reward without some level of risk. In other words- "nothing ventured, nothing gained." So, don't allow yourself to be short-changed. Make a move to get involved and conquer your fear!
When you do decide to join a songwriting forum, think of yourself as a student and be willing to learn. Also be willing to accept constructive criticism and try not to take it too personally. When reading someone's critique of your lyric, you should always strive to be objective. It can be very beneficial to look at your song through someone else's eyes, but don't feel you have to agree with everything they say! You are the only one who really knows your song and the history behind it. Don't feel that you have to compromise anything unless you see the benefit of doing so. But do carefully consider what others have to say because they might notice something that you have overlooked. It's important for you to be prepared to rewrite you lyric if necessary!
If you have advice to offer to someone else in the songwriting forum, be gracious, but honest. No one will profit from your comments if you are not willing to share what you think. But having said that, you can do it tactfully. Always try to look for something good about a song in order to balance out anything negative you might have to say. Critiquing someone else's song can be another great way to hone your skills because you will learn to be more observant. Through the process of analyzing and then explaining your thoughts, you are bound to gain new insights for yourself. It's also likely that you will recognize different styles of writing and perhaps even learn to use words and phrases in ways that you never thought of.
As you probably know, anyone who has a desire to be a professional recording artist should seriously consider developing this skill. Songwriting can "make or break" a career, so the more your learn about it, the better off you'll be. Songwriting can be another means to enhance your guitar playing too. So, whether you currently write your own songs, or just want to learn how, a songwriting forum may be the key to getting you started. Why not break out your pad and pencil and join one today!
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Kathy Unruh is a singer/songwriter and webmaster of ABC Learn Guitar. She has been writing songs and providing guitar lessons to students of all ages for over 20 years. For free guitar lessons, plus tips and resources on songwriting, recording and creating a music career, please visit: http://www.abclearnguitar.com