Are You Learning Things, or Just Songwriting?

13 posts / 0 new
Last post

Are you actively trying to learn things during 50/90? Or are you comfortable with your current skillset, and just want to write songs?

For me, it's learning. Every track I've worked on so far, I've set it up so that I learn something at the same time. I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm edging ever closer.

You? Smile

dzd's picture

I think if you're not always learning you're doing things wrong.

Well, I know I need to improve at certain things so I kind of go in with the mindset that I want to work on those things and improve at them. However, unfortunately for me the enjoyment in songwriting comes from expressing and sharing truths and stories, not from experimentation and innovation (which I know is something that a lot of other people enjoy about making music). I don't care about that stuff at all, in fact, I don't even really care about writing a "good" song per se, except that it means more people will listen and enjoy it, and that's what I care about. So, for me making every song a learning process and striving to be better is easier said than done. If I tell myself that this song *has to* have a great melody, or rhythm, or whatever, then it becomes a lot less fun, a lot more difficult to finish, and I procrastinate. So I have to have some balance. For me that's pretty much just letting myself do my thing and focus on finishing, but having certain goals (what I'm working on improving) in the back of my mind.

I am also the kind of person who enjoys reading books and taking courses on songwriting/music, and I have done quite a bit of that over the past year or two, this way the "learning" can take place before I write, instead of during. Then when I'm writing, I get to just focus on writing, and hopefully my new knowledge has been absorbed and will come through in the writing.

Write songs by design, learn by chance.

Can't say it better than Dzd. When I stop learning I think my times up. I do learn lots here
The challenge is to work out how to use it or even if it's possible for me! I think I'm at a time where I rarely get giant leaps, just good bits by degree. So I listen lots!

Yes, definitely learning! You wouldn't know it from my current posts, but my goal this 50/90 is to get faster with chord notation and quick demo production. I've gotten much faster at writing lyrics and while I've always had a deep theory knowledge, I feel got in my own way when it came to writing my own music. I was making the process unnecessarily slow, thus never posting notation and barely making it to demos. Admittedly, I do not work on instrument skills outside of FAWM, so that combined with limited time and space to record make it a challenge to create even quick phone app demos, but that's my goal this challenge. I've currently got another 5 songs to post that are written and notated. If I can get together demos, I'll be mighty proud!

I've been actively learning. I started taking bass lessons in April and I've been incorporating the stuff I'm learning into my music here.

I do a mixture of both, some songs are just to write, others I learn.

Good question. Smile
After 50 plus years of playing bass, I'd got a bit set in my ways. So having lessons has made me focus on breaking out of established (muscle memory) ruts that are easy to fall into. Also, the courses I'm doing focus a lot on theory. My theory knowledge has always been reasonably good, but some of my tutors are very good at taking a different philosophy and approach to theory as it applies to bass guitar. And I've been doing a lot of work on the "theory of emotion" and building my technique to better express emotion through both my writing and the way I think about each note. Not just the note itself, but the tonal quality, duration, and articulation of each note - and that has led to me taking a serious look under the hood at my technique.

There was also another rationale behind taking lessons. I retired from the day job at the end of March. And my day job involved a lot of learning and research. The last thing I wanted to happen was for my brain to fossilise. Paying money out up front for lessons has made sure I keep working at it! Wink

I agree, this is a very good question. For me, I am always in learning mode. I do the same as others have mentioned in that I try to learn how to make songs better. In addition I always have specific things that I am trying to improve regarding, music knowledge, playing or lyric writing. Also I am usually actively listening to at least couple of performers/bands to try and work out how they write and play.

My intention was to learn how to use Ableton/Push but found myself leaning on Logic. But I have been working on my vocals and turning poems into songs. So, yeah, I am pleased with that. Now for the second half, I would like to get more comfortable using Ableton and Push - lol!

I've been improving on my lyric writing the more I write. I can fall into a predictable meter and would like to break that habit. 99% of my songs are lyrics first would like to lower that. Would like to collaborate more I think this would really expand my horizons. My organized learning over the next few months is to get my recording process down and wrap my head around recording midi in reaper.


You wanna learn a new instrument, write a song on it