Score a songwriting gig

A career as a songwriter can be a rewarding way to use your musical ability and creativity to earn a living. Songwriting is about expressing emotions or imparting feelings using the musical medium, which can strike a chord with people of all sorts of different backgrounds.

Songwriter Training and Learning How to Write Songs

Some songwriters seem to be born with the ability to come up with distinctive musical compositions and evocative rhyming lyrics, while others have to work harder at writing songs; the latter group can benefit from additional training. Learning to play a musical instrument (or multiple instruments) is an important early step in becoming a successful songwriter; classes in music history and musical theory are also helpful, as they'll help you obtain broad knowledge of music history, from which you can draw inspiration. Vocal training will also come in handy if you'd like to become a singer-songwriter.

Your chances of writing a successful song increase dramatically with practice. Dedicate your time and your heart to crafting songs, and do it every chance you get. Whenever you have the opportunity, enter a songwriting contest; there's a lot of value in the practice, the feedback and the potential exposure these contests afford you.

Careers in Songwriting

You'll find a number of options available to you as you look for songwriter jobs; most songwriting opportunities are either salaried positions or freelance. Some of the most readily available songwriting positions include:

  • Song composer. This professional creates musical works, either instrumental or with lyrics. One type of song composer is a film composer, who writes the musical scores which enhance the cinematic experience.
  • Lyricist. This type of songwriter specializes in writing the words that accompany musical compositions. A lyricist may team up with a music composer to create a song, or she may write the lyrics independently and match them up with a previously created musical work.
  • Performing songwriter. Also called a singer-songwriter, these professionals create music and lyrics in addition to actually performing the song. A singer-songwriter may front a musical group or work as a solo act.
  • Jingle writer. These songwriters concentrate on writing music for television and radio ads. Writing jingles requires a familiarity with a wide range of musical styles and an ability to effectively compose short pieces.
  • Producer/songwriter. These people develop and create their own music from start to finish, including recording and production of the music.
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