Denny Strickland knows a thing or two about writing music. He is the revolutionary singer who is mixing R & B music with country music, creating a whole new genre. Denny is the writer and the singer of I Got the Sauce, an excellent song that was released in May 2020. He has written quite a few songs, and would like to share some tips on how to write an excellent one.
The best way is to get to work on a regular basis. Far from the syphilitic artist with rotten teeth who starts his days at noon and all the marketing that surrounds him, discipline and consistency will be your best allies to write songs. Establishing a routine will help you get closer to that goal. Once breakfast is on and the children have dropped off at school, I always start my day by taking my guitar in hand. Even if it’s for five minutes. It’s my routine, my habit. I force myself to take my guitar in hand before doing anything else. Often I play more than expected but in the moments when I don’t want to I respect my contract by simply taking my guitar in hand.
For the rest I plan my week on Sunday evening by applying Leo Babauta’s “zen to done” method. Starting with the most important, unbreakable things I ABSOLUTELY need to accomplish to achieve my goal. I then add the smaller tasks. This very hands-on method allows me to be productive rather than busy. When I am in writing period, I therefore start my day by writing!
It is important to act next by attacking one task at a time. I close anything that could interrupt me: emails, cell phone, internet and I focus on what I have to do right now. Every morning I go through this diary and I start with the most important task, the one that will require me the most concentration, energy.
A tip to increase your productivity: media fasting. No more TV, newspapers, radio. Use that time to read a book, focus on what you love and what brings you closer to your goal – in this case, writing songs.
Imposed shapes are a wonderful way to turn the machine on, to prime the pump, even if it is imperfectly. Bach, for example, imposed himself on writing 24 preludes and 24 fugues in 24 different tones. Ok, it was Bach! But there’s nothing stopping you from finding what will work for you.
Write a Lot
David Bayles explains in his book “Art&Fear” that a study was carried out with 2 groups. The first group was asked to produce 50 Kg of ceramic, promising them a very good grade if they succeeded. The second group was asked to try to make a single ceramic as long as it was perfect. Against all expectations, it is the first group to produce the most beautiful ceramic. By dint of working a lot to achieve the 50 kg requested the first group improved and managed to offer a ceramic of much better quality than the second group who spent too much time thinking to try to achieve perfection. All this time has prevented them from taking action and therefore from creating. Producing makes you creative.
The best way to become good at your field is to be productive, to produce a lot of things, without worrying about doing the perfect job. Feedback from those around you will help you improve and you will become better. Posting videos and articles regularly is also a way for me to push myself to progress.