Songwriter Habit #7 – Listening to Lots of Music
As musicians, we often fall into the trap of listening to things that we’re used to. After all, the familiar is safe and comfortable. However, this is actually something that might be detrimental to your growth as a songwriter. Here, we’ll discuss why listening to lots of music is one of the traits of a highly effective songwriter.
This blog post aims to summarise the first point in our video “7 Habits of Highly Effective Songwriters’’. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
What Does this Mean?
Listening to lots of music doesn’t just mean listening to things in a large quantity – it also means listening to multiple different kinds of music. As artists, everything we consume will eventually be turned into creative fuel that we use to write songs. So, listening to a large variety of music means that we’ll have many more sources of inspiration to draw from.
A great analogy we can use is how consuming music is similar to consuming food. If you only ate a diet of fish and chips every day, that would be extremely unbalanced. Eating a variety of food leads to better cooking and tastier food.
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Examples of Artists Who Listen to Lots of Music
- Bruce Springsteen:
This legendary songwriter has talked a lot about how he’s in output mode when he’s making a record, and doesn’t really consume much material. However, outside of that and in between records, he tries his best to consume as much music, books and movies as he can.
- Dave Grohl:
The Foo Fighter’s frontman and Nirvana drummer has mentioned how one of his top 10 albums of all time is “Yo! Bum Rush the Show” by hip-hop group Public Enemy.
- David Bowie:
He’s a huge fan of minimalist composer Steve Reich’s work, particularly the composer’s album entitled “Music for 18 Musicians”. In addition, he has talked about how Kendrick Lamar and other similar contemporary artists have influenced the ≥making of his 26th and final studio album, “Black Star”.
- Bob Dylan:
Prolific songwriter Bob Dylan said “Anyone who wants to be a songwriter should listen to as much folk music as they can, study the form and structure of stuff that has been around for 100 years.”
Some other amazing examples are Lady Gaga who loves Iron Maiden, Lana Del Ray who is a huge Eminem fan, and Miley Cyrus having an obsession with Radiohead.
Conclusion: Songwriter Habit #7 – Listening to Lots of Music
As artists, it’s our job to ensure that we widen our pool of experiences to draw from, so that we can create amazing songs. To that end, we should be sure to listen to lots of music, thus, broadening our creative palette greatly.
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