Songwriting8 Min. Reading time

Your way to a unique songwriting style

Written by Philipp Steigner

Woman with headphones while songwriting writes text on notepad

Good and individually written songs usually aim to share your own emotions and thoughts with others and to take up moving topics. With songwriting you have the opportunity to express your emotions, to sing or talk about experiences and, depending on the success of your hobby, even to earn money. In order to stand out from the crowd, you should think about what makes your songwriting different from the others and how you can create your own style. What defines you as a musician and your songs? In this post, we'll show you how to make your music truly unique.

What do you want to say with your music?

An authentic style of music is not only evident in genre-typical elements and the right choice of words. The focus of songwriting is always on you as a person. You with your values and ideas - which, ideally, can be turned into a good song. When it comes to songwriting, the first thing that matters is good preparation. Choosing suitable topics, setting content and musical priorities - all of this is already part of the process. Don't just sing or play straight away, but give yourself a lot of time for your first songs so that you can gradually find your own style.

There are no real rules as to how long this process can take or what steps are involved in songwriting. You decide for yourself in which direction your song will develop, which stylistic devices you use and what you want to point out with your lyrics. So don't ask yourself what they'd like to hear from you, especially with the first few songs. In order to develop your own style, only your own wishes and personal taste are in focus. You decide what is important and what you want to sing and play about.

These aspects can shape your songwriting

Even if a fixed structure for your song is of course not mandatory, important passages or recurring elements form a decisive basis and can help you as a framework in the creation process. But no matter whether you follow the typical structure or break out of it - with both variants you can stand out from other musicians and incorporate your own creativity and ideas. The following areas are ideal for developing a new style and creating your own approaches:

  • Topic Each song can embody your own story and convey it to the outside world. Both topics such as love and content such as success, family, development, longing or nature can be optimally processed depending on the style and musical direction. The choice of how personal it gets is yours.
  • Intro Which entry fits what you want to express with your song? Is it a long and instrumental introduction or is it a sudden start? With the first notes you decide about the mood of the song and the feelings that arise.
  • Verse When it comes to lyrics, verses are often the most important passages in a song. They deepen the content, tell the story about your topic and let listeners understand what you want to say. So use the verses especially to underline and carry out the message of your song.
  • refrain A recurring element like the refrain can also be used to make your own music more exciting and also more lively. Do you prefer instrumental background music or is the focus on the text? You can always answer such questions in advance. Especially in the chorus you can give your message or your feelings a kind of slogan, which ideally sticks in the minds of the listener.

Emphasis, structure, sounds and much more

In addition to the areas already mentioned, you have many other means at your disposal with the emphasis and division of your songs to make your songs unique. For example, if you want to draw attention to tension or problems, this can be noticed in a louder voice. The same applies to the choice of instruments, which also convey moods and impressions. The way in which you can convey emotions with your songs makes your songwriting individual in every respect.

In addition, with interesting sounds you also have the chance to provide variety and create recognition value. Numerous rappers who start every song with the same sounds or are known for a particularly strong bass already follow this approach. In addition, the use of non-typical instruments can ensure recognition value. The design of the texts can also be customized accordingly and adapted to the music.

How instruments can change your text

As mentioned earlier, instrument choice is also an important part of the songwriting process. This does not only apply to the musical accompaniment that you have mastered yourself. Try it out, involve other musicians and find out about instruments that you may not be familiar with. A contact point for this can be, for example, our musicians portal, where you can find many great instrumentalists. When writing songs, always focus on the overall effect of your songs, so that the content can also reach others emotionally. Really good music is never written and produced in bulk, but comes from the heart. So use instruments that reinforce your message and create an authentic sound and ideally complement and complete the song.

Not everything you own has to be completely new

One of the biggest mistakes in songwriting is trying to reinvent the wheel. With millions of musicians all over the world, it is almost impossible to rethink every note, every chord and every text line. Looking for inspiration from other musicians is anything but forbidden in the music industry, which is why you can of course adopt exciting elements and interesting topics - it is only important that you underline these elements with your own style. So you don't copy someone else's music, but create something of your own.

In order to find role models for your music, you should analyze your preferred genres yourself. Which music inspires you the most? What do you expect from good music anyway? In order for you to be able to write songs that others like, you have to be able to suffer your songs yourself first of all. Inspirations and role models can be a drive for you to create something like this yourself.

Central elements for unique songwriting

What exactly you make of your songs is of course always up to you. With the right elements, you ensure that fans remember you and will continue to look specifically for your music in the future. Good songwriting can certainly help your fan base grow quickly over time. It gets a little more difficult with songs that are written quickly. The following elements can make your songwriting unique:

  • Play with pitches Not every song is suitable for experimenting with new pitches and sounds. However, if you are still in the discovery phase and looking for your style, combine several scales with each other and feel your way around unusual chord variants. While high tones are usually associated with soft and lovely sounds, low tones are dark, serious and occasionally have bad connotations. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is the perfect example of this.
  • Temporal structures While many songs are written at one tempo, deviations can give the song something unique. The individual speed of your music can reveal insights into your emotional world and thus, for example, musically express a “rollercoaster of emotions”. In terms of content, several temporal levels can also be integrated, for example to mentally look into the future or the past. High Hopes from Pink Floyd manages to combine several temporal levels and at the same time provide musical accompaniment.
  • Musical accompaniment Which instruments enable a harmonious effect and which accompaniments make your songs dark and gloomy? To find the right musical instruments, you should divide your songs into several areas. It is best to determine the tuning of the individual parts in order to choose suitable instruments. These can additionally intensify the respective effect. A good example is The Beatles' classic Help.

The songwriting as a mirror of your emotions

With all these tips and rules, the following applies: In most cases, a new song is only good if you are also satisfied with your work. Complex regulations for the connection between song structure, instruments, speeds, pitches and dynamics are of secondary importance at this point. Your individual style in songwriting does not come from technical factors and musical theory, but from practical experience. The exchange with fans and inspiring musicians is therefore crucial.

Additional tricks such as integrating a narrative arc or working with other musicians and bands can of course also shape your style. You always decide in which direction the music should develop. Nevertheless, as a start for your songwriting, we always recommend that you approach the first songs slowly and carefully. Changing a style afterwards is much more difficult than taking a little more time looking for the style.

Learn more about successful songwriting now!

If you are still looking for your own style for your songwriting, we will be happy to help you with our further contributions. For example, we have practical tips on how to write a hit, but also posts that you can use to learn more about singing. Take a look around our blog and let our team inform you. We always accompany you in finding your own style for songwriting, learning instruments or setting up your own business as a musician. If you have any questions, we are always available and look forward to hearing from you at mukken.

Originally published on July 20, 2021, updated on July 28, 2021

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