How to channel your emotions into songwriting

How to Channel Emotions Into Songwriting

If you read 2 Ways To Start Writing A Song you know about the importance of finding a way in to begin writing your song. But even with a great start on your song, your thoughts and feelings can seem to block you from making progress. You know, anything that brings you down or repetitive mental noise that begins with “You can’t, you don’t, you’re not”. At this point, it is crucial to learn how to channel emotions into songwriting. So I have some good news:

“Hey, Mind Chatter! YOU are invited too.”

Yes indeed, your mind chatter is useful in songwriting. One of the great things about songwriting is that the full spectrum of emotions can be a welcome and even necessary part of creating music. After all, as writers, we are the messengers of the human experience. So put your arms around all of you and let’s just jump right into this together …

Step One: Awareness

The first step to channel emotions into songwriting is to become fully aware of your emotions. Honor the thoughts in your mind and the feelings you are experiencing. Even if they are controversial. That’s right. The dark ones. The taboo ones. The angry, jealous, and painful ones. The happy hopeful, and excited ones. They are all yours, so acknowledge them.

allow your thoughts and feelings to be, allow them to surface & feel them fully.

– Team Magic

Keep reading, because this does not necessarily mean that you are going to turn all of these emotions into a song. My point is to become aware of your thoughts and feelings. Just have a look at them. If you are fighting or pushing down uncomfortable thoughts or painful feelings, you will have less clarity on your current experience. Consequently, less clarity means more upbeat thoughts and happy feelings may not be able to fully surface. As discussed in videos about the intelligence of emotions, honouring all emotion is the key to the meaning of life.

Channel emotions into songwriting with a music journal

Step Two: Process

The second step to channel emotions into songwriting is to process them. Allow your thoughts and feelings to be, allow them to surface and feel them fully. Let them all out to play. These thoughts and feelings are percolating inside you, creating emotions. In truth, all emotions have a purpose and a message for you.

So get out a pen and paper or digital notes app. Try using your smart phone recording app or bring up Google docs with voice recorder on your laptop. We need a way to get all those thoughts and feelings out from inside of you and right in front of you. If you are familiar with keeping a personal diary, you can think of this process as your music journal. A home studio that is easy to access for quick recordings can work for this purpose, too. Or invest in a small, portable voice recorder which is an excellent tool you can take anywhere. In short, just find a recording method that you feel comfortable with and go with it.

Nature And Meditation Can Help

At first, jotting down your feelings may seem like a big jumbled mess. Or, there may be one prevailing thought that wants to come out right away. Similarly, you may find flow easily or struggle to get even a few words down. To help the process, try getting into a meditative state. The sounds of nature can help you relax; I love rain, thunderstorms and crashing waves. Experiment with jungle sounds, birds or other mediation techniques to find what works for you. In essence, we are creating a connection between your inner thoughts and feelings and the creative process.

In a way, you are being yourself and observing yourself at the same time.

– Team Magic

What Happens Next Is REally Cool

Patterns or themes may start to form in your random jottings of words or phrases; go ahead and organize them, move them around to see if the pieces start to fit together. Something magical is happening – ideas start to form! Look what happens when you LOOK at your thoughts and feelings on a paper or screen. Your perspective shifts. Instead of being the subject, you are becoming objective. In a way, you are being yourself and observing yourself at the same time. Yes, you can do that, if you let your brain have free rein!

Think of it as building an intuitive connection and allow your instrument to ‘lead’.

– Team Magic

Channeling Through Your Instrument

So far, we’ve been focused on writing words. But if you play an instrument, pick it up and begin playing from your heart and mind. If you feel melancholy, play those sentimental chords progressions you love. When your thoughts are angry or frustrated play up-tempo with tons of emphasis! Let your spirit and energy simply flow through your instrument. Think of it as building an intuitive connection and allow your instrument to ‘lead’. 😉

Furthermore, the voice is also an instrument, so sync up to the vibrations and intonations produced from singing. Mess around with some percussive vocal chants, a soaring head voice, or chesty bluesy notes. It might even be a good time to break out of your usual genre or try some free form vamp vocals. Start up a new drum track or grab a shaker, and get into whatever groove moves your mood to sing out loud.

Toning the Music Muscles

Athletes channel the energy of their full emotions into game play; they use different brain states to visual the goals, enhance the plays and develop laser focus on their physical performance. Likewise, songwriters can channel the contents of their emotions into word play or sound play. Like toning a muscle, it takes dedication and repetition to achieve results. Practice, practice and you will become a natural at channeling your emotions into songwriting.

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