Today, I’m going to be sharing a major songwriting hack, which is an excerpt from my e-book called A Quick Guide to Songwriting for Rappers, which is available via this link.
Now, one of the big hurdles that people face when they’re writing a song is finishing songs. One of the big reasons why people can’t finish songs is because they have something that all of us humans have. And it’s a little thing called recency bias.
Do you remember what it was like when you was a kid and you were looking forward to this toy or video game or something like that for your birthday or Christmas? And the anticipation just keeps mounting. Like you’re so excited for it, you finally get it. And while you’re in school, you just can’t wait to get home to play with that game or that toy and you’re just so elated. Like, it’s like the most amazing thing in the world.
And then something happens…
Something happens called time…
And then about a month goes by and no longer is that toy so exciting. It still works. It’s nothing wrong with it. Still cool, still fun, but you don’t have the same response to it because it’s no longer new to you. The normalcy of it has set in. That excitement is no longer there. It’s just another toy that you have. It’s not good or bad. It’s just not new.
That’s recency bias. And we have to all deal with this when we’re writing songs and the beginning of the songwriting process is going to be a lot more exciting. Things are new, ideas are starting to come together. But after you spend a certain amount of time that’s going to start fading away and you may be tricked into thinking that your song is no longer good because it’s no longer new.
So what do you do? You keep wanting to change things about the song to make it new again. And so you’re basically just chasing your own tail in circles, never finishing the song.
And I like to refer to this as just simply losing perspective. And there’s a few ways to get around this issue.
One simple one is just take a break. You know, like, get away from that song for a little bit. Give it a few days.
Give it a week, and then come back to it with fresh ears, a fresh perspective, and let it be a little bit new to you again. Another little hack of getting around this is limit the amount of time that you’re spending during the songwriting process. So maybe you limit yourself to like an hour to that one song and then maybe jump to another song for like another hour if you still want to keep writing. And that can help you keep that fresh perspective for longer while you’re writing a song.
And sometimes you just get stuck creatively on a song instead of just spinning countless amounts of hours, just kind of banging your head against a desk, not really making much progress. Maybe just sit it down for a moment, jump on another song, and then come back to it later.
SLEEP ON IT
You’ve heard that term. Sleep on it right? If you have a problem, you can’t figure out If you’re trying to make a tough decision, say sleep on it. Sometimes just giving your brain a little bit of rest can allow things to kind of compute and you can come back to it with a little bit more of a fresh perspective and have more solutions.
Also limiting the amount of time you give yourself to work on a song on a given day can also help prevent you from procrastinating.
Because songwriting is a lot of work, you know, and it can be a big task to say, I’m trying to write a whole song. And so when you go into writing a song with that mentality, it can seem like just so daunting and just so exhausting even thinking about it, which can make you not ever want to do it.
If you’re feeling like it’s too much work limit yourself an hour that way you have a starting time and ending time, which makes it way more manageable mentally, psychologically, to approach that songwriting for that day, knowing that there’s an end in sight.
It kind of reminds me of the saying “The Way You Eat an Elephant is one piece at a time”. Don’t try to eat the whole thing at one time. And there’s many more awesome practical tips just like that in my quick guide to songwriting book. So if you haven’t already copped you a copy, go ahead and get it via this link.
COACHING ON SONGWRITING
And if you’re still struggling with your songwriting, if you can’t figure out that hook or you can’t quite get your lyrics to sound the way that you want them to sound over the instrumental, for you’re just stuck and not sure where to go. I help people out with songwriting all the time and I just opened up some slots on my calendar to take on some new students.
So if you’re someone who needs help with songwriting, make sure that you fill out a coaching form and me and my assistant will make sure that you get taken care of.
And if you would like to see examples of some of my work, make sure you check out my coaching portfolio page where I have a list of some of the songs that I’ve helped produce for my students. A lot of these songs are on their first official projects, so you can really see how much I’ve helped develop them as artists.
MY RAP FLOW COURSE
Also, I’ve been working very hard for the last few months on my first official course on rap flow, and it’s going to be a freaking game changer. And as they say, greatness takes time. There’s so much work I’m putting into this because I want you all to be able to get so much out of it.
So I’ve been having a lot of people ask me, Cole, when’s it going to drop? Well, look, I just created a waiting list for this rap cause so if you want to be the first one to be notified when it drops, make sure that you join the waiting list. And you’re also going to get an exclusive discount just for being on the waiting list.
Also, I have a question for you before you go. Me and my wife was recently having a discussion on rap diss tracks. What are some of your favorite rap diss songs? I’m talking all the time. Let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.