When, How, and Why Listening is the Best Songwriting GuideNovember 11, 2021
Everyone knows that practice makes perfect and that writing more will improve your songs, but it is surprising how many people have not realized that listening is the ultimate songwriting guide. If you are already writing songs, it’s a safe bet that at one point, you heard a song that inspired you. That is what usually starts the entire process and moves people to begin their musical journey. Ironically, the idea of learning from listening is abandoned far too often.
The songs you grew up with and the ones that you enjoy now can be a valuable tool in your writing. You can actually listen to them a certain way that will give you insight on which parts are the most effective and why Tabula Rasa Online Retreat. Then, you use those same techniques in an original way for your own songs. It is an unlimited resource that always works.
So, when should you listen to music and really study it? The answer is always! Your mind has the capacity to store a lot of information and the truth is that most people never use their brains to their full potential. By keeping the thought processes going, you will be making sure that your mind is always “in shape” and that will give you a tremendous advantage.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to be buried deep in thought all of the time, or that you should be listening to every song with a pen and paper ready. Just be receptive to what is happening in the song, the different parts in it, and why they are presented in a specific way.
That brings us to how to listen. Every good song has things that are designed to cause an emotional reaction. When you are listening to your favorite ones, try to concentrate on which part causes you to react the most. Then, think about the different elements that add to that part. For example, what is the melody like? What are the background instruments playing at that moment? Or, what are the lyrics?
After focusing on each part individually, you will be able to determine exactly what triggers the reaction. The technique that is revealed is one more that you can add to your songwriting palette. You might not use it exactly, but the basic idea can lead to a similar emotional response in your songs. And as you know from first hand experience, that response is what connects with the listener.
Besides discovering new ideas to write with, there are other reasons why listening can help you write better. Your songs are a unique combination of the things that influence you. They all contribute to your own original sound as they are blended in a way that only you can think of. When you are writing, it is a process that no one else can duplicate because nobody has the same influences or will mix them together in quite the same way.
Speech runes or “Malrunar” would be the focus of the next stanza. Here seems to be runes dealing with getting out of legal troubles. The ‘thing’ indicated here would be the annual meeting of the tribe where legal disputes between individuals were brought before the council. Having control over whether or not one was to be brought to trial seems to be a kind of astral ‘get out of jail free’ card. It seems to be a means of charging the whole thing with a field of magic that would be in one’s favor. Runes that might work in this case would be Ansuz, Tiwaz, or Raidho.
The last stanza that deals with runes is about Hugrunar, or “soul-runes”. They deal directly with wisdom and perceived wisdom. This is one set of runes that we have coming directly from Oðin in the form of Hroptyr (‘maligned one’ or ‘hidden god’).
He got them from the liquid that leaked from the head of Heiðdraupnir (‘bright dripper’) which may be Mimir’s skull. It is fairly safe to assume that the source of this liquid is Mimir’s well, as there are several references in the lore to drinking from his well in order to gain wisdom. The fact that the next stanza deals directly with Mim’s head makes it clear that this is what we are dealing with: that the wisdom runes come from Oðin who learned them from drinking the mead of wisdom from Mimir’s well.
Oðin is depicted here as holding ‘Brimir’s sword”. Brimir may be another name for Ymir, in particular the aspect of him that comes from his blood, as ‘brim’ translates as ‘surf’ and as we know the sea was made from Ymir’s blood. Why Oðin has Brimir’s sword is unclear, though we do know that he killed Ymir, and would therefore have had rights to his arms.
Stanzas 15 to 17 of the poem seem to constitute a discreet unit. It seems to be a rune chant. The first line of stanza 15 tells one to write on the shield before the shining god, though in another translation it is goddess. This is perturbing, as it would very much change the meaning of the line. ‘The shining As’ is Heimdal, whereas the ‘shining goddess’ would be Sunna. The reference to the shield might point at Sunna more than Heimdal, as we know that Sunna holds the shield Svalin (‘cooling’) before the sun. The next line tells one to write on Arvak’s ear and Alsvith’s hoof, and this further supports the theory that we are talking about Sunna, as they are her horses charged with pulling the wagon upon which the sun sits. Line three continues the list of places to write the runes with a reference to Thor’s cart (as Thor is Hrungnir’s slayer), and Oðin’s horse.