Who is a singer songwriter?
A singer songwriter is one who writes, composes, and performs his/her own music. He writes his own lyrics and sings his own original melodies.
Lyrics for an original song usually come from some idea that the performer has. Just like a poet or a writer of prose, it is a delivery of text based on a theme. Many songs have been written with lyrics about love found, love lost, change, hope for a new life, loss, heartbreak, world peace, helping somebody, children and other popular themes.
It can start with a title and the writer can build a story or a series of related expressions. Conversely, the writer can choose a sequence of thoughts leading to a punch line or a hook. A ‘hook’ is a repeated melodic or lyrical phrase that keeps the listener interested. There are so many variations in song-styles and a lot of it depends on the preferences of the writer. When the lyrics for a song are chosen, and read, they should suggest a metric pattern and the song as a whole should have one of a few popular forms in which verse, chorus and bridge are identified.
When writing a song the composer needs to arrange notes to form a tune which identifies the song. This tune is the melody of the song. The tune has to match the lyrics in accents and duration. Composing a melody is not confined to the knowledge of a musician, but the song, most likely, will require harmony in chords and sometimes a bass line and percussion to put it all together.
Over the years most singer songwriters performed on an acoustic instrument, such as piano or guitar. Lately electronic accompaniment has become popular, making sure there is a balance between the volumes of voice and instrument. Such persons would need to be trained in the instrument they choose. The guitar suits arpeggios and chords and strumming and the piano appeals to those who like the piano action. In both cases the singer can adjust the pace and pauses depending on the mood. The singer is in full control.
Do you know any singer songwriters?
I am sure you know popular songs like Sounds of Silence by Paul Simon and Now and forever by Richard Marx, All of me by John Legend and My baby don’t care by Nina Simone . These are examples of artists who play and sing. There are also many singer songwriters like Mariah Carey or Adele who are the creators or co-creators of their own lyrics and melodies, but do not usually accompany themselves in performance.
What about you?
Many people can write songs, and sing, but they have not taken the time to explore this artistic side of themselves in which they learn to play. Maybe you did a little singing in a school choir or children’s group. It is a good time to check out your skills in song writing and singing and add ‘playing’ as your next step. You might be surprised where it takes you.
Let me know your thoughts on this by leaving your comments. Thanks for stopping by.