• March 16, 2021

Why Your Songs Sound Boring And How To Avoid That

The music you write is too bland? There is no “bite” to your songs? There is no “struggle” in your art? Lots of composers and songwriters think that their music is missing a certain “X factor” to make it special. What can you do to make your art more interesting and relevant?

This is a problem that many songwriters have: they may have some good musical ideas, and even be technically proficient, but their songs lack a certain “I don’t know”. It might have happened to you too: what you compose sounds nice… but it’s boring. It definitely happened to me a lot… and it’s probably something that happens to most composers when they start.

In fact I know many who stopped writing music because of this… and it’s a pity because, how I found out, it happens to be just a temporary phase. Not only that, but you can get out of this phase faster if you remember to do one little, simple thing. We’ll get to that in a moment.

A Problem Of Skills?
Before that, though, let me note that this is NOT a technical problem. While it is possible that your technical or compositional skills are not yet as good as you would like them to be, these are most likely not the culprit. In other words, this is not something that is solved by studying more theory, or practicing more.

As Einstein said: “no problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it”. If you want to write great music, you have to start think differently. You have to start thinking like an artist.

There Is No Luke Without Vader
So how do we make your music interesting? Let’s start by answering a seemingly unrelated question for a minute (that will help us later): can you imagine the most boring movie ever? Think about it for a minute…

No, the most boring movie ever is not Battlefield Earth 🙂 The most boring movie ever would be a movie where nothing actually happens, where there is no struggle, no events, no antagonist. Nothing that moves the plot forward.

In fact an iron rule of movie writing is that what moves the plot is a conflict, and to create a conflict you need an antagonist. The antagonist can be a person (Darth Vader in Star Wars), an animal/monster (the white shark in Jaws, the Xenomorphs in Alien), Nature (every disaster movie ever), or anything else. You can also have more than one antagonist… but you need at least one!

The same is true for your songs: you need to have an “antagonist” in your song.

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