Simplifying Songwriting

This post on songwriting is a guest submission by Delise Germond. Delise has served in church ministry and traveled for a number of years. Delise, a gifted vocalist and songwriter, is passionate about leading others in worship and encouraging them to reach their potential. Delise currently lives in North Carolina.


guest post by Delise Germond

When most people think about songwriting, they picture a mystical process through which brilliant musicians express themselves. Talents like Elton John come to mind. From the outside looking in, it seems like songwriting is a gift. Some have it, and some just don’t.

If that’s your perspective of songwriting, then you are almost right. There are those who are simply gifted songwriters. They possess the ability to express concepts in unique ways through the medium of music. But the truth is, for most successful songwriters, about 10% of the task is based on a good idea and the rest is just hard work.

I once heard it said that songwriting is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. What does that tell me? Although good songs require the stable foundation of a good idea, the rest is all about how much effort you are willing to put into it. It’s a craft.

By now you’ve surely noticed that writing for the local church has become a bit of a trend. Elevation Church, Harvest Bible Chapel, and Hillsong have all inspired us to sing songs that come from the depths of our hearts and touch our local congregations in a special way. It’s beautiful. If you are considering writing at your local church, here are some things you might want to consider:

1. Writing is rewriting: This is where the 10/90 principle comes into play. Have you ever heard those stories of people who wrote a famous song in a matter of minutes? While it may be true that they literally wrote down lyrics and obtained a melody in one sitting, the truth is that what they wrote was the result of years of hard work. Every thing you write is building on the foundation of what you wrote before. When you set out to write a song, remember that some of the best songs are written and rewritten.

2. Write Regularly: Songwriting is like getting water from a well. Sometimes you need to prime the pump. The more you write, the more natural it will be.

3. Write from overflow: Writing songs for or to the Lord is different than any other type of songwriting. It has to come from the heart. As you pursue songwriting, strive to first pursue the heart of God. Ask Him to lead you and impress upon your heart the things He wants to hear. When your songs are authentically vertical, even if it never becomes a #1 hit, it will bless the heart of God.

I hope this brief introduction to songwriting was encouraging.  Our heart is to develop the church by serving however possible. We would like to offer our resources to churches and leaders through this blog.  How can we help you?  Feel free to contact us here.

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