National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab recently made use of social media to share with followers his knowledge on songwriting.
Through a series of tweets, the seasoned singer-songwriter gave the following valuable advice:
“If you are new at writing songs, just remember to keep it simple and easy to sing. #1 tip in pop melody writing: repeat motifs and melodic phrases. Once you get the hang of it, it gets easier,” he wrote.
“Now, how to start a song. That is the hard part. Are you a melodist first, or a lyricist? If a melodist – then that means you know music. If a lyricist, I suggest you start with an idea or a concept then write that 1st line to kick off that story in your head,” he added.
Ryan reminded aspiring artists to don’t just stare at the page — write down something, anything.
“Your mind reacts to stimulus faster if there is any,” he pointed out.
He also noted that one must write lyrics based on the language they’re used to.
“Huwag pilitin sumulat sa Tagalog kung hindi yan ang mother tongue mo. Andaming magagandang bagong songs from Cebu, from Mindanao, from Iloilo, even Bicol written in their own language. Huwag matakot. Bagkus you will enrich our country’s song literature by writing in your own language!,” he related.
“May vispop na. May minpop na. These are music movements, umaandar na yan. We are helping a group create a movement up north. Mababalitaan nyo rin yan. Exciting times! Wooohooo.”
Ryan capped off the thread by reiterating that enthusiasts should write “unique” stories.
“Your kababayans deserve to hear your story-songs. Don’t worry if it sounds like a song you’ve heard before. The first step is always a giant step, albeit tentative. Do not worry! Take that step.”