For the past couple of years I've been focusing, in my own songwriting, on praise and worship music. I'd like to see P&W music be more... exciting as an art form. Exiting in a Radiohead way... not a snake handling way. :-) Along the way I've gathered lots of rules (from others and from my own personal convictions). Rules like:
- Avoid overused cliche's
- Try not to make Jesus your girlfriend
- Make the melodies singable (2-3 notes)
- Needs to be something people want to sing (to God)
- Needs to convey some manner of truth
- ...but not to much (we don't want hymns, after all)
- No wierd chords or wierd meters
- Try to stay away from G-C-D-Em
I'm finding that under the weight of all these rules... I'm really not enjoying songwriting. I'm finding myself following perfectionist tendencies. I'm not producing as many new songs as I should be. Ideas that I'm excited about become neutered under the weight of all these rules that I have to navigate.
So, I GIVE UP!
I'm just going to write songs that please me. If it happens to be a worship song... cool. If not, still cool. I'll let you know how it goes.
So... what are the rules that you need to break? What's got you in writer's block? (Whether it's songwriting or prose or poetry or what...)