Both sides of the brain


Left brain, right brain. I’ve heard so many songwriters refer to this, that I figured I’d better pass it on.

The general idea is that one side of the brain (left) deals with things that are logical, linear, sequential and analytical. And the other side, the right side, deals with creativity, empathy, synthesis, contextual thinking and big picture thinking. You’d think songwriters would have highly developed right brains.

A songwriter needs both sides, but here’s the tip, not at the same time.

You must learn to shut off the analytical left brain when you are in the first stage of writing a song. When the muse or inspiration strikes and a melody drops into your head, that is not the time to be analyzing. It’s not the time for your brain to be making judgements. Send your left brain on an extended coffee break, while your right brain does its creative thing. Let the right brain run free without interference.

Here’s the part beginners often miss. Once a draft is written and the muse has left, you can invite your left brain back, and send the right brain off on an errand. “Thank you right brain, great job, now take 5.”

Now the craft of songwriting, the tips and techniques you’ve learned, can be applied. Now is the time for a little analysis, judging, thinking. Let the abilities of your left brain shine. Editing or re-writing is the perfect use of your left brain.

Just remember, whenever you feel a little inspiration coming on, it’s OK to let half your brain go to sleep.


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