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How I Started Writing Songs, Tips and Tricks from Christian Abuel

Perhaps, you’re wondering how you can start writing a song. What to write, what message you want to convey, who will listen?

There might be a lot of questions running in your mind that are left unanswered, so worry no more because Christian Abuel, a 35-year old songwriter from Laguna has listed down some helpful tips that you can ponder on as you go along the exciting industry of songwriting.

The following tips he’ll be sharing with you are drawn from his personal experience as a copywriter. He is a young songwriter who learned the craft by listening, writing, listening and rewriting. Just like what Ricky Lee said, “maraming daan papunta sa ating Quiapo.” So, you might want to try his usual routes when writing lyrics:

  1. Writing is rewriting – write down your first impressions on your idea, wala munang filter, huwag mag-delete ng drafts. During this period, immerse ka muna sa emotion, or mood na gusto mong puntahan ng lyrics mo. Then edit until you’re finally satisfied.

  2. Write it straight then write it right – Dapat masulat mo muna yung gusto mo sabihin or kung anuman ang intensyon mo then ask yourself these questions: Who are you writing for? Why? How will you say it? Para clear and consistent lang ang direction na gusto mo puntahan. Then edit and re-write until satisfied.

  3. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes – napulot ko lang din itong advice na ito sa isang magaling na writer: Think of someone who has a huge influence on you, tapos try to imagine kung ‘paano nila isusulat ito?’

  4. Trace the box before you think outside of it -- Revisit the fundamentals especially your literary devices. Learn the rules before you break them.

  5. Read – A good writer is a good reader. Think of the lines from your favorite songs, bakit kaya maganda ang pagkasulat? Ano kaya iniisip nila nu’ng isulat nila ‘yun? Paano kung ikaw naman ang mag-express ng idea na ito?

Aside from these five tips, Abuel also mentioned to ask for help if you need one. That was actually one of the things that he misses in his former workplace because he was very lucky that he was in an environment with generous, talented people who are willing to empty and refill their cups of experiences and creative wisdom.

So if you have a bunch of friends, or someone from your family who you think can share an insight, don’t hesitate to ask and welcome their ideas. Get started and focus on your writing. Who knows, the first song you would compose will be Gary Valenciano’s next hit song? Just like what Christian Abuel has always been dreaming of. Start writing a song today!

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