Are you trying to write some tunes or lyrics? If you’re struggling for guidance and inspiration it’s a good idea to listen to the struggled and successes of others – podcasts for songwriters are a great place to start.
Listen to the best podcasts for songwriters, to help with songwriting in 2021. They’re packed with insider tips, methodology, ideas and the experiences of other musicians. And they can be listened to on the go, in the shower or while doing chores.
Read on for recommendations on the 27 podcasts that’ll help you become a more creative and productive musician.
The best podcasts for songwriters
Whether you want to hone your craft, hear anecdotes from the world’s best composers, listen to debates with peers, fine-tune particular aspects of your writing, or just enjoy being entertained, we have a podcast recommendation for you.
Songwriting podcasts on Spotify
If you already use a music platform like Spotify or iTunes, downloading some podcasts or creating a streaming playlist for those podcasts will be easy. But there are plenty of specific ones you can try if you’d like to keep your tunes separate from the spoken word. You may also find some exclusive episodes and series on these apps. They include:
- Luminary Podcasts
- Pocket Casts
How to write a song podcasts
Here’s our 2021 rundown of the 27 best podcasts for songwriters to help with songwriting.
#1 Backstory Song
This podcast has a mission – to help songwriters tell their stories and get discovered by listeners. Created by Doug Burke, in memory of his father, he spotlights a different songwriter each week. There’s a lot of country music covered and spans a diverse range of ages in terms of the musicians featured. The website also has useful articles and transcripts of the audio, if you’d rather read than listen.
#2 The Georgia Songbirds
Providing a weekly top ten of new music, this American podcast is a good one for discovering new material and tracking what other musicians are doing. In addition to songwriting, topics such as sync licensing (a key way for composers to earn a viable living) are covered.
#3 Soul Music by BBC Sounds
Each week, this podcast explores famous hits and unpacks what makes them so engaging. It’s a useful resource for unpicking the elements of a song and understanding how to bring meaning to your music and make it relatable to your intended audience.
#4 Sound and Substance
Covering writing, performance, production and career strategy tips, this is an interview-based series. It provides plenty of advice and inspiration, balancing the artistry of music-making with the practical elements of the business.
#5 Song Facts
A discussion on classic tunes and the search for new tracks, Song Facts features a different artist each week. There’s a huge variety in there, and it often tackles heavier topics like music cosmologies, racism in the industry and mental health among musicians.
#6 It’s Personal
This is something a little different, in that it’s not exclusively for musicians. Performance creators of all kinds make up the weekly showcase. If you’re seeking to do something a little experimental and would like some cross-discipline artistic impact, this is a good one to check out. As a songwriter, it can be really beneficial to learn from creators in other disciplines.
#7 Soda Jerker
Liverpudlian songwriting duo Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor interview some of the most successful composer and lyricists of our time. These come from writers across the world and discuss their work making successful original music. Past guests have included Tim Minchin, Gary Barlow, Katie Melua, Midge Ure, Labrinth, Billy Ocean, Erasure and KT Tunstall.
#8 And The Writer Is
This podcast aims to probe the secrets of the industry and uncover, why just a relatively small amount of writers and songs make it to the big time. Creator Ross Golan advocated getting songwriters added to the Album of the Year award at The Grammys.
#9 Switched On Pop
Designed for pop songwriters, this podcast breaks down song structure to figure out what makes a mainstream hit and why. It helps musicians to hear the hook, or moment in the song that sets it apart. Major best selling artists such as Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande are discussed by the presenters.
#10 The Creative Gene
Choosing song titles, incorporating rhyme into lyrics, portraying a message, re-writing and collaborations are just some of the topics explored in The Creative Gene. It’s presented by the drummer, songwriter and freelance musician, Megan Richardson.
#11 The Road Less Travelled
The well-known DJ (and more recently, TV presenter) Reggie Yates talks to a variety of personalities about creativity. You’ll need to pick out the music relevant ones, such as his conversation with Raleigh Ritchie. But it’s a great place to dive into the concepts of finding your authenticity and taking risks as an artist.
#12 The Working Songwriter
Expect stories and insights from the interviews recorded by performer and songwriter Joe Pug. It’s a colourful and entertaining one to listen to if you’d like a few laughs added in to your listening experience.
#13 Songwriter Stories
Melodic pop is what’s being discussed on this podcast. The host, Dave Caruso, started this podcast to run alongside his online songwriting courses. If you’re currently trying to work out how to bring your creativity into your songs, then this is for you.
#14 Pensando’s Place
While covering a lot of the technical and production side of music, you’ll find insightful sessions with composers on here too. The podcasts are recorded with video, so you can listen to or watch it online. There’s also engineering and mixing tutorials available, as well as the option to use Dave Pensado’s mixing services online. So it’s perfect if you write, record and produce your own music.
#15 Songcraft: Spotlight On Songwriters
This was the first podcast of its kind to launch in America and continues to be a leading light in the songwriting podcast world. Hear conversations with highly respected composers, on their influences, the stories behind their tracks, and how they’ve developed their skills over the years.
#16 Song Talk Radio
Maybe you’d like to appear on a songwriting podcast yourself. If so, then Song Talk Radio may be a possibility. Guests from any genre are invited to apply. But it won’t be a vehicle to perform your music. It’s all about debating song structure, lyrics, chord progressions, themes, ideas and techniques
#17 Songwriter Trysts
Another interview-based series, this one takes us behind the scenes into the music industry, discovering the complexity of writing processes. Host Rae Leigh has a popular interview style with recurring themes including mental health, self-care and being both a musician and mother.
Inspiring podcasts for songwriters
#18 Art of the Score
If you’re particularly interested in making money from sync licensing, you might want to stream this podcast that focusses on creating tunes for movies, TV and video games. Find out how to add drama and atmosphere to your pieces and get them on the big or small screen!
#19 NY Artists Collective
New York has long been the home of cool. So if you’re seeking to discover innovative emergent writers and want to break into the hip urban music scene, have a listen. In each episode, a songwriter discusses how they came to write a particular song, and what it’s like to be an artist in the Big Apple.
#20 Songs And Writers
Offering a very different audio journey, the creators of this London-based podcast provide guests with a set of instructions for writing a piece (anything from a set of chords, to lyrics, or a theme). The composers record the process, and then, during the podcast, reflect on its highs and lows. It’s produced by audio producer, musician, and podcaster Michael Dale, along with audio produce/musician Tom Harrison.
#21 Songwriter Theory: Learn Songwriting And Write Meaningful Lyrics and Songs
Do you want to tackle a particular aspect of songwriting? Like improving lyrics, heightening emotion, arrangements, constructing harmonies and harnessing your creative bursts? This podcast runs a different topic each week. So you can scroll through the episodes and find what you’re looking for.
#22 Song And Story
As the name suggests, this is a podcast about the stories found in songs. Since its inception in 2018, episodes have covered themes such as life, death, racism, addiction, technology, home, grief, suffering, heartbreak and love. If you want to become a better storyteller through your music, then this is a superb choice.
#23 Two Jerks One Vote
This is another different take on the subject. In Two Jerks One Vote, the discussion revolves around online songwriting competitions. This makes it useful for getting the inside track on this aspect of the business.
#24 The Songwriter Show
With listeners in 206 countries, this is a truly international setup. It isn’t about technique or tips to make you a better songwriter. Instead, the hosts and guests seek to entertain and inspire budding creators, showing them how to handle the business side of being a writer.
#25 Seriously…Steve Earle’s Songwriting Bootcamp
Available on the BBC website and app, this series, Seriously…, covers a variety of creative genres. Look out for some top songwriting episodes, such as this one where Hugh Levinson joins country artist Steve Earle, for some intensive training in the art of composing a great song.
#26 Creative Juice
This weekly 1-hour podcast includes independent musicians, music industry professionals and music marketers. Listeners can learn how to gain control and clarity while building confidence in their writing skills.
#27 Songwriters Guild Live
Based in Amsterdam, host Ro Halfhide sets out to create an online community of songwriters via this podcast. Open mic sessions are incorporated, so you can listen and learn.
We hope you enjoy some or many of these podcasts. And if there’s nothing that quite fits what you’re looking for, why not start your own! It could provide a route for singers and fans to search out your music.
- How do professional songwriters write songs?
Some write alone, many collaborate. It may happen in the studio, or in a dedicated writing location, or on the go. In terms of song specifics, many begin with the topline or hook. While others will write a melody to a beat track. How each writes also depends on their musical genre and experience.
- How do you promote yourself as a songwriter?
In much the same way as you would as an artist. You can set up a website showcasing your work and social media channels for your music. If you don’t perform your own numbers, you’ll need to find someone who will, so your tunes can be sung, played and appear online (both in video and audio form).
- How do you sell a song as a songwriter?
Get your music into sync libraries to make money from licensing, maybe via a distributor. Send it to established artists to see if it’s something they’d use (be clear you’re selling not giving). And upload it to streaming sites for paid downloads (provided you have someone to record your music).
Which are your favourite podcasts for composing and lyric writing? How have they helped you to develop? Let us know in the comments below.