Synesthesia And Songwriting

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On The Table Read, singer songwriter Avery Raquel writes about her songwriting process and how her Synesthesia allows her to see music like painting.

Written by Avery Raquel

My name is Avery Raquel, and I’m an Alternative Soul singer/songwriter from Canada. I’ve been writing for a few years now, and more recently ready to release my 4th solo album.



Avery Raquel, Synesthesia And Songwriting, on The Table Read
Avery Raquel picture by Mike Ford

I typically write based on personal experiences. Sometimes the music comes first, other times the lyrics. When words or phrases come to me, or if I hear people talking, and it sticks, then I’ll write them down into my phone and start thinking of chord structures that I feel fit the mood of the words. Melodic ideas will start to flow based on how the words make me feel.

Sometimes I dream of melodies and I wake to record them into my phone. Other times I’ll be inspired by the sounds of nature, which then trigger melodies or chords. When I create lyrics, I try to think in a way that I can relate just as easily as anyone else who may end up listening.

I like to find ways to make the lyrics personal, yet relatable at the same time. Really, that’s what I see song writing as, creating in such a way that others can place themselves in to the stories or the music.  The process could be different each time.

Siren Stories Music


Though as most writers, having a journal either physical or electronic is a must to keep notes, record ideas, etc. My phone is my journal.  However, I also have something called Synesthesia. That’s when one sense comes through as another.

So for instance, when I hear music, I see colour, or certain words, dates, or even people are associated as a colour. Lots of artists have this.

Because of Synesthesia, when I’m writing music, it’s sometimes like creating a photo in colour. For example, to me, a major 7th chord is sunset orange, and Minor 7th chord is Royal blue.

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Challenging Your Brain

Lastly, I believe song writing should be spontaneous, not forced. Though I sometimes within that spontaneous direction, challenge myself to write. In May of 2020, I challenged myself to write 3 songs a week for the month. By the end I had 15+ songs.

Doing these challenges is great for the brain, as long as you as the song writer understand that not ALL songs created are, or need to be, hit songs. Because they don’t. 

More From Avery Raquel:

@realaveryraquel  twitter 
@averyraquelmusic  insta

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