Hey guys, today we’re going to share with you some creative songwriting tips and exercises that will help take your songwriting skills to the next level.
We all know that the creative spark strikes whenever it strikes. Sometimes you get good song ideas in the shower, in the car, or at three in the morning when you suddenly sit up in bed. However, if you want to increase the volume and quality of your songs, it helps to practice some good habits instead of just waiting for the occasional good idea to present itself. After all, the more you put yourself in the path of creativity, the more likely it is to find you. And who doesn’t want more chances to hit upon that killer hook or amazing beat?
If you just make a few modifications to your daily life to help funnel your songwriting creativity in the right direction, you might discover that those moments of spontaneous inspiration start striking you more and more often and you write less basic lyrics. Here are some tips to help make that happen.
Note: This songwriting exercises guide was contributed by BJ at AuthorityTickets.
Designate A Place To Write Your Songs
Okay, so we’re not all as rich as Lady Gaga, and we can’t all afford a state-of-the-art home music studio or recording facility. I get that. Some of us don’t even have a spare room that can be converted into a dedicated music space. But if you can just use a little bit of your creative spirit to come up with some way to set aside a little area in your home for music, it can really help to get you in a music-making frame of mind.
Creating this space might mean different things to different people. For some, special lighting in the dining room or maybe just going with candles might be the key. Others might want to arrange the furniture in the living room so that one corner becomes a cozy little nook for making music. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you like your arrangement – the whole goal is to have a place where you feel relaxed and comfortable, so that you can get on with the business of writing songs. This is great for inspiring those new and creative ideas.
Don’t Trust Your Memory With Creative Songwriting
I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a decent melody pop into my head, thought I had it memorized, and then got frustrated when I couldn’t remember it later in the day. Good ideas can often be fleeting, so if one occurs at an inconvenient moment, give yourself every opportunity to remember it later by recording it in some way. Most modern cell phones have a voice recorder, so you can sing little snippets of melodies into that. Or if you come up with some decent lyrics, either recite them into your recorder, or get them written down before you forget them. Then you can take your ideas home and work on them when it’s more convenient.
Songwriting Exercises: Keep A Diary
Most great songs reflect some sort of personal event or journey in the songwriter’s life, some connection to inner feelings and thoughts. If you have trouble coming up with good ideas for song topics, try keeping a private diary (either on paper or electronic) to get in touch with how you really feel about things. When you look back to diary entries from weeks or even months past, often you’ll be able to gain some insight on old situations that you didn’t have when you were caught up in those situations. This is the kind of self-analysis and self-awareness that can lead to some really special song ideas.
Use A Song Name Generator
A song name generator such as this one can give you a lot of different titles which you could use to make songs out of. This is great to get your mind running with ideas you hadn’t previously thought of.
Mix Your Media
The great thing about creativity is that there can be a lot of crossover among different media types. Authors can be inspired by music, painters can be inspired by dancers, and so forth.
As a songwriter, try using different types of media to help add fuel to your musical fire. Photography seems to work particularly well; you can either look online to find photographers whose artistic aesthetic resonates with your songwriting style (And take inspiration from their work), or you can get in the habit of taking your own photographs and letting those images guide you in your songwriting journeys.
Experiment With Themes
Not all songs have to be about romance, partying, or any other particular subject matter. If you find that you’re getting bored with your songwriting or are feeling like all your songs sound the same after a while, try choosing a subject matter that you wouldn’t normally write about. It may not feel comfortable at first, but experiment with it for a while and see how your new style songs come out. Even if you end up not liking the song you write, the simple act of breaking out of your comfort zone can help you a lot if you’re stuck in a rut.
In short, yes, inspiration arrives on its own schedule. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t encourage it to come around more often. Try a few of these tips (or come up with some of your own), and soon you may find that your moments of songwriting genius are happening more frequently, and in a more satisfying way.
About The Author
When she’s not eeking out practice time, catching her favorite bands, or discovering new artists, BJ writes about all things music for AuthorityTickets and a number of other sites.