Have you ever sat down to write a song and had to face the dark abyss of writer’s block? It’s miserable and discouraging.
Whether you write regularly or every once in a while, it is important to keep your writing muscles loose and ready to work. Writing prompts can help you push past writer's block and keep your writing muscles sharp.
Of course, songs should be heartfelt and honest, but there’s no reason you can’t use writing prompts to help get you there. Sometimes you just need to start.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration or practice, I have thought up 123 writing prompts you can use and make your own!
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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Songs Prompts About Love
- Write a love song about your partner. Describe them in detail and communicate how they make you feel.
- Write a love song about a past romantic partner. How do you feel about them now? How did you feel about them then?
- Write a love song about someone you love, that you aren’t involved with romantically. Friends, parents, siblings.
- Write a love song about an object or prized possession you love.
- Write a love song about an activity you love – music, art, sports, walking, biking, whatever.
- Write a love song to yourself. What do you love about yourself?
- Write a love song about a couple you see on the street. Imagine their special kind of love.
- Write a love song about your parent’s relationship or your grandparent’s relationship. Imagine their conversation.
- Write a love song that sounds sad. How does a sad melody or chord progression affect the lyrics?
Write Songs About New Relationships
- Write a song about meeting someone unique and special to you.
- Write a song about meeting someone you are interested in dating.
- Write a song about your first fight in a relationship. Is it the end? Is it a good thing?
- Write a song about the newest friend you’ve made. Who are they? How do they make you feel?
- Write a song about trying to make your partner happy when they are not happy.
- Write a song about not wanting to date or see anyone else.
- Write a song about feeling unsure in a new relationship.
Songs About Old Or Ongoing Relationships
- Write a song about the first relationship you ever had. Think way back – did you have an elementary school girlfriend/boyfriend? Write a song about them!
- Write a song about love that lasts through the years and grows old.
- Write a song about your oldest friendship.
- Write a song about a relationship you’ve always admired – it could be friends, family friends, relatives or anyone else you can think of.
- Write a song about a fictional relationship. Think of love stories or romantic movies.
Songs Ideas About Your Life
- Write a song that describes yourself as an artist. Who are you? What makes you different?
- Write a tribute song to an artist that inspires you. Who are they? How do they inspire you?
- Write a song about the way you live life. What do you believe in? What guides your life?
- Write a song about your first memory. Think back. Way back. Describe it as well as you can.
- Write a nostalgic song about your favorite memory from childhood.
- Write a song about a terrible memory. Some time in your past when you felt hurt or sad.
- Write a nostalgic song about the house you grew up in.
- Write a nostalgic song about the neighborhood you grew up in.
- Write a song about a major life change. What was it? How did it affect you?
- Write a song about moving to a new city. Describe what if feels like to leave and arrive.
- Write a song about whatever you see outside your window today.
- Write a song about your greatest hopes and plans for your life. Lay it all on the table.
- Write a song about your biggest fears. What are they and why do they make you scared?
Songs That Tell A Story
- Write a song about a family story. If you don’t have any, ask your mom, dad, or grandparent for their memories and stories.
- Write a song about any story that stuck with you. Could be a news story or a story your friend told you.
- Write a song about a fictional story. Led Zeppelin wrote about The Lord of the Rings – so can you!
- Write a song telling the fictional story of someone you see on the street. Create their personality and backstory for them.
- Write a song that tells the story of the most interesting person you can think of.
- Write a song that tells the story of someone you feel is misunderstood by society.
- Write a song that tells the story of an instrument you own. Humanize the instrument.
- Write a song that tells your story, but from a third-person perspective.
Songs About Your Feelings
- Write a song about feeling good after not feeling good for a while.
- Write a song about feeling sad, mad, frustrated, or depressed. Why do you feel like this?
- Write a song about feeling stuck in your situation.
- Write a song about feeling free.
- Write a song about feeling uncertain. Uncertain of a relationship, a life change or a conviction.
- Write a song about needing help with something – a feeling, a problem or a relationship.
- Write a song about realizing you are wrong about something or someone.
- Write a song about realizing you were right about something all along.
- Write a song about feeling lonely.
- Write a song about feeling loved and supported by your friends or family.
Songs Prompts With Lyrical Hooks
- Write a song with a one-word lyrical hook – “Always”, “Creep” or “Mama”.
- Write a song with a two-word hook – “Bad Religion” or “You’re Beautiful”.
- Write a song with a question for a hook – “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”
- Write a song with a made-up word as the hook – think “Californication”.
- Write a song that uses the title of your favorite book as the hook – think East of Eden.
- Write a song that uses brackets in the title – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”.
Songs To Push Yourself With
- Write a song about something you are scared to write about. You don’t have to show it to anyone. Do it for you!
- Write a song that does not use the words “I” or “You”.
- Write a song in the style of an artist you love. Don’t be afraid to copy them. You may end up with something original.
- Write a song in the style of an artist you love, but that isn’t in your genre. See what happens.
- Write a song lyrics first. Don’t worry about a melody or chords, just write the best lyrics you can.
- Write a song that describes something in great detail. Don’t make it grand. Make it tiny and microscopic.
- Write a song that is under 60 seconds long. Can you make it feel like a complete song?
- Write a song without a chorus – Bob Dylan style.
- Open a book to a random page. Read until you find a word you like, and then write a song with that word as the title.
- Write a song about something you’ve never told anyone. It can be something you’re ashamed of or some deep feelings you’ve never shared.
- Write a song about something traumatic in your life.
Songs That Get Silly
- Write a song that has a punchline. Tell a story and then make the audience laugh!
- Write a song about something you saw on the street that made you laugh.
- Write a song about the absurdity of life.
- Write a song about something silly that you love. A toy, a picture, a taco shop down the street, whatever.
- Write a song about the first time you got drunk
- Write a song about the first time you had a crush. A playground crush!
- Write a song about something that seemed like a big deal at the time, but now is just funny.
- Write a song that has an acronym for the title – think “D.M.S.R.” by Prince!
- Write a song about feeling stupid.
- Write a song about the last thing that made you laugh out loud.
Songs Ideas That Use A Bit Of Plagiarism
- Use the chord progression from a song you love and write a new song over top of it.
- Take the lyrical hook or title from another song and write a completely different song to it.
- Take a tiny bit of someone’s melody and use it to start your own melody.
- Use a theme from someone else’s song, but write new lyrics and melodies for it.
- Take someone else’s song structure and imitate it.
- Try to make a groove or beat that sounds like a song you like, and then write a new song over top of it.
- Try to write another artist’s song. Could you write a Rihanna song? A Post Malone song? Give it a shot!
- Cover a song and then write more lyrics to it.
Songs with A Social Message
- Write an angry song about a story in the news that made you feel frustrated.
- Write a hopeful song about change.
- Write a protest song about an issue you care about.
- Write a song to motivate people to stand up for their rights.
- Write a song about a revolutionary from history.
- Write a song about self-acceptance and being yourself.
- Write a song about our connections to one another.
Songs That Start With The Music
- Make a melody, record it, and then write all the lyrics around it.
- Create a funky, danceable groove. Take it all the way, with choruses and everything and write the lyrics last.
- Create a chill groove and write the lyrics over it.
- Create a groove, and layer in samples from movies or other audio. Write lyrics that fit the samples.
- Create groove with only one repeating theme, and see if you can make it interesting.
- Write a melody that has a repeating rhythmic motif and write lyrics to it,
Songs That Are A Part Of Larger Concepts
- Create a story line that could be told over multiple songs. Write down the song’s titles and then start writing the songs.
- Make a list of all of your song’s titles. Write down other titles that fit with your current titles and then try to write to those titles.
- Pick a song you’ve written about a specific event or time. Write another song that is a follow up to the old song.
- Write a song about a current social issue and get other songwriters to write songs about the issue. Create a compilation.
- Write short songs that could go between your longer songs on an album. How can you tie everything together?
Songs With Simple Themes
- Create a unique dance move and write a song about it.
- Write a song about why you’re the best at what you do.
- Write a song about having lots of money.
- Write a song about not having any money.
- Write a song about dancing.
- Write a song about going to the club.
- Write a song about wanting to leave the club and go home.
- Write a song about having a party at your house.
- Write a song about staying in and not partying.
Other Random Ideas
- Write a song about your car.
- Write a song about your guitar.
- Write a song about wanting to live forever.
- Write a Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus song.
- Write a song about the weekend.
- Write a song about getting a brand-new set of shoes.
- Write a song about a crime.
- Write a song about doing your taxes.
- Write any song. Literally any song at all. Just do it.
Free Song Prompts Conclusion
Writing prompts are not cheating, they are a tool you can use to push passed your inhibitions. What starts as a writing prompt may turn into something beautiful, all because you pushed passed the block.
Artists from all disciplines use prompts to help them create. Personally, when I’m feeling stuck for song ideas or lyrics, I make instrumentals that often end up turning into full songs. Another option is to use a song idea generating tool.
The point is to write. Not necessarily to write a hit, or even a good song. It’s just to write.
So, get out there and do it!