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I blog all things for the unsigned songwriters, and artists!
Original Post From http://www.songwritingscene.com
1. Chord progression power I often take a simple chord progression, either one that I find just noodling around or even one from a song that I like — say, Em/C/G/D — and keep playing it over and over, in different rhythms at varied paces, and see if it sparks something.
2. Pick a phrase — any phrase I did this great exercise once while camping at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival with Carolann Solebello, her husband Mark Berube, and a bunch of their pals. They had several people put a phrase into a hat and then you had to pick a phrase from the hat and write a song using that phrase — in just an hour, no less. For example, one phrase was “She swept it all behind the door,” and another that I put in was “Your gentle soul surrounds me.” Believe it or not, several fabulous songs came out of that exercise. Try doing the same, though of course you can give yourself more than an hour!
3. Get your thesaurus out Sometimes I’ll get song ideas just from noodling through an online thesaurus such as www.thesaurus.com. Just seeing all the synonyms for love, guilt, light, or whatever word you’re thinking about can get your juices flowing.
4. Turn your friends’ lives into tunes Does your life seem too boring to crib from for your latest song? Turn to your friends…what are they going through? What challenges are they facing in their lives? Any good love/loss story, for example? You don’t have to get so detailed in the song that they feel exposed…it can just spur some good ideas that you can build on.
5. Have a deadline One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed being part of a bi-monthly songwriting group for the past six years (full disclosure: I’ve been sorely lacking in attendance over the past several months) is that it creates a solid deadline for coming up with a song idea. Even if it’s the night before, I know I’ll have to come up with *something* or else I’ll feel bad. The deadline forces creativity to come, instead of just waiting for it to appear.
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