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5 Songwriting Exercises Get Creativity Flowing

5 Songwriting Exercises Get Creativity Flowing

Here are 5 quick songwriting exercises to get you into a creative place with your songwriting.

All are 2 minute drills that are used simply to get you in the right mindset for writing – and you may get a surprising song start out of it as well!


1  Pick a short line or sentence from anything . . .

. . . a book, a TV commercial, a road sign, an email, etc. Now say the line out loud until you create a rythm. Add words as needed on the front or end, and sing it as a melody. Now write down the next line that follows.


2  Write down one musical rule you should never break . . .

. . . e.g., your verse and chorus should be musically different to stand out; or your hook should be your title, and break the rule. You can just jot down the idea of how you would break it – you don’t need to write a song.


3  Select an object in the room . . .

. . . now write for 2 minutes about what you see from that object’s perspective. E.g., if you choose a zuni fetish on a shelf, write in first person perspective as the object.


4  Choose an animal and recreate it’s sound . . .

. . .birds are the easiest. Guthrie Govan uses this to create guitar call and response lines. You can choose other animals as well – lions, tigers, domestic animals yipping, chimpanzees etc. Imagine the animal moving or reacting to create the pace and intensity (make sure you record it).


5  Rewrite a song’s chords . . .

. . . choose a song you love and rearrange the chords – e.g., make the verse chords the bridge and the bridge chords the verse. Now sing a new melody line to fit (be sure to record it).


6  Ask people to give you a random word during the day . . .

. . .write them all down and use them in a song. Try and collect at least 8 words! Check out how Zane Williams did it for his song “Jayton And Jill” – a Texas Music Chart single!


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