A common object can often be one of your best song prompt sources. While they seem pretty mundane, they’re around a lot, and often have memories tied to them.

Take fifteen minutes to “free style” on one of the common objects listed below.

Don’t worry about creating a story line or a narrative.  Just go ahead and write down whatever pops into your head.

Once you’ve completed the “free style” write on one of the common objects below, move on to the next step.

To help move things along, we’ve also provided a chord progression to get you started.

If you haven’t done this before, we’ve provided a step-by-step to help you use the prompts in the creation of a song.


Common Object As Central Topic
  • Choose one of the following items:
    • Light bulb
    • Spare tire
    • Washing machine
    • Frying pan
    • Cigarette lighter
    • New car
    • Have a better household object? Go with it!


Easy Open String Chord Progression:

These are all 2 and 3 finger chords

(Verse)  Em – Cmaj7 – G – Dsus2

(Chorus)  E – B7add11 – Asus – D7


Let’s Do The Song Prompt!

Step 1:  write for 15 minutes on one of the items (or similar) above

Step 2:  create a song idea from the above

  • Is it funny? A ballad? The blues?
  • Why should anyone care about it – is it a metaphor for something?
  • What is is to your main character? A puzzle? A prop?

Step 3: use the chord progression to write around the song idea

Step 4: construct your song structure and then write the lyrics into it

Step 5: use a song you like to write a ghost song off of if you’re having difficulty with a melody line


Great Example: New Car


Gregg Brown “Brand New ’64 Dodge”