I recently got a song prompt at a songwriting workshop (yes – a virtual workshop), that initially I was going to pass on. The prompt? Find a picture of yourself and write a song about it.
In the moment I thought, there’s nothing more self-aggrandizing that writing a song about a picture of yourself! Who does that!? Well – turns out – this girl!
I actually didn’t have the picture I was thinking of, so I ended up writing a song about not having childhood photos and remembering moments.
My point? A prompt can turn into something unique, and surprising, so give it a go!
Song Prompt: Find A Picture Of Yourself And Write A Song About It
- Write a song about a photo of you. It can be in first person, or you can switch it up and make the main character/speaker someone else who is looking at a picture of you and telling the story behind it or their memory of it.
- Don’t limit yourself to simply describing the picture. Dig a little deeper into the moment that it captures. How did you feel? Was it a joyous occasion or life changing moment? Why?
- A few things to help get the song going:
- Why is the picture important to the speaker?
- Is there a moment or memory that the picture evokes?
- Is their a conversation behind the picture, or were there moments leading up to it?
- Are there others in the photo who would have a different interpretation of the moment the photo was taken? Should they be telling the story?
How To Use The Prompt
Take fifteen minutes to “free style” on the song prompt topic.
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.
Chord Progression If You Need One: G-C-D (or play it backwards & throw in an Em)
Step 1: write for 15 minutes on one of the items (or similar) above
Step 2: create a song idea from the above
Step 3: use the chord progression to write around
Step 4: use a song you like to write a ghost song off of if you’re having difficulty with a melody line
Check out Guy Clark’s “My Favorite Picture of You”