Using someone else’s song to help you get started isn’t cheating, and it’s not copyright infringement unless you don’t change it significantly. So, for the Ghost Songs Lyrics exercise, make sure you change the song you started with to get going.
A good test? Can anyone tell where you started just by listening? If no – you’re good to go!
“Ghost Song” writing and is a type of writing exercise that can move you into a new song, and sometimes a new sound that’s very different from the songs you normally write.
The main idea is that you start with a known song and start changing it incrementally, using the original as the template to get your writing in motion.
Ghost song writing is meant to be a jump starter to create something new.
TO START: Pick a song you like
- Write a new lyric for the entire song (each verse, chorus, bridge) as is
- Now take the new lyric and write new music (e.g., choose tempo, chords from a diff. song)
- Take the new song and focus on it, rewriting as necessary