5 Songwriting Tips (For The Lazy)

5 Songwriting Tips (For The Lazy)

It’s funny, being a songwriter myself, I always find that writing songs can sometimes be a chore. But why does it feel this way? Isn’t this supposed to be my passion? Isn’t this supposed to be something that I never get bored of?

… well, not exactly. Everything gets boring once in a while, even the things that you’re most passionate about. So every so often I like to take the lazy man’s route to doing things. And surprisingly, I often produce some very good results!

So listen up. If you newbie at songwriting, or even if you have been at it for a while — I’m going to share a couple of simple tricks that will help you start the writing process within minutes.

Here we go…

1) Review a particular situation in your day. It could be at work, during your travels, or at home. It could be with your workmates, your family or your friends. Just any situation that affected you in either a positive or negative way.

An example of this would be “when you’re at work, your boss just keeps hounding you. But, the only thing that keeps you going throughout the day is that you know that somebody in the office has a crush on you”

(the above is a very dry example… but try to work with me here!)

2) Write down as many words as you can think of that relate to your situation.

Let’s follow the example from earlier on:

anger, pain, sad, happy, excitement, nervousness, anxious, misery, impatience, relaxation, goofy, sophisticated, annoying, frustrating, antagonising, fancy, sexy, cool, pretty, smile, etc, etc… you get the point 🙂

3) Write down random short sentences about your situation including the words that you mentioned to him in step 2. So let’s continue in our little experiment…

“ the way he talked to me really angers me”
“ if only he knew the pain I suffered inside”
“ when I see her pretty eyes light up it makes me smile”
“ I have to act cool and sophisticated — don’t want to get frustrated”
“ he doesn’t know what makes my day go by”
“ don’t want to be in this misery for much longer”

Etc, etc. at this point, it’s important to note that you don’t have to use all the words that you mentioned earlier in step two. As you can see I’ve even started to make up my own lines without any of the words too! Sometimes, I’m rhyming the words without even realizing it. And this is exactly where the magic starts to happen…

You can easily turn this idea into a full-fledged song.

My example was very average and simplified — but you can use an example that’s a little more dramatic. You should really get wild with your ideas! Really, just let loose.

4) Listen to a ‘backing track’ (an instrumental of a song) that you have NO CLUE about. While it’s playing, make up a melody. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just create a melody on the fly. You don’t have to sing any lyrics either. Just ‘humm’ or ‘laaa’ a tune out until you’re heart’s content.

Why do this? This is an exercise that will subconsciously prepare you to create melodies for your own chord sequences in the next step.

5) Create a SIMPLE chord progression on the guitar or keyboard. When I say simple, I mean simple. Maybe TWO chords for the verse and TWO chords for the chorus. Now create a melody on top of that chord progression. Record the song on tape. There you have it.

NOTE: if you don’t play an instrument, then hook up with someone who does. After all, you pretty much have half the song now 🙂

Still think it’s difficult conceiving an idea? Want to know more? I have plenty more that I want to share with you…

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The articles in this section are written by other people and made available online, to anybody who wishes to use them. The ideas and opinions in my Coffee Time Library are not necessarily the same as my own.  I bought them and I post them for you to read and enjoy and to hopefully inspire your independent and intelligent, critical but creative thinking. 

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