Every day after all my classes are finished, I find myself writing lyrics or chord progressions I might want to use in a song. However, ideas are always over-used and lyrics just become rephrased. It’s hard to get out of your head when all you want to do is write. I combat my song-writing slump with these 8 tricks:
1. What do I want to write about?
Sometimes, it's easier to write down all of your thoughts down before you even start to write lyrics or think of chords for your song.
2. Is this about anyone in particular or simply a story?
A lot of songs tell the story of the one who wrote them. Think about someone who you care deeply for and write down what you feel about them.
3. No capo, or capo on the 11th fret?
Find the range you're most comfortable with. You can't write a good song if you're struggling to sing your lyrics.
4. Am I even in the mood to write this song?
Most of the time, a verse or lyrics will pop into your head and you run to your guitar or piano and write it down. However, shortly after this, your left sitting there staring at your notebook wondering what to write next. It's okay to step back from it, clear your head, and then go back.
5. Major or Minor?
Whatever mood you're in usually determines how your song is going to play out. Try to leave your comfort zone. If you usually write songs about how someone broke your heart, find something new to explore.
6. Who's my audience?
This is important to ask yourself because if you're just going to write a song for yourself, you can write about whatever you want. If you want to record your song, you should consider who you want your audience to be and what they might enjoy listening to more.
7. What do I want to get out of writing this song?
This question correlates with the previous. Do you want to produce the song? Do you just want to write to get out all of your bottled up emotions?
8. Would I play this in front of my mom or dad?
Lastly, I always ask myself if I would be comfortable singing the song I wrote in front of my mom or dad. Nine out of ten times, I find myself going back to change and re-arrange what I just wrote.
Music takes passion and courage, so whatever you write, always make sure that it's a piece you're proud of!