As songwriters, we’re always on the lookout for fresh song ideas. Inspiration is floating around us all the time, and it’s our job to catch it and turn it into our own creative vision. Here are five of the most effective ways to gather songwriting inspiration, especially if you’re struggling with writer’s block.
1. Pay attention to your surroundings
Periodically remind yourself throughout the day to be present and aware of your surroundings. You can use details from all five of your senses to spark your next song ideas.
Not feeling particularly inspired by your day-to-day life? Now you have the perfect excuse to get out there and experience something new that you’ve always wanted to try! Just make sure you’re ready to catch all of the fresh songwriting inspiration that comes along with it.
2. Actively listen to music
Actively listening to music and studying your craft are some of the best things you can do to progress as a songwriter. Through listening, you can learn so much about music theory, songwriting techniques, instrumentation, lyric writing, and more.
Get familiar with the songwriting style of someone whose work you admire, and use those techniques to facilitate your own writing process. It’s perfectly fine to listen to music in the genre you typically write in, but it can also be extremely helpful to remain open-minded to other styles of music as you shape your unique sound.
3. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
You don’t have to limit yourself to writing about your personal experiences. Use empathy or your imagination write someone else’s story. Even if the details are different, you can probably still relate to the core emotion and write something that feels authentic. Any story — fiction or nonfiction — that triggers some sort of strong emotion inside of you is the perfect catalyst to get your creative juices flowing.
4. Try an online idea generator
While online song idea generators don’t spew out the most original titles, they can be a great way to quickly spark some inspiration and allow you to start writing something immediately. Go to your favorite search engine and type in “song idea generator” to search for your next concept.
5. Collaborate with another songwriter
Bouncing song ideas around with another songwriter can spark exponentially more ideas than you might have been able to come up with alone. Try to find co-writers who complement your strengths and provide honest, constructive feedback, and you’ll end up with better songs as a result. See if there are any songwriting meetups or clubs in your city that you can attend, or join SongwriterLink for free to get matched up with exactly the kind of co-writers you’re looking for, anywhere in the world.
Joe Capalbo is an intern for SongwriterLink.