Inspiration For Songwriting

I will take you through a few quick steps for songwriting.

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Ultimate Guitar
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There are many different techniques that can be used in order to get through writer's block or just write a very good song! The first thing you need to remember is that every single artist got inspiration from someone. Some expanded lyrcis, riffs and chord sequences from other artists and came up with great songs so do not feel in any way that you are stealing material. Here are some great places to get inspiration for your lyrics:

01. Listen To Songs.

One of the easiest ways to get inspiration is by listening to songs. A good idea would be to look for the lyrics to a song you like on the internet and read through them again and again. Different music puts you in different moods, so if you are writing a sad song listen to a sad song.

02. Look In A Quote Book!

I got some great lyrical ideas from quote books, one of my favourite quotes that I have used in my songs is "To the world you are one person, but to one person you are the world." This may seem a strange idea to some but trust me it works! Many songs have thought-provoking quotes in them.

03. Get A Topic.

Choose a topic for your song. This could be anything from past experiences, a woman or recent events. I like to write sad songs because they have an emotional effect on people so I concentrate on what has been going on on the news. If you can't think of a sad topic turn on the TV, turn to the news channel and let your emotions run riot. If you want a happy topic go out with your mates and have a laugh!

04. Build The Foundation Of Your Song.

Start making notes about what you are going to sing about, the order of the song and where the rythm will change.

05. Start Writing Lyrics.

The way I normally write lyrics: I sit down grab a pen and paper and write a sentence down about the topic. If you can't think of anything that rhymes, use a dictionary or a thesaurus. Lets take an example from one of my songs:

Every morning I turn on the TV,

I needed a word to rhyme with TV, I knew my topic well and so I came up with:

I'm needing someone above to guide me,

You can probably see where this song is going. Its the question to if there is a God, why doesn't it stop bad things from happening. One of those unanswered questions that I long to find the answer to. I kept writing and soon I came up with:

Every morning I turn on the TV, I'm needing someone above to guide me, I'm searching for the answers that aren't there, Don't you care? What will it take to stop the pain? This is no way to find fame, Someones getting mugged down a back lane, Just a normal day.

At the end of each verse I wrote "Just a normal day" and this was very effective for my song. Many artists, particularly rappers use this kind of technique.

06. Be Original!

The lyrics don't even have to make sense! For instance look at the Red Hot Chili Peppers hardly any of there lyrics make sense, but they are a great band! It doesn't matter if the lyrics half rhyme or if they don't rhyme at all.

07. Go Back To Your English Lessons!

If you are writing a fast song it is effective to use repitition and alliteration. Similies are also very good when you are describing something in songs. Use as many techniques as you can for a great effect.

I have tried to help you with your songwriting. These are some basic ways to improve your songwriting or give you ideas for lyrics. I hope I have helped you and apoligise for any errors as this is my first article.

Good Luck With Songwriting!!!

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ultimate_punk
    You shouldn't just go with anything that ryhmes. IT ruins the song. It's too basic as well, any kid with half a brain could work most of this stuff out for themselves.
    stuckin79x
    all you guys on here who have to down everything someone wrights because you thought it was lame or you allready knew it keep your lame comment to yourselves i dont see you writing a article on anything just keep it to your selves
    GNR's Fan
    some people might have found this helpful not evertbody here has been writing songs for ages if you already knwe it keep it for your self or write an article yourself and see if you can do better
    crazynickman
    this happens after article, there are the dicks who just trash the article because they think theyre so damn good and there are the sensible ones that tell them to go screw themselves. OK articel, 3 stars
    Brent_1031
    your lyrics should make sense..if they dont to the public they should at least make sense to you...it should have some kind of emotion backing it...so its got to make sense...you dont sound like a song writer...you sound like a rapper, get lost...people like you = bad music..oh ..and this should even make sense to the people that havent been writing very long ...even the ones just starting out...you would be a dick not to bash the article..the truth..over and out
    Slash Haircut
    You cant make comparisons to other bands when talking about originality in songwritting. That way people will try to write like those bands, and is that original???? I think not!
    Slash Haircut
    And im certain there have been articles like this in the past, infact i think i used some of them!!!
    gRipper03
    i think this was some very good advice....it gets you started and may even help you find your own way of writing...i intend to use these ideas
    antichristevan6
    being an experienced songwriter i have to say that u do not just make up rhymes and hope it works out well. Thats what rappers do. Always relate every stanza to what you're singing about.
    Tedrick
    Um thats common sense to do all those things when looking for inspiration...
    gRipper03
    well, seems like everyone knows about all this, so post something more detailed and new if so
    the_ryeknow
    Dude ive wrote better songs than that. And i all ready knew all of this its like common sence man. (oh by the way im 12)
    FenderMan182
    what tha fvck that was shit. i sit down grab a pen and a piece of paper and write..... wat the hell dude how else r ya gonna write a song pphhh...
    redrumydoolb
    i can't stand a single person that can't give constructive criticism...i thought the article was decent...using quotes is a good idea...find a quote you like and elaborate on it...and just because it rhymes doesn't mean it's bad...but also just because it doesn't rhyme it means it's good...it all depends how you use your diction.
    Bulletbass man
    this is something you would tell you friends six year old brother who wants to be like you. This article is pretty lousy
    Buscubba
    pretty good article. although the red hot chili peppers have amazing lyrics. if you really sit down and try to analyze what they mean, you will be blown away
    Hybrid_Xer0
    if u ppl seem to know so much about song writin then y did u bother reading this article?
    tweeres04
    ^ Agreed. It's annoying how some people just read articles to critisize other people. Good article, IMO. Four stars.
    shez
    gd article, thnx. all those *******s critising this article nd hu say they knew it all already obv can't b tht gd cos they wouldn't hav read the article
    ror
    rhyming is good, but not nessicary songs can work without rhyming. you can also distort words by saying them with accents or very faST/SLOW
    Chomp
    The worst person to teach us how to write lyrics...an emo kid...
    dude12
    ultimate_punk: You shouldn't just go with anything that ryhmes. IT ruins the song. It's too basic as well, any kid with half a brain could work most of this stuff out for themselves. [POSTED: 24 August 2005 - 08:37] well no crap that's why he wrote the article, to make song writing easier! And don't critize his method if you don't have the balls to write your own!
    killtrix
    Cool article, being a guitar player for years i have never really worked on the lyrical and melodic sense of a song. i always had a great lyricist do most if not all of the lyrics, i always came up with the riffs "mind you i threw in some ideas that went over well." But now i have been left to my own devices and a full 13 songs on a cd i have been working need some lyrics and melody and i have hit a wall. The music came natural the mixing was a pain but fun the bass also came natural and the grooves... now the lyrics? This is just what i needed " though a little on the common sense" Non the less, some pointers i will adopt as working exercises for my own. I guess some people "KNOWITALLS" have the answers to everything. Thanks again
    htownguitar23
    i think alot of this has been said in hundreds of columns before this but some things like look in a quote book. i didnt think of that. other than that it's kinda repetitive but then again at least ur making an effort to help these noobs
    SlashRules
    SECOND nice...i have to agree with ultimate_punk. most of this stuff i already knew and i haven't even looked at things to help you write lyrics and i haven't even made any good ones but i am in the process with my band.
    Abyssal
    Some stuff here helps beginning song writers.. Nothing that I wouldnt already know.
    ledhed68
    very short, but none of that works for me. I dont try to find inspiration, it just comes to me. For example, i wrote the first verse of a blues song in my head when i was in chicago, it just came, the rest came when i had a pen and paper. Thats probably the most effective to me.
    BLACKRAVEN
    I'm a session guitarist / songwriter, i do this for a living, and the guys who critiscize this are dicks. just because it doesnt work for you doesn't mean it doesnt work, and you can just go with anything that rhymes because it takes skill to stay on the theme of the song. also this guys writing is good "rhinodrill" seems to know his stuff and for any beginers or "lost" writers this will be helpfull. 4* RAVEN
    sgdave
    I read the first few lines and lost interest, It looked ok just couldn't be botherd to read on
    TommyWIg
    actually rhcp lyrics make perfect sense if you pay attention and think about them.
    SethMegadefan
    "03. Get A Topic" Thank you, professor! Not bad, but not quite good either. The advice you offered could have been more practical instead of being vague and sort of pointless. I'd probably only give it 2.5-3 stars, but it wasn't a bad effort.
    ESPmatt05
    You need a rhymeign pattern to follow, not just a straight "A-A-A-A-A" have some type of variation.
    anjin89
    u guys r kind of *******s this actually does work jsut maybe not for u
    clarkson101
    that wouldn't work for me. Im my experience i find it best to not sit down and ponder what to write about. I usually spontaneously come up with a line in my head and write a song from that. If you choose a subject to write about there is a tedious inevitibility about it and you're limited on stuff to write about.
    deportivo
    wasn't helpful in the least. these are exactly the things people have trouble with. good list if you want to list the hardest things about lyric writing, bad list if you want inspiration for it. apart from the thing about the quote book. 1 star, at least you got your grammar right.