Kickstart Your Songwriting!

A philosophical approach to the art of songwriting.

Ultimate Guitar

Songwriters how do they do it? Writing in any scenario requires diligence and lots of practice.

In the world of books, it is suggested a 10,000 words a day is good practice, and like any exercise as soon as it becomes habit the wheels are in motion and you find you're doing it almost when you don't want too.

Whatever you find yourself drawn too quite naturally whether it be painting or writing see this a sure fire sign for you to grab that brush/pen/guitar and get to work. Like a boxer who feels the pull of the ring it takes time to pull the fighter out from within, likewise it is with the artist.

Songwriting is a joy when working with someone else - fortunately this pastime can be shared as you seldom hear of painters/ authors splitting the labour! Though the partnership may fall apart - don't worry about it keep on going, the road to success is, unfortunately, lined with so-called "failure."

So how could you start?

Write out your day, how did it start? Don't write in blocks, i.e. this is verse one and this is the chorus. Write out the days events in chronological order, in other words:

Breakfast, when that cat jumped up,
She scratched and howled til I yelled what's up,I've got the blues baby, yeah etc...Well erm... You get the idea.

Write as fast as you can, no one rehearses a conversation before picking up the phone. Let the world know how you feel, I can always tell when a lyric is trying to fit to a riff - "Chinese Democracy" - it feels contrived. Lyrics first.

Or, if you have an inkling of what you want to say, pick up the guitar or instrument of choice and press play and record. Forget about clarity for the moment and go for it, I wrote a song for my Dad using a chord progression from a Gram Parsons song and thinking of him came up with something organic just by pressing play and record before setting anything to pen and paper.

Hit the rewind button and you get 2 minutes of gibberish mixed with potential hooks! Write down quickly what you have then re-record. I promise you within 3 takes you will have a song. By the way taking a chord progression from another song is not illegal - there's only 12 notes, think about it. You can't copyright an A chord followed by Bm - it's part of the diatonic scale otherwise Gene Simmons would have done it years ago...

Ok, happy huntingHS -

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