#1
What works for me is finding a chord progression that I want to work with. Then, I'll try different strumming/rhythm patterns, which sort of set the "tone" of the song.

From that, I'll create a melody line, and sort of start humming along. Hopefully, some ideas, phrases, and words start falling into place.

Bright, quick major chord progressions typically don't lead me to write sorrow/death lyrics, and vice versa.

Another influencer is what guitar and/or effects I'm using at the time. I try to hit my guitars a couple hours a day, but not every session is a songwriting session.

Sometimes, I'm just noodling around, learning something new on the fretboard, and then all of a sudden stuff just kind of comes together.

For example, I was exploring gypsy scales on my flamenco guitar. All of a sudden, I flashed back to a time when I was kicking it with my GF in the fall, in a little park by the college. I don't know what triggered the memory, maybe a sequence of notes...We had wine, played around in the leaves, and ended up doing you know what in a little clearing by a creek. It was cold, we were hot...I still see her face framed by the autumn leaves... Yep, new song.


I'm fortunate, I've got a a mixer with HDD/CD burner set up. When the creative bug hits, I can just hit a button and capture the ideas that are flowing.

Before I got that, I lost tons of ideas, because I have CRS Syndrome. (Can't Remember Sh*t)