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How To Overcome Songwriter's Block

3 strategies to get your juices flowing again

· Songwriting,Performing,Music Business

Struggling with songwriter's block? Try one of these methods to get your ideas flowing:

Steal a chord progression.

There’s a reason chord progressions alone aren’t copyright-able: because SO many songs use the same chord progressions.

Grab a chord progression from a song that you like and switch it up: change the tempo, the groove, the instrumentation, etc. Loop that chord progression and start improvising melodies on top of it.

Not only is this a great practice in improvisation, but it’s a great way to get your juices flowing and you might just discover a great melody for your next song!

Start with one word.

Take one word. Turn it into a metaphor. Then brainstorm a list of related words and choose ones that will support the metaphor.

Let’s take the word “car,” for example. We’ll make it a metaphor for a relationship moving too fast. Here’s a list of related words: gas, driving, steering wheel, rear view mirror, wheels, brakes, headlights, signs, stop light, tires, license, pedal, swerving, etc.

From that list of words, come up with a few ideas for the hook: "Stop running red lights," "Hit the brakes please," "We’re gonna run out of gas,"...

With a little set-up and explanation, those could all be interesting hooks for describing a relationship that’s moving too fast. So try this method for writing a metaphor-based song next time you’re struggling for lyric ideas!

Use speech patterns as a guide.

Pick a sentence, any sentence. Say it a few times. Notice which words stand out. Unless you’re a robot, you’re probably naturally emphasizing certain words more than others.

Use those words to form your melody: If you put those words on higher notes, they will naturally stand out more. Try forming a melody with peaks on those words.

You can write a whole chorus or verse with random sentences using this method – it doesn’t have to make sense! If you end up loving the melody, go back and re-work the song with real lyrics.

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