Here are some writing exercises I do when I want to sharpen my songwriting skills and just have a good time with it, putting no pressure on myself. Ready for some songwriting fun?!?
Thumb through a magazine looking for song ideas.
Sometimes when I’m on an airplane, I pick up the inflight magazine and challenge myself to find 5 song ideas. I often find great song ideas or titles in headlines and in advertisements. On my last flight, I found a killer idea that I wrote later that day.
Writing something goofy always adds up to songwriting fun.
Not worrying about the “quality” of the song can be therapeutic. I’m still working my songwriting muscles, but just giving myself the freedom to write something stupid that will make people laugh is really enjoyable.
Write something YOU love.
Every now and then, I walk into a co-write and just request permission to simply write something that WE love without giving a thought to who might record it. Many of those songs turn out to be very commercial, but we’re okay if they don’t as long as we love them.
Open a dictionary and pick one word that interests you from the pages you opened to.
Write a song with that word in the title. Or, even more challenging, write a song with that one word as the title.
Take a song title you’ve been messing with and take 15 minutes to write down every word or phrase you can think of that is related to that title. You’ll be amazed at the interesting ideas you uncover.
Don’t let songwriting ever start to feel like a job. It should be a mix of pure songwriting fun and sharpening your craft!
Write on! ~MD