Most of us tend to gravitate toward the same kinds of things when we write. We write grooves and feels that we like. And we tend to write topics we like as well. Here are 5 tips for songwriting outside your box. Use these exercises to stretch your writing boundaries.
Write songs from the point of view of the opposite gender from time to time.
Trying to write something that feels honest and real for a woman to say is challenging for me. Every now and then, force yourself to write from the opposite gender’s perspective.
Write a song from a viewpoint with which you disagree.
If we only write what we think and believe, we are going to have a lot of songs about the same things. You don’t have to ALWAYS write from your perspective. Try putting yourself in the shoes of someone whom you disagree with. Write a song from their perspective.
Imagine yourself in a situation that you have never been in and write about as if you had been there.
Research the topic if you need to. I was writing a song about 4-wheelers one time and had to do a lot of research, because I don’t know much about them personally. Write a song about doing something you’ve never actually done just to challenge yourself! Song building or blueprinting your ideas can really focus your story and allow the character to shine through.
Become a character.
Write a song that a you think a well know TV or movie character might sing. See how accurately you can imagine their viewpoint. Writing from another character’s perspective will certainly get you outside of your usual box.
Choose an idea and explore the way three different people might approach the same idea.
Pick the direction that you think more people will relate to. Considering different angles for a song before you write is always going to increase your chances of landing on the BEST one.
It’s important to practice songwriting “outside your box” every now and then. Don’t let yourself get caught in the routine of writing the same old thing.
Write on! MD
Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting.