3 Exercises To Strengthen Your Songwriting Muscles

by Marty Dodson
Mar 24, 2023

Songwriting skills are like muscles.  

The more you use them and challenge them, the stronger they get. Sometimes when I have a few spare minutes, I use these exercises to keep my writing muscles in shape.

1. Choose a song from the music charts and come up with a response to it.

For instance, if the song on the chart is about a man saying “Why did you leave me”, I try to write a song from the woman’s point of view that tells why she left him.  I brainstorm titles that would convey that idea.  I might write “I Couldn’t Take It Anymore” or “You Never Loved Me Anyway”.  Brainstorming titles that are responses to current hit songs is a way to come up with lots of creative hooks.

2. Try to write a verse and chorus melody that works with only one chord.

We are so used to the typical chord changes in modern music, that we can get in a rut.  Taking those changes out of the equation can really force you to write different kinds of melodies.

3 Exercises To Strengthen Your Songwriting Muscles - SongTown on Songwriting Blog

3. Write down a sentence that you would actually like to say to someone in your life.

Brainstorm titles that would work to convey that message.  If you’d like to tell an ex love, “I regret letting you go”, you might come up with titles like “Regrets”, “What I Miss The Most”, etc. Writing from a real place in your own life is a great way to up your writing game because it’s easier to write something you feel than to write something you simply make up.

When you have a few extra minutes, play with one of these exercises to up your songwriting game. Keep those writing muscles strong and write on!

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi #1 songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing


Write Better Songs Faster

Songwriting Success is Clay & Marty's 10-day video series that will help you level-up your songs and finish them faster. Enter your email address to get started!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.