Some of us are new to songwriting and some of us are veteran hitmakers, but everyone along that spectrum could benefit from some songwriting prompts to help them come up with ideas for their next tune! You may or may not know of some of these, but hopefully there’s a few that are new to you that you can try to come up with a unique and captivating concept!

Vision4Music, V4M, Songwriting Tips, Ideas

Songwriting Tips (Part 1) – Ideas 💡

  1. Pick a phrase that you say that’s uniquely yours or your friend group’s and see if it can spark a new slang or double meaning!
    • There are so many songs of various genres that started with words or phrases the artist and their friend group used that became international slang. (i.e. Whip/Nae Nae, Stickwitu, Baby Got Back, Fleek, Ratchet, etc.)
  2. Keep a running list in a notebook or your smartphone’s notepad of interesting and/or aesthetically pleasing words and revisit that list when you’re trying to convey a conventional or cliche idea.
    • “Chandelier” anyone? Also, who would’ve thought the word “Umbrella” could be used as the anchor of a timeless pop song instead of saying “We’re together” or “I love you”?Rihanna, Umbrella, Vision4Music, V4M, Songwriting Tips, Ideas
  3. Similar to tip #2, keep a running list of interesting phrases or ideas. NEVER dismiss an idea because it doesn’t seem to work at the moment, you never know when it will come in handy.
    • Leave it to Sia to speak volumes with the phrase “I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.”
  4. Keep voice memos of melodic ideas on your smartphone!
    • This has reportedly been Justin Timberlake’s method! Also, Apple just made it easier with a free Music Memos app you can check out what we said here!
  5. Syllables in your lyrics are valuable real estate, never settle on words just because they fit!
    • You’ve got a limited amount of space to say what you want to say, don’t waste it on words that don’t advance the story. Even a carefully placed “Yeah” or “Baby” can forward the storyline if it’s used correctly.
  6. Keep your lyrics in a “family” of themes and terms.
    • Instead of telling a literal story of a waitress falling in love with a cook, find words in the food and restaurant world that have double meanings that can be used to describe their relationship. Keep as much of the imagery in the same “family” and you can turn ordinary food terms into the next big love song for the culinary industry! 😉 Fork, Music, Food, Rihanna, Umbrella, Vision4Music, V4M, Songwriting Tips, Ideas
  7. Know the rules so that you can break them!
    • Not every rule is meant to be broken, but when you break the right ones you can create a style all your own! Kanye was told a song about Jesus would never chart and Sara Bareilles was told she needed to write a commercially viable love song to be successful as a female singer.
  8. Combine experiences.
    • Don’t just write about one ex, put the worse of them together! 😉
  9. Good songwriters write about what’s going on, great songwriters write beyond what’s going on.
    • For example, if you’re the guy that never gets the girl, don’t write about not getting the girl or wanting to get the girl, write about getting the girl!
  10. Write EVERYTHING down!
    • You never know when that idea will come in handy!