xTbs Pro Posts: 34
Due to some recent motivation im trying to do some song writing, I havent been the most creative person in the world to the point where even in my guitar playing ive gone to my ol' faithful riffs. but im pushing that aside and taking a stab at it anyways, ive watched Ken's videos on songwriting from chord structures and melodies, to lyric writing. and honestly lyrics is definitely my brick wall. I love to play music that has a great feel to it, weather its a rock ballad like Cryin' by Aerosmith or fun like Stuck in the Middle with you by Steelers Wheel. but the song and a half that ive written are a little dark in a sense for dancing... I dont mind what ive written but they seem more like cd or even b side material. Ive gone to some other forums about this and gotten input before but im more curious what everyone does for inspiration. What gets the gears turning to write that next great song? Im just curious.
Try delving into other styles and look at how different songwriters go about their arrangements. Guys like Steven Tyler draw their influences from everything from old-school blues to gospel music and beyond, so don't shut out other, seemingly unlikely sources for your inspiration. Hip-hop is quite interesting to look at for ways to utilize unusual sources, whether you like the genre or not, as many of those producers will sample stuff like drum loops from old soul records and completely transform them.
Expand your sonic palette, don't just stick to the same old colours and tones you're comfortable with. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to find new sources of inspiration.
Something else that I find spurs me on can be reading articles or reviews of artists/music I haven't even heard, then look at the ideas it throws up in your head and play around with them. I love a lot of really extreme experimental stuff, but it's surprising how much inspiration you can find from the most obscure sources.
What I find to be one of the most interesting things about songwriting, is that there are so many ways to go about it. I usually start with writing the lyrics and the vocal melody and then I find the chords to go with the melody as I hear it in my head.
Sometimes inspiration strikes and that's brilliant, but when it doesn't, there are some tricks you can use. As in the previous comment, I also think it's a good idea to listen to music you may not normally listen to. By analyzing the chords, melodies, beats and lyrics of other genres, you might find something unexpected and cool that you can use in your own songwriting.
When it comes to writing lyrics:
If you have an idea of what you want to write about but can't get the actual words out, you might want to write your ideas down. Write everything you might think of about the topic you've chosen. You can write it down in paragraphs or like you'd write in a diary. When you've done that, you can start by going through everything and putting it in a song lyric format.
If you don't have any idea about the topic, try putting the storyline from a book or a movie into lyrics.
Personally I get inspired by what happens in my own life but also by what the people I know go through.
Sometimes it's about finding the right place for inspiration. For me it's sitting on a rock by the ocean. Might be a cliché but that works for me