Dan Cooper here, Georgie and I have started a self appointed challenge called Free 6 5 Music Live to release five original songs every week throughout 2015. If you would like to know more, then check out our site GeorgieDAN and you can watch the introductory video all about the project. You can also sign up to receive a weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook.
Clearing The Blockage
When we were planning this project the issue of writer’s block came up on more than one occasion. The reality is that writer’s block happens, it’s the biggest pain songwriters bear. Writer’s block can last any length of time, in some cases years leaving songwriters lost and with no means to express themselves and we wanted to share the strategies that we have found helpful in getting past the blockage.
Inspiration - Look In Random Places
Write about anything that catches your attention. Don’t put pressure on yourself to write something amazing, just focus on the task of writing. This will get the creative juices flowing again. Write about anything that catches your attention. This can be as simple as writing about ‘the bird singing in the garden’ or ‘what you had for dinner’.
To get below the surface of an idea or theme write simple ideas down in a brainstorm style. Ask yourself questions about the theme you are writing about, pull at those threads and see what unravels … no idea is bad so keep an open mind. Keep these brainstorms in a songwriting book even if they are not useful to you now. Having a back catalogue of ideas and thoughts may one day help a future song with fresh perspective.
Write To A Template
Use another song’s structure to help guide you in songwriting. Think of it like painting by numbers. Make notes on the structure, how the dynamics work, song length etc. This method helps focus the theme and overall journey of the song.
Set A Time Limit
It’s all too easy to ‘over egg the cake’ in songwriting. A great way to avoid this is by setting a time limit for writing. Aim to finish a song in a couple of short sessions or a day, then move onto something else. Try not to get yourself stuck on one song.
Change your Method
- Do you write lyrics first and then the music?
- Do you write songs with the guitar?
Whatever your method… it is good to change it up once in a while. Write a song in a different environment, use a different instrument, write with a friend, write by candlelight.
For every 10 songs you write expect maybe one or two of them to be any good. That’s part of songwriting, keep writing and flexing your creative muscles.