Free writing, object writing, journal, reading fiction, etc. are some really productive habits for a songwriter. But apart from all that, there are some alternate songwriting exercises that you can do to improve your songwriting and discover new song ideas.
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1. Write poems
While a poem is similar to a song, it’s quite different too. A poem emphasizes on words as it doesn’t have a melody. A poem has stanzas whereas a song has verses and chorus. But still, both are very similar. And that’s the reason writing poems prove to be really effective in improving your songwriting skills. If you’re wondering how to start a poem? Just pick up a topic from your thoughts or at random, and start writing. Select a rhyming scheme and just write without worrying about making it perfect. Do this every once in a while and you’ll notice improvement in your songwriting. And if you’re wondering how? I’m not telling you that. In fact I don’t know, to be honest. It just works. Try it out yourself!
2. Write limericks
Limericks are fun! I studied about limericks in secondary school and was really intrigued by them. In case you’re wondering what a limerick is, it’s just a poem but with a particular rhyming scheme, and is usually humorous. Here’s an example.
There was an Old Man with a beard
Who said, “It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”
It consists of five lines with a rhyming scheme of AABBA in which the last word of the first and the last line is often the same, with some exceptions. But the rhyming scheme is always AABBA.
Creating a limerick is not only a fun thing to do, it also opens up our mind to some unique possibilities of word play. Just try it once. All you have to do is come up with the first line and then you’ll figure out the rest. It doesn’t even have to make sense as it is meant to be humorous. Once you get the hold of it, your wordplay game definitely gets stronger. You should try this regularly. You can check out r/limericks on Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/limericks/
3. Do a solo trip every now and then
Go on a solo trip. It doesn’t have to be somewhere far. You can go to nearby places you find interesting. Or maybe just take a walk to a certain place. Take pictures, observe things around you. Don’t do it for the sake of writing it. Just enjoy yourself and observations will come to you. Don’t be conscious about the fact that you’re doing this for writing it down later. No, do it for the fun.
Once you return home, write it down in your journal, and attach the pictures. Every detail that you remember. Now if you keep thinking about what you have to observe and note down while you’re travelling, it won’t seem natural. Enjoy it completely and then when you come back home and start writing about it, it will be more vivid. How it helps? You’ll have many new things to use in your songs or you can turn the whole travelogue into a song.
4. Write a short story
Short stories are fun to read if you don’t have time for novels. But do you know what’s more fun? Writing a short story! Pick up a topic, start writing. You can search for writing prompts on Pinterest, or you can write about any personal experience of yours. With a little imagination, you can even turn a normal day of your life into an interesting story. Don’t worry about how it’s gonna turn out. Just write. Don’t show it to anyone if you don’t want to. Keep it to yourself. This helps you develop the ability of story telling, which is an integral part of songwriting as most of the songs convey a story. You’ll also encounter many different ideas for songwriting while you’re doing this.
5. Write about a conversation
Do you remember a conversation that you’ve had with someone and it was hell lot of interesting? Write it down. Write it down in the form of dialogues and not just a description. Doesn’t matter if it was over the phone as long as it’s interesting. If you don’t remember any such instance, get together with a friend, possibly someone who’s imaginative and loves writing too. Now pick up an interesting topic and start having conversation about it. Make sure it is not forced. It’s better if it’s undecided. Maybe just hang out somewhere and talk about things. Keep your phones aside. I’m sure the conversation will lead to something really interesting. A conversation is one of the many things which can be turned into a song, and chances are your conversations too will be interesting enough to be turned into a song.
Did you find these songwriting exercises helpful? Let us know about it! Also, share things that have helped you improve. Thank you!
Also check out : 8 Tips to instantly improve your songwriting skills