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    Boost Your Songwriting Creativity

    As a songwriter, we always look for ways to stay creative while still having songs that make sense. Songwriting can be a one of the hardest things to do as a musician. It is easy to play someone else’s song. To really sit down and write a hit of your own takes time and effort.

    Write first, think later. For songwriting, as well as any other kind of creative writing, I’m a firm believer in this simple motto. Most songs come together in two stages: the creation, when the initial inspiration takes hold; and the editing, when you identify the good stuff, cut the bad stuff, and try to improve the stuff somewhere in between. The creation stage is all about writing whatever comes out, without filtering or second-guessing yourself. The editing stage is more rational and pragmatic, as you use your craft and any tools at your disposal to make your song as good as it can be.

    It sounds paradoxical, but you can get good results by planning to be spontaneous. Christen a notebook as your journal or idea book (or designate a folder on your computer if you prefer to go electronic), and sit down daily to write anything that comes to mind, for a short amount of time—even 10 or 15 minutes. Don’t worry if what you write seems trivial or nonsensical. Just write, and then put it away and go about your day.

    The point is to generate material and get into the habit of opening the spigot and letting the words out. Judgments about what you wrote and whether it’s worth keeping will come at a later date

    Take a blank sheet of paper and have one person write a single line of verse at the top. If you like, use a word list to get started; pick some words randomly from a book and use those to compose the first line. Then pass the paper to the next writer, who reads the first line, adds a second line that responds somehow to the first, and then folds the paper so that only the newest line is visible. Pass the paper to the next writer, who does the same: reads a line, adds a line, folds the paper so that only the last line is visible, and passes it again. Keep going until you’ve filled a page, and have the last person write something that feels like an ending. Move fast so no one can deliberate—give each writer no more than a minute to read and add a line.

    This kind of group creation, in which no single person knows where the writing has gone and where it’s going, never fails to be funny—and it can come out unexpectedly deep. When each writer follows the drift of the previous line, the whole piece often seems to have a plot and dreamlike logic.

    Anything can inspire a song. You just want to make sure that you capture it when it pops into your head.

    [Reprinted From: http://makingmusicmag.com]

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