Tag: songs

How To Write Songs: 5 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

DSC_0501_1287 Au clair de lune.

This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don’t have any formal training and haven’t studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article I will share five different techniques that have helped me to shake myself free of writer’s block.

1. Take a Walk

I have written many, many songs while walking. I once wrote an entire song while delivering flyers for my home teaching business. (If you’re a fan of my music, you might be interested to know that I’m talking about It All Winds Up in the Glass from Thought Experiment.)

Taking a walk is a time-honoured technique for clearing the mind. Try not to think too much about the songwriting process at first, and don’t give yourself a destination. Just walk around for a while and the ideas will start to flow, like magic. It might be a good idea to take a recording device along with you to record your ideas, unless you have a very good memory. If you normally write with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be to get away from your instrument for once. Which brings me to my next tip:

2. Change Instruments

If you normally write on the guitar, give the piano or keyboard a try. Even if you don’t think you know how to play the piano, plunking around on the keys might give you an idea for a melody. Getting away from instruments entirely can also be helpful. We tend to fall into certain habits and patterns when we play an instrument. If we get away from them and just hum or sing to ourselves, it gives us a chance to approach songwriting from a new angle.

3. Automatic Writing

Sit down in a quiet, calm place with a pen and paper (or your computer) and just write. Write as fast as you can and do your best not to think about it. If you haven’t done this before, you may feel self-conscious at first, but be patient. Once you learn to write without thinking, you will begin accessing your subconscious mind and giving it a voice. You may be very surprised at what comes out. This is a good way to come up with lyric ideas. They may need editing, but automatic writing can produce some wonderfully visceral and powerful lyrics.

4. Draw Stories From Your Life

Some of the best songs you can write will be based on your own experience. I’m talking about vivid life experiences: the very best and very worst things that have ever happened to you. What matters most, though, is not so much what has happened to you, but how you feel about it. For instance, if you had a difficult breakup, you may resist writing a song about it, thinking that it’s already been done to death. If you think about your own experience of that breakup, though, you will find something unique that could make a truly beautiful song. How did the pain feel, physically, in your chest, belly or throat? What were the dreams that you had to give up? What are the images that come to your head when you think of it? Going to the heart of your own experiences can create very powerful lyrics.

5. Draw Stories from Mythology and History

Are you interested in history or mythology? If you haven’t really thought about it before, this is a good time to start. There are millions of wonderful stories that make wonderful subject matter for songwriting. Singing of the deeds of heroes, the power of gods, and the fate of nations has kept songwriters busy for millennia.

How To Write Songs: 5 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

FQ9A7532

This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don’t have any formal training and haven’t studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article I will share five different techniques that have helped me to shake myself free of writer’s block.

1. Take a Walk

I have written many, many songs while walking. I once wrote an entire song while delivering flyers for my home teaching business. (If you’re a fan of my music, you might be interested to know that I’m talking about It All Winds Up in the Glass from Thought Experiment.)

Taking a walk is a time-honoured technique for clearing the mind. Try not to think too much about the songwriting process at first, and don’t give yourself a destination. Just walk around for a while and the ideas will start to flow, like magic. It might be a good idea to take a recording device along with you to record your ideas, unless you have a very good memory. If you normally write with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be to get away from your instrument for once. Which brings me to my next tip:

2. Change Instruments

If you normally write on the guitar, give the piano or keyboard a try. Even if you don’t think you know how to play the piano, plunking around on the keys might give you an idea for a melody. Getting away from instruments entirely can also be helpful. We tend to fall into certain habits and patterns when we play an instrument. If we get away from them and just hum or sing to ourselves, it gives us a chance to approach songwriting from a new angle.

3. Automatic Writing

Sit down in a quiet, calm place with a pen and paper (or your computer) and just write. Write as fast as you can and do your best not to think about it. If you haven’t done this before, you may feel self-conscious at first, but be patient. Once you learn to write without thinking, you will begin accessing your subconscious mind and giving it a voice. You may be very surprised at what comes out. This is a good way to come up with lyric ideas. They may need editing, but automatic writing can produce some wonderfully visceral and powerful lyrics.

4. Draw Stories From Your Life

Some of the best songs you can write will be based on your own experience. I’m talking about vivid life experiences: the very best and very worst things that have ever happened to you. What matters most, though, is not so much what has happened to you, but how you feel about it. For instance, if you had a difficult breakup, you may resist writing a song about it, thinking that it’s already been done to death. If you think about your own experience of that breakup, though, you will find something unique that could make a truly beautiful song. How did the pain feel, physically, in your chest, belly or throat? What were the dreams that you had to give up? What are the images that come to your head when you think of it? Going to the heart of your own experiences can create very powerful lyrics.

5. Draw Stories from Mythology and History

Are you interested in history or mythology? If you haven’t really thought about it before, this is a good time to start. There are millions of wonderful stories that make wonderful subject matter for songwriting. Singing of the deeds of heroes, the power of gods, and the fate of nations has kept songwriters busy for millennia.

Famous Theme Parks in Florida

The Stunning Queen Sabine

Florida is known world-wide as a fun vacationland. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting the Orlando/Kissimmee area, here’s whats waiting for you.

Walt Disney World, which includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and the Disney-MGM Studios. The Magic Kingdom is the king of theme parks, divided into seven distinct areas, and is known as ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ by every kid from three to 103. It draws more visitors than any other theme park in the world. Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is like taking a vacation to the best sights in 11 different countries, as well as being able to participate in interactive presentations and view the latest in cutting-edge technology. Epcot is divided into two parks – Future World, which focuses on science and inventions, and technology from both the past and the future, and The World Showcase, which features a variety of countries celebrating their culture, history and cuisine. The Animal Kingdom is a vast assortment of more than 1,000 animals in a beautiful 500-acre park that transports visitors to exotic locales and leaves them with a renewed respect for our Earth and its inhabitants.

Disney-MGM Studios is a creative theme park devoted to bringing the magic of movies, television, radio and Broadway plays to life in an educational and fun environment.

Universal Studios Florida is creative, highly energetic, action park. This is a place where you can totally immerse yourself in the land of movies and television. You can go on exciting thrill rides or go behind the scenes or jump right into the action of some of your favorite films. The City Walk area is Universal’s shopping and dining complex – with everything from rock concerts and jazz to gourmet dining or causal fare.

Islands of Adventure is a high-tech theme park that is especially popular with families with small children and teens. Do battle with comic book heroes defy gravity, ride the white water rapids, and experience the world’s first inverted, dual roller coaster. Islands of Adventure is five adventure parks in one, from Marvel Superhero Island to Toon Lagoon, there is a different ride for young and old – something for just about everyone to enjoy.

SeaWorld Orlando is a marine-world adventure park with amazing animal encounters, world-class shows and thrilling rides. Guests can explore the mysteries of the sea and interact with marine life, or experience new state-of-the-art water rides with special effects. Nine restaurants are available at SeaWorld, ranging from full-service to cafeteria-style. Rides and Attractions include shows and animal attractions, thrill rides, and other special attractions like the kids’ play area with a splashy water maze and slippery slides. The Shamu Adventure, hosted by Jack Hanna, is one of the most famous animal attractions ever presented. It has trainers and killer whales performing astounding feats with dazzling theatrical effects to a rock ‘n’ roll beat. The Odyssea is a 30-minute show that transports guests to the depths of the ocean. Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island is SeaWorld’s comical tale of pirate adventures, along with help from Clyde the sea lion. Blue Horizons is a show with acrobatic dolphins. Other wonderful animal encounters include Penguin Encounter, Tropical Rain Forest, Dolphin Cove, Turtle Point and Manatee Rescue. SeaWorld is also home to the fastest, longest, tallest and only floorless roller coaster in the region. Journey to Atlantis combines a roller coaster/water ride with dazzling special effects. Wild Arctic is a motion-based, jet helicopter flight to a remote research station on the Arctic where you come face to face with real beluga whales, walruses and two polar bears named Klondike and Snow.

The Holy Land Experience takes you back 3000 years to the land of the Bible. It is an educational, inspirational, theatrical and historical presentation. It authentically recreates the city of Jerusalem and its religious importance between the years 1450 B.C. and A.D. 66 with sights, sounds and tastes. There are several indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities recreating the time when Jesus lived. Attractions include the Scriptorium museum, built in fourth-century Byzantine architectural style, houses the finest private collection of authentic biblical artifacts and antiquities in the world. Inside are ancient cuneiform, scrolls, manuscripts and Bibles – many of which are extremely rare or the only known copies in existence. Each treasured piece is exhibited in the historical and geological environment out of which it came. Exhibits include an exact replica of the Garden Tomb where the body of Jesus Christ was buried. A massive archway is the grand entrance to the Plaza of Nations, which houses the imposing Temple of the Great King, a place held in the highest reverence among the Jewish people. There are also a lot of fun activities for children at the Oasis Outpost, including a 25-foot climbing wall or you can dig for artifacts in a sandy desert.

There are a lot of wonderful places to see in Florida, so make sure Orlando is part of your itinerary.

List of Filipino Folk Songs

Belmont House

Folk songs are, quite literally, songs of the people. And in determining the identity of a country, one can look no further than this form of music for clues to a particular culture. This list of Filipino folk songs offers a few examples of the many simple yet timeless tunes long since ingrained into the Philippine people’s consciousness.

BAHAY KUBO

This song is as familiar to Filipino schoolchildren as the “ABC’s” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are to kids everywhere. Credited to have been written by composer and 1997 National Artist for Music Felipe de Leon (1912-1992), it tells of the traditional Filipino rural house, the humble “bahay kubo” or nipa hut, and goes on to enumerate the various vegetables planted in its vicinity.

PAKITONG-KITONG

Also called “Tong Tong Tong Tong Pakitong-kitong,” this Filipino folk song has both a Tagalog and Cebuano version. It describes a crab that is delicious to eat, but hard to catch because of its snapping pincers.

MAGTANIM AY ‘DI BIRO

Credited to Felipe de Leon, “Magtanim Ay ‘Di Biro” (“Planting Rice is Never Fun”) describes the tedious chore of planting rice. It has been covered by Filipino rock band The Dawn, and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada even rewrote it into a much more “inspirational” version entitled “Kung Tayo’y Magtatanim” (“If We All Plant Rice”).

O ILAW

A popular example of the traditional Filipino love song genre “kundiman”, this song was made famous by Filipino singer and actor Ruben Tagalog (1920-83). The real title of the song is actually “Aking Bituin” (“My Star”), its current title having been derived from its first two words “o ilaw” (“o light”).

ANG PIPIT

“Ang Pipit” (“The Sparrow”) relates the story a sparrow who falls off the branch its perched on after being stoned by a cruel man. It was co-written by Lucio D. San Pedro (1913-2002) and Levi Celerio (1910-2002). Named National Artist for Music and Literature in 1997, Celerio had composed over 4,000 songs and has even been included in the Guinness Book of World Records for his unusual talent of playing music from a leaf.

SA UGOY NG DUYAN

Another collaboration from Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio. “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” (“The Swing of the Cradle”) is a haunting and nostalgic lullaby expressing the feelings of a child finding tranquil security in the arms of a loving mother.

SA LIBIS NG NAYON

This song describes the beauty and serenity of life in the countryside. It was written by Santiago S. Suarez and popularized by Filipina singer and “Queen of Kundiman” Sylvia la Torre.

BAYAN KO

Written in 1929 by Filipino poet Jose Corazon de Jesus (“Huseng Batute” 1896-1932) and later set to music by Constancio de Guzman (1903-83), “Bayan Ko” (“My Country”) was meant as a patriotic song protesting the American occupation of the Philippines. Since then, it has practically been a second national anthem for freedom-loving Filipinos, a theme song for some of the most momentous events in Philippine history. Its most famous rendition is the one by Filipino folk singer Freddie Aguilar.

It can be said that a country is defined by its folk songs. From this list of Filipino folk songs, we can gather that the people of the Philippines are a humble folk, full not only of mirth but also of deep aspiration. They are also an industrious people, with a love for the simple things in life, as well as a great yearning for peace and national freedom. And of course, the Filipino people are a talented lot, capable of crafting songs that reflect the nature of their beloved country.

How To Write Songs: 5 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

South Queensferry, Scotland

This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don’t have any formal training and haven’t studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article I will share five different techniques that have helped me to shake myself free of writer’s block.

1. Take a Walk

I have written many, many songs while walking. I once wrote an entire song while delivering flyers for my home teaching business. (If you’re a fan of my music, you might be interested to know that I’m talking about It All Winds Up in the Glass from Thought Experiment.)

Taking a walk is a time-honoured technique for clearing the mind. Try not to think too much about the songwriting process at first, and don’t give yourself a destination. Just walk around for a while and the ideas will start to flow, like magic. It might be a good idea to take a recording device along with you to record your ideas, unless you have a very good memory. If you normally write with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be to get away from your instrument for once. Which brings me to my next tip:

2. Change Instruments

If you normally write on the guitar, give the piano or keyboard a try. Even if you don’t think you know how to play the piano, plunking around on the keys might give you an idea for a melody. Getting away from instruments entirely can also be helpful. We tend to fall into certain habits and patterns when we play an instrument. If we get away from them and just hum or sing to ourselves, it gives us a chance to approach songwriting from a new angle.

3. Automatic Writing

Sit down in a quiet, calm place with a pen and paper (or your computer) and just write. Write as fast as you can and do your best not to think about it. If you haven’t done this before, you may feel self-conscious at first, but be patient. Once you learn to write without thinking, you will begin accessing your subconscious mind and giving it a voice. You may be very surprised at what comes out. This is a good way to come up with lyric ideas. They may need editing, but automatic writing can produce some wonderfully visceral and powerful lyrics.

4. Draw Stories From Your Life

Some of the best songs you can write will be based on your own experience. I’m talking about vivid life experiences: the very best and very worst things that have ever happened to you. What matters most, though, is not so much what has happened to you, but how you feel about it. For instance, if you had a difficult breakup, you may resist writing a song about it, thinking that it’s already been done to death. If you think about your own experience of that breakup, though, you will find something unique that could make a truly beautiful song. How did the pain feel, physically, in your chest, belly or throat? What were the dreams that you had to give up? What are the images that come to your head when you think of it? Going to the heart of your own experiences can create very powerful lyrics.

5. Draw Stories from Mythology and History

Are you interested in history or mythology? If you haven’t really thought about it before, this is a good time to start. There are millions of wonderful stories that make wonderful subject matter for songwriting. Singing of the deeds of heroes, the power of gods, and the fate of nations has kept songwriters busy for millennia.

List of Filipino Folk Songs

The story that remains untold

Folk songs are, quite literally, songs of the people. And in determining the identity of a country, one can look no further than this form of music for clues to a particular culture. This list of Filipino folk songs offers a few examples of the many simple yet timeless tunes long since ingrained into the Philippine people’s consciousness.

BAHAY KUBO

This song is as familiar to Filipino schoolchildren as the “ABC’s” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are to kids everywhere. Credited to have been written by composer and 1997 National Artist for Music Felipe de Leon (1912-1992), it tells of the traditional Filipino rural house, the humble “bahay kubo” or nipa hut, and goes on to enumerate the various vegetables planted in its vicinity.

PAKITONG-KITONG

Also called “Tong Tong Tong Tong Pakitong-kitong,” this Filipino folk song has both a Tagalog and Cebuano version. It describes a crab that is delicious to eat, but hard to catch because of its snapping pincers.

MAGTANIM AY ‘DI BIRO

Credited to Felipe de Leon, “Magtanim Ay ‘Di Biro” (“Planting Rice is Never Fun”) describes the tedious chore of planting rice. It has been covered by Filipino rock band The Dawn, and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada even rewrote it into a much more “inspirational” version entitled “Kung Tayo’y Magtatanim” (“If We All Plant Rice”).

O ILAW

A popular example of the traditional Filipino love song genre “kundiman”, this song was made famous by Filipino singer and actor Ruben Tagalog (1920-83). The real title of the song is actually “Aking Bituin” (“My Star”), its current title having been derived from its first two words “o ilaw” (“o light”).

ANG PIPIT

“Ang Pipit” (“The Sparrow”) relates the story a sparrow who falls off the branch its perched on after being stoned by a cruel man. It was co-written by Lucio D. San Pedro (1913-2002) and Levi Celerio (1910-2002). Named National Artist for Music and Literature in 1997, Celerio had composed over 4,000 songs and has even been included in the Guinness Book of World Records for his unusual talent of playing music from a leaf.

SA UGOY NG DUYAN

Another collaboration from Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio. “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” (“The Swing of the Cradle”) is a haunting and nostalgic lullaby expressing the feelings of a child finding tranquil security in the arms of a loving mother.

SA LIBIS NG NAYON

This song describes the beauty and serenity of life in the countryside. It was written by Santiago S. Suarez and popularized by Filipina singer and “Queen of Kundiman” Sylvia la Torre.

BAYAN KO

Written in 1929 by Filipino poet Jose Corazon de Jesus (“Huseng Batute” 1896-1932) and later set to music by Constancio de Guzman (1903-83), “Bayan Ko” (“My Country”) was meant as a patriotic song protesting the American occupation of the Philippines. Since then, it has practically been a second national anthem for freedom-loving Filipinos, a theme song for some of the most momentous events in Philippine history. Its most famous rendition is the one by Filipino folk singer Freddie Aguilar.

It can be said that a country is defined by its folk songs. From this list of Filipino folk songs, we can gather that the people of the Philippines are a humble folk, full not only of mirth but also of deep aspiration. They are also an industrious people, with a love for the simple things in life, as well as a great yearning for peace and national freedom. And of course, the Filipino people are a talented lot, capable of crafting songs that reflect the nature of their beloved country.

How To Write Songs: 5 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Morphing Kafka sleeping now

This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don’t have any formal training and haven’t studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article I will share five different techniques that have helped me to shake myself free of writer’s block.

1. Take a Walk

I have written many, many songs while walking. I once wrote an entire song while delivering flyers for my home teaching business. (If you’re a fan of my music, you might be interested to know that I’m talking about It All Winds Up in the Glass from Thought Experiment.)

Taking a walk is a time-honoured technique for clearing the mind. Try not to think too much about the songwriting process at first, and don’t give yourself a destination. Just walk around for a while and the ideas will start to flow, like magic. It might be a good idea to take a recording device along with you to record your ideas, unless you have a very good memory. If you normally write with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be to get away from your instrument for once. Which brings me to my next tip:

2. Change Instruments

If you normally write on the guitar, give the piano or keyboard a try. Even if you don’t think you know how to play the piano, plunking around on the keys might give you an idea for a melody. Getting away from instruments entirely can also be helpful. We tend to fall into certain habits and patterns when we play an instrument. If we get away from them and just hum or sing to ourselves, it gives us a chance to approach songwriting from a new angle.

3. Automatic Writing

Sit down in a quiet, calm place with a pen and paper (or your computer) and just write. Write as fast as you can and do your best not to think about it. If you haven’t done this before, you may feel self-conscious at first, but be patient. Once you learn to write without thinking, you will begin accessing your subconscious mind and giving it a voice. You may be very surprised at what comes out. This is a good way to come up with lyric ideas. They may need editing, but automatic writing can produce some wonderfully visceral and powerful lyrics.

4. Draw Stories From Your Life

Some of the best songs you can write will be based on your own experience. I’m talking about vivid life experiences: the very best and very worst things that have ever happened to you. What matters most, though, is not so much what has happened to you, but how you feel about it. For instance, if you had a difficult breakup, you may resist writing a song about it, thinking that it’s already been done to death. If you think about your own experience of that breakup, though, you will find something unique that could make a truly beautiful song. How did the pain feel, physically, in your chest, belly or throat? What were the dreams that you had to give up? What are the images that come to your head when you think of it? Going to the heart of your own experiences can create very powerful lyrics.

5. Draw Stories from Mythology and History

Are you interested in history or mythology? If you haven’t really thought about it before, this is a good time to start. There are millions of wonderful stories that make wonderful subject matter for songwriting. Singing of the deeds of heroes, the power of gods, and the fate of nations has kept songwriters busy for millennia.

How To Write Songs: 5 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

view on Muiderslot from the castle gardens

This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don’t have any formal training and haven’t studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article I will share five different techniques that have helped me to shake myself free of writer’s block.

1. Take a Walk

I have written many, many songs while walking. I once wrote an entire song while delivering flyers for my home teaching business. (If you’re a fan of my music, you might be interested to know that I’m talking about It All Winds Up in the Glass from Thought Experiment.)

Taking a walk is a time-honoured technique for clearing the mind. Try not to think too much about the songwriting process at first, and don’t give yourself a destination. Just walk around for a while and the ideas will start to flow, like magic. It might be a good idea to take a recording device along with you to record your ideas, unless you have a very good memory. If you normally write with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be to get away from your instrument for once. Which brings me to my next tip:

2. Change Instruments

If you normally write on the guitar, give the piano or keyboard a try. Even if you don’t think you know how to play the piano, plunking around on the keys might give you an idea for a melody. Getting away from instruments entirely can also be helpful. We tend to fall into certain habits and patterns when we play an instrument. If we get away from them and just hum or sing to ourselves, it gives us a chance to approach songwriting from a new angle.

3. Automatic Writing

Sit down in a quiet, calm place with a pen and paper (or your computer) and just write. Write as fast as you can and do your best not to think about it. If you haven’t done this before, you may feel self-conscious at first, but be patient. Once you learn to write without thinking, you will begin accessing your subconscious mind and giving it a voice. You may be very surprised at what comes out. This is a good way to come up with lyric ideas. They may need editing, but automatic writing can produce some wonderfully visceral and powerful lyrics.

4. Draw Stories From Your Life

Some of the best songs you can write will be based on your own experience. I’m talking about vivid life experiences: the very best and very worst things that have ever happened to you. What matters most, though, is not so much what has happened to you, but how you feel about it. For instance, if you had a difficult breakup, you may resist writing a song about it, thinking that it’s already been done to death. If you think about your own experience of that breakup, though, you will find something unique that could make a truly beautiful song. How did the pain feel, physically, in your chest, belly or throat? What were the dreams that you had to give up? What are the images that come to your head when you think of it? Going to the heart of your own experiences can create very powerful lyrics.

5. Draw Stories from Mythology and History

Are you interested in history or mythology? If you haven’t really thought about it before, this is a good time to start. There are millions of wonderful stories that make wonderful subject matter for songwriting. Singing of the deeds of heroes, the power of gods, and the fate of nations has kept songwriters busy for millennia.

How To Write Songs: 5 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

The Riddler 2010 Phoenix Comicon

This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don’t have any formal training and haven’t studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article I will share five different techniques that have helped me to shake myself free of writer’s block.

1. Take a Walk

I have written many, many songs while walking. I once wrote an entire song while delivering flyers for my home teaching business. (If you’re a fan of my music, you might be interested to know that I’m talking about It All Winds Up in the Glass from Thought Experiment.)

Taking a walk is a time-honoured technique for clearing the mind. Try not to think too much about the songwriting process at first, and don’t give yourself a destination. Just walk around for a while and the ideas will start to flow, like magic. It might be a good idea to take a recording device along with you to record your ideas, unless you have a very good memory. If you normally write with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be to get away from your instrument for once. Which brings me to my next tip:

2. Change Instruments

If you normally write on the guitar, give the piano or keyboard a try. Even if you don’t think you know how to play the piano, plunking around on the keys might give you an idea for a melody. Getting away from instruments entirely can also be helpful. We tend to fall into certain habits and patterns when we play an instrument. If we get away from them and just hum or sing to ourselves, it gives us a chance to approach songwriting from a new angle.

3. Automatic Writing

Sit down in a quiet, calm place with a pen and paper (or your computer) and just write. Write as fast as you can and do your best not to think about it. If you haven’t done this before, you may feel self-conscious at first, but be patient. Once you learn to write without thinking, you will begin accessing your subconscious mind and giving it a voice. You may be very surprised at what comes out. This is a good way to come up with lyric ideas. They may need editing, but automatic writing can produce some wonderfully visceral and powerful lyrics.

4. Draw Stories From Your Life

Some of the best songs you can write will be based on your own experience. I’m talking about vivid life experiences: the very best and very worst things that have ever happened to you. What matters most, though, is not so much what has happened to you, but how you feel about it. For instance, if you had a difficult breakup, you may resist writing a song about it, thinking that it’s already been done to death. If you think about your own experience of that breakup, though, you will find something unique that could make a truly beautiful song. How did the pain feel, physically, in your chest, belly or throat? What were the dreams that you had to give up? What are the images that come to your head when you think of it? Going to the heart of your own experiences can create very powerful lyrics.

5. Draw Stories from Mythology and History

Are you interested in history or mythology? If you haven’t really thought about it before, this is a good time to start. There are millions of wonderful stories that make wonderful subject matter for songwriting. Singing of the deeds of heroes, the power of gods, and the fate of nations has kept songwriters busy for millennia.

How To Write Songs: 5 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

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This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don’t have any formal training and haven’t studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article I will share five different techniques that have helped me to shake myself free of writer’s block.

1. Take a Walk

I have written many, many songs while walking. I once wrote an entire song while delivering flyers for my home teaching business. (If you’re a fan of my music, you might be interested to know that I’m talking about It All Winds Up in the Glass from Thought Experiment.)

Taking a walk is a time-honoured technique for clearing the mind. Try not to think too much about the songwriting process at first, and don’t give yourself a destination. Just walk around for a while and the ideas will start to flow, like magic. It might be a good idea to take a recording device along with you to record your ideas, unless you have a very good memory. If you normally write with an instrument, like a guitar or piano, you might be surprised at how beneficial it can be to get away from your instrument for once. Which brings me to my next tip:

2. Change Instruments

If you normally write on the guitar, give the piano or keyboard a try. Even if you don’t think you know how to play the piano, plunking around on the keys might give you an idea for a melody. Getting away from instruments entirely can also be helpful. We tend to fall into certain habits and patterns when we play an instrument. If we get away from them and just hum or sing to ourselves, it gives us a chance to approach songwriting from a new angle.

3. Automatic Writing

Sit down in a quiet, calm place with a pen and paper (or your computer) and just write. Write as fast as you can and do your best not to think about it. If you haven’t done this before, you may feel self-conscious at first, but be patient. Once you learn to write without thinking, you will begin accessing your subconscious mind and giving it a voice. You may be very surprised at what comes out. This is a good way to come up with lyric ideas. They may need editing, but automatic writing can produce some wonderfully visceral and powerful lyrics.

4. Draw Stories From Your Life

Some of the best songs you can write will be based on your own experience. I’m talking about vivid life experiences: the very best and very worst things that have ever happened to you. What matters most, though, is not so much what has happened to you, but how you feel about it. For instance, if you had a difficult breakup, you may resist writing a song about it, thinking that it’s already been done to death. If you think about your own experience of that breakup, though, you will find something unique that could make a truly beautiful song. How did the pain feel, physically, in your chest, belly or throat? What were the dreams that you had to give up? What are the images that come to your head when you think of it? Going to the heart of your own experiences can create very powerful lyrics.

5. Draw Stories from Mythology and History

Are you interested in history or mythology? If you haven’t really thought about it before, this is a good time to start. There are millions of wonderful stories that make wonderful subject matter for songwriting. Singing of the deeds of heroes, the power of gods, and the fate of nations has kept songwriters busy for millennia.

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