Outrageous Songwriting Exercises That Actually Work

songwriting exercises

Are you tired of the same old songwriting exercises that everyone seems to be using? Do you crave something a little more…outrageous? Well, my fellow musician, you’re in luck.

Here are a few wild and wacky songwriting exercises that are sure to shake up your creative process:

1. Write a super long melody

I’m talking like, super long. Now, I know what you’re thinking – who in their right mind would want to listen to a melody that goes on forever? But hear me out – this exercise is less about writing a melody that you’ll actually use in a song, and more about training yourself to come up with ideas on the fly. Plus, you might be surprised by how much fun it is to see just how long you can stretch out a melody. Just be prepared for some weird looks from your bandmates if you bring it to rehearsal.

2. Write a super short melody

On the other hand, you can also try writing a melody that’s super short, as short as you can while keeping it interesting to your ears. This exercise forces you to really distill your ideas down to their essence and make every note count. You might be surprised by how much impact a few simple notes can have when they’re used sparingly and effectively. And don’t be afraid to work in some fun chords to spice it up!

3. Write a melody with only 2 notes

This one might seem like a total nonstarter, but trust me, it can be a lot of fun. By limiting yourself to just 2 notes, you’ll have to get creative and come up with melodies that are simple yet effective. You can also try pairing this melody with a chord progression that makes it work, which can be a great way to experiment with different musical combinations. And once you master this idea, try to limit yourself to just a single note – you can still vary the rhymes and chord progressions. It’s amazing how little we need to create magic!

4. Take a popular melody and replace its chords

This exercise is all about seeing how a melody can be transformed by the chords it’s paired with. Take a melody that you know well, and then try replacing the chords with something totally different. Then, try the more advanced version below.

5. Take a happy melody and make it sound sad

This exercise is all about playing with the emotional impact of your music. Take a melody that’s upbeat and cheerful, and then try replacing its chords with something that’s more melancholic or mournful. You might be surprised by how much the melody’s mood can change just by swapping out a few chords. Then, try the opposite – take a sad melody and try to make it sound happy. It can be a fun way to explore the emotional range of your music and see how different chord progressions can affect the overall mood.

6. Write a song entirely in gibberish

This one might sound crazy, but it can actually be a lot of fun. Just start singing and make up nonsense words as you go along. Don’t worry about making them rhyme or fit a particular structure – just let your voice and your instrument guide you. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy this exercise, and it can be a great way to break through creative blocks and get your juices flowing.

Of course, these are just a few wild and wacky songwriting exercises that I’ve tried and enjoyed. The most important thing is to have fun and not take yourself too seriously. Songwriting should be an enjoyable and rewarding process, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Happy writing!

Share this post