• Hugh Webber

SONGHOUSE - LYRICAL PROMPTS

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

It's important to keep your songwriting sharp; here are some methods you can try to keep everything sharp. 


Chorus

Get a title, either from your list that you keep, or find a random title idea from a book or newspaper headline. Anything you like, whether it makes sense or not.

  • Write in plain language what it could mean

  • Write down a single emotion that most strongly connects to it

  • Write down how you want the listener to feel after they have heard the song: happy, sad, empowered, wanna dance

E.g.


Title: Kettle Chip

Meaning: You feel fragile and might break

After feeling: Empowered to feel stronger


Verse

Write down in plain language:

  • Describe a real place from your experience, but only a very small or minute area or part of that place. E.g. holiday on the beach, but describe just a bench that was by the beach.

  • Now think of another location anywhere in the world.  What could connect those two places. E.g. A factory.  Connection: Maybe it’s where the bench was made?

OR

  • Describe a real event that happened to you, but only describe a very short time period during that event. E.g a wedding, but describe the moment between the bride arriving and getting to the front of the ceremony.

  • Now think of another event unrelated to the first.  What could connect those two events. E.g. Putting the kettle on. Connection: Getting ready before the wedding.


Pre-Chorus

  • Imagine you are a barrister cross examining yourself

  • Using either the event or location from the verse exercise, ask two probing questions about the situation E.g. Why is the bench rusty?  Why is the bride wearing a black rose?


Bridge

Take your title and flip it. 

  • What would be the opposite of it?

  • Write down what might connect it in the real world?


E.g. Flip the title: Taking the Kettle Chip title, the opposite might be a hard steel knife

Connection: The hard steel knife cuts the potato that becomes the fragile crisp?!


The Chorus exercise helps you develop a central idea, and a strong associated emotion.

The Verse exercise makes you think of a storyline / connection between verse details.

You add tension by asking questions in the Pre-Chorus.

The Bridge exercise makes you look at the same idea from a new perspective.


Today I help singers and songwriters explore their own potential.  I encourage them to see new ways to view their creative chaos, working alongside to structure them into fully finished songs they are proud of.





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