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.
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
Title: Kettle Chip
Meaning: You feel fragile and might break
After feeling: Empowered to feel stronger
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?
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.
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?
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.