5 composition tips for lazy people

It’s funny, being a songwriter myself, I always find songwriting can be a chore at times. But why does it feel like this? Isn’t this supposed to be my passion? Isn’t this supposed to be something I never get bored of?

… Well not exactly. Everything gets boring from time to time, even the things that you are most passionate about. So every now and then I like to take the lazy way to get things done. And surprisingly, I often get very good results!

So listen up. If you’re a newbie to songwriting, or even if you’ve been doing it for a while, I’m going to look at a couple of simple tricks that will help you get started on the writing process in minutes.

Here we go …

Step 1: Review a particular situation of your day. It could be at work, while traveling, or at home. It could be with your coworkers, your family, or your friends. Any situation that has affected you positively or negatively.

An example of this would be “when you’re at work, your boss keeps harassing you. But, the only thing that keeps you active during the day is that you know someone at the office has a crush on you.”

(the above is a very dry example … but try to work with me here!)

Step 2: Write as many words as you can think of that relate to your situation.

Let’s follow the example from before:

anger, pain, sadness, happiness, excitement, nervousness, anxiety, misery, impatience, relaxation, silly, sophisticated, annoying, frustrating, antagonistic, elegant, sexy, cool, pretty, smile, etc., etc.… you understand 🙂

Step 3: Write random short sentences about your situation, including the words you mentioned to you, step 2. So let’s continue with our little experiment …

“the way he spoke to me really pissed me off” “if I knew the pain I suffered inside” “when I see her beautiful eyes light up it makes me smile” “I have to act calm and sophistication, I don’t want to get frustrated” “you don’t know what makes my day go by” “I don’t want to be in this misery for much longer “ Etcetera etcetera. So at this point it’s important to note that you don’t have to use all the words you mentioned earlier in step two. As you can see, I’ve even started creating my own lines * without * any of the words too! Sometimes I rhyme words without even realizing it. And this is exactly where the magic begins to happen …

You can easily turn this idea into a complete song. Use rhymezone.com to find words that rhyme … and other related words too.

My example was very average and simplified, but you can use an example that is a bit more dramatic. You should go crazy with your ideas! Really, let yourself go.

Step 4: Listen to a ‘backing track’ (a song instrumental) on which you HAVE NO TRACKS. While playing, make up a melody. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just create a melody on the fly. You also don’t have to sing any lyrics. Just ‘humm’ or ‘laaa’ a tune until you’re happy.

Why do this? This is an exercise that will unconsciously prepare you to create melodies for your own chord sequences in the next step.

Step 5: Create a SIMPLE chord progression on guitar or keyboard. When I say simple, I mean * simple *. Maybe TWO chords for the verse and TWO chords for the chorus. Now create a melody on top of that chord progression. Record the song on tape. There you go.

NOTE: If you don’t play an instrument, contact someone who does. After all, you already have almost half of the song 🙂

Do you still think it is difficult to conceive an idea? You want to know more? I have * so much * more that I want to share with you …

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