One of my favorite ways to develop my songwriting skills is to play songwriting games. In this article I’m going to cover 3 songwriting games you can play with yourself to challenge yourself own songwriting games to challenge yourself and write some very interesting and great songs and hooks.
The first of these songwriting games revolves around planning to write a song which falls in a very specific type of genre. I’m not just talking about rock or country, but very specific form of rock or country. Think bluegrass country or focusing on a specific artist from the past and try to write a song within their style. This is a very constructive songwriting game because it forces you to work out of your comfort zone and to not write the same song over and over again.
The next of my songwriting games which I use is to develop a song which revolves a specific lyric. Brainstorm a unique title or lyrical line for your song, then focus on coming up with a melody to deliver through lyrics through and using. Normally I preach music then lyrics, but approaching it from the other direction can be a great impetus for your song. Ask a friend to come up with and give you a line and chain yourself to writing a melody for that line and that line only.
The last of these songwriting games is to develop a song around a hook which is to be delivered by a specific instrument. For example, say to yourself that you’re going to revolve everything in a new song around a short guitar lick or a hook of you whistling. Pick out the instrument, come up with a melody, then try a variety of progressions on top of that to see which sounds the best to you.
The one thing which each of these songwriting games have in common is that they limit you in terms of where you can take the song by constricting you to develop it around that one element. While it may feel like it’s limiting you, the truth is that in songwriting having too many choices is what limits you, so having structure can expedite the songwriting process.
Remember that the hardest part in songwriting is just getting that first section written out and locked down; once you have that initial section of your song planned out, you can move along and come up with the next section much more easily.