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i am in a songwriting rut ...HELP !

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hi everybody i'm sorta new here so go easy on me ... here it goes : i'm an aspiring singer/songwriter and i'm totally in a rut . I put pencil to page and POOF all inspiration goes out the window . i feel like i have a jumble of fragmented musical and lyrical ideas all swimming around inside my head i need advice on harnessing all this stuff and getting it out and getting on with the process of writing and developing my ideas into songs . i'm currently in a rock band and as the lead singer the others are naturally looking to me for fresh material to play ....they're not really proficient at the craft either so i guess the weight falls on me .... any words of wisdom or advice ??? thank you
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A lot of the advice I've read says to set up a regular schedule for songwriting. Maybe it's every week night at 8pm or something like that. I guess the idea is that sooner or later your mind adjusts to the schedule and you're just able to write. Of course at first you'll still be sitting there staring at a blank page.


Some people are prolific songwriters and write well alone. Then there are several songwriting duos and groups that have written hits.


It sounds like you're stressed out because you're the only one in your band that's writing the songs. (Hopefully your group is called The Chris Nickey Band, if that's the case.) Reading between the lines a bit it sounds like you wouldn't mind a little more help in this department from your bandmates.


Of course there are a billion ways to write a song. However, there seem to be two main strategies: write lyrics/melody first or write arrangement/chord progression first. A lot of bands expect their lead singer to handle writing melodies and usually lyrics, too. After all you're the guy that has to sing them. It doesn't help if the melody is out of your range or the words just make you want to puke.


But who handles writing the arrangements? The typical band will let each player write their own part: guitar(s), bass, drums, whatever else.


Have you tried letting the band come up with an arrangement first? (Or are you the guitarist in a power trio?) If they can come up with a cool riff or chord progression or whatever that can be the starting point for a song. You just have to add lyrics and a melody.


If you don't mind, ask one of the guys to write some lyrics. The drummer writes almost all the lyrics for the band Rush, for example.


Even if they're not "proficient at the craft" you can still have brainstorming sessions with them. If you can come up with one good song idea out of a hundred you'll be doing well. (Assuming once you have the idea then writing the song falls in place naturally for you.) Just talk about things you've all seen recently. People watching, either consciously or not, is usually good fodder for song ideas.


If it were raining and you saw two strangers at a bus stop and one shared her umbrella with him, could you write a song about that? ("Bus Stop", The Hollies. I have no idea what they based it on but I can definitely see this scenario happening.)


In summary, try to make songwriting more of a collaborative effort. At least everyone should be able to help at the idea/title/hook stage. Try to keep to a schedule. And write about life as you know it and experience it.

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  • 3 months later...

Well its obviously been a while since this thread was opened but for the sake of providing another view towards this issue here goes:


You mentioned you have the ideas all floating in your head but that you can't seem to get them out. Typically when this happens this is due to mental blocks (specific issues that concern you) that you can develop the skills to overcome.


I have learned many blocks come simply because someone wants to write something perfect the first time and the moment it does not quite come out right up goes the walls of creativity.


One method of breaking this is set a timer (15 minutes for example). Consider the thoughts in your head and what kind of song you might write with it. Then start the timer and write the song in 15 minutes. Don't worry if most of it is crap. Just put it out there. Chances are in 15 minutes you will find a part that works. Do it again, now expand on the part that works with your remaining ideas. You will still get crap but who cares. Who is looking? Write. Hopefully the next round you may get another idea in addition to the first.


There is a reason for the short amount of time to set in your writing when you are stuck. If you know you have to finish something your mind will come up with solutions if you are committed to finishing no matter how crappy it is at first. That is a way to overcome blocks. Once you get comfortable with the process you will have more success and get better and dealing with your blocks.


This block this technique addresses is that of prejudging in the writing process.


Just give it a try. It only takes 15 minutes to test.



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  • 11 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I've been writing songs for almost 15 years and I must say that I've been through several of these spells. Sometimes you hits ruts that could last months. On the other hand, you can hit that creative cycle that could last for a really long time. My best piece of advice to you and anyone else is this: Don't think or try too hard. Just let things happen naturally. If you are familiar with baseball then you will understand this analogy: don't go up to the plate trying to hit a homerun. Same thing applies here.


Good luck!

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dude i write songs and i write about things in my life, I am a Christian so most of them deal with faith, idk if that can help you, but i know alot of non-Christians write bout things that are going in their life, but most inspiration comes from God, for me but try something like,

The broken face in window screen leaves me high and dry, cause i know there is something haunting me, i dont know how to hid from this but there seems like there is something, someone out there, wathching over me watching every thing i say, (add some guitar stuff in like a solo) and then maybe do like a scream or something, then) i can not hide from the thing that keeps wathcing me



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