Transforming Musicians into Songwriters

5 Ideas for Songwriting Inspiration That Always Work

5 ideas for songwriting inspiration that always work! You don't have songwriter's block... you need to learn how to find great ideas for your songs!
5 Ideas for Songwriting Inspiration that always work

Table of Contents

Don’t Waste Time Waiting for Songwriting Inspiration… You Can Find Inspiration Whenever You Want Some! 

Ever Have a “What do I write about?” Crisis?

You want to start a new song and need a spark of an idea to start your creative fires. But you catch yourself avoiding your songwriting… or worse you sit down to write and the well is dry, your metaphors are mixed up and you feel empty inside…

Instead of having a songwriting crisis over “What do I write about?” or you have a mini breakdown about your songwriting future… know this:

It’s Not About Your Songwriting:

  • Motivation
  • Talent
  • Effort or your
  • Potential…

And NO, you DON”T have Songwriter’s Block

It’s About Your Songwriting Process!

If you have a solid songwriting process, you’ll have songwriting success! If you don’t have a solid songwriting process… you’re leaving it up to chance, and who really wants that if you can be proactive and know you’ll get those songs written? Here are:

5 Song Topics That Always Work…

I know they work because virtually every popular song ever written is based on one or more of these topics.

Below the video is a list of each topic and additional songwriting resources to keep you songwriting and developing your songwriting craft…

Songwriting Inspiration #1 – Human Relationships

Love song, hate, love turns into hate. How people get along, or don’t get along

Good love, bad love, friend love

Start with a situation and how people interact in it

Stages of love: attraction, romance, getting old together song

Songwriting Inspiration #2 – Emotions

Write about an emotion… what does it feel like? What metaphors can you use?

Write about an emotional situation… what’s going on? Emphasize the emotions.

Create an emotional journey… focus on the tension between two or more emotions. Create a story between the contrasting emotions. 

  • Love and hate, good love and bad love…
  • What’s the journey between them?
  • What’s the connection between them?
  • What’s the friction where sort of fit, but they don’t
  • What’s the story as you (or the characters) move between the emotional states?
Take responsibility for your music, it doesn't happen by accident, songwriting meme, songwriting advice that makes sense

Songwriting Inspiration #3 – Write from Images

Start with an interesting image, or choose a topic/title and do an image search in Google to find pictures to use.

  • What do you see? Describe the details.
  • Build a story around the picture.
  • What happened before the photo was taken?
  • What happened afterwards?
  • What happened around the photo?
  • Can you connect the before and after through your song?

What emotions are inspired by the picture?

Songwriting Inspiration #4 – Start with a Character

Create a character and describe them in detail.Start with prose or point form before trying to write lyric lines.. Include details about their:

  • appearance, 
  • demeanor, 
  • attitudes, 
  • beliefs, and
  • actions. 

Put them in a situation and build a story around it. Give them a back story, how did they become the person they are?

Write a story around your character(s)….

Songwriting Inspiration #5 – Song Titles and Song Lyrics 

Brainstorm song titles you know, include full titles, lyrics, phrases, ideas from existing songs (you can also reference poetry, short stories, novels, movies… any literature or literary ideas).

Use the ideas rather than entire lines, or passages.

Find friction points, places where ideas almost meet but don’t fit together smoothly.

Filter these ideas through your personal perspective and experience, add your own flair.

I think of two different ways to work with words and ideas from other sources, whether it’s prose fiction or song titles and lyrics:

Mix and Match Method for Songwriting Inspiration

Combine ideas from different titles or lines and discover new possibilities.

Answer Method for Songwriting Inspiration

Use an existing title, lyrics or phrase as an inspiration.

You can complete a line or add more to an existing lyric. 

Don’t use the original idea, either modify it or delete it.

Songwriting Inspiration, Bonus Tip

Keep a list of song ideas and potential titles in your songwriting notebook so you have a running list of ideas whenever you want to start a new song. I regularly brainstorm song titles and ideas so my list doesn’t ever run out….

More Songwriting Resources to Improve Your Craft

Leave a comment to help other songwriters:

Where do you find the best inspiration for your songs?

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Picture of Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff has taught, played and written music professionally for the last 25+ years.

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