How to Get Ideas for Songwriting

Two Methods:Drawing Ideas from Your LifeUsing Narrative Techniques

If you're interested in song-writing but often have the issue of having nothing to write about, you've come to the right place. Scroll down to Step 1 to learn a few ways you can get ideas for songwriting.

Method 1
Drawing Ideas from Your Life

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    Get inspired by your life. You experience your own life, and you get to experience the feelings first-hand. If you're going through some tough times, you can always write a song about it. You'll find that your song will include your emotions in it. When there's emotions in a song, it comes to life. It is a good practice to keep a journal or have a blog to record down your daily experiences. Not only do you practice writing, you reflect on the day and it'll come back to you when you need inspiration.
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    Be inspired by love. This is one of the most common song-writing themes. Many songs we hear these days revolve around love. It can be either a happy song or a sad song. If you were to talk about your love leaving your side for another person, then it would be a sad love song. Maybe you can write about how magical the feeling is like to fall in love. Remember, include your emotions if you can.
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    Write something that raises your confidence or self-esteem. Write a song about how you are able to conquer the odds. Whenever you feel low, just think about how you are able to come all the way here. Think about positive things that can raise your confidence and boost your mood. Your song will sound very positive and not only will you feel better after that, other people, whom you have shared your song with, might feel good as well.
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    Let it come to you. Just play the piano or strum a few chords on the guitar. After doing so for awhile, just start singing. There may be some of time where you'll just be singing "hmm..." but no worries, the words will eventually come to you. Let inspiration strike you. That's how some songs came about.

Method 2
Using Narrative Techniques

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    Tell a story. If you have recently read a nice book or watched an interesting movie, you can always write a song about the story in it. Allow your song to tell the story. Bring in the melody to raise or lower the tension in the song. Perhaps, you may want to point out the climax and put it where you wish the suspense to be in your song (for example, the bridge). Every listener looks forward to listening to a story.
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    Think of metaphors. One of the more sensitive topics that you may want to write about include life and death. However, life and death definitely have a lot of metaphors that can be used. If you use a dying tree to represent death and a seedling to represent life, then you can always write about the death of a certain person or the birth of a child with metaphors instead. Metaphors will make your song more interesting.
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    Listen to music. Perhaps, while you are listening to songs by other artistes, you may find the inspiration to write about certain issues (e.g. racism, happiness, love). Allow the music to spark off something in you. However, you might end up 'blending' a bit of the songs you heard into your own songs, so try not to write songs while listening to songs by other artistes. You don't want to get into trouble with the law.


  • Don't try to force your ideas to come out. Let it come naturally. The more you try to force yourself to think of ideas, the more uninteresting your ideas might be.
  • Also, it's a good idea to try to copyright your songs after you've written them, if you are taking music seriously. This way, if someone hears you play at a very small gig or open mic night when you're just starting out, they can't play it to other people and get all of the credit for your beautiful song.
  • Try learning how to play an instrument if you want to write your songs. It is really helpful if you want to come up with a melody. A guitar or piano would be good but a ukulele or a keyboard would do fine, as long as it brings you some inspiration.
  • Try listening to instrumentals that infamous people have written on you tube, snap chat, etc. this may help if you do not own or play an instrument. When you meet up with your musician play the song back for them and ask them for something like it.


  • Beware of plagiarism.
  • Do not touch into very sensitive issues that may cause conflict to arise.

Article Info

Categories: Songs and Song Writing