Random tips

Never throw out an idea because you think it’s too silly or too simple. Maybe it’s not right for the current song you’re working on, but save the idea. It may be perfect for your next project or another song six months down the road.

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Strive for balance. A simple melody line is often a perfect match for a complex rhythm or chord change. If you have a complex melody, pair it with a simple rhythm and/or a basic chord structure.

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As an experiment, try writing in a variety of styles, as many as you can: (soul, country, rock, polka, cajun, children’s, Celtic, emo, Latin, metal, house, etc). You may think you already know what style is right for you, but if you explore other styles, you may find that you’re a natural at something else. If you never try other styles, you’ll never know. You may create a new style all your own.

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When you get stuck, change something … anything. For example, you could find a new room to write in, or just stand up and walk around. It will change the energy. I suggest you change just one thing at a time. One little change may be all it takes.

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When you get stuck, give it a rest. Take a deep breath and do some stretches (or splash water on your face). Even a 5 minute break could give you a new perspective. Or it could simply provide an opening for that perfect new lyric to pop into your head.

Or change your focus from one aspect of the song to another. It you’re stuck on the melody, work on the chords for awhile.

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When you get stuck, radically change one element of your song, i.e. play it twice as fast (or twice as slow), change it from major to minor or swap the verse with the chorus. It may not be the answer, but it may spark the new idea, new melody, new lyric, etc. that leads you to the answer.

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