Are you a budding songwriter not sure where to start? Learn how to begin writing a song with our lyric writing prompts.
If you’re wondering how to start writing lyrics for a song you’ve come to the right place. The blank page is intimidating, and writer’s block is no fun – you need a song lyric idea to get your brain whirring.
Before you start thinking about how to make lyrics for your own song, try listening to as many different artists as possible as well as reading and analysing lyrics. This will help you tune into the rhythm of the lines that make up verses and choruses, and you’ll begin to start to understand why some lyrics work and others don’t. Soon you’ll recognise which types of songs speak to you creatively.
Whether you want to start writing a pop song, rap lyrics, or a couple of vocal lines for an EDM track, start out with our list to kickstart some song writing ideas.
- Pick a message at random in your phone and use a sentence as the opening line. Imagine it was sent by somebody completely different. How would this change the meaning?
- Forget about the chorus and bridge and write a song made up of only verses.
- Go for a different genre than usual – a folk song, a country music ballad. Try a funny parody.
- Ask someone for a random word or phrase, or what their favourite book is.
- Take a page of a book or an online article. Highlight four or five phrases that really jump out at you. Put them in a document. Move them around, and you might find they fit together like a verse. Start reworking the sentences, changing the meaning.
- Get those juices flowing by writing a song based on a holiday, like Christmas, or a song about someone’s birthday.
- Just start writing! Sing or write sentences and words freely, with no pre-determined theme or emotion. Stream of consciousness, no editing.
- Imagine two characters. You could even sketch them or cast a pair of actors in your mind. Do the characters like each other, hate each other, were they in love once? How long have they known each other? Or do they not know each other… yet?
- Take an existing song and write between the lines, slotting in your own lyrics. Then take away the original lyrics, and see how your own lines flow.
- Sometimes there’s nothing better than the old formula of “write what you know.” Think about your relationships, romantic and familial, and the stories that you could tell from within them.
- Use an image of a place as a prompt.
- Find an online rhyming dictionary if you’re stuck. Everybody does it!
- Write on the go. Fill your notes app with any nice phrases you overhear or poetic thoughts that pop into your head.
- A seemingly random word or sentence, or feeling, can send you down an unexpected lyric writing path – use these short idea prompts as a springboard:
One summer night
The last thing that annoyed you
A pair of shoes
Your best friend
A pot of gold
Need more help? There’s plenty of resources online, including r/SongwritingPrompts.
Using a prompt takes the pressure off your lyric writing. You don’t have to sit down every time to write The Song That Will Make You Famous. Just see where your mind naturally takes you.