Five times a year, we run Songwriting Groups. The groups run for 8 weeks, and everyone receives a fresh songwriting prompt every 2 weeks: 8 weeks, 4 brand new songs.
The songwriting prompts are designed to give a holistic range of projects to spark creativity in a variety of forms – coming from different creative angles, or drawing on professional briefs to show you what sorts of work is needed within the industry.
Here, I wanted to share with you the prompts from the most recent term of the Songwriting Groups to fuel your own creative spark.
If you’re keen to join in the next Songwriting Group, you can find all the info and link to register here.
Songwriting Prompt #1
Listen to the song ‘See The World‘, by Gomez.
Now, write your own ‘advice’ song.
Extra challenge: start your song with an interval a perfect 4th or greater (hint: a perfect 4th is the distance between the notes C and F – but also the equivalent distance between any 2 notes, doesn’t matter where you start).
Songwriting Prompt #2
You will write a song for a film brief.
Your job is to try to write the song they are looking for – a replacement for the Bruce Springsteen song, “Devils and Dust”.
A few tips: it can be very helpful to collect a few songs or artists that you think would be good replacements for this song, and do some immersive listening to get you in the zone!
Songwriting Prompt #3
Write a song that could go over this scene, from an old episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘.
Note: aim to write your song to the approximate length of the scene, about 2:30.
Tip: it can be very helpful to find a reference song – a song that you think would be great over a scene like this, and use it as inspiration musically and/or lyrically.
I have muted the sound so that you can respond to the imagery and scene.
As a little context (if you are unfamiliar with the show), it is a medical drama. In this scene, the medical crew have presumably arrived at an emergency situation at the waterside, and one of the main characters falls in – it appears she cannot swim.
Songwriting Prompts #4
Write a song starting with a title.
For some people, this is a totally natural part of their songwriting process – for others, starting with a title can feel strange. Why would I start with a title when I don’t know what the song is about yet?Starting with a title is a great exercise.
Firstly, a great title should come pre-loaded with ideas anyway. That’s when we know we have a good title on our hands – it already implies a multitude of possible stories or approaches.
Check out Tip 1 from this video on our channel for a bit more discussion on writing from titles.
If you would like a suggested title to work from, feel free to use this one:
when forever breaks