System #2 to Help You Make Time for Songwriting – Collecting and Organising Ideas
Songwriting is a fun process. However, it becomes frustrating when you try to sit down to write and nothing comes to mind. This can cause you eventually stop making time for songwriting. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can ensure you always have ideas on hand, and eliminate this barrier to you making time for songwriting.
This article is a summarised transcript of the second part in our video “How to Always Make Time for Songwriting – 3 Simple Systems”. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
Why Should You Collect Ideas and How?
Capturing ideas helps us to address the issue of “blank page syndrome” – which is when you open up a blank page to write but no ideas come to you. By collecting ideas, you give yourself a store of information to draw from when you’ve feeling stuck. It helps us become more efficient at songwriting since ideas will come to us faster.
Personally, I used Evernote to capture my ideas. I’m not sponsored by Evernote – I just find it extremely useful since it allows you to store links, voice notes and all sorts of media in one place. This way, you won’t have to worry about a clutter of voice memos and scattered notes.
Get a free Song Map Template which can help you collect and organise your song ideas here:
How to Organise Your Ideas
Aside from having a system for collecting ideas, you also need to have a system to organise your ideas. Here are the 5 individual notes that I and many experienced songwriters I know use:
- Titles: This note is just a running list of titles. The important thing to remember is that lines of lyrics and titles re two different things. Titles come packaged with a concept or story. They could also be phrases which are interesting enough to be the hook of a song.
- Lines: This note contains lines of lyrics that I’ve either heard, made up, or read somewhere. Unlike titles, lines need not have a concept to them. They can simply be lines that sound cool to you. When you keep them in the same note, you can cross-pollinate between them and make interesting connections.
- Melodies: If you have a melodic idea, just record it into this note. This way, all your melodic ideas will be in the same place. They also won’t get confused with all the other different kinds of voice notes that you might have.
- Chord Progressions: This is where you’ll save chord progressions that you like interesting. You can do this by keeping links to Spotify songs which have chord progressions you like. These can serve as prompts at the start of a songwriting session.
- Songwriting Processes: This note is different compared to the rest. It’s where you keep approaches to songwriting, so that they can be used as prompts. Examples are “Start a song with a chorus” or “Write a song only using loops”.
Conclusion: System #2 to Help You Make Time for Songwriting – Collecting and Organising Ideas
Having a really good note-taking system is a great way to avoid feeling like you’re wasting time as a songwriter. It also ensures that you can automatically do something productive anytime you sit down for one of your scheduled songwriting practices. This way, your songwriting process will not only become more efficient but also more enjoyable and productive.
And to learn more about writing songs fast, check out this video titled “How to Write Songs in Under an Hour”.
Turn your inspiration into beautiful songs with step-by-step guidance through two professional songwriting methods. By the end of this course, not only will your tool belt be stocked; you’ll have a plan and a method for finishing your songs – all of them: