SONGWRITING IDEAS AND SONGWRITING INSPIRATION IS ALL AROUND YOU!
To partake of these opportunities for inspiration takes only the desire to notice events, people, places, and things etc. and the motivation to write them down as you see and feel them.
When singing students ask me where to start, I usually suggest buying a small book that is reserved only for songwriting ideas. (You may want be more high tech, and use a small voice recorder, as I do.)
As you move through your life, make a habit of being aware of what is going on around you. When an event or a meeting or a place captures your attention - write (or speak) a few words about it.
What grabbed you? How did you feel as you experienced this moment/meeting/place? Just a few words is usually enough to remind you of how you felt at the time.
Later, as you think about writing a song, these notes can bring you back to that sensory moment. You use both the words and feeling as the "seed" of a new song.
Often people find songwriting ideas and material in unusual places.
People often ask me where I get my ideas for songs. They mention that the lyrics and tunes usually are not about relationships, like many of the hits we hear on radio today. Nor are they about typical kinds of loss, though there is certainly emotional pain in some of my music.
When I begin to create a song, I usually have a movie-like drama playing in my head. I see a person or several people living through a dramatic event; the beginning of a journey, a startling moment of discovery, a haunting encounter with a stranger. The characters are fictional but the events they experience have a powerful effect on me. I feel the passion of their discoveries.
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Sometimes drama develops from a real-life event.
When the story of Hara's Quest was born, I was with my husband on Captiva Island, Florida.
We were alone at sundown on a long stretch of white sandy beach. It was hot, even for a summer evening on Captiva Island - around 95 degrees. The humid air shimmered with heat. We watched transfixed as a Great Blue Heron, tall and slender, strode down the sand to stand just a foot away from us. It turned and looked gravely out to sea. We followed its gaze and saw several dolphins glide in close to shore. The ocean water was still, like a quiet lake. The dolphins' eyes were bright.
The animals watched us. We watched them. The Great Blue stood by like a sentinel or a gallant interpreter of our close encounter. I felt as though time stood still. When the meeting ended and we once again were walking down the beach alone, the name "Hara" drifted into my mind. I knew then this woman would be the subject of my next group of songs: that she would take a long journey out to sea, and that dolphins would play a pivotal role in her life. I knew too that her journey would teach me a great deal.
Of course, moving from this magical moment to the completed group of Hara's Quest songs took a number of steps and many months. But the event on the beach fueled my passion to guide Hara through an ocean journey.
Song writing has given me the chance to explore some of the most intriguing questions about who we are and where we are going. I have written about what it might feel like to be guided to the past by dolphins; how long-hidden memories can surface during a deep-body massage; how difficult it is to remain true to oneself and one's dreams; what the first humans may have heard when they began their long march to the future.
Most of us want our music to be heard by as many listeners as possible. But that does not mean that you cannot choose unique life themes for your songs.
In other words, not all songs have to be about love and loss.
If you write a well-crafted song... you can successfully take a listener into an area of life that is new to them. Allow your imagination to soar as you write in your songwriting book. You never know when a deeply felt experience will fuel a great future song.
Feel Deeply. Think Clearly. Writing Simply.
I wish you great Songwriting!
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