50 Songwriting Prompts to Overcome Writer’s Block

50 Songwriting Prompts to Overcome Writer’s Block

Songwriting prompts are perfect for getting past writer's block and letting your creativity flow.

No matter what kind of music you make, you probably experience your fair share of creative blocks every once in a while.

Sometimes all you need is the right spark to try something new, tackle an interesting challenge, or gain a fresh perspective on the process.

Feel free to dig through our 50 favorite prompts to get inspired and make something great.

Songwriting prompts for writing lyrics

Peggy breaks down the songwriting process to help you build and express musical ideas more easily.

1. Write a song about your garden or your favorite flower.

2. Write a protest song.

3. Write lyrics inspired by people-watching or conversations you hear in public.

4. Generate random words with AI and use them as a prompt for your song’s lyrics.

5. If you have an interesting dream, try to write a song about it.

6. Write lyrics based on a random page of your favorite book.

7. Write a song about yourself in the third or second person.

8. Think back to the most cringe moment in your life and write a song about it.

9. Go to a flea market and think of ideas for lyrics based on the objects you find.

10. Write lyrics inspired by a person, place, or thing that you miss.

Prompts for music production

1. Record all the pots and pans in your kitchen and make a beat with the recordings.

2. Do a sound walk and make field recordings of the world around you to use as sample material.

3. Make a complete song with only drums and no melodic instruments.

4. Program synth patches or design sounds inspired by the seasons of the year.

5. Produce a beat without a kick drum and make the rhythm as catchy as possible.

6. Record a loop of yourself beatboxing, chop it into slices, and play or sequence the slices via MIDI.

7. Put a song you like on the timeline of your DAW and use it as a song structure prompt.

8. Produce a track without using any delay or reverb.

9. Use this random image generator and design sounds based on the images it gives you.

10. Put on a song you like and tap out an improvised beat on pads or a keyboard, using the song’s rhythm and groove as inspiration.

Songwriting prompts for chords & melodies 

1. Tune the radio to random stations and use chords or melodies you hear as inspiration.

2. Play a song you like in reverse and write a melody or hook based on what you hear.

3. Chop up and rearrange a melodic sample from an old song you like, write a new melody based on your flip, and discard the sample.

4. Layer three to four vocal samples in the same key, write a chord progression based on the harmonies, and discard the samples.

5. Take melodies from two different songs and write a new melody using the notes from one and the melodic rhythm of the other.

6. Transcribe a melody from a song onto the piano roll of your DAW, add onto it using counterpoint, and discard the original melody.

7. Use a MIDI chord pack as a prompt for your song’s chord progression.

8. Learn about chord extensions and write a song around a complex arpeggiated chord.

9. Write a song that makes use of extended harmony.

10. Write a song by starting with a catchy bassline, and don’t add the melody or other elements until you perfect it.

Get the Make Better Chord Progressions MIDI Pack

Ideas for using loops & samples

🧠 Hot tip

Mixing and matching loops and samples from different genre packs can give you unique results that might jumpstart your process.

1. Search your favorite artist on LANDR Samples and download loops similar to their style.

2. Grab a construction sample kit for your favorite genre and build a song using only those sounds.

3. Use a vocoder on a dialogue sample to create otherworldly vocals.

4. Create an 8-bar loop with premade percussion loops and use it as inspiration for building your own beat using a drum sampler plugin.

5. Create an ambient piece inspired by Brian Eno’s tape loops.

6. Download a genre-based loop pack and use it to make a song of a totally different genre.

7. Write a song using only 8 loops (you can chop and process them any way you want).

8. Write a song using only FX samples.

9. Layer some drum or percussion loops together and record yourself jamming along with them on a keyboard, guitar, or other melodic instrument.

10. Use loops to build song prompts and templates to speed up your songwriting workflow.

Prompts for music collaboration 

1. Make a pact with a friend that you will each make one beat per month and release them together in an album at the end of the year.

2. Trade forgotten sketches or incomplete tracks with a friend and finish each other’s work.

3. Hire a rapper to provide a verse and then build your beat from scratch based on their flow.

4. You and a friend can each produce a track (at the same key and tempo) and combine them.

5. Make a shared playlist with another artist and use it to guide your songwriting together.

6. Have an experienced artist give you feedback on your songwriting or mixdown.

7. Have a rapper send you tracks that influenced them and produce an instrumental in a similar style.

8. Jam with friends to come up with hooks and other ideas (or even start a band).

9. Try to meet artists you like and interview them about their songwriting process.

10. Share some of the songwriting prompts from this list with a friend and ask them what prompts they use for overcoming writer’s block.

Devon Hansen

Devon Hansen is a producer, DJ, and writer with 20 years of experience in electronic music production. Having worked under various names and in a wide range of styles, Devon has performed several editions of MUTEK Montreal and has released music with labels in North America, the UK, and Japan. When not working on creative projects or playing tunes on Montreal’s n10.as radio, Devon can be found watching movies, cooking, and reading too much about gear.

@Devon Hansen

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