We are constantly surrounded by ideas.
You don’t need a fortune cookie to tell you where to look.
In fact… my last sentence can start your next song.
There is really no excuse really for coming up dry.
Here are my favorite places to find great ideas.
I spent many months trying to recover old blogs from Myspace. I never forgot this one blog I wrote over 5 years ago. When Myspace got rid of the old blogs I was devastated, but I fought to get em back and I did. I am so grateful.
I finally found a reason to put the words to music. I also find myself writing great Facebook and Twitter updates, and many of them sound like song titles. If you are ever in need of an idea, pick random old dates and scroll through your updates. You might be surprised to find how witty you were when you weren’t paying attention.
Become a silently nosey person. Listen to those random conversations from people around you. Before you get annoyed at that loud person speaking on the phone, pay attention. In NYC I often hear the most ridiculous conversations and choice of words ever on the subways and busses. Some of them make great ideas.
Okay this is my favorite and it’s also the most boring because most people mention it. But for me, I get fabulous ideas in the shower. The bonus for me is that my vocal chords open up and I usually find the best key for myself this way. Only problem is if I don’t take a recorder into the bathroom, I have to run out wet and freezing holding the note until I get to an instrument. But for me the key changes the feeling of the song I’m writing and leads to different ideas. Driving does a similar thing for me. I don’t get to drive that often in the city, but I do have had plenty of ideas in the car.
I always watch with the subtitles on. This may annoy your friends, but I never want to miss a great line. TV and film writers nowadays are so clever. Always have something to write on as you watch. When you get that brilliant line down, then you can look for quotes using the idea or subject. You can do that with any idea really, but what a great place to start.
Books and Dictionaries
Same deal as movies. But when you hit upon a word you don’t know, you should always use the dictionary. It might be a new very colorful word for you, plus you’re getting just a little bit smarter for it. I keep a list of words in my phone to look up and add to it when I come across a new one.
If you play an instrument, just play. Make random vocal noises, make up words, say really dumb stuff. Laugh at yourself. It’s worth it. Sometimes a random noise will sound like a word and then you sit there amazed with what came out. I do this when I’m stuck with a second verse. Last week the word “sundial” came out and it started my second verse and finished my song.
Get going, your song is already written waiting for you to grab the pieces!
Dorit is a rock singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and Middle Eastern Dancer. She has performed internationally on concert stages, TV, film, and theatre, and has inspired many students to find to their own expression through music and dance. Dorit’s current goal is to self produce her album and complete an acoustic guitar she hand built as a teenager at the Bronx High School of Science. Her influences include Led Zeppelin, Middle Eastern music, Latin music and old school hip hop -- anything with great rhythm. Find out more about Dorit here>>