Let’s Pretend — a songwriting excercise

A songwriter has to be open for inspiration to come from anywhere. For me, this morning, it came from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. In it was an article written by songwriter Heather Holley. In the article, Holley explains how she, Rob Hoffman, and Christina Aguilera wrote the song, “Soar” on Aguilera’s Stripped CD (purposefully not providing a link).

To be clear, I’m not endorsing Christina Aguilera and I’m not familiar with this song. Not knowing this song actually works in my favor. In a nutshell, the article discusses the writing process experienced by the three writers. I read up to the point where they settled on a theme, the statement they wanted to leave with her fans. I stopped, closed the paper, and thought: “quick, how would I write this if I were in the room?”

I quickly drafted a two verse lyric, pre-chorus, and chorus. I’m not saying it was better than theirs (I still haven’t heard their song or seen the lyric). But it felt fantastic to write with a clear purpose.

Recently, I read an interview with Loretta Lynn in American Songwriter magazine. She speaks of how she simply wrote what she knew. It certainly worked for her. But, I’ve found that when I’m stuck and feel like I have nothing left to say, it can help “unclog” the creative spicket to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Take a stab at it yourself.

Question: How do you keep the creative juices flowing?


About Jonathan Riggs

Singer, actor, songwriter, and entrepreneur. And I like vanilla bean.
This entry was posted in Music business, Songwriting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Let’s Pretend — a songwriting excercise

  1. adam hill says:

    you can’t wait to be inspired. write 20 and 3 will be good. law of averages i suppose. ole x-tina can write a good tune though, didn’t she write “beautiful?” i do like the old write from another person thing, i like writing as a woman in country songs and then switching things back, as if I could write like a woman but at least i take my shot at it. i try to listen to a-lot of stuff that is nothing like what i do. dance music or rap or jazz.

    • Jonathan says:

      Yes, indeed Adam. I only wish to be as prolific as you. I’ve also tried to write from a woman’s voice. A very dangerous thing, for sure! (I did it again this morning). I tend to keep them close to my chest until I get some impression from a few (actual) women.

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