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Songwriting Prompts to Help You Craft Your Next Hit Song

Songwriting Prompts to Help You Craft Your Next Hit Song

If you’re a writer, composer, lyricist, and everything else in between, then surely you’re already familiar with the dreaded writer’s block. Even experienced songwriters with hundreds or thousands of songs under their belt go through this from time to time, but it’s beginner songwriters who often tend to stress out when they can’t get words to flow on a piece of paper or a blank web page. 

The good news is that there’s no reason to stress or panic when that writer’s block kicks in, because it’s absolutely natural. The important thing is to know how to manage and react to it, so you can get your words flowing again in no time. 

One thing that can help significantly, and that people who are just trying to get into songwriting aren’t always aware of, relates to songwriting prompts. These are basically cues that help set the stage for the creation of a story through words and lyrics, and no, it’s not cheating. Songwriting prompts help songwriters get into the proper mindset to be able to compose powerful lyrics and let their creativity flow freely. 

It’s like when musicians get together and jam, often covering some of their favorite songs to get the gears in motion and get in the right mood. That’s how songwriting prompts work, they help you unlock your creativity and start expressing your thoughts and feelings freely. 

So, without further ado, here are some helpful songwriting prompts to help you when you’re stuck in that dreaded writer’s block and can’t seem to be able to focus. Remember, these are just cues and suggestions to help you unlock those creative juices. Take it from here and let the story unfold as you feel it. There is no right way or wrong way when it comes to songwriting. 

Love songs

  • Write a song about someone you once loved 
  • Write a song about your current partner 
  • Write a song about what it’s like to fall in love
  • Write a song about someone you’ve had a crush on 
  • Write a song about unrequited love

Relationship songs 

  • Write a song as a love letter to your partner
  • Write a song about something you love in your partner
  • Write a song about how your loved one makes you feel
  • Write a song about the start of a new relationship
  • Write a song about a long-distance relationship 

Breakup & heartache songs 

  • Write a song to/about someone who broke your heart
  • Write a song about a fight you had with someone
  • Write a song about someone you loved but didn’t love you back
  • Write a song about getting over someone
  • Write a song about missing someone

Songs about nature

  • Write a song about a hike you went on
  • Write a song about the mountains
  • Write a song about a rainy day
  • Write a song inspired by a walk
  • Write a song about sunshine and warm days

Songs about daily life

  • Write a song about a morning 
  • Write a song about going to work
  • Write a song about your daily routine
  • Write a song about a day, from morning to night
  • Write a song about your perfect day

Songs about dreams 

  • Write a song about your most recent dream
  • Write a song about the wildest dream you’ve ever had
  • Write a song about a nightmare you’ve had 
  • Write a song about someone you’ve dreamed of
  • Write a song about the most vivid dream you’ve ever had
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Songs about hopes and fears 

  • Write a song about something you’re afraid of
  • Write a song about something you’re hopeful about
  • Write a song about your darkest fears and anxieties
  • Write a song about a mental health issue you’ve experienced
  • Write a song about a friend in need

Songs about family 

  • Write about a beloved member of your family 
  • Write about the family you wish you had or wish to have 
  • Write a song about a relative you haven’t seen in a while
  • Write a song about what family means to you
  • Write a song to/about your partner or children 

Songs about nighttime 

  • Write a song about the sunset 
  • Write a song about the quiet of the night 
  • Write a song about how you feel at night
  • Write a song about night versus day
  • Write a song about embracing the darkness

Songs about anger 

  • Write a protest song 
  • Write a song about something that made you lose your temper
  • Write a song about something you’re frustrated about
  • Write a song about a boring day
  • Write a song to/about someone you had a fight with

Songs about loss and grief 

  • Write a song to/about someone you miss
  • Write a song to/about someone who passed away 
  • Write a song to/about a pet you lost
  • Write a song about/to someone you don’t talk to anymore
  • Write a song about the person you used to be

Songs about a hobby or passion

  • Write a song about your car (think Queen - ‘I’m In Love With My Car’)
  • Write a song about a sport you love 
  • Write a song about loving music 
  • Write a song inspired by a favorite book or quote
  • Write a song inspired by your favorite sports team

Miscellaneous ideas

  • Write about something you heard on the news
  • Write a song about what you’re feeling right now
  • Write a song about an object or possession you love 
  • Write a song about an awesome concert or show you attended
  • Write a song about someone you idolize
  • Write a song about the best moment of you life so far
  • Write a song about a precious childhood memory
  • Write a song about your parents 
  • Write a song about your first pet 
  • Write a song inspired by a color 
  • Write a song based on your favorite fictional character
  • Write a song about a time you felt afraid 
  • Write a song about a time you felt strong and powerful 
  • Write a song about 5 things that make you happy
  • Write a song about 5 things you have around you right now
  • Write a song about your biggest regret
  • Write a song about your favorite city
  • Write a song about your best friend
  • Write a song about getting lost 
  • Write a song about writing 
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Frequently Asked Questions 

Why are songwriting prompts useful?

Songwriting prompts provide a starting point that can help spark creativity and overcome writer's block. By offering specific themes, words, or scenarios to write about, prompts can inspire new ideas and directions you might not have considered on your own. They encourage you to think outside your usual patterns and explore different emotions, stories, and perspectives in your songwriting.

Prompts can serve as a useful exercise to develop your skills and versatility as a songwriter. Regularly using prompts can help you practice writing under various constraints and conditions, making you more adaptable and improving your ability to generate ideas quickly. This can be particularly beneficial when you're feeling stuck or uninspired, as prompts can reignite your creative flow and keep your songwriting practice consistent.

How can you get started as a beginner songwriter?

As a beginner songwriter, start by familiarizing yourself with basic music theory and learning to play a musical instrument, such as the guitar or piano, to help you create melodies and harmonies. Begin by writing simple songs, focusing on expressing your thoughts and emotions rather than perfection. Listen to a wide range of music to understand different genres and styles, and analyze your favorite songs to learn about their structure and techniques.

Keep a notebook or digital recorder handy to capture ideas whenever inspiration strikes. Practice regularly by setting aside dedicated time for songwriting, and don't be afraid to experiment with different themes, lyrics, and melodies. Sharing your work with others, whether through social media or local music groups, can provide valuable feedback and encouragement. Most importantly, be patient with yourself and enjoy the creative process!

How do you get over writer’s block?

Getting over writer’s block often involves changing your environment or routine to spark creativity. Try taking a break and engaging in a different activity, such as going for a walk, reading, or listening to music, to clear your head. Setting smaller, more manageable goals can also help; start by writing anything, even if it’s not perfect, to overcome the initial hurdle. Free writing, where you write continuously without worrying about grammar or structure, can also stimulate ideas and reduce the pressure to produce polished work immediately.

Revisiting your outline or brainstorming new ideas can also provide direction and inspiration. Talking about your ideas with someone else can also offer a fresh perspective and help you gain clarity. Remember that writing is a process, and it’s okay to have off days. The key is to stay persistent and keep writing regularly, even if it feels challenging.

How do you get better at songwriting?

Getting better at songwriting involves consistent practice and a willingness to experiment with different styles and techniques. Start by analyzing songs you admire to understand their structure, lyrics, and melodies. This can help you learn what works and why. Write regularly, even if it's just a few lines or a simple melody each day, to develop your skills and creativity. Collaborating with other songwriters can also provide new insights and inspire fresh ideas.

Additionally, learning an instrument or improving your proficiency on one you already play can enhance your understanding of music theory and composition. Studying poetry and literature can improve your lyrical abilities, helping you craft more evocative and meaningful lyrics. Recording and listening to your songs critically will help you identify areas for improvement. Finally, don't be afraid to rewrite and refine your songs, as this process often leads to stronger and more polished work.

Join Xposure Music and gain access to some of the best music industry professionals in the U.S. Top experts from Sony, Columbia, Def Jam, or Universal have already joined our platform, and they’re ready to give invaluable, on-point feedback on your work, which can help you land that dream record deal or publishing deal you’ve been working towards. Sign up now and reap the rewards.

If you’re looking to kickstart your music career but have limited resources, we can help you get funding for your next project while staying in control of your own work and career trajectory. You keep 100% ownership of your masters and get an advance ranging from $1,000 to $3 million to get your career off the ground. Get an estimate now and start turning your dream into reality.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gregory Walfish
Co-founder of Xposure Music, Gregory Walfish stands at the intersection of music, tech, and culture. With a software engineering background, he's passionate about artist development and technology.

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