In my everyday life as a music teacher, I tend to design quite a lot of worksheets.
In my online life trying to share songwriting ideas, I’ve never put this skill into use. Until now, that is.
You see, a written worksheet can be a very useful thing. As songwriters we’re often scribbling on random bits of paper. A worksheet, properly designed, can give order to the chaos of our ideas, doodlings and scribbles.
It can help us make sense of what we’re writing.
Worksheets for the Songwriting Guitarist
That’s the working title for my new ebook, which I’m going to gradually publish over the next few months. Here’s the first installment:
The Lyric Brainstormer
Lyric writing can be one of the most difficult parts of the songwriting process. Part of the problem can be the sheer size of the task. Where do you start? Simply writing down the first line and going on from there isn’t always the best thing to do.
The lyric brainstormer is here to help!
This sheet is designed to help you order your thoughts before you start writing lyrics.
I find the keywords/ideas boxes particularly useful because they allow you to draw parallels and connections. In my example, a song about the fear of new technology, I had the theme of futuristic technology, and words, like stars, sun, machines. This neatly chimed with both the phrase ‘nothing new under sun’ and the idea of luddites smashing machines.
Ropes around the Sun
Will we wait till men are up there,
Tying ropes around the sun?
Will we still be scared of reason
Will we walk or will we run?
We made a prison of our nightmares
Conjured locks and books and chains
Will we move with change of season?
Or will we fall behind again?
Got that hammer in our hands now
Time to smash these cold machines
Oh won’t we live the same centuries again?
Splitting light and chasing fusion
Soon we’ll cut the sky in half
Will we still be scared to leave here,
When we’ve stained the sky so dark?
Finally, when all the clouds boil away,
We will need the ropes around the sun.
And here’s the worksheet for you to have fun with: