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How Songwriting Can Be Easy


I have written a lot of songs in my life. Some songs ended up better than others, but every time both the process of writing and seeing the end result was so rewarding. I am writing a song at the moment and I am at the stage where it is more like laying a puzzle rather than coming up with ideas. I absolutely hate laying puzzles, but sometimes the picture displayed on the finished puzzle can be so beautiful. The thought of the end result is what motivates me to keep going until the very end, despite any feelings of frustration or tiredness that I may be experiencing. I do not know if the song that I am currently working on will be beautiful or not as I have only just poured the puzzle pieces out of the box, but I do know that some of the puzzle pieces are just so interesting. I will just have to put the pieces together and see if it was worth doing so.

I have a main melody, a chorus if you will. The main melody is catchy and tells the story well. I have got a longer melody that repeats itself a few times throughout the song. You may call it the verse. I also have some really cool and fast guitar licks and tricks for the solo. But I have got no bridge and no way of bridging the other parts together, so I realized that the puzzle is incomplete, a few parts is missing. Trying to create parts that fits in the puzzle is songwriting.

Often when I get stuck like this I just continue working on another song. I will not do that this time as I’ve got a good feeling about this song. So what I am doing is that I am writing a bridge and then I rewrite it, just to later rewrite it again.

Some may call this process boring when you are not inspired but I would call it being creative. You can not feel inspired all the time, but if you work for it, the the feeling of inspiration may strike you. For example, say I did not practice my songwriting skills whenever I was not feeling inspired, how would I then be able to catch the idea when I later felt inspired?
I do this so that those days when I wake up with a great idea for a song in my head, I won’t have to reflect over how I should play it or how I can write it down.

I do this crazy thing just so that one day, I will not have to lay this freaking puzzle, but instead it will lay itself.
Today is one of those days when laying the puzzle just seems to hard.


Please leave a comment and tell us what you do when you are feeling uninspired.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.erikespangberg.com/how-songwriting-can-be-easy/


  1. victoraleb

    I think I know what you’re talking about even though I’ve never written any music myself. I used to write a lot of comedy material and sometimes I would have days when writing material was a piece of cake, but other days would prove to be new material droughts.

    Jerry Seinfeld talked about how he pushed himself to write new material every day by buying a calendar and making a red cross on each day once he was finished with the writing for that day. Then his only task was to not break that chain of red crosses.

    When it comes to writing it seems that you often have to just sit down and start writing. If you sit around and wait for inspiration to strike, then you may have long periods when you write barely anything.

    I remember that I often felt the most creative and inspired in the middle of the night. I would always come up with great jokes when I had gone to bed for the night.

    However, I guess that the need for a beautiful puzzle is not as important in comedy as it is in music. In fact, many comedians jump from subject to subject. But there are certainly comedians who have a beautiful string of jokes that are all linked together in one way or another, and creating that string can prove to be quite a bit of work, I’m sure.


    1. ErikEspangberg

      I think I’ll have to get a calendar just as Jerry, there are lots of days when I try to avoid having to write anything. I think I’m quite good at getting myself to start writing but with a calendar it would be impossible to miss a day.

      Yeah if you don’t sit down you don’t get any new ideas, I think that sometimes a bad idea I get today just needs some processing and it can be that same idea that comes back tomorrow as a great idea.

      I also have that problem, I get ideas when I’ve gone to bed and those nights it’s almost impossible to sleep.

      There’s a puzzle in everything I guess, but it’s just a little looser rules for what the puzzle may look like in comedy. You still have to warm up the audience with the early jokes as a comedian, before you can use your complicated jokes.


      1. victoraleb

        I used to jot down ideas and jokes on pieces of paper. Many comedians do that, and I know that the rapper Eminem has hundreds of small pieces of paper that he has jotted down ideas and rhymes on.


        1. ErikEspangberg

          That’s kinda hard for me since I can’t write or read sheet music and I only can barely read tabs. I usually write down the notes as letters and sometimes paint dots in different colors along a timeline. If I have a recorder there’s no problem though, I just record the idea. I do this very often on my Iphone too.


  2. Lauren Tate

    I read with interest about your song writing. I have been doing some songwriting over last few months for the very first time. Sometimes it all just falls into place and I find if I write about things I know, feel I can connect with them so much better. I have a book where I jot down lyrics or phrases every so often, which can be useful! Some times if Im feeling a bit low I find it impossible to connect and not much gets done. I have to be in the right place in my head to write sucesfully! I love your material, you are so talented,

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