Intuitive songwriting is when you are in the zone. The song just seems to come to you, and then flow out of you, onto your piece of paper, and through your instrument/voice. Songs written intuitively are the easy ones to write, because you are so in the moment. They are the songs that songwriters say "just came to them", and they are often very powerful, because they are coming from an innate part of that persons being.
Intuitive songwriting is definitely my favourite form of writing and when I can get into that zone, I am a very happy songwriter.
Over the years I have developed some tools that help me get into the happy, zen zone of intuitive songwriting. So here they are, happy songwriting friends:)
- Set up your space: when I am in a clean space, surrounded by my bass, piano, guitar and journal. I really feel focused and in the zone. Whether you have a corner of your bedroom, a full studio, or are sitting outside on the grass. Make sure you are comfortable and in a space that allows you to relax, tune in and open up.
- Get grounded and in your zone: Before you sit down to write, do some stretches, go for a walk, meditate, sit outside, whatever it takes to get you into a quiet space, where you can really connect with how you are feeling and what you want to say in your song.
- Journal: Having a daily journal practice helps keep you in the writing flow, so when you sit down to write a song it feels natural. It also allows for free form writing, so you can express the words that may not fit into song format. When I write free form poetry in my journal and complete my daily gratitude practice, I find it so much easier to write songs. These daily practices keep me connected to my creative side, so I can get out of my head and into the intuitive songwriting zone that much faster.
- Record your song when it comes to you: If you feel like a creative spark is taking, you have an idea for a lyric or you start humming a little bit of melody. Maybe you pick out a cool chord progression on your guitar or a new bass groove. Record it immediately! Stop whatever you are doing and just get that little snippet of inspiration recorded. If you have the time and space, work on your song. If you don't, you can always come back to it later. Those moments are your intuition nudging you to express something, to create something. Follow it! I just use the voice memo app on my phone to record my idea and then work on it when I have time. There have been some song ideas I have not recorded in the moment, thinking they would come back to me later and they didn't. They were lost, so sad. Don't let that happen to you!
- Listen to music that inspires you: Put on one of your favourite songwriters music and just listen. Feel the mood of the song, listen to the build in the arrangement, listen to the story in the lyrics. What do you like about it? Experiment with similar ideas or vibes and then make them your own. Even if you don't get a song out of this exercise, it expands your creativity and puts you in the intuitive songwriting flow.
- Just write it down as it comes: If you are working on lyrics, just write them down as they come to you. Don't judge or edit at this point, just get it down. You can go back later and re format or write an alternate lyric if you want to. I find it's really interesting to just write it down and then leave it. Often I am surprised at what came out of me, what I was feeling that I didn't even realize. Sometimes it's brilliant and sometimes it's not ,but it's important to express it and get it out.
I am always looking to learn and grow as a songwriter. What are some of the tools you use to get into the intuitive songwriting zone?