I believe that as songwriters we need to do whatever it takes to get our songwriting ideas out of our heads, onto paper and out into the world for everyone to hear.
I started All About Songwriting to document the different songwriting tips and techniques that I’ve picked up along the way.
An example of some quality information that I found online is this article by Orlando Gutierrez from songwriteradvisor.com, detailing the way he uses a thesaurus to help him write songs.
The article is called “Songwriting Help For Songwriters’ Block”. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.
Songwriting Help For Songwriters’ Block
By Orlando Gutierrez
Few songwriters use thesauruses during the songwriting process, thinking it’s either a form of cheating, it ruins their natural creativity making lyrics sound forced, or simply because they don’t own a copy of one!
But a thesaurus offers the most songwriting help when it comes to songwriters block and there are actually several techniques on how to use it.
First, I assure you it’s not a form of cheating and furthermore, when used properly, a handful of related words fished from a thesaurus for a given theme can open your mind up to possibilities you would never think of on your own.
Guess what happens after that? Yep, your natural creativity follows, springing ideas from each useful word you can find.
Plain lines become original and interesting, small ideas turn into larger ones with perhaps alternate story lines or feelings for your song themes, and you ultimately become more and more creative on your own as you write each song.
I call that totally original with a helpful push!
By using a thesaurus correctly, you can actually get rid of writers block. Understand, however, that you’re going to have better songwriting sessions than others, but you will certainly not fall into writers block!
Next time you proclaim, “Help, I’ve got songwriters block. I need some songwriting help,” don’t feel so frustrated. We’ve all been there and share your pain.
Use this awesome “use-a-thesaurus-to-get-rid-of-writers-block” tip to get you started on the right track, and you’ll be on your way to getting rid of songwriters block forever:
1. Pick a theme for your song. (i.e., let’s say your song theme is something plain like, “I feel so alive because I’m in love with this person”).
2. Pick an interesting or even bland word from your song theme (i.e., the words feel, alive, and love stand out, so we’ll pick the most interesting one first- “alive”). Don’t worry if the original word is bland.
One average word brings others to life!
3. Look in your physical copy of your thesaurus or use an online thesaurus such as Rhymezone, and find related words to the word “alive” while thinking of your theme.
These are the related words I found in Rhymezone:
4. Now write down these words in a single column on the left side of a paper.
5. Repeat the process with every single related word retrieved from the word “alive”, starting with “aware”, keep building your word list , and keep writing each word until you have two to four columns.
6. Now you have a worksheet to pick words from, which will naturally spring ideas as they relate to your song theme!
As an example let’s review the original words we found on Rhymezone from the word “alive”: aware, awake, vital, give, exist, breathing, life, remember.
Here are four original, interesting lines quickly sprung from this process:
- I keep staying awake
- Too aware of my breathing
- My pulse is amplifying
- Everything I’m feeling
It took less than one minute. These lines are definitely keepers and can definitely be the start of a solid song. There are some added words not on the list (last two lines), but that’s the whole idea!
These words naturally came to me by using the other words. Mr. Thesaurus once again to the rescue!
About The Author
Orlando Gutierrez is a former Warner/Chappell Staff songwriter who dedicates most of his time to his website, www.songwriteradvisor.com, in order to provide innovative songwriting tips and techniques to give songwriters an edge over the competition in an ever-changing music industry.
Look at the free 7-step songwriting blueprint, and sign up for your free monthly newsletter “Tune Sleuth” today at www.songwriteradvisor.com
I’ve always felt that if used correctly, a thesaurus could be a really powerful songwriting tool but after reading this article I now know that a thesaurus needs to be part of an essential suite of tools you use in your songwriting process.
Just in case you feel a little blocked from time to time.
Until next time, happy writing,
All About Songwriting