Do you have lists of song titles you’ve never used, scraps of lyrics with a verse idea but no chorus, or a pile of melody ideas recorded on your iPhone? Do you look at them every once in a while and wonder: What do I do with these? They’re too good to just toss out but you don’t know how to turn them into a whole song.
You can look at these ideas as a bunch of dead-ends gathering dust. Or you can think of them as a gold mine that’s just waiting to be worked. My suggestion: Go with the gold mine thing.
Mining for lost lyric gold
Consider going back over these old ideas every two to three months. You obviously liked something about these titles, lyric lines, and melodies or you wouldn’t have kept them. An idea that moved you is the first step to writing a powerful song. Respect that.
Look for a lyric or melody line that resonates for you now and choose one – just one – to focus on. You’re going to work on developing this one idea into a whole song. It may not be the same song you would have written with that line a year ago. We all change as time goes on – learning new things, finding new interests, shifting emotional focus – so don’t try to recapture your original idea. Just go where the idea takes you now. Continue reading “Use Those Old Song Ideas”