Songwriting: Break out of your patterns

 If you’ve been writing for a while and have delivered a lot of songs, you might develop a writer’s block. Haven’t I used this chord progression before? Isn’t this guitar rhythm from my previous song? I wrote this melody last week, didn’t I? 

These are questions that regularly pop into the mind of even the most successful and seasoned songwriters and that’s not surprising. If you write songs five days a week, you will eventually come across things that you already know. That is not a problem, as long as you know the tricks to get out of it. If you study music at the Wisseloord Academy, you will certainly come across this in the long run. The teachers have plenty of ways for you to solve this, such as the following examples. 

Leave your guitar 

If you always write songs using your guitar, you will eventually fall back into certain patterns. Every guitarist has beats, chord progressions and melodies that he or she likes to play. It is therefore not surprising that they quickly fall back on this, after all, it is ‘your sound’. But you will eventually hear the same sounds again and again. Try it without the guitar or play another instrument like the piano. For the pianists among us, of course, the opposite is adviced. 

Change the song structure 

Most songs all have the same standard structure: verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, pre-chorus, chorus. Possibly with a bridge and extra chorus at the end. But what if we do it completely differently? Mix up the elements, leave one out, add one. Who knows, you may come up with whole new ideas. 

Write on a boat 

Songwriters often have a fixed place where they write their songs. It may sound crazy, but that too can cause writer’s block in the long run. It can be very inspiring to take a trip and organize a session in a place that is unusual for you. That is also one of the reasons that you often see artists hold writing camps in special places, often also abroad. So, go and write on a boat in the middle of 

the lake, or rent a house somewhere in Norway. Who knows, you might write the next Norwegian hit! 

Try a different genre 

If you always write in the same genre, it’s a good idea to take a trip to something completely different. Find an artist or songwriter who makes completely different songs than you and see what comes out of the session! New influences can never hurt your songwriting and you always pick up something from them. For the song itself it can also be very interesting to bring two genres together, for example. 


To read more about Songwriting and how to improve the process of developing, creating and refining recorded music visit our knowledge base page about Songwriting Education.