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  • Writer's pictureSophie Smith

How to get out of a songwriting rut

How to get out of a songwriting rut

We’ve all been there. You are uninspired, unmotivated, and questioning your musicality. It is not the end! We have come up with a quick and nifty guide to light the fire in your songwriting.

Take a break

Taking a break may be one of the best ways to evaluate your songwriting process, to work out what is and isn’t working.Whether that is a 20 minute break, a month-long break, whatever you need. If you’re in a session and you’re getting frustrated, come back to it later. A chance of scenery such as going for a walk can help to clear the mind.

Sometimes a songwriting rut may be your brain's way of telling you to slow down. It is okay to take some time off. Putting extra stress on yourself will make it harder to get out of the songwriting rut.

Spice up your space

Where are you currently writing songs? Do you have your own music space? If the answer is no, it’s time to make one. Having to set up and pack down every time you want to write or play music not only wastes time, can also be a cause of a lack of motivation. If you have a designated working space with all of your gear set up, you don’t have to worry about when inspiration hits. You’re all ready to go.

If you do already have a music space and you’re still finding that you’re uninspired, get decorating. If you’re in a stale space with no artwork or colour around you, how can you expect to be writing inspired music? Create a space that you want to be in. Have you got plants? Colour? Comfortable seating? Make the space as creative as you can. We often pick up ideas from our surroundings.

Make songwriting habit

If you’re waiting for inspiration to hit, you’re never going to write many songs. You can control being inspired by outside forces by making songwriting a habit. We all have our morning routine, whether that’s getting up and jumping straight in the shower or having a cup of coffee. Why? Because humans love routine. If you schedule songwriting time every week, whether that’s an hour a day, or several times a week, you’re giving yourself time to focus on the music, getting rid of distractions. If you schedule in your songwriting at the same time every time, it becomes routine. You know you’re writing during those hours, so inspiration will come on its own.

Change up what you’re listening to

As said before, we all take inspiration from our surroundings. If we’re constantly seeing and hearing the same things, everything becomes stale. Next time you have writer's block, play some music that you wouldn’t normally listen to. Whether it’s a genre that is a complete opposite of what you write, or if it’s a genre you haven’t listened to in a while, it’s a great way to cleanse the palette. Often listening to new music or trying something new will give us inspiration, and something new to write about too.

Write something different

Following on from listening to different music, why not write something different? You can experiment with instrumentation, or change the tuning of your instrument. It can be as simple as writing in a key you don’t normally use, or even adding extensions onto chords. Getting you out of your comfort zone will give you a chance to explore an unknown part of songwriting, but will also give you a new challenge.

Don’t give up

Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break! You can’t be productive 24/7. When songwriting try to be impartial, avoid being too judgmental or critical in your sessions as the negativity will only affect your songwriting badly.


Set yourself deadlines but make sure they’re realistic. Whether that’s a verse section written by the end of the day or a full recorded song in a month. Deadlines will give you something to aim towards, but if you don’t achieve them. Don’t be hard on yourself.

Songwriting should be fun, take off the pressure, and dive right in.


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