Songwriting prompts are a popular way to get started with songwriting.
In Nashville we don’t really call it that, even though we might study using prompts.
Usually what we use as pro songwriters here in the Music City is called a hook.
When you’re writing commercial music, you want to include as many hooks as possible.
A songwriting prompt is usually a scene or a line of lyric or melody that helps you to get started writing your song.
And a hook is the same thing, but it’s specifically targeted at hooking an audience’s ear so that they will want to listen to the rest of your song.
You can use a hook as a songwriting prompt, too.
Hooks can be found anywhere. Sometimes a line of conversation will jump out at you, and you can write it in your hook book to use as a songwriting prompt at a later time.
To create your own original songwriting prompt using nature as your muse, you can listen carefully to bird sounds, frogs singing, flowing water, or even the wind.
Like famous composer W.C. Handy, you might be inspired by the rhythmic rumbling of a train rolling down the tracks.
Reading and watching movies can also be a great way to find snippets of dialog or insightful comments that you can expand upon for your songwriting prompts.
Whatever your process, it’s great to collect hooks and songwriting prompts in your hook book for later use in writing.
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