Day 1: Take It Apart to See How It Works
Breaking a song down into its elements exposes different ways to write. Your own voice is a combination of everything you’ve experienced, so experience as much as you can. It will make you a better writer and musician to learn from others.
You’ll write down all the basic details at the top then go a little deeper into theme, setting, and point of view in each song so you can keep these in your mind when you’re writing your own.
Start off writing out all the words on the left. One of my favorite ways to do this exercise is to find a song I’ve never heard. If a favorite artist of yours releases a new album - write down all the lyrics before you hear the song and imagine what they are going to sound like. Is it wildly different than what you imagined?
Next you’ll dive into the production on the right. Headphones on. Pay close attention and Pause and rewind as much as you need to figure out what’s going on.
[Funny how sometimes it takes listening to the lyrics sung out loud to find the rhyme.]
Dissecting the work of others will build up a vocabulary and toolkit of different techniques that you can mix and mash to make something completely your own.