Week 5: Titles, Associations, and Rhymes

This week we are mastering one of the simplest and most useful exercises I have run across. I think what makes it so brilliant is that it combines three fundamental songwriting tools in a way that mimics the actual songwriting process:

  • Titles: Starting with the idea
  • Associations: Tapping into the unconscious
  • Rhymes: Making it memorable.

I picked up this exercise from multi-hit songwriter, Clay Mills, of Songtown.com. My experience with Clay's videos is he is genuine and empathetic to the struggles of songwriters, and his ability to distill complex ideas into elegant and easy to grasp terms makes him a top education resource in my book. You can see Clay's description of this exercise over on his page and get more info on what Songtown's all about here:

Songtown's 9 Minute Songwriter Workout


For each brainstorming activity, set your timer for 3 minutes.

  1. Titles: Come up with as many title ideas as you can. First thing that pops into your head, write it down. When you are done, circle your favorite title.
  2. Associations: Use your favorite title to word associate. What is free associate? It's the first thing that pops into your head after you see the word. Don't second guess, just write it down. It doesn't even have to be related. When you're done circle two words to use in the next exercise.
  3. Rhymes: Use the poor-man's rhyming dictionary (the alphabet) to come up with rhymes for each word: bat, cat, drat, fat, hat, lap, mat, gnat, pat, rat, sat...)

What to Post

Post your work in the main feed. You may take a photo, copy/paste from word processor, or record an audio of you reading it out loud.


Questions and Feedback

Is there any part of the lesson that could be more clear? What would make your experience better? Are there any benefits to this exercise that I am missing? Please leave feedback in the comments below. For more immediate assistance shoot me an email at rigel@100daysofsongwriting.com