Stuck? Try Writing from a Ghost Song!

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Robin Frederick teaches a technique that I really love! Choose a popular song (the ghost song) you love and can maybe relate to the songwriting style. Then write new lyrics to that song. Brand new lyrics. All yours. Different title/hook/theme/message, etc. When you have finished, take YOUR new lyrics and write a new melody. All yours. Don't be tempted to keep that signature riff in there...maybe make a cool riff of your own. Change the song structure around if you want. When you are finished guess what you have? a Brand New Song...that's what! She calls the original song a ghost song because it basically doesn't even exist with respect to your new song once you have finished!

I have several songwriting books by Robin Frederick and they are really awesome! Tons of ideas and techniques. I cannot recommend them highly enough!

I've thought about that and might try it. Trouble is for me when I write a song and realize that it sounds a lot like another song melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically, it's hard for me to get that other song out of my head. It's especially hard if I wrote the other song, because then... well I wrote it. I might try this as an exercise though.

I agree, @johnstaples. It's a wonderful method. One of my own personal favourites was 'ghosted' on a song by Tim Buckley. Though a simple folky love ballad, it turned out better than I could have imagined.

I agree as well about those books by Robin Frederick. Incredibly informative and inspiring. I even bought an extra one to send to one of my co-writers. Wink