song titles 101

Published October 25, 2021

One of my favorite situations in which to lead a workshop is with a group of folks new to songwriting – that is to say, folks that may have never written a song before, folks that do not consider themselves to be musicians, and/or folks that don’t prefer to sing in public. After the requisite permission-giving pep talks (sort of like this playlist), we start with titles.

Wanna play?

Great. Here’s what we do: grab your notebook and a timer. Set the timer for 7 minutes.

When I say “go,” start the timer, and write as fast as you can and write as many song titles (that have never been written before) as you can. Go.

Did you do it? Don’t keep reading until you’ve done it once. (Or at least schedule a time on your calendar when you will do this exercise.)

Now look at your list. Go through your list and read each title. With a kind, friendly spirit, put a star by each title that you think is kind of interesting in some way. Be somewhat generous with your stars at first – no one’s going to hold your feet to the fire and force you to write a song with this title or to defend why you like certain titles.

Now, pick one for today and write that song.

I go into great depth in the gls blog and in our classes at gls about writing the actual songs, so I won’t repeat myself here, but I will suggest that you keep a running list of song titles somewhere in your songwriting journal or on your computer.

• What do you notice about your list?

• Are there any commonalities?

• Can you determine anything about your particular taste in song titles by looking at the ones you starred?

• Can you determine anything about good song titles in general?

• Are there general principles?

• What do you notice about your list?

I’ll share some of my thoughts about it next week, but I’d love to hear yours first. Those are actually more important. Email me back with your discoveries and opinions about song titles.

Or better yet, post in the gls forum or in the FB group, so the whole community can be a part of the conversation.

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We created these tips just for you! Why? Because we know that you have a song just waiting to emerge and we want to help you share it with the world! Free for a limited time.