Slumber Mag’s Songwriting Series: April 2021

By Amy O & the Slumber Editorial Team

Slumber Mag's Songwriting Series is a monthly prompt and community experience that aims to help open the door for new songwriters who don’t quite know where to begin. The series also hopes to provide a fresh approach for those looking to invigorate their process.

Read this month’s prompt below and share your results with the Slumber Mag community, as we witness the many directions a song can take and form a community of support for each other! All submissions are due by Sunday, April 25, 11:59 p.m. ET. 

April’s Songwriting Prompt:

Find someone to interview and write a song based on their answers. (Bonus points if you do this with a partner and both write a song!)

Step 1:

Conduct the interview (either virtually or safely-distanced) and take notes.

1. Where did you grow up? Describe the atmosphere.

2. What’s a recurring dream you’ve had? (A dream when sleeping.)

3. Where would you travel if you could go anywhere? Why are you drawn towards that place?

4. What are your coping mechanisms when you’re going through a hard time?

5. What’s a childhood memory that sticks with you clearly?

6. What’s your favorite kind of weather?

7. Describe your bedroom.

8. What color is your mood today?

9. Do you think more about the past or the future? 

10. If you could choose a different name for yourself, what would it be?

Step 2:

Circle phrases that seem compelling to you from the answers. Write them all down like a poem.  Read it and then free write for 5 minutes without lifting the pen, based on the circled phrases poem. Go through again and circle phrases that stand out to you from the free write.

Step 3:

Put the words aside and take 10 minutes to improvise a melody on your instrument that fits the mood of what you were writing about.  Try to make up at least one riff, in addition to a chord structure.

Step 4:

Take some of your circled phrases and add them to your melody/riff.  You can use them verbatim or as a starting point to generate more lyrics once you find the rhythm of the song.  Use as many or as few as make sense for you.

Step 5:

Record a demo and share it with us at songwriting@slumbermag.com! Write us a 3-4 sentence introduction to the track & your writing process–you can also include a demo cover if you wish. Be sure to also let us know if you’re ok with a public streaming link to the song.

Quick Food for Thought:

Do you have a routine or a way of setting up your space that encourages songwriting? 

At the end of the month, we will post submitted demos on the website and create a streaming playlist for the Slumber Mag community to explore and listen.