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Inspired Songwriting?

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Hi guys, 


I wasn't sure where to post this, so might have posted this in another sub section :s. Anyways, i have always admired the lyrics of my favorite artists and have always wanted to write songs as great as theirs. I understand, that i will never be able to write in the same exact as Bob dylan, John legend,Adele etc, however i would like to write in a similar style as theirs or near as great as theirs. I have got this idea in my head that if i pick a song from each of my fav artists, every single day and try and write in a similar style as they did in that song, eventually i would develop my own style as a mixture of trying to imitate a range of my favorite artists song writing styles - basically a mixture of each. 


I have tried to test out this exercise over the past few days and i have been unable to even a produce a similar line off one of my fav artists songs. It's just too hard as it's virtually impossible to channel John mayer through me for just that 40 mins of the exercise haha. I am a firm believer in that in order to learn something, some sort of imitation has to be used in order for you to develop your own style. When i wanted to learn how to sing as a kid, i would imitate all my fav artists and eventually, i discovered my own voice which has a mixture of all the artists i used to try and imitate as a kid. 


I am not aiming to become the next so and so or try and produce lyrics the same as so and so. I just wanna be able to develop my own personal style inspired by fav artists...Has anyone got any tips or exercises that i could use? 



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Well you could write lyrics for one of their melodies, and then draft a new melody for the lyrics. This will give a new song that in essence has the same vocal rhythm or similar.

Your issue would also suggest that:

You should research your target writers more so you can accurately characterise their writing style. For example:

Are they fond of specific song forms?

Do they use standard song forms or tweak them? Are there common element to the tweaks?

What characterises their use of language?

Do they use metaphors? Similes? Etc. simple or complex rhyme schemes? Internal rhymes? Alliteration? What about topic choice? Perspective? Tense? Literal/abstract? Message? How about the use of hooks? Do they use a specific writing technique like "cut up" or "fold in"? Do they use a process? If so, how tight or loose is it? For example do they have draft and edit cycle? Other phases?

Once you have the answers boil it down to a writer intel sheet you can easily refer to during writing.

Sometimes finding more about what motivates their writing will help. Where do they find their inspiration? Newspapers? Books? What about writing environment? For example in a coffee house, or outside in peace and quiet. Bear in mind they might draft and edit in different writing environments.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head.


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For my 2 cents .... I think what you are really asking AND searching for is YOUR own Voice as a songwriter ....I would encourage you to pick 5 or ten of songs YOU think are the best ... your very favorite songs ...... take each song apart right down to the notes ... example, 1) does the memory rise in the chorus,go down , stay even .....is it long notes, short notes ?? Major chords minor chords ,both ?? .is it a first person perspective?? Outside looking in ?? ..... is it a love,hate,traveling,dying, song?? ...... I mean go right down to the number of notes in the verse, chorus, bridge .... what you are looking for is what has drawn YOU into THOSE particular songs and why YOU think they are the best songs. ... when your done the one or two COMMON. traits in every song is what I think will help you fond your own voice, and what you need to concentrate on as you write YOUR SONGS ..... I really think doing that this is will save you years of trying to copy songs, song forms and ideas ..... Larry

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Do what the Beatles did, and learn how to play as many songs as you can. Then when it comes time to write your own songs, try and forget everything you learned, and write. Your influences will come out in what you write, but it won't be forced.


I think finding your own voice has to happen organically. Not by trying to copy anybody, and not by trying too hard to be original. You get better simply by doing. Don't worry about trying to be as good as "x artist". Just keep writing, and you'll naturally get better.

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