If you ask most songwriters where they draw their inspiration for their songs, you'll never really get a straight answer. That's because the idea for a song can spring from a multitude of different emotions and experiences.
For me, writing a song is a lot like having a family member from another timezone who always seems to call during the most inconvenient time of the day. Usually, it happens when I least expect it to: during the middle of the night, in the shower or on the road. The worst part is that once I pick up the muse it's almost impossible for me to put it down.
Just like when my grandma calls.
When Charlie Rose asked singer/songwriter Billy Joel if he could hear the music in his head he said, "Yes, sometimes I dream it, and I wake up with music in my head and I can't get rid of it." This was especially true of his song River of Dreams which actually came to him "in the middle of the night".
Mexican composer Armando Manzanero recounts being inspired to write "Esta Tarde Vi LLover" (This Afternoon I Saw it Rain), while sitting on a bench by himself. He had walked out of a restaurant when out of nowhere it started to rain. As he watched the people running for cover, the lyrics started to form in his mind.
When I first felt the muse to write my single "I Saw You Today/ Hoy Yo Te Vi", I was waiting at a stoplight. But in my usual fashion, it wasn't till I got out of the shower that I started to write the lyrics.
Although many song inspirations are born out of real life experiences, a lot of the time this isn't the case. A famous example would be Consuelo Velasquez's "Besame Mucho" (Kiss Me A Lot). She was only 15 at the time she wrote it and ironically enough had never been kissed.
With songwriting as well as other forms of creative writing, experiences in the imagination can be just as real as the ones that happen in the outside world.
For me personally, a song always starts as a feeling. Kind of like having an itch and trying to scratch it in a way that feels just right, a good song always begins as the desire to find the right words to convey a certain emotion.
Although it's not the most "inspirational" way to describe it, sometimes a strong muse can feel a lot like eating a bad burrito. You can sense it in the pit of your stomach and you just know that you won't feel better until you get it out of your system.
|Most of the times, these end up being the best songs.|
This is what makes going to concerts fun.
So if you're in search of inspiration, don't worry about what people will think or what sounds good. There's always time for improvement later. Just be honest with yourself.
What do you want to say?
Once you know the answer, your inspiration will find you.
"Guitar Dog","Grandma", "Kissing", "Snoop Dog Crowd", "Where can I get a bone"