Songwriting: Combining ideas

How to Connect Your Ideas To Create For Songwriting Easily

Connecting ideas into full songs smoothly is one of the biggest challenges of songwriting. In this series of articles, Less is More Songwriting we’re going to discuss several ways you can easily connect ideas that you’ve been working on.

            This will help you get more out of your songwriting ideas and help your song ideas sound more smoothly woven together. Remember the most important thing about song craft skills, is that they are invisible. You don’t want the listener to be able to pick out the song craft that went into the song, that’s the magic.

            In this article we’re going to cover the concept of combining ideas.

 Combining Ideas

            This is a fairly simple concept but before we get started let’s make sure you have all the necessary tools. You should have a series of ideas you’ve generated to work with. You should have enough ideas that you need to say no to some of them. If you’re not at this point, read my other article first, it’s titled “Dealing with Writers Block”. Once you’ve read the concepts there and actively used them, you can come back to this article and make use of these steps.

            Now that you have some ideas generated, take the ideas and see if you can add bits and pieces of one idea into the measures of another idea.  Here’s an example,

music for songwriting idea on guitar 1

from one of my own songs. Here’s a concept I was working with for a post chorus:

Just some simple palm mutes on a power chord, but it did a great job building tension and leading back into the verse.

Here’s the verse section I was working with:

music for songwriting idea on guitar 2

            A little flashier, but still a fairly simple guitar part. A groove vibe with a little bit of an edge, perfect for the hard rock tune I was writing.

            What I ended up doing in the finished version is combining a section of this palm muting. Section with the verse, like this:

music for songwriting idea on guitar 3

            I added a bit of the verse into the end of post chorus and it really spiced up the post chorus. It also really helped to bridge the gap between these two vastly different sections.  I took one idea and another totally different idea, blended them and came up with something smooth and unique.

            Why does this concept work so well? You have to keep in mind the seven elements of music. The seven elements of music are Timbre, Dynamics, Rhythm, Harmony, Melody, Texture and Form.

            When connecting ideas, they must have something in common musically. Meaning, the way you used the seven elements of music(Section 1), must be similar somehow. What’s more similar than a part of the next section tacked on at the end of the current section?

            That’s why mixing the concepts works so well.

A simple note to keep in mind:

You don’t want every section to use the seven elements of music in the same way throughout the piece—that makes the song boring. You need a balance of similarity and contrast so we feel like the pieces go together, but at the same time differ enough to provide entertainment.

Try this move the next time your’e combining ideas and enjoy the smoothness it brings to your pieces.

About The Author:

Chris Glyde is a songwriter and teacher based in Rochester New York.  Always in need of a process and structure, he’s spent many hours developing a system to smooth out the songwriting  and guitar learning process. Looking for the most systematic process oriented Guitar Lessons in Rochester, then look no further.









            This article will go over three ideas for how to get more out of an idea you’ve generated. With these ideas I’ve crafted 4  to 5minute songs with 1 or 2 basic ideas. These songs were interesting, fun and a blast to play over and over again. Today we will go over three fairly y common concepts:

1)  Mixing/ Combining Ideas

2)  Variations On My Ideas(slight changes)

3)  Stretching Ideas