Bite-sized songwriting assignments.
Three parameters. Two weeks to create.
write • record • share • listen • discuss
- Introducing them one at a time, create a stack of four equal-length, non-drum loops.
- With the loop stack running, add a fifth element on top—lead line, melody, whatever you please.
- Allow the fifth element to end and remove the loops, avoiding the reverse order in which they were added.
- Write a theme song for an imaginary TV show.
- The show’s premise is equal parts your real life, and very much not your real life.
- Feature an instrument you have never featured before.
- Borrow a phrase or line from Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day.
- Before considering any music, write all of the lyrics, including the borrowed line.
- Include at least one a cappella moment in the song.
- Set a drone note to B2 (the resonant frequency of the Earth transposed up 5 octaves).
- Write over the drone—allow it to sustain throughout the piece.
- Derive inspiration from a specific geographic location on Earth.
- Cover another chef’s NCBC song from weeks past, and do not tell that chef.
- Identify what you think the main instrument is, and replace it with something else.
- Use a piece of the song’s lyrics as your title.
- Fictional product
- Fictional brand
- Must include a phone number or website
- Write in a mode other than Ionian or Aeolian
- Use the rhythm of a vocal refrain to influence the rhythm of the instruments.
- Include at least two alliteration groupings of three [for instance: “bad backyard barbeque”]
1. Find the inspiration for this piece in a childhood memory that affected you emotionally in some way
2. Lyrically, write a metaphor or an allegory to represent this memory
3. Musically, include a hypnotic element
- Compose your piece backwards (i.e. from outro to intro)
- Incorporate walking sounds into your piece—footsteps, stomping, etc.
- Include a modulation in either key or tempo.
- Retell an existing fairy tale
- Use a Shakespearean sonnet rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
- Only use instruments that don’t require electricity to function
- Write a lullaby
- Keep it under one minute
- Include a melody from a song that came out the year you were born
- Feature a palindromic melody
- Make the title of your song a palindrome
- Structure your song as a palindrome (ex: verse, chorus, chorus, verse)
- Use only one chord
- Feature sounds made with non-musical objects found in your home
- Write about a place you miss