Previous Exercises


Melody Exercise #1

Choose a song you love and rearrange the chords – e.g., make the verse chords the bridge and the bridge chords the verse. Now, sing a new melody line to fit.

Melody Exercise #2

This exercise is meant to be used after you watch Dave Isaac's video.

Find a free music notation software like or Once you’ve downloaded it and familiarized yourself a little, enter your melody’s music notes, print them, and draw a continuous line beginning with the first note and stopping at the last note. This is your melodic contour, and it is a way to visualize the melody of your song.

Melody Exercise #3

Dummy syllables such as la, or da, or na, etc. can help you with a new melody. Choose a rhythm pattern or drum loop, record a few chords to that rhythm using either piano or guitar, and then formulate a melody using dummy syllables (da, na, la, etc). Play with different rhythms and timing on different beats.

Idea Exercise #1

Random Idea Generator: Grab the third book on your bookshelf. Turn to page 54. Read the sixth sentence. Use those words to jumpstart a song (adapted from Joel Mabus). ***Be sure to share your experience with this exercise in our forums***

Idea Exercise #2

A Story Worth Telling: Visit your local paper’s obituaries online, or pick up the Sunday paper and flip to the obituaries. Read through them. What interesting lives are you imagining? Is there something striking about someone’s life? Write a song based on the most fascinating person.

Idea Exercise #3

On the Silver Screen: If your life was a Hollywood movie, write the original song that would play in the credits. (credit:/u/curtithird)