Are you wondering how to get inspiration for a song? You're not alone. We all struggle sometimes when writing music. And the reason is often the unlimited creative choices music production offers.
The solution? Use one of our inspiring song starters to get you going. These tips will focus your ideas, and allow you to bring the core idea of your track to life.
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This article will give you 18 inspiring electronic music song starters that you can use anytime – to start, get inspired, and test your skills.
Let’s start with our first song starter, the groovy kick.
Song Starter #1: Groovy Kick
A groovy kick can do wonders for your listeners' headbanging ability. Rather than going for a regular 4/4 kick, try something different. Introduce variations and make your kick groove the main basis of your track.
Choose a great kick, preferably a longer sample with more bass punch to give it the focus it needs. And make your bassline shorter to make them blend nicely.
Song Starter #2: Melodic Percussion
Make percussion your track's main thing by introducing melody. There are many options for pitched percussion, including bells, marimbas, and singing bowls. You can find them as both samples and synthesized versions in your DAW.
Choose your sample, find its root note with a tuner, or by comparing it to the tune of a piano. Then, create your melody and use it as your hook.
Song Starter #3: Bassline Funk
We often see the bass as nothing more than a bottom layer for our music. But bass can be much more than that. Start your track by giving full focus to your bass. Make it groovy, melodic, and funky.
For that to work, you can try using a bassline that you normally wouldn’t use. Try to go with a bass with rich mids and play around with frequency modulation and velocity.
Song Starter #4: Sounds Of Nature
Nature sounds are always a pleasure to listen to. A great song starter is making it the main idea of your track. Start by sampling your desired nature sound, which can be birds, whale songs, dogs barking, or anything else.
Stay determined to make your sample the core of your track. Use effects as necessary and try to find an interesting melody or repeating elements.
Song Starter #5: Chord Banger
We love chords – and so do your listeners. Start your track with the idea of making impactful chords, either as stabs or longer progressions. With your chords in place, you can start adding elements to amplify those chords and build melodies around them.
It’s a very popular way to start a track. But we sometimes forget how powerful a great chord progression can be.
Song Starter #6: Sample Arpeggiators
Find a melodic sample in your chosen key. Load it into your DAW and extract the interesting transients and use your MIDI keyboard to make a repeating arpeggiator from it.
Use this sampled arpeggiator as the foundation in your track and build all other elements around it.
Song Starter #7: Minimalistic Mind
Minimalism is a popular concept. It also works great in music and forces you to think and feel. Aim to create a track with as few elements as possible.
Because your track must consist of few sounds, you select them with more care and purpose. This starting method can motivate you to create something truly great.
Song Starter #8: Make It Big
Using big sounds and effects is fun. Start your track by thinking big, literally. Use grand instruments like strings and heavy drums – and make sure you use space creating effects like reverb in wise ways.
Think big sounds, chords, big soundstage – and the rest will follow.
Song Starter #9: Go Small
You can also go small, which means more delicate sounds and instruments, maybe less velocity, and a more narrow sound stage. Envision yourself creating music for a small room rather than a cathedral and limit yourself to that mindset when starting.
Song Starter #10: Effect Bonanza
Focus on making audio effects the foundation of your track. What effect you choose is completely up to you, but a starting point is something that amplifies melody.
Flanger effects, resonators, and millisecond delays are great starters. Throw them on your drums, percussion plucks, or lead instrument and make that effect the main component.
Song Starter #11: One Sound Focus
The ‘one sound focus’ starter method is very popular among music producers. And it’s simple. Take one sound and make it the focus for your entire track. It can be anything, including all song starter tips in this article.
But make sure that your one sound is strong enough to carry your track. You want a rich, impactful sound that carries a lot of emotion – something the listener wants to hear for several minutes in a row.
Song Starter #12: Space Travel
Start your music creation process out by envisioning yourself in space. Now, only use sounds and effects that make you think of space. The sky is not the limit – the universe is.
If you want to start quickly, your best bet is with synthesized sounds, flanger, and phaser effects that sound alien. Huge reverbs can also work to your advantage here.
Song Starter #13: Organic Delight
Make a track entirely from organic sounds – meaning acoustic elements, field recordings, and sounds you can almost touch.
Wood crackles, fire sparkling, ocean waves – add layers of nature sounds on top of acoustic instruments or analog synthesizers and think organic.
Song Starter #14: Real Digital
Make a track with real-sounding instruments using only digital equipment. Powered by sound design, try to make guitar plucks, ensemble strings, violins, mallets, and other sounds using only synthesizers.
Refrain from using samples from other sources – build your track from the ground up using the power of sound synthesis.
Song Starter #15: Delay Dancer
Start your track with delay in mind. Make delays the central part of your creation in terms of groove and focus and experiment with combining different grooves' delays.
It’s incredible what groove can do for your track and inspiration. And when you use delay heavily, you’re forced to feel the groove.
Song Starter #16: The Recorder
Do you have a field recorder or smartphone at home? Great. Go out and record samples and make them the starting point of your track.
You can record different textural elements, foley, or your voice – anything that gets your inspiration flowing. The thing is, these recorded elements must be the foundation of your track.
Song Starter #17: The Hum Dinger
Take your smartphone, hum something random and original and make a track out of it. It’s amazing what we can come up with in our heads. The problem is often translating these thoughts into your DAW.
By humming, recording, and replicating the notes, you get an effective way to start a track and develop new ideas.
As a bonus, it also works in layers. Hum and draw your melody, then hum your chord progression and draw that in there as well. Now you almost have an entire track ready.
Song Starter #18: Vocal Delight
Make a vocal the most important thing in your track. Start with a vocal sample from a pack or your own recording. Leave it intact, or extract vocal chops to make a mysterious vocal melody.
Vocals always works to get your creative juices flowing.
We all get frustrated those days when we can’t come up with a solid idea. Often, we have the ideas in our head – but they’re too many to make sense of.
By reading this article, you have now learned how to get inspiration to write a song quickly and effectively – by giving yourself focus and goals.
Bookmark this article, come back to it, and challenge yourself. If you can make music on the fly, try to make a track with one of the song starters in 2 hours or less.
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Thanks for reading, and see you in the next article.
About the author
Pelle Sundin is a Swedish music producer and writer, active with his chillout project PLMTRZ. He also produces psytrance. When he's not producing, he surfs, skates, and chugs coffee.