Write something under a time constraint | Songwriting Club

Sometimes, we second guess our lyrics infinitely, or tweak a mix for days just to get back to where we started.

If you find yourself falling into these patterns of behavior, then working under a time constraint may be a great challenge to try out. While it might sound stressful, limiting how long you work on a song can be a great way to hone your workflow and build confidence in your creative decisions. You’ll likely be more content with many of your choices, too, since you won’t have the chance to doubt your instincts.

On that note, let’s dive into this week’s Songwriting Club prompt: write a song under a time constraint. Feel free to focus on just one aspect of the songwriting process; maybe you just want to get some lyrics down, or an instrumental mapped out, or anything in between. We won’t be prescriptive with the amount of time, but try picking a limit that you know will be challenging for you – depending on your intended scope and level of comfort, we recommend either ten minutes, thirty minutes, one hour, or three hours.

For an example of what this process looks like, check out our video below, where we made a lo-fi hip hop beat in ten minutes:

Although it’s not a requirement, if you used a sound you found on Splice Sounds, let us know! If you want to use Splice Sounds in your song but don’t have an account, get your first month free with the code songwriting.

If you’re feeling proud of your lyrics, beat, or whatever you created within your time constraint, and are looking for some feedback, upload it to the Splice community, SoundCloud, YouTube, Bandcamp, etc., and toss the link in the comments below. Before you share, just make sure you’re following these guidelines:

  1. Make sure your track aligns with the prompt – it should be something that you’ve specifically written in response to this blog post.
  2. No promotional posts – no links to contests, social media pages, etc.
  3. Comment on at least one other person’s song before you go – even if it seems small to you, your praise or critique can make a transformative impact on someone else’s craft.
  4. Give a quick summary of your goals for your song – asking for feedback on specific aspects (ex. the lyrics, chord progression, etc.) is also recommended!

Check back in for your next prompt on October 16th. We’re looking forward to hearing what you create!

September 18, 2020

Nick Chen Content Marketing @ Splice. Nick Chen is a producer, performer, and educator under the aliases "nickthechen" and "Enix."