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The Challenge – Week 3 – Time to experiment!

March 3, 2014

By Christopher Ward

We’re almost halfway through the challenge!  It’s been great to see all the songwriting and networking that has been happening on Facebook and on our blog.  Hope you will enjoy this week’s assignment.

It’s easy to get caught up in using the age-old forms when writing a song – Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Bridge/Chorus. Yes, it works, but sometimes you can freshen up your writing and find yourself going down new pathways if you mix it up a bit. Something as simple as starting with the chorus like so many Beatle songs did (‘Cant Buy Me Love’, ‘Please Please Me’) and like Maroon 5 do in ‘Payphone’, can pull a listener in very quickly because they don’t have to wait for the big hook.

Using odd line lengths or unexpected rhyme schemes can get you out of a rut too. Remember – you can always get back in the box and colour inside the lines another time!

Deadline is March 10
Take a look at the video below and do the following assignment, posting in the comment section below:
1.  Identify your common songwriting ruts.  Why are these structures/forms comfortable for you?
2.  Write a song that breaks 1 or more of these “rules.”
3.  Have fun writing outside the box!

68 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2014 12:23 am

    Ok here’s mine for week 3… got a little carried away and attempted some artwork for it. 🙂
    Dragonheart- lyrics and song here:

  2. March 7, 2014 9:42 am

    Well here is week 3 song : my-baby-makes-me-smile-week-3

    Here is my week 3 Blog :

  3. March 7, 2014 11:41 am

    Happy March and happy Week 3 friends!

    My Sound Cloud link to ballad called ” The Memory of the Light”

    My website link:

    My Week 3 Blog link:

    Have a wonderful week-end! take care, Robyn

  4. March 7, 2014 4:14 pm

    Hello, here is my week three assignment. We have company coming this weekend so I had to get done early.. I had a lot of fun with this song, I’m trying to learn logic X as we do this and had some good fun there adding harmonies and background vocals. I’m still feeling like I’m singing super flat, so apologies for that, wish I had more time this week. Anyway I look forward to any comments or suggestions.

  5. March 8, 2014 12:54 am

    Here’s my week 3 entry “Sober Second Thought”.
    The blog is at
    The SoundCloud link is

  6. March 8, 2014 5:36 pm

    Hi everyone, we’re halfway! Glad to say this one went a little easier and faster as I left out the rhyme and the bridge . Here is my week 3 song “Each Child”

  7. March 9, 2014 1:59 am

    Hi everyone, how’s the thinking outside the box for week 3 going?

    I did something completely different this week, building on the Christopher Ward’s advice for weeks one and two as well.

    Hope you enjoy the song, and thank you all for your great feedback on soundcloud!

    The song is called “Bath Cat Opera”…does the title intrigue you?

    Listen here:

    Blog here:

    Peace/love from:
    Shera Shakera

  8. March 9, 2014 6:25 pm

    Well you wanted outside of the box! This song was inspired by my daughter loosing her tooth. She provided the fantastic drawing below. Also I have to credit to my son for the line “Then the tooth fairy said, what a grouch. He wouldn’t even let me put his tooth in my pouch.”I have never rapped before! lol

  9. March 9, 2014 7:21 pm

    I’m putting much more detail in the blog and on our Facebook page, but in case this is where some are looking, the coles notes version:

    The blog is…

    And the song is both linked from the blog and directly at…

    • March 16, 2014 3:56 am

      Very cool lyric approach. Can you stretch more musically, Scott?

      • March 18, 2014 2:21 pm

        Most definitely Christopher. My guitar player is starting to show me the ropes to help expand my musical knowledge which will open more creative doors 🙂 I play the banjo as well but for the most part I don’t move up the neck. This is what I’m starting to work on.

  10. March 9, 2014 9:08 pm

    Well, here it is. “Let the Light In” — my foray into..well, I don’t know what, exactly, but it was fun 🙂 I’m looking forward to relaxing and listening to everyone else’s contributions now!

    • March 16, 2014 4:00 am

      Really good song Kelly! Is there any way you could make the chorus stand out from the verse musically?

      • March 20, 2014 12:58 pm

        Thank you, Christopher! I see what you’re saying about the chorus. I’ll have to think on that and figure something out.

  11. March 9, 2014 11:22 pm

    What a fun experiment! Certainly a challenging one, but it left me feeling like I had just had a great workout. After a few days of writing, here’s the result (Soundcloud link within the blog). Many rewrites yet to come!

    • March 16, 2014 4:02 am

      Hey Allister, I love how willingly you took up the challenge. Hopefully it opened some doors for you in your writing. Great work!

  12. March 9, 2014 11:31 pm

    Had alot of fun writing out of the box by not rhyming my verses and writing a song on the mandolin for the first time.

  13. March 10, 2014 1:12 am

    After a lot of fruitless experimentation, I decided to just get silly … and silly it is 🙂

  14. March 10, 2014 3:14 am

    Well, this is my first patriotic song….about an American flag.

  15. March 10, 2014 3:14 am

    This was very busy, but fulfilling for me. My extracurricular activities all happen to end this week LOL. Well, I figured out this song in time!
    I’ve not put a bridge in this song and it’s a style I’ve never tried.

  16. March 10, 2014 3:39 am

    My common songwriting ruts are coming up with a chord progression, usually in a major key, and doing the verse chorus bridge tango.

    This week, I focused on learning a new scale, a Japanese pentatonic, creating a moody layered soundtrack, and inserting one simple verse on two separate channels.

    You can hear the result, “Faraway Road” here:

    And read about the journey on my blog:

  17. bodegaempire permalink
    March 10, 2014 7:50 am

    More falsetto, and the first AABA song I’ve done:

    • bodegaempire permalink
      March 10, 2014 7:51 am

      Hmm, not sure why the link didn’t show, but here it is:

  18. March 10, 2014 11:47 am

    My goodness I can’t believe we are at the half way point! Week 3 was challenging and fun 🙂 Here is my blog and new song “Stop N’ Start”

  19. March 10, 2014 7:41 pm

    My computer has survived! Running a little behind this week, but here is my blog for week 3. Song will be posted soon.

  20. March 10, 2014 9:04 pm

    I’m a little late getting my song in this week but here it is! It’s called “Oh La Da” and the idea for it came to me while I was busking.



    CHEERS! xox

  21. March 10, 2014 11:02 pm

    Ahh…. time is such a thief. Soon I will steal some back from the bastard. Ddn’t complete the scratch and only a verse / chorus concept due to time constraints and excuses. 😉

    Here is my accompaniment

    and the attendant Blog post too

  22. March 11, 2014 11:01 am

    The blog:
    The tune: DB Cooper’s Legacy

    Jonathan Churcher

  23. KSP permalink
    March 11, 2014 11:17 am

    I completely forgot to post it here!! Here you go – song is in the blog.

    • March 16, 2014 4:30 am

      Wow Kristine! Such a unique song. Love when the groove kicks in. The lyric concept is really strong.

      • KSP permalink
        March 28, 2014 1:55 pm

        Thank you!!!

  24. Kevin Roach permalink
    March 11, 2014 12:05 pm

    My week 3 song is at http:/ and my blog is

  25. March 11, 2014 12:17 pm

    I suppose it got missed cause I posted just the main link to it all in the first comment, but here’s my soundcloud link as well in case

    Is it better not to embed it in a blog? I mean, is it easier for you to find?

  26. March 11, 2014 12:27 pm

    Ah…yes…multiple postings. Here they are.

    Blog :

    Soundcloud :

    Thanks for listening
    North Easton

  27. rosanne baker thornley permalink
    March 11, 2014 1:16 pm

    Week 3 done! More than enough said in my Facebook post and blog.

  28. Anni Del Sol permalink
    March 11, 2014 1:44 pm

    Here is my Week 3 blog:

  29. March 11, 2014 5:02 pm

    Here is the link to Week 3 blog…Running late on the recording 😦

    • seersongwriter permalink
      March 11, 2014 6:32 pm

      Cannot open the page.

  30. March 11, 2014 7:03 pm

    Had some software issues yesterday and today, but here it is… better late than never!

  31. March 12, 2014 7:34 am

    OK…so my last link did not work (and I am usually pretty tech savvy! LOL I guess not in the world of Blogging!)

  32. March 12, 2014 6:22 pm

    Keep forgetting to post the weeks assingment here. Here’s the Week 3 post that I posted in the Facebook group on Monday.

    This was my most challenging week so far. I’ve only written one song before on a ukulele so I thought for this week I’ll return to it to write another. Lots of rewriting to do. I like the direction and groove but have lots and lots of work to do on it.

    Here’s my 3rd week’s song – Someone to love


  33. March 12, 2014 10:42 pm

    Sorry for the lateness. Still feel good even submitting something that’s unfinished….better than not at all.

  34. seersongwriter permalink
    March 12, 2014 11:55 pm

    Very entertaining..quite funny….you seem to have a comedic streak; nice ad lib feel to the performance.

    • March 13, 2014 11:36 am

      Thanks so much….appreciated, considering how loosey goosey it is! Also, didn’t realize that we can respond on this page…..been focusing primarily on FB for communication amongst us….

  35. March 13, 2014 12:37 pm

    Here is the link to my blog post for week 3: Time to Experiment:
    Here is the link to Soundcloud for my song, “Diamonds”:


  36. Laird Wayne Rose permalink
    March 13, 2014 6:12 pm

    Well … I’m so embarrassed. Not really, but my Week 3 entry is pretty late.

    Here’s the link to my blog, and projected prodction notes:

    And Soundcloud, if you prefer it:

  37. March 14, 2014 5:07 am

    I’m with Judy – better late than never – just lyrics for now too early to record and wake up the household. Will do later today. Onto cramming week 4 now – yikes! Oh I’ve never started a song with a chorus before, also wrote this differently – tried to focus on the lyric writing more, I have the tune of the chorus and verse but – could probably use a bridge in here or something.

  38. March 14, 2014 3:58 pm

    Started a song called “My Own Worst Enemy” but couldn’t bring myself to post it just yet. This is another recent one though that didn’t follow the typical pop pattern. I tried to just focus on a hook line that repeats.

  39. March 14, 2014 11:16 pm

    For week 3 I experimented by moving away from the keyboard and picking up the guitar, and to write a non-love song, which was actually difficult for me to do.

    Read my blog at

    Song: “A Different Kind”

  40. Adri-Anne Ralph permalink
    March 18, 2014 6:52 pm

    I experimented by writing in a different style, trying to be more adventurous by using different modes in my melodies, using a different song format, using longer phrases, and using more descriptive language. It was TOUGH!!
    My Blog:
    My Song:


  1. Breaking the box and the challenge of time | Robert Campbell

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