The Challenge – Week 3 – Time to experiment!

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 thoughts on “The Challenge – Week 3 – Time to experiment!

  1. 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.


  2. 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


  3. 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


  4. 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…


      1. 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.


  5. 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:


  6. 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



    1. 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….



    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.


  8. Pingback: Breaking the box and the challenge of time | Robert Campbell

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