The Road To Intuitive Songwriting
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The Road To Intuitive Songwriting

An introduction to Gregory Douglass' signature Intuitive Songwriting program!
3.8 (14 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
791 students enrolled
Created by Gregory Douglass
Last updated 5/2017
English
Price: $20
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Includes:
  • 38 mins on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand what intuitive songwriting is all about and why it is essential to your songwriting
  • Rock your intuition like a hurricane and allow ideas to flow through you on-demand
  • Uncover major creative hidden potential within you
  • Become an incredibly prolific songwriter in six (6) weeks
  • Understand what really inspires people about your music
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • An intuitive belief in your creative self and what you are truly capable of as a songwriter
  • A passion for songwriting and desire to create your best work
  • A commitment to embrace and apply the lessons you'll learn in this course
  • A computer, tablet or smartphone that supports Udemy course materials
Description

Why Intuitive Songwriting? Because that’s where your creative genius lives.

Forget everything that’s holding you back from becoming a brilliant songwriter, and get ready to learn what intuitive songwriting is all about. This mini e-course is an introduction to my signature Intuitive Songwriting program. I'm going to show you how to strengthen your intuition and evoke the creative genius within you. I can’t wait to show you what you’re truly capable of as a songwriter, regardless of how experienced or inexperienced of a songwriter you are.

In this self-study mini e-course, I'm going to share my own intuitive approach to masterful songwriting, and I'm confident that you'll be on the road to writing your best songs yet after our time together.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for songwriters who are seeking a reliable foundation of breakthrough songwriting
  • This course is for novice songwriters and hobbyists looking to fast-track their own songwriting potential
  • This course is for experienced songwriters who struggle with writers block and are looking to reclaim their own songwriting potential
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Curriculum For This Course
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Welcome To "The Road To Intuitive Songwriting"
1 Lecture 00:53
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Your Intuitive Compass - The Road To Intuitive Songwriting
7 Lectures 41:13

Welcome to week one (1) of Intuitive Songwriting! In this first week of lessons, we are going to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves as songwriters and how we can approach our creative process with more clarity, confidence, compassion, and authenticity. Let this first week be a cleansing of your creative palate and an opportunity to recalibrate and rejuvenate before we dive into writing our best work yet.

I’m sure you’re wondering what intuitive songwriting is all about, so let’s dive right into what you’re going to learn in this week’s module:

  1. What intuitive songwriting is all about and why it is so essential to your songwriting
  2. How to rock your intuition like a hurricane and allow ideas to flow through you on-demand
  3. How to become an incredibly prolific songwriter in only six (6) weeks
  4. How to own your songwriting approach so that your songs sound distinctly your own
  5. Powerful techniques from the experts that will enhance your own songwriting
  6. What really inspires people about your music


I’m excited to share with you the methods I’ve learned from over a decade of songwriting myself. These are the same methods I still use today, and I have been so fortunate to have a prosperous and prolific career as an indie singer/songwriter for over 15 years now and with nine (9) original albums released.

As Kevin Spacey once said, “If you're lucky enough to do well, it's your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” That’s exactly how I feel now, and I can’t wait to help you become the very best songwriter I know you can be. We’re gonna rock our collective creative genius together, so let’s get started!

Yours in music,

-Gregory Douglass, The Creative Advisor

Preview 01:43

The Hallmark of Creativity

I believe that intuitive songwriting is the hallmark of my creativity as a songwriter. With hundreds of songs in my back-catalogue, and no end in sight to the flood of song ideas I always have, these intuitive songwriting methods I’m going to teach you have proven to be the most reliable and effective approach to songwriting I know. And throughout my observations over the years, I’ve learned just how many other legendary songwriters have also mastered the art of intuitive songwriting, so you’re in very good company here!

Legendary songwriting is intuitive songwriting. I’m talking about the kind of songs that change our lives, make an everlasting impression, and resonate with generations to come. Songs that are timeless, infectious, profound, universal, and deeply moving – the legendary kind.

And speaking of legendary artists and songs – what do you think John Lennon and Paul McCartney have in common (besides the Beatles of course)? They’ve both mastered the art of intuitive songwriting. Music theory was never their strong suit, so they both have relied almost entirely on their intuition throughout their legendary songwriting careers. They are arguably some of the most skillful, proficient, and consistently influential songwriters in history, and it’s all thanks to their intuition and dedication to their craft.

“Do I know anything about music theory? Not much. I work mostly on feel. I can’t read music, but I know a little about chords and things… Without craft it can’t be art and without art the craft doesn’t mean anything.”

–Diane Warren, Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter

As incredible as it seems, music legends like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Diane Warren, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Danny Elfman, Kurt Cobain, BB King, Dave Navarro, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Marty Friedman (Megadeth) – all built their musical legacy with little to know knowledge of music theory. They all relied heavily on their intuition to create their own legendary music.

Intuitive songwriting leads to great songs, and great songs make songwriters more legitimate. Those are the songwriters who really rise to the top of their game. Great songs can be life-changing for listeners and even for the songwriters themselves. And the better our work is as songwriters, the more confidence we develop, the more fun we have, and the more opportunity we create for ourselves.

Your Intuitive Compass

Intuitive songwriting is all about trusting in your intuition to help you create your very best work. It’s relying on your instinct to help you craft your most masterful songs. It’s getting more in touch with your “right brain” and strengthening your connection with that greater, elusive creative source we all have access to. It’s deepening your understanding of yourself. It’s nourishing and championing the creative genius that lives inside us all. It’s also learning to interpret your intuition like an internal compass so that you may successfully navigate your way through creative uncertainty.

Intuitive songwriting is essential to your craft because creative energy is all around us and it’s capable of providing more value to our work than we could ever dream of providing on our own. This creative source of energy is where a flood of ideas can come rushing in from all at once if we are open to it. It’s where songs can almost write themselves if we let them. It’s where even the most brilliant and accomplished of artists can still be amazed with what they’ve created and simply say, “I have no idea where that came from!”

It may seem like magic that is out of your reach, but we all have access to this creative source of energy, and we can tap into it at any time. It’s a limitless source that is always available to us. It’s abundant, nourishing, expansive, inspiring, fulfilling, maddening, compelling, profound – everything we could ever feel connected to, and it’s all around us. We can access this creative energy through our intuition, and I’ll help you better understand this concept as we start to apply these practices throughout the course.

For now, it’s important to understand that you don’t need to have all the answers at once when you sit down to write a song. You simply need to show up and be open to whatever creative energy might move through you, or whatever creative insight become available to you. This is the very act of letting your intuition receive the information and help guide your songwriting process. This is intuitive songwriting, and I know it’s going to lead to some breakthrough songs for you moving forward!

The Importance of Intuition

In order to understand the importance of intuitive songwriting, we must understand the importance of intuition itself.

Definition of intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need of conscious reasoning.

Definition of intuitive: using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive.

In a psychologytoday.com article called “The Science Behind Intuition: Why you should trust your gut,” Kelly Turner Ph.D. writes “Almost every Radical Remission cancer survivor I’ve studied used their intuition to help make decisions related to their healing process. Research on intuition and following your ‘gut’ instinct may explain why.”

Turner continues to explain how “Scientists have discovered that humans appear to have two, very different 'operating systems.' System 1 is our quick, instinctual, and often subconscious way of operating – it is controlled by our right brain and by other parts of our brain that have been around since prehistoric times, known as the 'limbic' and 'reptilian' parts of our brain. System 2 is our slower, more analytical, and conscious way of operating – it is controlled by our left brain and by newer parts of our brain that have only developed since prehistoric times (also known as the 'neocortex'). Researchers have found that intuition is part of System 1, which is why it comes on so rapidly and often does not make rational sense to us. In other words, intuitive decisions are not something that we have thought out carefully with reason, but rather choices that have arisen quickly out of instinct.”

Turner further argues that we should trust our gut instinct because “researchers have found that System 1 often knows the right answer long before System 2 does,” and that “when it comes to making major life decisions, such as which house to buy or which person to marry, trusting your intuition leads to better outcomes than trusting your logical, thinking brain.”

In Turner’s book “Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds,” she documents the importance of intuitive decision making as evidence that she believes helps even terminal patients turn their lives around. This is so important to understand because the intuitive mind – or “subconscious” mind as it is often referred to – is responsible for the most important decisions we can make in our lives.

We can apply this method of thinking to our songwriting in a similar way. Instead of allowing the left parts of our brain (or “System 2” as Turner referred to it) control our songwriting decisions, we’re going to learn how to strengthen our relationship with our instinct instead and let our right brains (“System 1”) do most of the deciding throughout this course.

I encourage you to further saturate this concept by diving into this inspiring article by Carolyn Gregoire at creatitivypost.com called “10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently,” and see how intuitive you are already operating yourself!

The Essence of What We Love

Let me ask you this: have you ever wondered why you love the songs you love in the first place? Let’s take a closer look at the psychology behind this.

In an article by Amy Barr from tuenight.com, Barr examines why we love the things we love and writes “When a team of researchers from Arizona State University examined the motivation behind human attachment to possessions, they found that people form attachments when objects help narrate their life story. These lifeless 'things' become artifacts of the self.”

Barr further mentions Paul Bloom, a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University and his book “How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like.” According to Bloom, “What matters most is not the world as it appears to our senses. Rather, the enjoyment we get from something deriving from what we think that thing really is. More generally, the proposal is that our likes and dislikes are powerfully influenced by our beliefs about the essences of things.”

What we can all pull from this is the importance of why our beliefs surrounding the essence of these things is so important to apply to our songwriting. Our beliefs surrounding the songs we love for example can take shape from many things such as:

  1. Our own personal experiences, which can create ties to a particular song and create a strong and lasting impression on our psyche.
  2. Our unique perspective of a song and its subject matter as it relates to our own understanding of the world.
  3. Our emotional reaction to a song which may even lead to new understandings of ourselves.


When we hear a song we love, we are essentially having an intuitive response to it in one way or another, and this is at the heart of intuitive songwriting. Throughout this course, we are going to deepen our understanding of ourselves through our own intuition and explore the best ways to creatively apply these understandings to our songwriting.

Preview 09:45

The Creative Source of All Things

Author, spiritual guru and “light worker,” Gabrielle Bernstein recently stated in her “Spirit Junkies Masterclass” that "The presence of fear is a sure sign that you're relying on your own strength. A sure sign that we have disconnected from the presence of our power, it is a sure sign that we have disconnected from the connection that we have to spirit.”

So why am I kicking this lesson off with a sermon on fear? Because fear is what holds us back from everything. It holds us back from being the best songwriters we can be, and the best versions of ourselves we can be in any capacity. When it comes to the creative process, a lot of us get hung up on trying to provide all the answers ourselves without any help, and that’s why I love this quote from Gabrielle Bernstein.

I want to take this a step further and add that when she refers to “the connection that we have with spirit,” I believe she is referring to the source of all things – call it God, the Universe, the Divine Feminine, the Law of Attraction, or whatever you’d like. I believe this is the same source our creative energy comes from. As artists and creators, we have the opportunity to form a loving and productive relationship with this creative source, because it is the source of all things – but it doesn’t happen when fear is in charge.

When we let fear take charge, that’s when we experience writer’s block. Fear lets our ego or our inner critic make all of our creative decisions. Fear assumes that we have all the answers and tries to apply them without any help or guidance from our intuition. Our intuition is the doorway to our creative source, and fear is the gatekeeper.

So the first step to rocking your intuition is to strike a relationship with it, start trusting in it, and start relying upon until it becomes as second nature as the air you breathe! When you start to apply this perspective, you will begin to recognize when fear is taking the wheel. Let fear be a reminder to you that you're just relying on your own strength again, you’re disconnected from the presence of your creative power again, and it’s time to call upon and reconnect to your creative source again. Then thank fear for the friendly reminder, and kick him to the curb!

Remember, you are never really alone in this creative journey – you always have your creative source to call upon.

Take Less Responsibility For Your Ideas

Let’s take this concept a step further. Understanding that you are never alone in this creative journey means that you always have a creative source to draw from intuitively, so this will allow you to start taking less responsibility for your own ideas. This is an essential part of your creative process because your job is simply to show up for your creative source or “muse” as I like to call it, and be a willing “vessel” for new ideas and interpretations to flow freely.

As Woody Allen says, “Showing up is 80% of making great things happen.” So your only job as an artist and creator is to show up for your creative muse and welcome the creative free-flow.

An amazing song idea may suddenly come to you from this type of creative free-flow, but if you allow your inner critic (your left brain) to analyze it to death right away, you’ll successfully block that creative outlet from flowing freely. The same is true if you allow your ego to become inflated from your amazing new song idea, because this is another form of self-analyzation. Bear in mind that nothing is original (we’ll dive deeper into this concept in week two). Only your unique perspective and distinct interpretations are original, so there’s no need to pat yourself on the back incessantly. It doesn’t serve you during the creative process – it only limits your true potential. By taking less responsibility for your initial ideas, you are allowing the right brain to make its decisions intuitively – with minimal effort – and allowing your creative outlet to flow freely and easily.

All this said, it is important to celebrate your victories. Sparking a new song idea or making progress on a new song can be incredibly exciting, and certainly worth a pat on the back. Just be sure you your ego doesn’t get in the way of keeping the momentum going!

"To live a creative life we must loose our fear of being wrong." -Joseph Pierce

Stay Committed

It’s important to show up for your creative muse and to show up often, because we aren’t here to write good songs, or even great songs. We’re here to write breakthrough songs and produce our very best work yet. Like anything else, consistency, accountability, persistence, and dedication are essential to your practice. You don’t develop a six-pack after one week at the gym, and you don’t become a master chef after only one year of training. The only magic bullet you’ll find in this course is learning how to harness the magic that can happen when you allow creative energy to flow through you intuitively. The rest is up to you to show up for your creative muse daily, faithfully, and authentically.

The methods I demonstrate throughout my full Intuitive Songwriting programs will help make your commitment to your craft easy for you because they make songwriting fun. Intuitive songwriting is something that you’ll look forward to doing every day, and the more you do it, the more you’ll reap the benefits from your songwriting. The more you “flex” your intuition and strengthen your relationship with your own creative muse, the more capable of a songwriter you will become – allowing for ideas to flow through you on-demand.

How to rock your intuition and allow ideas to flow through you on-demand
05:37

Your Musical Roots

I’ve come to understand a lot of common pain points for songwriters at all different stages of the game. For example, a lot of people struggle with writer’s block, feel challenged by writing melodies they like, or simply feel bored or stagnant with songwriting altogether. So before we get really hands-on, I’d like you to do some initial exploring or recalibrating with your own creative muse and take a closer look at your musical roots.

Here are a few questions to help deepen your awareness of where you’re really coming from musically. (Click below to download the Your Musical Roots worksheet):

  1. Who is your favorite artist/band of all time and why? Name at least three things you love about them (take notes in Evernote).
  2. Who were three of your favorite artists/bands growing up and why? Name at least three things you loved about each of them (take notes in Evernote).
  3. Who are three of your favorite artists/bands today and why? Name at least three things you love about each of them (take notes in Evernote).


Are you noticing a pattern here? Most of our influences resonate deeply with us because we see so much of our own potential in them. Somewhere in our subconscious mind we recognize that we carry these similarities with us, and the better we understand these similarities, the more we can apply them to our craft as songwriters.

Your Authentic Voice

Applying these similarities does not mean simply copying our influences. Your only job is to recognize the qualities that you love about your influences and explore them further. Perhaps they are mirroring some hidden potential within you. It’s important that you start applying them through your own unique perspective on the world. There will never another human being exactly like you with the exact same influences, thoughts, feelings, skills, interpretations, or creative expression. You are distinctly who you are and uniquely the result of everything that you experience. That is simply to say that while you have the ability to see aspects of yourself in others, you will never be a “rip-off” of anyone else so long as you remain true to your authentic voice and continually show up for your creative muse with honesty, integrity, and authenticity.

You may feel like you don’t yet have a voice as a songwriter, or that perhaps you’ve lost your voice somewhere along the way, but I assure you that it’s there. It might be waiting for you to discover it – to see yourself in your influences and the qualities they are mirroring back at you. Reconnecting to our musical roots can be very helpful for this because our influences are reminders of who we truly are and where we truly come from.

Showing up with an authentic voice to your songwriting will become easier and easier as you utilize the methods of intuitive songwriting, because there’s going to be a lot of self-discovery along the way. Remain open to receiving this information as it comes and own it like the one and only voice that you have. You will begin to see patterns, and those patterns will strengthen and evolve as your authentic voice becomes more apparent. Don’t be afraid of it – this is only your creative genius emerging.

"There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen..." -Unknown

How to uncover major creative hidden potential within you
03:20

If you’re not already writing songs habitually, you might feel like you have a long way to go before you’d ever consider yourself a prolific songwriter. In this lesson, I’ll be introducing some foundational methods that you can apply immediately so that this concept doesn’t feel so out of reach. You might even end up sparking more song ideas and writing more songs than you know what to do with (this is a good thing, and I’ll show you why next week)!

Forming New Habits

To further drive home the importance of being committed to your songwriting, let’s take a look at how simple it is to form new habits. In a brainpickings.org article called “How Long It Takes to Form a New Habit,” Maria Popova writes “When he became interested in how long it takes for us to form or change a habit, psychologist Jeremy Dean found himself bombarded with the same magic answer from popular psychology websites and advice columns: 21 days.”

So there it is – proven by science – it takes only 21 days to form a new habit. That’s only three (3) weeks of committing yourself to something new! If you’ve been procrastinating or have had a difficult time starting (or finishing) a song, then this information should be music to your ears. Regardless of your current reality, it’s never too late to form healthy new habits and further commit yourself to your songwriting because all it takes is 21 days of feeling uncomfortable with something new before it becomes routine and begins to feel like second nature.

Songwriting Challenge: Let’s form a healthy new habit with our songwriting practice! I recommend reserving two (2) hours a day to write starting… right now! Two (2) hours a day will give you a welcomed opportunity to get into your creative “zone” and let the music flow through you. If you feel like you just don’t have the time, I encourage you to make the time. You can always get up earlier or move things around so that you can better prioritize your time. This habitual daily schedule will make all of the difference in what you produce over time, and will make you a prolific songwriter in no time. If two hours is simply unrealistic, then figure out what is a realistic daily time frame for your schedule – then commit to this schedule for at least 21 days. I’ll be very curious to hear how you feel on day 22 and see what you’ve created along the way!

Powerful Techniques From The Experts

Let’s take a look at some powerful techniques from musical experts that will enhance your singing and songwriting. These are musical experts that won’t cost you anything to learn from, but their techniques are more powerful than any curriculum is equipped to teach you. I’m talking about some of the greatest artists of our time, and the artists that you already love.

Song Assessment Exercise

Create a playlist of 5-10 songs that consists of a diverse selection of artists you already love, and start paying closer attention to what you love about each song. It’s important that this playlist is customized to your unique tastes and influences. Refer to your curated playlist and plan to listen to each song three (3) times in a row (click below to download the Song Assessment Exercise):

  1. Upon first your listen, focus on the instrumentation of the song, how the song is produced and arranged, the song structure, and how each section connects to the next. Record your observations in Evernote.
  2. Listen to the same song a second time and focus only on the lyrics and storyline. What is the song about, and how are the lyrics supporting each section of the song? Continue recording your observations in Evernote.
  3. Then listen to the same song a third time and focus only on melody itself, how it flows from section to section, and how the lyrics are supporting the melody rhythmically. Listen carefully to how the singer is singing and how that contributes to the emotion of the song. Then try to determine why certain sections move you the way they do, and circle back to what you like (or don’t like) about that song in the first place. Continue recording your observations in Evernote.

What have your observations yielded? Are you noticing any patterns here? What lights you up the most intuitively from your observations that you can gather and apply to your own songwriting process? Now that you’ve had a lesson from the experts, you can start experimenting with these techniques yourself!

Stealing Like An Artist

Author Austin Kleon introduced a radical concept in his book “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” His message is simple: “You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself,” and this book is filled with poignant truths about creativity like, “Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path.”

In my opinion, ones creative genius essentially stems from the perfect marriage between all of these things. The only thing original in this world is our unique perspective on things. You have a steady opportunity to open yourself up to receiving an infinite source of creative information and respectfully “steal” from it. Pay attention to the experts, draw from the inspiration, gather every spark of an idea, and reinterpret what this information means to you. Then create distinct results through your own authentic voice and share your creations with others so that they may experience it, steal from it, and be inspired by too.

Here are two (2) song examples of my own that will help demonstrate how to respectfully “steal” like an artist and create distinct results through an authentic voice:

Song Example 1: “Hang Around”

I’ve always loved Cyndi Lauper’s classic song “Time After Time.” I think it’s one of the most flawlessly written and produced love songs of all time.

When I was working on songs for my 2006 Up & Away album, I sat down at my keyboard one day and with the intention of writing my own version of “Time After Time” in the hopes that I could write one of the best love songs of all time myself.

I began by searching for a pre-existing drum loop in my keyboard that was similar to “Time After Time” in its tempo and driving rhythmic nature because I felt a big part of the beauty of “Time After Time” was its mid-tempo rhythm. It felt so determined and committed to the message of the song, so that’s what I wanted in my song as well.

I found a pattern that was a “boom, boom-chick, boom, boom, chick” kind of a pattern, and that felt so good intuitively.

I looped the drum pattern for a while and decided to cue up a synth pad sound so I could really emulate that “Time After Time” 80’s vibe. This helped to get even more into that headspace and spark a good melodic idea. I focused on very basic open fifth chords in my left hand (which we’ll talk more about in week three) and played some chords to the loop until I landed on a three-chord pattern I really liked over the drum loop.

This felt good enough to feel comfortable singing over, so I started to sing whatever came through me intuitively until I landed on a melody that would eventually become my chorus. The words I was originally singing were “I’m around,” which then evolved to “hang around” once the storyline came together later on. I was already in the headspace of “Time After Time,” and I was feeling the storyline revolve around someone being there for someone else, so the words “I’m around” just came naturally.

As I continued to flesh out the lyrics over time, the song became a love story of its own – infused with my own personal experiences and unique perspective. It’s become the most favored song I’ve ever written from the majority of my fans, and I’ve been asked to sing it at many weddings and even surprise engagement performances in the past – so it’s safe to say that I had accomplished my goal of “stealing like an artist” in the end!

Here’s a link to the song if you’re curious.

Song Example 2: “Bird On A Wire”

I wrote a pop song called “Bird On A Wire” a year ago when I was asked to write some pop songs for another artist. She was a female vocalist looking for mainstream appeal, and this song was their top pick. I wanted to go with a Janelle Monáe vibe because I had recently been listening to her latest album at the time, so I asked myself, “What would Janelle Monáe do?”

I started singing as I imagined myself in a Janelle Monáe music video and this mid-tempo, R&B-flavored idea started to emerge. It felt very cool and collected – almost like a song Lorde might write for Janelle Monáe to sing. It’s also worth noting that I was actually on a treadmill when I wrote this which seriously helped keep the creative flow in motion once the idea was sparked.

Suddenly I sang the words “I can’t resist” to a melody that was developing, realizing that I was respectfully stealing (or borrowing if you prefer) those words from a Tom Waits song called “Temptation.” It had been fresh on my mind from a jazz cover gig I had done the night before because it was a part of our regular repertoire, and I had always loved that line. I decided to roll with it, knowing that these words could always change later if they weren’t sitting well in the future – but wouldn’t you know, they ended up dictating the entire direction of the song!

As I continued to develop the melody, I started to envision a woman being strung along by her lover – and even though she knew he was all wrong for her, she still couldn’t resist. That stirred up some striking visuals of a strong but petite, emotionally sensitive woman. I wanted a good metaphor for her and how she was being strung along, and then it hit – a “bird on a wire.”

After fleshing out this idea enough to decide upon the best structure for the song, I knew I wanted to keep it palatable enough for mainstream radio – short, catchy, and calculated. This required a formulaic song structure, and this is what felt like the best structure in the end: verse, pre-chorus, chorus, half-verse, pre-chorus, chorus, short instrumental break, chorus. I also wanted a good hook in the second half of each chorus, so I researched some lyrical trends of hit pop songs at the time and noticed how many songs were repeating a small section of a single word. That influenced me to write “like a bird on the wa-wire” in certain sections.

I’m very proud of how this song turned out, and it’s a great example of “stealing like an artist” from multiple aspects – melody, lyrics, song structure, and popular trends.

Here’s a demo recording of the song if you’re curious.

How to become an incredibly prolific songwriter in six (6) weeks
10:33

Survey Your Tribe

One of your assignments this week is to survey your closest friends, family and fans about how they really feel about your music. This will require you to be extremely vulnerable with your close inner circle, but it’s essential if you want to understand how other people perceive your music. Other people see you differently than you’ll ever see yourself. Therefore, it’s safe to assume they also hear your music differently than you’ll ever be able to hear yourself. It’s impossible to be as objective about ourselves as we can be about others, so as scary as this might feel to some people, it can be extremely transformational to your songwriting if you allow yourself to be open to feedback. Surveying your closest inner circle should prove to be the safest space to receive this kind of feedback, so trust that these are loving and supportive people you’ll be reaching out to. These people are your tribe, and they want nothing but the best for you and your creativity. Check out the Survey Your Tribe worksheet below.

All that said, go ahead and gather feedback from your tribe using some of my suggested questions in the worksheet, take some time to digest everything, and then take it all with a grain of salt – because only you know your own authentic voice at the end of the day.

This is a confidence-boosting exercise as well. When you can learn to take constructive criticism as well as you learn to take compliments, you promote a healthier mindset and a more balanced outlook on your creativity. Let it be another reminder that your art is greater than you and it’s your job as a songwriter to receive any information available to you that may help you craft your best work. Of course, you may not always agree on the feedback you receive or the help that is being offered, and that’s okay. That’s where your authentic voice steps in to reinterpret the information you are receiving through your songwriting as honestly and authentically as you can.

A Healthy Mindset

It’s important to develop and sustain a healthy, objective mindset when it comes to your songwriting. Every action you take to improve upon your writing will only go so far if you don’t really believe you can actually improve. I encourage you to show up for each step of your own creative process throughout this course with an open mind – with an eagerness to learn, grow, and evolve as a songwriter – and with the expectation that your songwriting can and will evolve throughout these six weeks together.

A healthy mindset is essential to have for your creativity, but it also benefits every aspect of your life. When you can prove to yourself what you’re truly capable of as a songwriter, it can be a real breakthrough moment, and those are the moments you can’t help but wonder what else you’re capable of. So I hope each breakthrough you have in this course will help you realize the scope of your own potential.

To help promote a healthy mindset, you must work to keep your mind clear of any ugly or self-sabotaging chatter. These kind of thoughts will never serve you – they are merely welcoming your ego to take over, and your ego loves to remind you of all your fears, doubts and judgements. Anytime you start to doubt yourself or get frustrated with the process, it’s important for you to recognize the noise that is distracting you from creating your best work. This is not as simple as it sounds for most people (myself included), so I recommend you take mindful action whenever this is happening. Take breaks as often as you need to so you can refresh and return to your creative process with a clearer mind. Or if you’re stuck on a certain idea you’re working on, circle back to another one that still needs work so you can show up with a clear mind for that one. Keep bouncing around to various ideas as often as you need to keep things fresh and objective.

I also encourage you to introduce meditation into your daily routine. I’m a busy person myself but I devote a brief 15 minutes a day to meditation and it makes all of the difference in sustaining a healthy mindset of my own. When I step away from everything mid-day to clear my head through meditation, I not only feel refreshed and clear-headed after, I have a new surge of energy and often double my productivity in a day as a result. It can often feel like two chances to wake up in the morning and “start the day off right!”

I use a meditation app called Headspace on my iPhone and I strongly recommend it. Headspace takes a refreshing approach toward meditation because it allows you to chose a path you are comfortable with at whatever time intervals you have available each day. Perhaps the best part is that each meditation is helping you to retrain your brain for sustaining a healthier mindset. It’s helps you better resolve any internal conflict you might be experiencing. You’ll learn how to put your thoughts and feelings into better perspective instead of letting them take you over or spiral out of control, and this can be an incredibly powerful practice in concentration for any songwriter. Any meditative practice will help you build a much better relationship with your thoughts and feelings, and stay more present in any productive scenario. I encourage you to try it for yourself and see if you can create a new meditation habit in the next 21 days!

Your Goals & Desires

It’s helpful to get feedback from people you love and trust, but it all comes down to what’s important to you. What do you really love and desire as a songwriter? What “gets you out of bed” every morning when it comes to your songwriting? I encourage you to give it some serious thought this week, and start by at least trying to answer these questions about your songwriting goals & desires (and check out the Songwriting Goals & Desires worksheet below):

  1. What “gets me out of bed” every morning when it comes to my songwriting? (Make your notes in Evernote)
  2. What are my songwriting goals and desires for the long term? (Make your notes in Evernote)
  3. What are my songwriting goals and desires for the next one (1) to five (5) years? (Make your notes in Evernote)
  4. What are my goals and desires for this eCourse, and what do I hope to have accomplished by the end of our six weeks together? (Make your notes in Evernote)

I would love to hear your answer for at least the third question in the comments.

And if you’d like to dig a whole lot deeper, I encourage you to download my “EGO Boost” Action Sheet below and really get to know yourself intimately. Most people are amazed at what they uncover when they are willing to reassess, dig deeper, and ask themselves the really BIG questions.

Music has always been my ultimate creative outlet for digging deeper. It’s one of my greatest desires and has brought the most incredible people and rewarding experiences into my life. I’m a perpetual student and I’m always striving to dig deeper, challenge my limitations, and expand my heart, mind and soul. Music speaks to my core desires – the same core desires I lay out in this EGO Boost action sheet, so I encourage you to check it out and see what else you learn about yourself.

What really inspires people about your music
06:59

Where do I go from here?
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The Road To Intuitive Songwriting - Course Recap
2 Lectures 03:34
Assignments, Resources & Additional Inspiration
01:32

Bonus Lecture: Special VIP Offer
02:02
About the Instructor
Gregory Douglass
3.8 Average rating
14 Reviews
795 Students
2 Courses
Internationally Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter & Creative Coach

Gregory Douglass is an internationally renowned independent singer/songwriter and music industry expert with over a decade of experience as a full-time musician. With nine critically acclaimed studio albums of original songs under his belt, Gregory has shared the stage with artists countless artists like They Might Be Giants, Shawn Colvin, The Weepies, Jason Mraz, Regina Spektor, and Margaret Cho. According to Pandora’s founder, Tim Westergren, Gregory is one of the top independent artists on Pandora radio today. Gregory has written and sold 100,000+ songs digitally on his own and his videos have amounted to over 600,000 views on Youtube alone. His recent spotlight on NPR’s “Morning Edition” has coined him “one of New England’s best-kept secrets.”

Gregory founded The Creative Advisor as a platform to help create community and teach other independent artists a proactive approach to sustaining their careers. The Creative Advisor offers career coaching, training tutorials, and indie artist/music industry interviews via dynamic videos, articles, and teachings. Education and career sustainability is at the heart of The Creative Advisor, and it’s our independent road map for today’s music industry. 

Gregory founded Creative Songwriter Academy and launched his signature Intuitive Songwriting program in 2015 and has been inspiring songwriters of all levels ever since. The intuitive songwriting methods teach songwriters how to strengthen their intuition and evoke the creative genius within.