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Tips-Tricks-Tools of the Trade

Ray Hughes

0:56:42 · Songwriting

Ray helps pull out the story from the world around you and turn it into a song. He encourages developing eyes to see beauty and lyric in the people and places you're surrounded by every day with hands on exercises to put it into words.

Finding Your Song - Dan McCollam

“The good thing about the bible is you can plagiarize it and instead of being sued, you get encouraged.” - Matt Redman

Where do you get your inspiration to write songs?
  • Read your favorite Psalm and begin the Psalm exercise.
  • Psalm exercise, begin to sing the word as it is.
  • Sing as you read through the word.
  • When there is something good, sing it again.
  • Find a moment with God.
  • What is the hook? What is the chorus? Craft the most powerful, simple words that speak to your heart.
  • Describe this process. Ask God, where do you want to take me?
  • Continue to press into this song idea, inviting other people’s input and recording the process.
  • As long as it takes, continue to refine the song that God gave you.
  • You are 8 times more likely to remember the songs you hear in church verse the sermon that was preached.
Take your top twenty-five songs that you sing in your church. This is your go to song list.
  • Write down the main theological theme of each song and notice which ones are missing.
  • What is missing from your theology? You want to examine what is missing in your song bag.
  • Write out and describe the life message and heartbeat of your local church.
  • Plan a meeting with your worship team and pastors to discuss any ideas or thoughts

“Write down the revelation and make it plain on Tablets so that a herald may run with it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

Spend the next week finding and exploring 3 sources for inspiration and begin writing lyrics and melodies for those sources.
  • Describe the emotions and encounters you are having with these sources. Which source for inspiration do you find the most life on? Describe why it inspires you.
  • Pray about how you can take your song to the next level. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34) “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
  • After you spend some time crafting your song, share what you are learning with a close friend and write down that experience.