What's in a title? Write down short phrases that come into your head.

How to Respond

  • Set a timer for 3 minutes. Write 10 titles without thinking too much about it or being judgmental. Just write down whatever short phrases come into your head. The time crunch tends to make your inner critic get out of the way.
  • As an alternative, free write for 3 minutes. Circle words or phrases that jump out at you.
  • Post your song titles below and you’ll receive some feedback from our professional songwriters, Deidre and Mike!



by Lorde

"Karma Police"

by Radiohead

"Diane Young"

by Vampire Weekend


  • Sometimes, if you have the right title, the song practically writes itself.
  • If you can come up with a short title phrase that embodies a concept, it's easier to focus your lyric from the beginning
  • Check out Deidre's blog for additional inspiration


Title mash up: collaborate on your title. For instance, you supply “Hungry” and your peer supplies “Heart” and you got your title! Why collaborate? Collaboration takes the heat off judging yourself and your idea, and frees up your subconscious.


Click here for more Songwriting Exchange activities.


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Comment by Gabby Jackson on June 5, 2014 at 9:21pm
Thank you @didre!!! I was in a very open mind state and I just wrote down every combination of words I thought of.
Comment by Deidre Rodman Struck on June 5, 2014 at 8:51pm

Gabby Jackson you must be fast writer/typist! That's lots of titles in 3 minutes-I think I did 8 :)

I like "Red Heart" because it could be red, as in blood, or red as in red roses, or red as in sunset..

Comment by Janet Noh on June 3, 2014 at 11:52am

Wish I'd been able to be part of these conversations sooner. well, better late than never, right?

I loved this exercise and feel like I could do it for hours on end! It help strip down the art of songwriting to really simple concepts (like freeing the conscience, word associations, being attuned to visual triggers, etc.). that said, here are some titles!

inbox clutter

jumbo loan

if i had an armadillo


happy goodbye

Thursday Thunder - also thinking about Deidre Rodman Struck

yellow sound

Carry me Carrie

kalefornia love

finished and empty - took two adjacent titles from Bri Ray's post down below

lullaby for my brother

Out Of Order

fire rabbit



over sideways and under

selfish sharing

passive passion - re: what a few of Gabby Jackson's titles made me think of




Comment by Bri Ray on June 2, 2014 at 9:23pm

Closed off, Fearful, Untrusting, Doubtful, Change, Open Minded, Welcoming, Opening up, Vulnerable, Whirlwind, New life, Step up, Time, Enemy lines, We the people, Skinny Black Tie, Rabid Dog, Blind, Paper Planes, Quick on your feet, Sweet Dreamer, Outline, Shadow, Build from the sky down, Avenue, Honeymoon, Galaxy, Stardom, Karma, Windy road, drop off, Done, finished, empty, tired, summer, sun, laughter, otterpops, bare feet, warm roads, snowcones, beaches, breeze, with ease, almost there, hang on, kill them with kindness, beneath, stranded, helpless, hopeless

Comment by Megan Doyle on June 1, 2014 at 6:32pm

1. Moving Away

2. What If

3. Give Me One Reason

4. Between the Bars

5. Feel Again

6. Days Are Gone

7. Wasted Years

8. Blue

9. Seaside

10. Young Years

Comment by Kelley Ahlstrom on May 31, 2014 at 7:24pm

Testing waters, Empathetic, Don't hurt my happy heart, A long way home, Taking the slow road home, Misty Rain, Whiskey and Scarves, Twisted Faith, Blue as the moon, Calmer than lightning, Hoping for hope, Stillness in your eyes, guiltless is still a lie

Comment by Gabby Jackson on May 31, 2014 at 1:38am
Comment by Gabby Jackson 23 seconds ago
Delete Comment
Distance education, freedom fighter, don't speak, realignment, constructed, unreserved, quiet girl, longer love, spell it out, no fight left, forget it, figuratively speaking, unspoken, fatality, new life, hierarchy, smile, unintended, passive aggressive, make time, lying, let you go, live in love, platonic, speak easy, furious, red heart
Comment by Deidre Rodman Struck on May 30, 2014 at 9:18pm

Connor Mahoney I hear you-I remember feeling like the 3 minute time limit was both way too fast and somehow, at the same time, too long when I did this exercise!


I swear I am going to make this days of the week thing happen somehow.

"Buying a Boat"-I want to hear more about that story. It makes me think of .

Comment by Gerhardt A Fox on May 29, 2014 at 11:26pm

Going Home, Cosmic Adventure Time, Underworld, Star Burns, Disease, Inferi, VOID, New Moon, The Last Time I Died, Belladonna, Demons, Witchcraft, Black Eyes, Enter the Abyss, This Is The End, Apocalypse, Illuminati, Descensum

Comment by Connor Mahoney on May 29, 2014 at 6:31pm

I'm trying to come up with an idea for the story song challenge and I thought I would give this activity a shot. That time crunch was exhausting!


1. Crab Legs

2. Peach Bowl

3. Tomorrow's Breakfast

4. Eating Time

5. Flyby

6. Shying Away

7. Buying a Boat

8. Tuesday's Timing (Thinking about Deidre Rodman Struck)

9. Seconds to Hours

10. Cards in My Pocket

  And an 11th one for good measure...

11. Stealing Time


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