If you’ve played an instrument for a while the chances are you fall into the same patterns each time you pick it up to write.
The chord sequences. The rhythms. The style.
We get comfortable with familiarity.
So, sometimes it’s good to rock the boat and leave our comfort zone!
The next time you want to try writing something completely different, start writing using an instrument that you don’t play (or, at least, don’t play competently).
This works especially well with instruments such as the piano, that are simple enough to get both melody and rhythm out of, without needing to first develop specialised technique.
Sure, you might sound bad on the instrument, can’t do anything complex or generally don’t know what to do, but that’s the whole point; you go into it with no muscle memory preconceptions.
Don’t worry if what you’re doing seems too “simple” – you’re not trying to impress people with virtuoso skills – you’re simply exploring new avenues for your songwriting.
If you combine this with a drum loop in a style not usually your own, you’ll come up with something most unique – and perhaps rather good too 🙂