Lacking songwriting inspiration? Read a paint chart.

March 11, 2013

I’m renovating the house at the moment, so the place is littered with all manner of related detritus: brochures, drawings, B&Q receipts. And paint charts.

I also write songs, and inspiration comes from a variety of sources: people, events, people, the news, people, the weather – OK, mostly people!

My songwriting technique often revolves around a guitar or piano riff and a bit of interplay with another guitar, or bass line. I then mumble along a rough melody to the hook and the words start forming from there. Usually this might be mixed with some phrases I’ve read in a book or newspaper; or perhaps something I’ve overheard or remembered from a conversation, meeting or other event.

I’m rarely stuck for ideas (luckily), but the other evening I was looking at paint charts – like you do – and to my surprise they were full of potential lyrics and ideas for songs.




I thought the Crown charts above were quite mainstream but the Farrow & Ball paint charts I also looked at would perhaps be more use for folk songs, with names like: Blackened, Lamp Room Gray, Pigeon, Cinder Rose, Borrowed Light, Litchen, Railings and Arsenic to name a few.

So from now on if I ever need a little inspiration to complete a song, the first place I’ll turn to is a Farrow & Ball or Crown paint chart – depending on the style of music, of course…


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