Songwriting Exercise: Roll a Dice to Find Your Chords

Sometimes we sit down to write and we’re not sure what we want about. That blank page is very intimidating! If you’re not sure of the mood of your song, sometimes the music can be hard to build from ground up. If you’re ever having trouble finding chords for your next song, here is a fun exercise you can try out and see what happens. 

Step One: Find a dice with six sides.

Step Two: Choose the number of chords you want in your song. 

Step Three: Roll the dice four times and write down the number you get each time.

Step Four: Choose your chords according to a major or minor key (or more advanced, a mode). Choose a key.

In this example, we’ll use a four-chord structure. Let’s say you got 3, 5, 1, 6. This directly translates into chords you can use.

If we’re a major key, here are the chords we have in C major:

E minor
G major 
C major
A minor

(Note: if you want to use the 7th degree chord, this exercise won’t be helpful with that!)

Step Five: Change the order as you like (or, for fun, keep it in that order to write something different!). 

Step Five: Change the quality of the chords as you like. 

For example, you can make the E minor chord an Emaj chord, E7 chord, or an Emin9 chord. Be creative!

Step Six: Write! Feel free to repeat this exercise for each section.