- Sometimes doing an arrangement of someone else's work gives you a good launching point for adding your own ideas. Don't forget to credit the original composers or lyricists and make sure the original music is within the public realm.
- Play around with different ideas on the piano or other instrument. Change a note or two in a common chord to add interest. Change the bass note to add interest or deliberate conflict. Keep trying until you hit on something you like.
- Try different rhythms or time signatures. For example, a 3/4 song may be changed to a 4/4 song. (Reference "Sweet Hour of Prayer" on the religious music page. The original song is in 3/4 timing, but the arrangement is in 4/4 by lengthening out one of the notes in each measure.)
- Ask a friend for their favorite hymn or song and make an arrangement of it.
- Collaborate with another composer or with a lyricist.
- Just start getting something down on paper (or in the computer). That often starts the "juices" flowng.