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How do YOU write a new song?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Komakino, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. OK dudes, I was wondering....when you write a new song, do you put music to words, or do you write the music first and add the words later, or a combination of both, or what? Just curious...
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    it depends. both and neither. i write most of my band's lyrics, and i have usually about 5 or 6 songs' worth of lyrics lying around. when we jam on something new, and it starts to gel, i might go hunting for some lyrics to use. i have also taken old songs that we have worked on and re-written the original lyrics since the original lyricist has left the band.

    on the other hand, i have also had lyrics that i've written first that i've put music to, piece by piece.

    we've also written music and lyrics simultaneously. depends on the song, reallly.
  3. While we're on the subject of writing songs and such.....where the heck are those cds your band has spent forever recordin?
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, really. i'm wonderin' too. we are recording the last bit of vocals on 3 songs. FINALLY. we get together about 4 or 5 times a week to record, a couple of hours at a time.

    unfortunately 2 of our older adats are now in the shop - probably need new transports (we've put about 2000 hours on them in the last 5 1/2 years.) they should be back by tuesday.

    the reason it's taking us so long is that we are trying to get everything about the performance aspect of the music as perfect as we can. after all the time and effort and money that we've put into this project, we want it to sound as pro as possible. since none of us are audio/mixing engineers by trade, we've had to learn (actually I'VE had to learn - i do almost all of the engineering, mixing and recording of the band) how to do everything.

    this has meant that all the work that we did the first few years ended up sucking because we (actually me again :( ) didn't know what we were doing when we recorded it.

    combine with all that the facts that

    a) we are trying to do over 140 minutes worth of stuff (2 cds) at once.

    b) up until relatively recently, we all had full time jobs, which limited our weekly participation.

    and lastly

    c) we're trying to do stuff that's pretty difficult to perform properly. at least for us. our instrumental is about as hard to play and complex as the majority of vocal-oriented songs. so it takes us a while for some of us to perform our parts properly.

    i was having trouble with a bunch of my own bass lines - it was really depressing. that's why i started working contract jobs. now i can devote a lot of time to my playing and get my parts right - my chops have become hugely better since i stopped working :D.

    so there you have it - the long answer (excuse?) to your short question :D

    oh, and as for them being finished, i hope to begin mixing them down in july. so who knows? they might be done before you get married jake :rolleyes: :D.
  5. Speaking of songwriting, my band is going to try something we have never done before. We are going to write a song from a drum line(s). Aka get the drummer to start the process rather than myself handing in lyrics or the geetarist showing us a riff.

    Has anyone done this before? Ever written a song from drums? Any suggestions?

  6. i guess thats how the cookie crumbles JT! I'm sure whenever they are done everyone here at TB will own a copy.
  7. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    i wrote a new songs last nite, MOTORCYCLE MAMA. Had the title and the chorus worked out in my head first, then sat down and worked out the verse riffs. Now I am working on (bad) lyrics.
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    sounds like a hit! :D

    oh, and thanks jake. i hope so, at least. SOMEBODY needs to buy it :rolleyes: :D

  9. who said anything about buying a copy? :D

    I mean come on, Dave Siff gave me a free cd. ;)

    just kiddin with ya JT :)
  10. Yes, it can be done. I sit down at the drumset and start playing, and a song usually builds around it in my head, then all I have to do then is figure it out on the guitar or bass. Usually guitar first, then I work out a bassline for it, because my basslines aren't usually the same as the guitar part.

    But for me to write a song, I can't sit down and say, "OK, I'm going to write a song" It takes me pretty long to write a song, because I have to wait until something just pops into my head. It's really depressing when I think I have a song in my head that I think is great, then realize that it's a song that I've heard on the radio or something.

    There's also another way. I'll sit down with a geetar or bass and just think of all the elements I want to go into the song. It's the opposite of waiting. Then after I think of everything I want in the song, I figure out the chord progression and such and then write a bassline that fits really well. Then the drumpart kind of writes itself.

    I don't write lyrics, never been good at them, and probably never will be good at them, but I'm trying, because in some of my songs, the singer/lyricist's lyrics don't fit my songs.

    But when I don't write them around drumparts, which is usually, I use the methods I've explained above.
  11. words > rhythm > bass > melody
    in that order
  12. For me lots of different things spark ideas for composition. Everything from rhythms to certain combinations of notes or scales or even effects. Also I find that putting my bass into a random tuning helps to create pieces. And sometimes the music is completed up in my noodle before I even touch my basses.
  13. Well my band really only has one full song which our lead guitarist and myself wrote in its entirety (I even wrote some of the guitar riffs :)). For all the other bits of songs that we have they all started from a bassline or guitar riff that one of us came up with. However, when we are just fooling around and improvising it almost always starts with the drums, then the bass, then guitar.
  14. Since I can record songs at my computer, I usually have one part on my mind and then screw with it and add parts as I record it. Probably isn't the best method, but I've made quite a bit of songs. My songs can be heard at:
  15. Guitar>bassline>melody>lyrics
  16. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    i usually write my riffs, go to the drummer and work out the whole rhythm section parts. then lead guitarist walks in, we play it for him, and then we all come up with the lead parts. lyrics come last, and the drummer or me usually write them

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