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Song Writing Process?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Ef4, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Ef4


    Jul 28, 2009
    Just curious on some steps you guys use in song writing....
    i usually start with a riff i come up with when im just jammin' (by myself or with some friends) and build off of that riff, use a nice chord progression n i usually use the relative minors/majors for the bridge...What about you?

    maybe we can learn from one another:hyper:
  2. BananaKing

    BananaKing Supporting Member

    May 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C.
    It depends on what I'm writing.....

    For school/combo/big band charts, I usually am arranging a melody for a specific ensemble, so I just need to write harmonies and countermelodies for other instruments with cues for stylistic changes.

    For Funk/Soul/reggae chats, I typically stick to Grooving on simple chord progressions, leaving enough room for improv.

    For String ensemble charts, It really depends on what It is I'm writing for and why. I typically start with a rhythm or a harmony of some sort, and I know that I really like the #4-5 and 7-1 Resolutions, so I tend to use those a lot.

    And for Complex rock/Prog. Rock, I've recently been indulging in Modal Interchange/Borrowed Chords. I am really liking the whole IMaj7-bIIMaj7-bVII7-IVmin7 style progressions these days.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    happens for me in no set way. sometimes i just start playing and boom, sometimes i work on something for a few days. it's all trial and error. if something doesn't work, try something else.
  4. I'm Country so the story is important. No story no need for the song. So lyrics first. Then verse structure, 4 line or 5, rhyme or not. I will use a basic I IV V I for the first draft. Complete I IV V I for the first two lines in the verse and then repeated for the last two lines of the verse. Chorus is normally the same progression. Chorus is the hook. Next is getting the chord change word (lyrics) to flow with the progression.

    By this time the melody is almost there. I now go to the keyboard and work out one note per lyric word, i.e. which note goes best with this lyric word. Keeping in mind chord tones. During the fleshing out process melody harmonization is normally accomplished with extensions and or sus chords. I try and leave the chord progression's journey from rest (I) to tension (IV), climax (V7), resolution and return to rest (I) intact, as best I can, inserting the harmonizing melody note within the existing chords.

    That gets the first draft.
  5. Chris K

    Chris K

    May 3, 2009
    Gorinchem,The Netherlands
    Partner: Otentic Guitars
    1. General atmosphere
    2. Raw text material with some fragments of poetry
    3. Melody
    4. Refined text
    5. Form, repeats etc.
    5. Harmonic structure in very long notes
    6. Rhythmic patterns
    7. Breaks, interludes, solo's etc.
    8. Full chart
    9. Chords for those xxxxxxxx who can''t read music
    10. Rehearsal, changes
    11. Recording

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