Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by yawnsie, Jan 3, 2001.

  1. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Just wondering if anyone on here writes their own songs, and if they do, how. What do you write on - bass, piano, guitar? Do you just come up with chords and a melody, or do you write riffs and parts?

    For the record, I'm the George Harrison type - other people in the band have the pressure of having to come up with songs constantly, whereas I manage to add the odd one or two.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    In the past, I have written whole sets - although I never write lyrics - nowadays I mostly play Jazz and don't get into original compositions that much.

    When I was writing "pop/rock" songs, I usually started with drum machine/sequencer and would usually get the whole chord sequence together and recorded before adding "embellishments". I did occasionally get ideas on bass that would start me off, but usually put down the track starting with a drum part, because by experience I found that this was the most successful method. I then used to work with two or three - mostly female singers to get the lyrics.
  3. I've been writing for years. In my current band, I am also in a George Harrison role, although I usually got stuck in the primary songwriter role with most of my other groups.

    I'll write where the mood hits me. Most of my ideas come while I am absentmindedly strumming a guitar. However, the stuff that I've written that is more riff oriented usually evolves out of playing bass. Occasionally I'll get an idea on the keyboard.

    Sometimes I get an idea for a melody in my head, with the arrangement already developed. I'll usually work these out on bass.

    Of course, my big problem anymore is writing lyrics. I used to be very prolific. Now I seem to have a major case of block.
  4. When I'm not being lazy I'll write both bass lines and lyrics.My main problem in the past(3 years) has been writer's block.Inspiration is very flighty in my case and sometimes it comes to me when I'm nowhere near an instrument.Sometimes I'll go watch another band and get inspired.I'm not one of those people who can churn out song after song.I wish I could be more consistent and more readily inspired.
  5. I write songs too. Sometimes, I'll just write the riffs on my bass, and figure out the chords on the guitar. But I'm not that great of a guitarist, so I usually get my guitarist to come up with a nice guitar part. He's my idol ;).

    Other times, just jamming with guitarists/keys/drummers is good, because you can make something out of nothing. Tell you guitar to play a simple 1-3 chord pattern, and just go wild, you never know when you can come up with something catchy :).
  6. EdgarHons


    Oct 14, 2000
    I write my own basslines, although I'm always very afraid it's some other song and I've just mistakenly figure out how to play it. I suppose (And hope) everyone is sort of scared of this. My old guitarist wrote a Tom Petty song once, and he doesn't even like Tom Petty.

    Lyrics are easy though, I guess my vocabulary rocks, or else I'm just a genius. Seeing as my vocabulary isn't that great, I'd go with the latter.
  7. Reid


    Aug 25, 2000
    Oakville, Ontario
    I usually start with a chord structure (anywhere from 2-8 or so notes) on either guitar or bass. I'm a punker, so it's always power chords (=]). Once that is done, i arrange it with some other parts record it. Sometimes give it to my singer to write, sometimes not. Then I sometimes dress the song up with some (ideally) catchy vocal melodies or bass riffs. Then write lyrics if I didn't give it to the singer. That's, my process, use at your own risk.
  8. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i've written or co-written the music for all of our songs, and composed all of our lyrics except for one song's worth.