1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Songwriting: How do you do it?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by sloppysubs, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    I got to thinking the other day about song writing and who wrote (or writes) what and all that jazz.

    Anyway, I got to listening to all my old stuff from bands/projects past and picking out things that I wrote vs. things that I reacted to. I mean like, I didn't write it persay, but it came to me in the moment of the writing of the song.

    So I am curious, how many of you guys are flat out writers vs. reactive writers or a little of both? Sometimes I find it really easy to write a song on a bass and still leave room for other instruments. But sometimes I find it difficult to write a song on bass at all. Also, if a song is written on a guitar sometimes, though not all times, I feel like I just can't find THE line to fit that song. Does anyone else know what I'm screaming?

    I think I am little bit of both. 50% of the time I will come up with a pretty rad bass line that is completely original just noodling around. Other times lines won't come to me until I'm 'in the moment' as it were or unless I am writing a line to match or with someone else line.
  2. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    In a recent interview with Paul McCartney, he said that he writes songs by starting on guitar or piano, with the bass coming in later, kind of like a reaction to it. That's pretty similar to how I write (not that I can write like Paul McCartney!); I start on guitar (occasionally keyboard) and go from there. I have to hear the basic chord structure and progressions first. Once in a while I'll have a little bass riff that I can build upon, but bass is mostly a reactive thing for me, after the chords and drums are down.

    And I know how you feel about sometimes having trouble finding THE line to fit a song. Sometimes it sounds like a song just needs no bassline at all, ya know? In those cases I just play very simply with the notes available to me; nothing busy that would be distracting (particularly if it's a slower or more mellow song), but hopefully harmonically interesting.
  3. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I find that when I write with an instrument, I end up with lines or chords that I've come up with before. Even though I don't have perfect pitch, and therefore have to have an instrument nearby to find pitchs, I know that if I'm stuck for a line or harmony, I'm better of getting away from the instruments, singing what I want, and then finding those notes on keys or bass.