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.