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Songwriting

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Bassist_Ben, Apr 28, 2005.


  1. Hey people,

    i am an bass guitarist from a punk/rock band and i dont know wwhat first song should we make??? Because we are like GREEN DAY and we dont have any songs that tease or talk about to bush or stuff. So can i have tips or suggestions please!!! :bassist:
     
  2. :rollno: :rollno: :rollno: :rollno: :rollno: :rollno: :rollno: :rollno: Hey the same thing again also to add we are making songs that are funny becuz they tease stuff or wateva you callit thanks!!
    :hyper: :help: :hyper: :help: :hyper: :help:
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    "All your base are belong to us!!" ;)
     
  4. Pardon that guy's rudeness.

    Songwriting means writing a song instead of copping it off someone else. How are we supposed to give you ideas? They're your songs and if you're trying to perform songs a songwriter wrote, it's going to cost you some money.

    Here's my tip for easy songs. Have the guitarist (or you) think of a riff they created. Play that at band practice and make up instruments to go along as you go. Jam it out. When you need a chorus, think what would sound good.

    That or you could just put a bunch of chords that sound good together and jam it out from there.

    Use your creative muscle Good luck!
     
  5. FriscoBassAce

    FriscoBassAce

    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    Here's my answer, and of course, it's just my opinion:

    First, music can be anything you want it to be. If it's a two-note song, it's music. Not too many people will dig it, but it's STILL music. That being said, here's how I've found to be the "best" way to write cool music that most people will enjoy.

    Write about what you know. Pick something in your life, and write out a "poem" about it. These will be your lyrics. Work on it until the words are just right. It can be funny or serious, it's your choice. You can take something serious and make fun of it.

    Next, find a cool riff to start the song. Most songs in pop, rock or punk, have a "formula" to them. Basically, you have an intro, a verse or two, a chorus, another verse, another chorus, a bridge (which is a similar but different 'riff' that ties the first part of the song to the last part), and then maybe two or three more choruses, depending on what you like. If your band has guitar solos, you can put them before or after the bridge. Take your poem, and fit it to your song structure. You will have to repeat the best part (usually) to be the chorus. Of course you can vary it, as long as it is similar to the other choruses. Try not to have too many verses, as it can wear out the listener. Rock great Steven Tyler (who wrote a BUNCH of hit songs), used to say "Don't bore us, get to the chorus!"

    To help you understand the patterns I'm talking about, listen to your favorite artists that are played on radio or tv. Note how their songs tend to follow "the formula." You'll be amazed at just how many artists do this. Green Day does this exceptionally well. Of course, if you're into some types of music such as free-form jazz, or prog rock, throw the "pop" formula out the window. However, most forms of music (including classical) usually follow some type of pattern. Basically, you have to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sounds simple, but it's true.

    Some people write the lyrics first (like me) and then build a song around it, and others write the music first, and then find lyrics that will "fit." There's no "correct" way to do it. Some people can write great songs all by themselves, and other people do their best when they have a writing partner, that is, two or three people that sit down together with the sole intention of writing a song. You're then able to bounce ideas off each other and find what works. Oh yeah....always record your sessions, even if it's just a cheap tape recorder. You need to have some way to go back to your great ideas the next day after you've slept and gone to school or work or whatever. Many great artists never even practice without a recorder rolling. I think I saw where Sting never plays at all without recording himself.

    Ok.. that's a good start. Get busy and have fun with it! Let us know how your band does. And remember this: songwriters get more royalties than non-writing band members! So if you're ever going to write a hit song, keep that in mind! :D

    Good luck!

    :)
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I can't believe how serious some people are - sense of humour bypass?

    So we're talking about :

    "we are making songs that are funny becuz they tease stuff "

    ... does that indicate a serious attempt at songwriting?

    What are people reading here? :confused:
     
  7. Perfect-Tommy

    Perfect-Tommy

    Mar 28, 2004
    Ohio
    I never thought it would happen... I feel sick... The devil needs a sweater...

    I agree with Bruce...

    Don't write a song that takes a shot at Bush (which I assume is what you meant) just because Green Day did.

    If you're going for the thought provoking political activist thing, you're going to have to be more coherent in your song writing then you are your posting.

    As to answer your question, I think it was Accoustic Guitar Magazine that had a great little article about song writing. It gives a nice back to basics overview of song writing. From your basic I-IV-V to some more advanced things. They even give some stories about some of the classic songs that have built Rock music, like "Freebird".

    Song writing is a VERY personal thing and it works different for pretty much everyone. My advise is to find your own muse. Like in that movie Xanadu...

    Olivia Newton John was such a fox...
     
  8. :meh: well i am not a relli good songwriter and i said bush just for an example! And thanks tommy that waas good help :rolleyes: :bassist:
     
  9. pklima

    pklima

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Goats are always good for humor. Make up silly lyrics about, say, "stormgoat assault troops" invading Wyoming and eating everything in sight. Or a fancy goatlawyer's affair with a lowly goatsecretary. If you want to get political and stay funny, steal ideas from someone like Jon Stewart and expand them into songs, adding goats as needed.
     
  10. Sorry Bruce for thinking you were taking a shot at the kid. It's just he posted a pretty, well, flamable post, so I thought you might be nagging at the "1337" people. Sorry.

    Alright, if you don't feel strong in your songwriting, learn some covers to play with the band while you compose some songs and perfect them, giving them a ton of editing time before you actually fill in the other parts with the band.

    You have to realize, songwriting started with people who wanted to express their thoughts. There are no rules, just the purpose of getting your point across. Luckily (and unfortunately), society has created a prefer formula of listening. Pop music is the bastard song of this formula.

    Here's that formula (that the other guy spoke of) broken down a bit more.

    Songs generally follow this order

    intro
    verse
    chorus
    verse
    chorus
    bridge
    chorus

    The intro is generally an instrumental section, commonly starting with just guitar. This way, the tempo is set before everyone joins, instead of everyone trying to find a common tempo through the first few measures of music.

    The verse is the section of music that has different lyrics. The verse is usually softer in volume than the chorus. To create this effect, having the drums keep time on the hi hat. Also, have the riff based in chords that are lower in tone than the chorus's chords.

    The chorus is generally the main hook as it is repeated several times in the song. It has the same lyrics usually the whole song. It's usually louder and based in higher chords than the verse. To create a louder effect, try the drummer playing the crash or ride cymbal.

    The bridge is the different section of the song where there's usually some revelation to the song and builds back up into the chorus. An example is having the verses about how you love a girl, the chorus about how she broke up with you and you're sad about it, and then the bridge could be about how you realize that she wasn't the girl for you. Variations of the bridge include just having an instrumental solo over any progression (usually over the verse), having a sort of break down, where all the instruments get quiet except for the guitar, which does in acoustic-like chorus. The break down can be seen in the last chorus of FInger Eleven's "Save me" song.

    Punk rock notes - A lot of pop punk rock (isn't that a funny concept) have the guitar playing arpeggios or riffs (chords that are played a single note at a time instead of strummed) the first verse, then playing palm muted strumming the second verse.
    The bass will either pedal roots (the main note of the chord) or play a busier melodic line like Rancid.
    The simple rock beat is a hi hat keeping time (8th notes or quarter notes) with the bass drum on the 1 and 3 beat, and the snare on the 2 and 4 beat. The basic punk beat is the Hi-hat playing quarter notes, the bass on 1 and 3, and the snare on 2 and 4 going really fast (i.e. 220 beats per minute).

    For an added touch, add harmony (o's and ah's) to the last chorus. The goal is to keep things repetive, while not getting boring.

    I hope that helped, any other questions?
     
  11. thanks for the help! :smug:

    And i just got an acoustic aswell and i made a tune where my bass and the acoustic goes really well but i cant really find any lyrics to it. ITs a really fast tune like that old song by THE LIVING END 'Prisoner Of Society' so the pace is like that but the tune sounds nothiing like it :bassist:

    So thanks seeya from ben