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Songwriting

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, May 1, 2005.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    After years of trying to figure why sometimes I can do it and why sometimes I can't I made some major realizations. I found what works for and what doesn't. I thought I'd start this thread so Ya'll can write about what works for you and what doesn't. My experience:

    I've written lots of songs in my life, some I love, some I'm okay with, some I hate, some just plain suck and will never see the light of day. After skimming thrugh a book on songwriting not that long ago I started to look at the way I write and it dawned on me. I've never in my life come up with lyrics and then written a song to fit it that I liked. I've come up with lots of lyrics I thought were great, but when I put it together with music - garbage. Not saying it can't be done, just that I can't do it well. I've also never come up with an idea and written around it, as in - I want to write a song about chinese-mexican food (a NY thing that I'm not sure has hit the rest of the world yet). Can't do it. Every song I ever wrote that was worth a damn evolved out of music I played on the bass or strummed on the guitar. I noodle until something eventually comes to me. Once I have 2 parts together I can usually start scat singing a vocal melody. Mindless scat singing always turns into words that my subconscious mind seems to want to put out there - and once that starts happening the rest just kinda flows. I usually have a couple of lines, a complete melody, and then either the words just come to me or I spend time toiling with them. Bridges always seem forced but I work at it.

    This has been the only way I've ever written that produces stuff that makes me happy and I feel it's a landmark in my writing cuz now I can stop wasting time trying to do it other ways and getting frustrated like I have been. Yay! :)

    What's your story?
     
  2. I don't write lyrics, although I want to begin eventually, but I do write insturmental music. I think a lot of the trouble is that I try to overcomplicate. I'll have many good ideas, but they may not mesh with each other. I'll get so focused on one aspect that I don't just do something simple and move on. Sometimes I come from the other direction. I'll have something great in my head, but I get sidetracked when I try to write it down. Occasionally, I'll just relax and let it flow, and that's pretty great.
     
  3. pklima

    pklima

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    I don't write lyrics. I either use poetry I've read recently or randomly found stupidity that catches my attention.

    I write music attempting to make some completely useless idea work just so I can prove I can do it. It took me years to make "real" songs mixing extremely dissonant chords and conventional minor triads. As soon as I figured out how to do it I moved on to the next thing, which seems to be ripping off the opening riff of Bolt Thrower's "Destructive Infinity" to make a doom metal song. I've been at it for almost a year now, written perhaps 20 songs, released a CD-R album and am still trying.

    As I've written elsewhere, I'm no artist. I treat all this more like an engineering experiment. "Will this bridge fall over?" I keep going till I make a bridge that doesn't, then stop and start building towers. Or something like that.
     
  4. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    I write alot, never actually intending the words to turn into songs, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. When I turn Lyrics into songs, I start by singing the melody, then I pick chords for the melody to go over, and add everything around that, when I write music, I just keep going writing al kinds of parts the might work, and piece it all together, then I either write lyrics from scratch or find something I've written That I like and fit it over the song.
     
  5. DarkRPG

    DarkRPG

    Feb 1, 2005
    I find words just come to me at odd times. I'm a neophyte in the lyric writing world. But my friend who's starting a band with me as bass doesn't have the ability with words as I do(he's better with the music).

    It does kinda come out a poetry. I find listening to music tends to bring out the lyrics the best. It's odd, but it will flow out. Also being at work and boredom of it helps too.