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! :)

Writing music to words

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Davidoc, Dec 31, 2000.

  1. I can't seem to write music for my words! I have the responsibility of writing music for both guitar and bass because others in my band can't seem to write anything that sounds right, and I'm the only one who knows a thing about music theory. I can write some nice sounding riffs and solo material, but I can't seem to write music to go along with the words. Is there a specific technique for fitting music to words? I play punk!

  2. Ok i won't make any three chord punk jokes....

    You want some advice on song writing. Ok I have a similar situation although my guitarist writes the riffs and i do the lyrics.

    My suggestion would be this... write two or three riffs minimum and see which one fits your lyrics. If one riff fits almost except your lyrics fall short or are too long, then re-arrange the lyrics.

    We find that some times we change a word or take out the first word out of the line etc. Then again ours is extreme death metal and u can't understand it anyway! :p

    You could even try singing the lyrics until a riff pops into your head, that can be hard but remember the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid)no point in trying to do a ball breaker riff straight away. slowly build on it.

    I hope that helps to some extent..

  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    DaveyO, have you tried writing the music first, then coming up with the words second? That might work out easier.

    One thing my band that played all originals did was come up with riffs, then talk in sentences. We'd all talk and try to talk rhytmically to the music. Pretty soon certain phrases would start to fit the music. When we had discovered those, we'd settle on a main idea of the song. It was easier when we had a working title.

    Often it was easier if we started with a title. Then the "talk" part was talking about the idea of the title. Our songs were quite political. So we'd decide what political statement we wanted to make...usually protesting some inequity. Then we's just talk about it trying to make our talk fit the riffs. It was something like rap at first, until we modified it and made it more like a song.

    Trying to write music to words just seems much harder to me, but each band has its own strengths and its own way of doing things.

    Jason Oldsted
  4. For the 2 orignal songs our band does play, I only contributed the bass line to the second song, so I had lyrics and a guitar line to work with. But I've found myself trying to write some songs now, and the fact that I write a little poetry now and then helps a bit. I usually tend to pick a theme, and write out the lyrics that portray what I'm trying to say. Then I'll pick up my guitar and fiddle around with some chords etc to find a general structure that fits the song. Then I pick up my bass and fiddle around with it until I get a nice bass line, and finally I leave it to the guitarist(s) in the band to play around with the basic guitar line I've laid down.

    If that helps...:D
  5. Thank you for the advice. I used what all 3 of you said to get the music working with the words.

  6. So Davy0 how did you get along? manage to nail a few songs???

  7. i think that's the easiest way to write. if you have good lyrics, and they're metrically balanced and all, then a tune can often pop into your head. try ignoring the natural inflections in the words, and try the emphasis in different places.
  8. Well, I got part of a song going synchronizing bass part to lyrics.

  9. What i've tried, since no one in my band if wants to write lyrics, is listen to your favourite bands, see how they sing, see what they say, they use what they've done and insert it into your music. Now i'm not saying steal their lyrics, but see how they've done it, hey it's a given that they know what their doing, or we won't be listening to them, so just learn from them. It's sort of working with us, but once you can't an idea, so start to flow with it!

    Just trying to help! Coz

Share This Page