Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is songwriting something that comes naturally?

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is songwriting something that comes naturally?

    I don't know if I'm underestimating myself, like I have written so many songs but I just don't like them, I'm only 15 but still!


  • #2
    Also, do you start with lyrics or a tune in your head or chords? Or a theme? Idk haha

    Comment


    • Lee Knight
      Lee Knight commented
      Editing a comment

      CandiceMilner wrote:
      Also, do you start with lyrics or a tune in your head or chords? Or a theme? Idk haha

       


      You start with whatever you've got. If you've got a cool little melody running through your head, why not look for a lyric phrase that's fits nicely with it? Or a cool place to go melodically after that little ditty you've got running. Got a lyric phrase that seems to be calling you? Why not see if you can maybe turn that little phrase into more? Or look for a melody for it?  


       


      In other words, there is no special place to start. Go with what you've got.


       


      If I've got a running start on any of it, you can bet I'm going to home in on that bit and see if it can snowball it into more. And in any direction that it wants to go. Let it be the guide. You're not the captain of this ship. It is. Your job is to pull it into port safely. That takes work. Or play.


       


      Having said all that, don't wait for inspiration. Get started with nothing and see what you can drum up... then follow the ideas above. You got nothing? OK...


       


      How 'bout I write a song about being tired. Tired and... I just can't take them talking and talking and talking and I'm beat and...


       


      I'm Tired


      Shut Up


      Shut Up, I'm Tired. OK, I like that last one.


       


      Shut Up, I'm Tired. So, where now? I'm stuck. Sure, I've got a picture of me driving and my SO babbling and not realizing that I am beyond beat and maybe if I just let them go on and I'll just let them run out of steam and... Christ already! SHUT UP! I'M TIRED!


       


      But how do I get a song out that? A lot of times I look to rhymes. Tired:


      firedhiredretiredwired 


      acquiredadmiredconspireddesiredinquiredinspiredrehired,requiredrewiredtranspired 


       


      as requiredunexpireduninspired 


       


      I like "wired". It's the perfect juxtaposition to the whacked driver, me. And there's my girl babbling and and she's wired. Working backward:


      XXX XXX XXX


      XXX XXX XXX


      XXX XXX XXX


      Shut up, I'm tired


       


      OK... so, I'm not an ****************************. I show empathy.


       


      You know I love you


      XXX XXX XXX


      XXX XXX XXX


      Shut up, I'm tired


       


      Good. 


       


      You know I love you


      You know I care


      But you're bouncing off the car ceiling


      An I'm sunk low in the driver's chair


      XXX XXX XXX


      Shut up, I'm tired


       


       


      Driver's chair? No way, it's a driver's seat. Rhymes for seat. Complete, street, sweet. 


       


      You know I love you


      You make me complete


       


      You know I love you


      I think you're sweet


       


      You know I love you


      Up and down this street


       


      You know I love you


      I think you're sweet


      But you're bouncing off this car ceiling


      An I'm sinking low in this driver's seat


      You're talkin' talkin' talkin' talkin' 


      What's up? Why're you so wired


      Shut up! I'm tired...


       


      that's how I do it. It's not great, but now I have a situation. Maybe you guys are incompatible? Maybe you have to do all the work and they get to play and no wonder they're wired and you're tired?


       


      So, while I'll always jump on any idea that feels worthy, if there isn't an idea, I get to it and just start putting stuff down as detailed above. You might end up not using a thing from the first beginnings but you'll find yourself somewhere moving ahead in a direction of creation. You just keep moving when you''ve got inertia and only edit and second guess when you've run your course for this session. Get it out, fix it later.


       


      Then go pick up your Grammy.  


       


    • blue2blue
      blue2blue commented
      Editing a comment

      CandiceMilner wrote:
      Also, do you start with lyrics or a tune in your head or chords? Or a theme? Idk haha

      There's really no one way.


      Some folks might tend to do it in a consistent manner, others (like myself) are all over the map. Sometimes I start with an idea for basic idea of the song (the theme, as we would say in my prose classes in college, though theme can sometimes refer to a musical theme in songwriting, so you don't see the term quite as much in this sector), sometimes I start with a specific phrase or maybe an image that catches my fancy but I don't even necessarily know what context it will be in; sometimes I start with the music; sometimes I'll just strum a few chords on a guitar or noodle a few chords on the keyboard until something comes to me. 


    • nat whilk II
      nat whilk II commented
      Editing a comment

      Does songwriting come naturally?  

       

      There are differences in talent between people, sure.  Some people write more easily than others it seems.  But whether it's easy or hard for you, that's not the same question as "can I write good songs?".   A good song is a good song whether you just woke up one day and like by magic this great song was in your head, or whether you took a year of writing and re-writing and struggling with it to get it right.  

       

      I'd say for the average person who writes decent songs, they have some talent, but it's the work that really counts.  

       

      All songwriters write tons of bad songs.  Even the geniuses seem to have a dud or two on almost every album - and who knows how many bad songs didn't make it onto the album at all?  

       

      Have fun, keep at it, don't get all upset how any particular song is coming along, and listen to a lot of stuff you think is good.   And try to understand what it is that makes something good in your opinion. 

       

      Best of luck and post up something when you feel like it - 

       

      nat whilk ii

       

       


  • #3

    CandiceMilner wrote:

    I don't know if I'm underestimating myself, like I have written so many songs but I just don't like them, I'm only 15 but still!





    Hi, Candace


    It's common in the writing game to tell young writers that you just have to write a lot before you start getting the kind of control and ability that finally feels like you really know what you're doing. In prose, they say you're not really a writer until you've written a million words (that's a lot, something like 10 slim novels -- but, of course, it's not an actual numeric threshold. In poetry they say you've got to write a thousand bad poems. The numbers,  of course, are a bit metaphoric. The message is really: it takes a long time to get both good and comfortable with your voice as a writer and there's nothing at all unusual about that.


     


    Also, let me say, welcome to Harmony Central. This songwriting workshop section has two moderators, me and Lee Knight. Lee's a great guy and has a daughter about your age. If you should have any questions or problems please don't hesitate to contact one of us.


    Also, while we've tried to make Harmony Central a little less wild and wooly, in the past it had a reputation as a somewhat rowdy place. If anyone gives you a hard time or unwanted attention or anything else, please contact Lee Knight, myself, or an administrator right away via personal message.

    .

    music and social links | recent listening

    Comment


    • #4
      Come up with a melody, then some chords to work with them. Then if you want, make something a bit more complicated with it. That's how I do it lol.

      Honestly you'll have to find your way, and you for sure have time. I checked out your YouTube channel btw, you have a lovely voice!
      http://www.youtube.com/user/theminpoes

      Comment


      • LCK
        LCK commented
        Editing a comment

        I think songwriting does come naturally, in a way: we all make up songs when we're kids. We just forget how to tap into that natural ability as we get older and we have to find ways to remind ourselves.


    • #5

      yes. i think it.something always  comes with naturally.

      Comment


      • Mark Blackburn
        Mark Blackburn commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks, Candice Milner -- your question is so simple and straightforward it got all of us thinking about it. Great advice from all my friends (above).  Not least those two simple one-syllable words, "HAVE FUN" while you're doing it.

        I'm a Canadian and one of my compatriots (who wrote one hit song decades before you were born) had some timeless advice.  I quoted him elsewhere four years ago, on my own thread "A Great Melody First THEN the lyrics" (a title which speaks to an ideal -- back when 'strong melodies' were still being written for Broadway and 'the movies.').  Anyway, here's what I shared, Candice. Thanks again for posting your question.

        ----

        You might not immediately recognize the name













    Working...
    X