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  • Apologies- I don't know where to start

    I'm sorry, guys. This has to be the millionth thread, and searching (maybe it searched?) on mobile got me nowhere. How do you guys get focused to put your ideas into song? I have some riffs, I have some melodies, I'm great with words and analogies... I just can't seem to get lyrics in place or put itall together. Lyrics and transitions are my biggest obstacles it seems.
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

    http://www.silentlapse.com

  • #2
    Melody consist of two parts. Pitch and rhythm. Pitch is what most people focus on, but I think for lyrics... to really write great lyrics, rhythm is where you should start.

    To explain further, words have a natural cadence when spoken. Certain syllables get stressed. If we pay attention to that when writing lyrics our songs will not sound forced. They should sound good when spoken. Sometimes you can even match up stressed syllables in lines to add continuity to melody.

    I think this is the reason why alot of folks have more success writing lyrics to established music. Sometimes words are brilliant on the page but because of the way accents within the natural cadence of the words works, they might not sound good sung, or at least be very hard to make work.

    I struggled with writing lyrics for a long time. A trick that I sometimes use now when I have a lyrical idea but don't have a piece of music in mind is just to write it to a stock country, soul, or blues progression. The beauty is that words that sound natural sung one way usually sound good sung another because you've already tapped into the natural cadence of the words.
    ...

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    • #3

      SLScott86 wrote:
      I'm sorry, guys. This has to be the millionth thread, and searching (maybe it searched?) on mobile got me nowhere. How do you guys get focused to put your ideas into song? I have some riffs, I have some melodies, I'm great with words and analogies... I just can't seem to get lyrics in place or put itall together. Lyrics and transitions are my biggest obstacles it seems.

      How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.

      I think someone posted a video (or article) recently about how Jason Mraz writes songs. It's the way a lot of people do. You fool around on the guitar or piano until you find an interesting chord progression. Then you fool around with that for a while until it starts to take shape. Then you start to hum or sing nonsense words on top of the chords you're playing. Then those nonsense words -- "scrambled eggs" or "obla-di-obla-da" -- turn into an actual lyric.

      That's one way.

      Another is to sit down with your lyrical ideas, and try to get them into some kind of recognizable shape (recognizable as a song lyric rather than random ideas). Then see if you can put those words to music.

      That's another way.

      Mainly though, you have to kind of let go of what you think the song should be, and try to let it come to you.

      “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

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      • Lee Knight
        Lee Knight commented
        Editing a comment

        I'd say the thing that helped me most get started (and now I can't stop!) is learning structure. Sounds kinda fiddly but I find it's really fun and very cool. All different kinds of structure in a song. There's the form. Verse Chorus V C B solo C C repeat outro, the V V B V, there's all those. You can read about them but more fruitful is writing out the form of all your favorite songs. Grab a pen, pad and a pair of headphones.


         


        But there are other, less obvious types of structure. The rhyme pattern. Listen and write it down


         


        Row ,row, row your boat


        Gently down the stream 


        Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily


        Life is but a dream


         



        Just gimme some kind of sign, girl 


        Oh, my baby


        Show me that you're mine girl


        Alright


         



        Search it out and make note. That way you start owning it. Other kinds of subtle structure? Does he ask a question? Does he make a statement of alltruism? Does he sing to a girl or maybe to himself? All these types of POVs, when jotted down analyzing a song you love, they start giving you ideas of how you can get your ideas down into concrete form. And structure.  


         


        By compartmentalizing a song you love as you analyze it, it allows you to borrow concets that are a sure fire way of inspiring you. In one sense it becomes "fill in the blanks", but not in a restricting way, but very much a liverating and inspiring way.


         


        At least for me...


    • #4
      Thanks for the tips, guys. One thing I've always done is write riffs that just want to resolve on themselves. I've got eighty damn covers and I still read them off the freaking iPad. So this will help in songwriting, and becoming more familiar with the "why" of the songs I'm playing so I can rely on the iPad a little less.
      Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

      http://www.silentlapse.com

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