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  • How do you write the lyrics first?

    I'm having trouble writing lyrics first. The reason I want to get in the habit of writing lyrics first is because my work space is limited. Meaning I can spend more time writing lyrics than writing melodies. So if I advance in my lyrics writing I can probably have more written songs faster, and I can take it to a keyboard and try and create the melody when time permits. I live in an apartment where rooms are shared, and walls are very thin. Do you guys have a strategy to write melodies without bugging anyone. Like with headphones. Thanks.



    What are your methods to writing lyrics first? How do you follow a meter pattern? Do you write them to ghost songs? Any tips would be helpful, and would greatly push me forward.



    I love you guys, and love this community of wonderful people with similar goals as me.



    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    I usually start with a couple of chords on the piano. Then I start humming a melody. Then I write lyrics for the melody.
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    • #3






      Quote Originally Posted by triq
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      I usually start with a couple of chords on the piano. Then I start humming a melody. Then I write lyrics for the melody.




      I wonder if you read my Original post. hehe

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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by xtianmind
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        I wonder if you read my Original post. hehe




        I did. Your question was, "What are your methods to writing lyrics first?"



        My answer was, "I don't."
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        • #5
          Very Useful. Thank you <3

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by xtianmind
            View Post

            Very Useful. Thank you <3




            Whatever use you find in it is solely up to you, not me <3
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            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by xtianmind
              View Post

              I'm having trouble writing lyrics first. The reason I want to get in the habit of writing lyrics first is because my work space is limited. Meaning I can spend more time writing lyrics than writing melodies. So if I advance in my lyrics writing I can probably have more written songs faster, and I can take it to a keyboard and try and create the melody when time permits. I live in an apartment where rooms are shared, and walls are very thin. Do you guys have a strategy to write melodies without bugging anyone. Like with headphones. Thanks.



              What are your methods to writing lyrics first? How do you follow a meter pattern? Do you write them to ghost songs? Any tips would be helpful, and would greatly push me forward.



              I love you guys, and love this community of wonderful people with similar goals as me.



              Thank you in advance.






              Xtain - I know there are many people who write lyrics first. And those who write the music first. And those that do both at the same time. There is no set way. It's very individual.



              But my response to your post is this... you may be one of the lucky ones who can write lyrics first, or can do both, etc. And that is great. But if your inclination is to do melody and music first, going the lyric only way might be counterproductive.



              I recently went on a trip. I installed a tiny piano app in my phone. Just something so I could hear tones. While I did not write a song on it, I did work on a melody when i had some spare moments. So really, space in this day and age should not be an issue with a little tiny investment money wise.



              Just my 2 cents.

              Rick
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.rickdieffenbach.com" target="_blank">www.rickdieffenbach.com</a>.</div>

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              • #8
                As I am fumbling my way through the melody, I find that I'll spontaneously come out with a line or two that illuminate the direction of the song. From there it is simply a matter of mentally developing the scene and honing it all into shape.
                Don't listen to Justin.
                LCK - 2/21/2012

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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by xtianmind
                  View Post

                  What are your methods to writing lyrics first?




                  Generally, when I want to write some lyrics, what I do is sit down and write some lyrics.








                  How do you follow a meter pattern?



                  I tap my big toe on the ground.








                  Do you write them to ghost songs?



                  I don't know what "ghost songs" are.








                  Any tips would be helpful, and would greatly push me forward.



                  Depending on the nature of the song, I generally want to get some sense of the melody early in the process, since that will help me find words and phrases that fit together well and are reasonably "singable".



                  So I ponder my song topic for a while, find a hook ASAP, put some notes to it, and build from there. Usually hook, then chorus, then verses, then bridge, than any intro/outro/turnarounds.



                  But there are times I've written most of the lyrics to a song without really worrying about the melody at all. It just depends.

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                  • #10
                    I write lyrics without music all the time, however, I can't write them without a melody. Fortunately lyrics sort of jump in to my brain with one attached. Then it is just a matter of finding chords to play underneath, or if I'm really lucky I'll find they fit over something I have already been noodling around with.



                    I write most of my stuff when I'm working, as it is the type of job I don't need my brain for. Mostly I just sing them in my head until I get home and can can pick up a guitar. I seldom ever work out a melody, the first thing that jumps in to my head is usually how the melody is going to go when I record it.



                    I wasn't always capable of writing in my head, it took some time to learn, but now I can't stop it, my brain is always on the lookout for lyrics. So my advice is that like everything else, practice is the only thing that will get you there.

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                    • #11
                      I tend to get an idea, sometimes with a guitar in my hand, sometimes not, sometimes when I'm listening to someone else's music, and then, to the extent the ideas/words flow, I may write much of the lyric without accompaniment. (That said, if inspiration flags, I'll pick up a guitar or sit down at a piano-style keyboard and hack something under it to get some momentum. For me, writing the lyrics is the struggle, and music tends to be something of an afterthought. (Mind you, that is probably reflected in my music. I'm not Paul McCartney. )



                      Writing lyrics to a 'ghost' song can be effective, as well. I suspect many who are strictly lyricists may do this as a matter of course, when they aren't writing for a specific collaboration. The main thing I watch for is unconsciously picking up bits of original lyric or accidentally absorbing the other guy's melody.


                      music and social stuff | The Forgotify Files | A Year of Songs | mutant pop on facebook | roots acoustic on facebook


                      The chorus seems a little weak... I think it needs more lasers.

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                      • #12
                        I'm not interested in writing songs unless there is a real idea, so before going through the crafting process, I like to write out the idea in short sentence prose. No meter, no rhyme - just explore the idea.

                        Then when I review the material, if I think there is potential for a song, I'll pick the lines that will form the title and chorus.



                        While shaping these, I ensure the word rhythms are there, and the accents fall on the right words.

                        Everything follows from there.
                        'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
                        CHARLIE PARKER

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                        • #13
                          Most portable keyboards come with volume controls. I don
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                          • #14
                            Sometimes I write lyrics first. If I have no idea what the melody will be but have an idea for lyrics, I just start writing words while thinking them out in my head so I can "hear" what the rhythm is and then try to keep the subsequent words to the same rhythm. It involves a lot of repeating the same words over and over, trying to get all of the lines to flow rhythmically almost as if it's a poem. Then later on, when I have music (and maybe a melody) I'll go back through my music-less lyrics to see if I can fit them to the music.



                            It's probably an even mix for me which gets written first: words or music, but I find my lyrics first songs tend to have much better lyrics than music whereas my music first songs tend to have more interesting music than lyrics.
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                            • #15
                              Writing lyrics first. I do it a lot lately. Lately, as in the past couple years or so. As some have already pointed out, when you work at a desk job with the computer, it can go hand-in-hand with documenting your song ideas. Why not go lyrics first?



                              The problem can be, writing some "great" lines that mean a lot on paper but have no musical value, or the musical value ends up being very pedestrian and stock.



                              Why?



                              For me, the reason has been a reliance on symmetrical patterns. We start writing and our personal, limited experience with doing it this way results in little nursery rhymes with adult themes.



                              So I dug into studying the lyrics of Ira Gershwin, Bob Dylan and Cole Porter. And I began searching for the patterns. The patterns or deviations from symmetry. Set up an expectation and either deliver too soon or stall promised resolution of the phrase. Or deliver as expected this one time.



                              Because the Rockies make crumble



                              Gibraltar may tumble



                              They're only made of clay but



                              Our love is here to stay
                              ___

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