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How do you write songs? (sorry for this lame title) lol

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  • How do you write songs? (sorry for this lame title) lol

    How does your songwriting spark generally start?

    Do you get inspiration from walking down the street and seeing something interesting, sad, funny or weird, and then go home and aim to specifically write a song about it?

    Do you sit down and have no prior concept of what to write about but just fiddle with chord progressions and instrumental sounds to inspire you, and then does an idea for a proper song come?

    Do you pretty much create a whole song but still have no idea what it
    All things must pass...

  • #2
    Errors
    The following errors occurred with your submission
    grace_slick has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.

    Figured I'd post this in your thread so you can see it!

    To answer your queston... I write lyrics first - almost always a story of some kind. Then I pull the melody out of the words - using the meter as a jumping off point. Melody is usually just something simple. I'm not a technical wizard and my songs are meant to be easy to play and remember. I record phrases/melody lines from the lyrics piece by piece on my cassette recorder so I don't forget them. Then I sing them over and over until I have the whole song written. The key is just whatever suits the song and my vocal range. Then I pick up my guitar and figure out the chords that match the key/melody on the cassette and build the accompaniment (chords/riffs/intro/endings).
    Hamilton Steele CD's / Hamilton Steele MP3 Downloads / Hamilton Steele iTunes

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    • #3
      For me it's all about what I call "Vampire Killers" - which are melody's so strong and definite that they're instantly recognizable in just a few notes. If anyone is wondering, the term is taken from the Castlevania videogame series. At the core of things, I try to emulate the strong melodies of the 8 and 16 bit videogame music that I grew up listening to. Once I have one of those I take a "third stream"/free jazz approach to variation and theme development. Only after the music is composed do I think about lyrics.

      On the lyrics end of things, since writing a song about one thing is boring to me, I pretty much write the fallout of different events that happen to me over a period of weeks or months. A diary of sorts.

      All in all thats how I do things*







      *All of this goes out the window on a whim if the situation calls for it.

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      • #4
        Hmm. Cool.

        LOL@ido, I've cleared some of my mailbox now.
        All things must pass...

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        • #5
          I just start writing on a whim. And when I do this I always start with a clear foundation of thoughts that I work on from.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">my own thoughts influence the way I play my guitar and write my songs <br />
          <br />
          junkyard bennie</div>

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          • #6
            Probably 90 percent of the time, it starts with a phrase, a few words that pique my interest. I have notebooks (well, actually text files these days) full of them and I'll go through them looking for the spark of inspiration. And then, off I go, words, music, springing from that. I rarely actually know where it's going to go!

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            • #7
              Hmm. Cool.

              LOL@ido, I've cleared some of my mailbox now.
              I should have just kept reading.

              Grace, ignore my PM testing your messaging.


              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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              • #8
                I don't often sit down to write them.

                They generally come to me. I'll pick up the guitar and there will be something new happening. I'll play it for a while and see what comes from that spark. Usually a phrase will come to mind as a seed lyric and I'm off and running.

                There is always a microphone ready to fire up as I tend to have to catch these tunes at odd times.
                Leonard Scaper

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                • #9
                  I think I just started this thread out of general curiosity and to make sure I
                  All things must pass...

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                  • #10
                    ........to make sure I
                    Leonard Scaper

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                    • #11
                      HAHA! Major oversight by me there. lol Whoops.
                      All things must pass...

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                      • #12
                        These days I spend a lot of time driving (2+ hours per day) so I try to use that time to think about things.

                        But as far as actually writing, well, I sit down to write a song and then I write one. Many times they suck, but that's part of the process. Chicken Monkey used to have a good quote about how carpenters don't complain about being blocked when they have to build a chair, so why should songwriters be any different.
                        Lyrics Songs Demos Videos Covers Facebook Tumblr

                        Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

                        -Coco Chanel

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                        • #13
                          Hmm, that's a great thing...that quote about carpenters. Very interesting.

                          I was wondering before if I wrote what I, and others, considered to be a dud, or several duds, would I lose all confidence and be distraught at my lack of songwriting and musical skills...and yes, I would. How do you get over that? I sort ot thought about someone like, say, Stevie Nicks. She's written THOUSANDS of songs, and a lot are quite...crap really. lol. And I can say that because I LOVE her and think so many of her songs are gorgeous and fantastic, so...I guess that gives me reassurance.
                          All things must pass...

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                          • #14
                            There are three basic questions in a songwriter's life ...

                            1. How do you write songs? This is only asked by beginners and fans.

                            2. When/where do you write songs? This is only asked by loved ones and employers.

                            3. Why do/did you write songs? Your present answer will not be your future answer.

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                            • #15
                              I didn't mean HOW does one write songs meaning, I don't know so I'm asking. I was just curious as to how the SPARK came about and then, in turn, how people handled that spark and moved it into any method for writing songs. lol
                              All things must pass...

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