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Anybody using song writing software?

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  • Anybody using song writing software?

    I never have a problem with coming up with catchy melodies and chord progressions, it comes easy to me. But, when it comes down to getting some words on paper I hit low gear. So, I am looking around at some of the song writing software programs to help kick start the lyric process. Does anybody here use any of the software out there to help them with the lyrics process?


  • #2
    Never have used software for help in that way. I use a rhyming dictionary, thesaurus, and I read a good bit of poetry. It's perfectly ok to find a poem, steal the rhymes, take some ideas, rework a few lines into something you can call your own. Rework them into something different enough to avoid plagiarism.

    I'd recommend a human partner for help songwriting before any software solution, absolutely. Can't imagine software could do anything but churn out cliches or gibberish. Of course, most pop lyrics are cliches or gibberish....but just sayin'



    • #3
      Never used it.

      Just a rhyming dictionary, and thesaurus.

      Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

      Join Date: Aug 2001
      Location: N. Adams, MA USA
      Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617


      • #4
        Writing lyrics is something you have to do regularly or it can be like pulling teeth

        Besides a rhyming dictionary, you can find some other cool recourses. You can google up -

        Adjectives - and find words that spice up what's being said in a sentence.

        Adverbs - used to enhance verbs by describing things like time, place, circumstance, manor and degrees.

        Synonyms and Antonyms can be extremely helpful when you have a word and want to find a similar word or its opposite.
        Gerund are words that are derived from a verbs, but functions as a noun

        Words that describe People

        Words that describe things

        Words that describe Colors Shapes, Textures, Weather, Sounds, etc are all handy to have in list form.

        Other things you can do is start reading poetry. This in important in getting your thoughts to bounce in patterns. Its in fact much better to read poetry vs musical lyrics because the supply of lyrics really well written is in poor supply. There are some but you can view the top 100 hits over the past 50 years and most wind up being elementary school level which just goes to show you that lyrics don't need to be intelligent to be profitable or popular. There are excerptions of course.

        Reading Quotes is another way of finding good lines - not that you'd use the actual quote, but by reading the best lines written by man you begin to think in ways which have more then one meaning which is the key to any great lyrics (at least in my opinion). The ability to write lines that have more then one meaning, one for its face value and others on an intellectual level not only appeals to more individuals, but those who - Get It - will give you a higher rating when it comes to your ability to craft words together.

        Then there are always things which writers always recommend. If you're telling a story stick to life experiences and avoid straying into areas you know little or nothing about. Picking a time frame for the story or event. Did it occur over minutes, hours, days, years.

        Don't be afraid to write scratch lyrics. This is something I commonly do when improvising lyrics. I'll sing anything that pops into my mind while recording vocals and simply to rough out the melody and cadence, then I'll go back and listen to the recording with only half and ear, intentionally misinterpreting the words and shaping them to make more sense. I may have 20 pages or lyrics I've written and jump from page to page grabbing bits and pieces of lines that might work. I've done this with no more then the rhyming words paired up in a list and write the rest of the line as it pops into my mind.

        You don't have to be perfect the first or even second time through. The worst thing you can do is get hung up on a single word when you can be speed writing the rest of the lyrics. Simply skip over it and come back to it later. you'd be surprised how the mind keeps working in the background. Its usually when the mind relaxes and you aren't even trying when those tough words and phrases simply snap into your mind. A small voive recorder can help here too because the best lines can often be forgotten as quick as they are found.

        Another thing I often do is recycle lyrics I've written. I may reuse the same lyrics if the cadence matches then simply go back and make modifications. Its much easier to simply change key words and change out various rhyming words then it is to build everything from scratch. Think of it like reusing the guitar riffs or chord patters you learned. Its not like you need to reinvent the wheel from a blank canvas every time you write new lyrics. Go back and recycle bits and pieces of the lyrics in a Best Of copulation. You'd be surprised as to how far you can get.

        One last thing. Sometimes writing lyrics you think might fit someone else can sometimes get yourself away from being focused on your own feelings and emotions. Make the world revolve around someone else besides yourself and you can find many avenues of saying things that need to be said and are worth saying.


        • #5
          Knowing your audience (who), which is a moving target these days, helps set the what, where and why of the message. What I find most difficult is nailing down the audience. Sometimes the subject (what) can set that to a specific cross-section or keep it universal. Love hits on all cylinders. Throwing a "baby" here and there with contextual filler words between them is the MO most blues songs are stamped out from, But, genre's are blueprints unto themselves and trying to wax originality within their framework is a belly laugh. Hear one, hear them all.

          Protest songs have a narrow audience unless protest songs are trending like in the early 70's when Vietnam was a trigger for disestablishmentarianism ground swelling through the American youth of the time. Abbie Hoffman got arrested for wearing a shirt made from a US flag but Lee Greenwood was a hero for sporting one when singing his song God Bless The USA. Go figger but gitter did is currently flavoring the American Id. Work with that and yer in fer sher. Or, you can write from your own Id and scratch your head later.

          Lyrics have to reach people poignantly these days, or not at all if the melody can stand alone, but it's wholly upon you to sort that out for yourself. The country genre is very forgiving of repetitive drivel as long as it sounds like country. Same goes for blues. Rock is dead, having run its course alongside folk, and shares a common grave with the Boomer. The chortling glitz boys and girlies of pop music are all studio children born, bred and pitch-correction sired. Jealous? I didn't think so.

          Read poetry and good literature. It has fueled the artistry most marginally literate people are ignorant of, but gave us our past Dylans.
          Fisher House Foundation