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how and when did you learn to write a complete song?

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  • how and when did you learn to write a complete song?

    It was when i started buying pedals. after i bought my second pedal, which was a chorus, i was able to write a song. I was 32 years old. i can imagine if i could do it when i was 16....

  • #2
    You mean make 5 minutes out of a guitar riff? Still can't.
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    • #3
      When I was learning to play I wrote my own melodies for practice. I was already familiar with writing poetry so I began putting the two together within the first year of learning. That was 1974. It's been a hobby ever since.
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      • #4
        I started writing songs back when I was in high school. Writing songs can only easily be done when you free yourself from inhibitions and the fear of making mistakes and just let things flow. In other words, don't let yourself get in the way of making music, just let it happen. Having too many expectations (from yourself and/or others) can stop you from doing that.

        Or.. you can take the complete opposite route and grind it out endlessly until a full song comes out. This way takes a lot of will power though.
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        • #5
          I started writing songs almost as soon as I could play two chords well enough to trick my ear into thinking it was music. (IOW, it was some months after I started trying to play. ) I wrote a bunch of fragments and put my mind to figuring out how to get some more chords into my progressions (makes writing choruses/refrains/bridges so much more interesting ).

          This was while I was in college, when I was twenty. I thought of myself as a semi-serious poet at the time -- this was the tail end of the freewheeling, open verse 60s -- but when I tried to fit my profundities into meter and -- oh, heavens -- rhyme, what came out seemed to invariably be doggerel.

          I remembered my early days of writing poetry -- the early stuff was crap, there, too -- and I pushed on, figuring this was an embarrassing phase I'd just have to burn through. And, in time, and with much writing of drivel, the new skills started coming together.


          I think that a lot of time when many of us are first writing songs, we're trying to describe feelings that do not always come into sharp focus or do not readily fall into the sort of format that communicates easily.

          I found that with a lot of such incomplete-feeling songs/fragments, that what was often missing was a way to tie it all together. A punch line, a lesson, an insight, a revelation, a 'conclusion' to a song about feelings that don't necessarily have such formal constraints or structures. Of course, it is WAY too easy to make such song features too pat, too tidy, too wrapped up.

          That said, when one is going for a true punch-line, that's often just what you want, a bit of triumph of art and invention over messy reality. Other times, you need to go with the flow of uncertainty of meaning and import so often implicit in real world events and emotions. Not every song needs or wants a tidy wrap-up, by any means. But many do. Sometimes the 'tidy wrap-up' is, itself, an acknowledgement of the uncertainty and vagueness of life.



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          • #6
            Originally posted by mbengs1 View Post
            It was when i started buying pedals. after i bought my second pedal, which was a chorus, i was able to write a song. I was 32 years old. i can imagine if i could do it when i was 16....
            I don't get it. What does kicking on a pedal have to do with song writing? It's a chorus pedal, not a talent pedal!

            I wrote poetry until I was sixteen. Then a friend showed me how to play guitar, and I switched to song writing. Nothing to it! (As opposed to learning to play an F chord . . . .)
            Last edited by Delmont; 12-31-2017, 09:24 AM.
            Del
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Idunno View Post
              When I was learning to play I wrote my own melodies for practice. I was already familiar with writing poetry so I began putting the two together within the first year of learning. That was 1974. It's been a hobby ever since.
              Ditto, except that (a) I don't write the melodies, just the words and chords, and (b) for me it was 1968.
              Last edited by Delmont; 12-31-2017, 09:26 AM.
              Del
              www.thefullertons.net
              ( •)—:::
              Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

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              • #8
                PS -

                We aren't all Laura Nyro. (The first song she ever wrote became a hit: "One Child Born." She was seventeen.)

                Most song writers have to write a whole lot of bad songs to get to one good song. I sure did.
                Del
                www.thefullertons.net
                ( •)—:::
                Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by davie View Post
                  I started writing songs back when I was in high school. Writing songs can only easily be done when you free yourself from inhibitions and the fear of making mistakes and just let things flow. In other words, don't let yourself get in the way of making music, just let it happen. Having too many expectations (from yourself and/or others) can stop you from doing that.

                  Or.. you can take the complete opposite route and grind it out endlessly until a full song comes out. This way takes a lot of will power though.
                  Yup! Bag the expectations and write!
                  Del
                  www.thefullertons.net
                  ( •)—:::
                  Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

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                  • #10
                    I started writing a song back when I was in high school. You know, when you come together with your friends and singing with a guitar. My sister encouraged me, cause I was writing poems for my blog and she could play guitar. Since then it's kind of a little family-friend tradition.
                    Last edited by RebecaMartins11; 05-25-2018, 12:53 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RebecaMartins11 View Post
                      I started writing a song back when I was in high school. You know, when you come together with your friends and singing with a guitar. My sister encouraged me, cause I was writing poems for my blog and she could play guitar. Since then it's kind of a little family-friend tradition.
                      How often do you write now?

                      BTW, welcome to HC.
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
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                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                        How often do you write now?

                        BTW, welcome to HC.

                        Thank you

                        Not as often as I want to. Mostly when it's someone's birthday or wedding. But every time when I feel inspired a have my notebook or phone beside me.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RebecaMartins11 View Post


                          Thank you

                          Not as often as I want to. Mostly when it's someone's birthday or wedding. But every time when I feel inspired a have my notebook or phone beside me.
                          Do you write just lyrics, or do you write music, or do you do both?

                          **********

                          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                          - George Carlin

                          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                          • #14
                            Writing a song is so easy. It's hard to write a good album, which I can't really describe. as long as u like it, then it's good.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mbengs1 View Post
                              Writing a song is so easy. It's hard to write a good album, which I can't really describe. as long as u like it, then it's good.
                              That's for sure! But it's easy to write bad albums. You can see mine here:

                              Virtual albums

                              If I could sing, I'd go pro.
                              A ten-gallon tip of the Fullerton hat to Del Fullerton, Ray Gunn, and newcomer Jasper "Jazz" Jones for recording these basement demos - a ten-dollar tour of the music that made Leon Fullerton great ....
                              Del
                              www.thefullertons.net
                              ( •)—:::
                              Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

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