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Songwriting - music or lyrics?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Etienne Rambert View Post
    Song Lyrics: You can pilfer some dazzling lines & couplets from great poets.
    You can, but why? To each their own I guess, but I will never understand plagiarizing and pretending it's not. My stuff may not be great, but it has to at least be mine... anyway...

    For my lyrics are far easier, but I am a writer and while I know some basics, by no means a musician, so both coming up with and then figuring out how to play the music is far harder. I have a ton of lyrics, but few with the music worked out.

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    • #17
      Chord changes and melodies come easily to me. My lyrics always seem to be trite or labored. Which has always been frustrating for me as writing, in general, comes pretty easily for me. I consider myself good with words, but putting them into lyric form and setting them to music and my lyrics always sound like some bad High School Musical.

      My best songs have always been with someone else writing the lyrics.

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      • #18
        Music is easy, lyrics far harder. As a writer, words (stories and poems) pour out quite easily but Lyrics are not poetry. I lost count of the number of times someone has said "I can write lyrics" and I give them a track and they come back with a bloody poem.

        Nowadays I just do it myself, start with a line from life like say, (totally off the top of my head here):-
        ballady "Did you think it would change how I feel?"
        or rocky "I ain't your ride home tonite"
        and it will seed something.


        .

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        • #19
          Originally posted by nat whilk II View Post
          Good lyrics are rare, costly, and take a lot of soul-mining to bring to the surface.

          Good music is similar, but for me, easier to get to (it's still work, 'tho.)

          But good music with good lyrics...all the stars must align.

          nat

          I agree 100% with this.

          Cheers,

          Mats N
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          BT King - all my backing tracks can be found at :
          http://nermark.articulateimages.com

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
            If you have tried your hand at writing, which do you find easier to do - write music, or write lyrics?
            I can write melodies all day. Lyrics can take years... I have songs that I have yet to release that are 10-15 years old simply because I'm not happy with a line or two. I sweat and agonize over every word. Its a problem I have.

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            • #21
              I'm the king of chord progressions. And not the cliche Millennial I-V-vi-IV cliche kind you hear these days. But lyrics are so much more difficult for me. I tend to procrastinate, or get overly picky about them. It'll take me minutes to write a chord progression/song structure but years to finish lyrics. Which is funny (or sad/pathetic) because outside of music, I'm also a writer with a journalism background.
              Elson TrinidadSinger, Songwriter, Keyboardist, BassistElson and the Soul BarkadaWeb: www.elsongs.comMySpace: www.myspace.com/elsongsFacebook: Facebook PageTwitter: twitter.com/elsongs

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Ernest Buckley View Post

                I can write melodies all day. Lyrics can take years... I have songs that I have yet to release that are 10-15 years old simply because I'm not happy with a line or two. I sweat and agonize over every word. Its a problem I have.
                Yeah, I totally know that feeling. lol

                My strength is in writing melodies, it comes most natural to me. I can usually come up with a new melody within a few minutes. But lyrics is what takes longer, waaay longer, sometimes I would draft something, put it away and then revisit it a year later. It's tough..

                IMO, the best feeling usually comes when I happen to write a melody that comes with lyrics at the same time.
                Moderator - Vocals and Voiceovers Forum
                Follow me on Twitter and Soundcloud

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                • #23
                  Lyrics are much more of a PITA for me, that's for sure. I think I've come up with good titles and some lines here and there. But I'm never happy with the entirety. I sometimes laugh when I hear a song where a large portion a verse or the chorus is, "La la laa ooh oooh ooooh sha la la la laaaa oooh yeeeeah baby " or similar. Such brilliance eludes me at every turn and I'm wordy.

                  But, I was for the most part always an instrumental person, and was much happier when I stopped trying to please friends and roadies and manager types who wanted me to hook up with a singer. Pressure never helped with lyrics, in that regard. At this point, if the lyrics to a song don't kick down the door and rock their way into the room it all belongs to my violin. Obscurity is at hand anyway, might as well just be me when I can.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ernest Buckley View Post

                    I can write melodies all day. Lyrics can take years... I have songs that I have yet to release that are 10-15 years old simply because I'm not happy with a line or two. I sweat and agonize over every word. Its a problem I have.
                    You're not alone... I have similar issues with lyrics. I can fix lines for others fairly easily (it's kind of a requirement for a producer), but I struggle to do complete sets of lyrics far more than I struggle to come up with melodies, chord progressions, and even arrangements.
                    **********

                    "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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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by elsongs View Post
                      But lyrics are so much more difficult for me. I tend to procrastinate, or get overly picky about them.
                      I think that's one of the issues I have when it comes to writing lyrics - I tend to put on the producer hat way too early in the process. Producers are supposed to have a critical ear, and should find the flaws and fix them... but if you switch to that "mode" too early on in the creative process, you can stifle your efforts and discourage yourself.

                      For me, it helps to consciously try to order the producer out of the room when I'm writing. Anything goes - just write whatever comes to you and get it down first. I'll decide if it's any good later on, but not while I'm actively writing. If I don't approach it in that way, I get far too critical of things too early and don't give ideas a chance to develop or inspire different / better ideas, and nothing I come up with is good enough; therefore, I never get anything written...
                      **********

                      "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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Each famous song wishes a hook. not simplest does a song want to have a hook, a great tune desires to place that hook in a strategic spot. similar to a industrial you’d see on television, the hook ought to be at the start. Just like how colorful ads are used to capture a viewer’s eye, catchy melodies are used to grab keep of our ears. once you’ve established your melody, you’ll need to ensure the content of what you’re saying additionally acts as a hook.
                        In case you’re writing a love tune and you operate a cliche statement concerning “your heart” and how tough it is to be “apart”. Bear in mind no longer to hurry the development of your hook, because it can be what attracts your listeners in extra than some thing else.

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                        • #27
                          Thats’s a valid point regarding hooks...W.
                          Sometimes doing something as simple as changing the traditional structure of a song can be catchy and innovative.
                          To wit; The Beatles opening ‘She Loves You’ with the chorus.
                          I remember how that grabbed me first time I heard the song.

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