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How do you write a song?


PigWings_v2.0

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Just curious. What's your methodology?

 

I never intend to write a song. It usually starts with a riff or idea that I'll play with. I'll jam around and if I find something that I feel fits I just add it. Once I have a collaboration of riffs and a basic structure I usually sit on a 75% completed song and just switch out ideas or riffs over time. It's usually a slow and very casual process.

 

I don't normally call a song completed unless I actually commit to recording and production.

 

I'm sure some here are more "scientific" about it. How do you do it?

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How do you write a song?

 

Like everyone else... not very well. But I won't quit until it's a little or a lot less "not very well". So my key methodology is persistence I guess. But typically, I take a little brain query of the things I've been thinking about and grab something from the answer.

 

Brain, what have I been loading into you with regards to ideas, lyric, style, melodic, harmonic, situations, feelings... anything that's particularly interesting will usually pop up from an active, "What have I loaded into your memory bands of late?"

 

So then, the other component would be always thinking about songs. "That'd make a great title", "I love the way they used that relative minor in a unique place", "Wow, listen to that Brazilian groove, I bet that could be incorporated into a house meets Louisiana swamp groove".

 

Whatever. And I am pretty much 24/7 loading up with ideas.

 

Then I start brainstorming the idea in Word or even here in a thread. The lyric rhythms begin to suggest melodic rhythms and that suggests grooves and bass feels and a vibe and a classic style meets a newer style sort of hybrid thinking.

 

So, typically the lyric will help with me hearing the tune in my head. Rick mentioned using the piano for plunking out a melody. Absolutely.

 

Once that all starts fulfilling a little bit of what I'm hearing, I then will go to an instrument and flesh out the bringing together all the various elements. Does the B contrast enough from the A melodically, groove, rhythmically, thematically? Is this a good key for me (or another vocalist) to sing in?

 

Once I start putting all that into ProTools, drum arrangement, bass groove, chordal bed choices, riffs... it's pretty much a hold-on-hang-on sort of deal. It's going to get done, for better or worse.

 

And all along the way I post progress here in this forum, from lyric seed to phase 1, 2and sometimes 3 of the progressing arrangement and recording.

 

The whole online feedback and me digesting that feedback and determining what of it is useful to the task at hand, that whole deal is a process in itself. And a very enjoyable one with these groovy cats around...

 

:)

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How do you write a song?


Like everyone else... not very well. But I won't quit until it's a little or a lot less "not very well". So my key methodology is persistence I guess. But typically, I take a little brain query of the things I've been thinking about and grab something from the answer.


Brain, what have I been loading into you with regards to ideas, lyric, style, melodic, harmonic, situations, feelings... anything that's particularly interesting will usually pop up from an active, "What have I loaded into your memory bands of late?"


So then, the other component would be always thinking about songs. "That'd make a great title", "I love the way they used that relative minor in a unique place", "Wow, listen to that Brazilian groove, I bet that could be incorporated into a house meets Louisiana swamp groove".


Whatever. And I am pretty much 24/7 loading up with ideas.


Then I start brainstorming the idea in Word or even here in a thread. The lyric rhythms begin to suggest melodic rhythms and that suggests grooves and bass feels and a vibe and a classic style meets a newer style sort of hybrid thinking.


So, typically the lyric will help with me hearing the tune in my head. Rick mentioned using the piano for plunking out a melody. Absolutely.


Once that all starts fulfilling a little bit of what I'm hearing, I then will go to an instrument and flesh out the bringing together all the various elements. Does the B contrast enough from the A melodically, groove, rhythmically, thematically? Is this a good key for me (or another vocalist) to sing in?


Once I start putting all that into ProTools, drum arrangement, bass groove, chordal bed choices, riffs... it's pretty much a hold-on-hang-on sort of deal. It's going to get done, for better or worse.


And all along the way I post progress here in this forum, from lyric seed to phase 1, 2and sometimes 3 of the progressing arrangement and recording.


The whole online feedback and me digesting that feedback and determining what of it is useful to the task at hand, that whole deal is a process in itself. And a very enjoyable one with these groovy cats around...


:)

 

Very wise words... apart from the bit where you say "not very well" lies lies lies......lies :)

 

for me I just pick up the guitar and sing and play.... something will come out.... its often rubbish but occasionally its ok.... then i work out the lyrics that are good and try and add some lyrics that make sense with what i have

 

I dont always completely get away with this

 

but as long as i can have fun with the recording then im half happy anyway.

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Just curious. What's your methodology?


I never intend to write a song. It usually starts with a riff or idea that I'll play with. I'll jam around and if I find something that I feel fits I just add it. Once I have a collaboration of riffs and a basic structure I usually sit on a 75% completed song and just switch out ideas or riffs over time. It's usually a slow and very casual process.


I don't normally call a song completed unless I actually commit to recording and production.


I'm sure some here are more "scientific" about it. How do you do it?

 

 

I never intend to write a song either, nor is it a goal. If it happens it's usually because it's been solicited or there's a reason to make the effort that I otherwise won't normally commit to. Writing songs is not my joy with music. Making music is but there's no method or system or process I follow. I just play guitar everyday. Over the years of doing this I have a pretty good repertoire of melodies. I also enjoy writing poetry and applying it to my life's experiences. I'm not a writer of fantasy songs, which is what I call songs that are about things I haven't experienced. I also consider a song incomplete until it's recorded. Once that's done I never play it again. That's what the recording is for.

 

Songs, to me, are interruptions to playing music for the time it takes to write and get them recorded. That usually takes a couple days. If it's longer than that then the song is somehow wrong and is becoming work. My best ones take a very short amount of time so anything that hang-fires on me I've learned to skip, move to something else and be better for it.

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Just curious. What's your methodology?


I never intend to write a song. It usually starts with a riff or idea that I'll play with. I'll jam around and if I find something that I feel fits I just add it. Once I have a collaboration of riffs and a basic structure I usually sit on a 75% completed song and just switch out ideas or riffs over time. It's usually a slow and very casual process.


I don't normally call a song completed unless I actually commit to recording and production.


I'm sure some here are more "scientific" about it. How do you do it?

 

 

I am, actually, somewhat the opposite. There are many times when I intend to write a song. Unfortunately, there are but a few of these times when I am successful. But I am often able to write pieces of songs, fragments of lyrics, outlines of progressions. Some of these resurface in other songs, some of them get expanded further during another bout with intending to write a song, some of them fade completely away. I usually keep lyric attempts in written form so those get revisited often. I seldom make of record of undeveloped musical ideas - progressions, melodies, rhythmic figures. I probably should do more of that so they can get revisited and examined for further development as well. The first point at which a recording gets made is after there is some sort of marriage between a lyric idea and a musical idea. It may only be a single verse or chorus or even just a line or two, but having words and music in combination seems to be the recording trigger, and usually just on the audio memo app on my phone.

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