Jump to content

under what circumstances do you write your songs?


wallakoala

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I know this might seem like kind of a strange question, but let me explain. It seems like whenever I sit down with the intent of writing a song, nothing good ever comes out of it. The good stuff only comes out when I'm just messing around, and stumble upon a cool chord progression or riff by accident.

 

Is this common amongst you guys, or is it the opposite?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I've done both...I have made deliberate attempts to write because I didn't play, so I tried writing...and now I'm playing guitar and new little riffs or chord patterns start it going... also wearing my iPod for several hours I will find someones stuff to gently mold into something I like...its ok cause I can't play what they are playing anyway so it is just for inspiration..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It's not hard to learn how to sit down and write a song, but it's a lot more fun to write them when they come to you. A happy medium for me is to have a deadline (such as getting something done in time for the monthly Songwriting Challenge or needing new material for band practice two weeks from now), and waiting for inspiration. I usually get "inspired" by interesting phrases or ideas I run across reading or whatever, and knowing I need to get a song done lowers my filter a bit so more stuff catches my interest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I really like that deadline idea. I have so many half written songs because I don't impose a deadline on myself. I'm in a project now that requires songs 90% written by rehearsal time and it's amazing how many have gotten written all the way through. I sit down with the guitar and in a couple hours I have the music for one or two. Lyrics are the hard part.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

i don't ever sit down "to write a song"

 

sometimes i jot down lines or images (never "I want to write a song about x")

 

sometimes i play around with some chords and hum

 

sometimes i mix the two

 

and sometimes i get something i like and pursue it

 

but i let it happen rather than try to decide "tonight i'm writing a song"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I very seldom sit down to write a song.


They always come to me.......usually in the early hours of the morning.

 

This is how I write complete songs. They really do seem to "come to me", usually when I awake, but these are something I want to express or work out somehow; probably I went to sleep thinking about the situation and dreamed about it and so on.

 

At other times, like lately when I haven't written a full-on song in a while, I jot down lines that pop into my head thoroughout the day, but without some need to express something? They never amount to more than two or four lines, stuffed in my blue jeans pocket. They end up being tattered illegible sky-blue scraps spinning around in the dryer at the end of the week.

 

Currently I have a wicked painful ingrown hair in my upper lip (right in the middle) and I look like a duck. Seriously. I am a hideous freak, and thus of course write nothing, but simply brood darkly over my freakishness. :idk:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

i don't ever sit down "to write a song"


sometimes i jot down lines or images (never "I want to write a song about x")


sometimes i play around with some chords and hum


sometimes i mix the two


and sometimes i get something i like and pursue it


but i let it happen rather than try to decide "tonight i'm writing a song"

 

 

I never "decide" to write a song either. It would be like, "what for?" :rolleyes:

 

Bad enough to write them at all without doing it deliberately. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm in the newswriting business, so I tend to tackle songs the same way I work: I drum up an idea; churn it out fast; and polish it up with some tweaks. After I settle on the nut of an idea, I like to wrap it up in an hour or two. It's a deliberate process. Still, my results are always mixed. I find that a song simply works or it doesn't. Laboring over it rarely helps either way. So I just try and knock em out and move on to the next one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

If I sit and try to write something out, it never happens. But if something comes to me, I jot it down. Let it sit and come to it later. Usually I can add to it. Maybe for a song to progress for me I need to be in a different headspace or something.

 

One song I wrote, we had the main/verse riff and chorus riff done, but no lyrics. Then one morning at work, I had the main riff running through my head, then all of a sudden the vocal line and lyrics came to me. It was not a conscious thing, it just happened. This was a 6 am on a monday morning at the gym/pool where I used to work. Had the whole thing written, even had ideas for the middle 8 riff and lyrics by 7.30. Freaked me out how naturally it came without even thinking about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Much of my writing is the product of unresolved conflict or unsolved problems. So a lot of it is kind of distressed.

I write less when I am happy and at peace. It doesn't bother me much not to write; I never feel like I ought to turn out a certain number of lines per week or any such thing. I enjoy times when I am not writing and sometimes play my guitar in the morning instead or enjoy my coffee and listen to someone else's music.

Once in a while in these periods I will write a children's song or some silly fun thing just to play around with words and music. I don't expect that I will ever go a long period of time without feeling a need to write, though. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I once had a complete (if not entirely profound) song come to me while riding my motorcycle home from lunch, words and music. I'm not normally the kind of person who hears a whole song in his head, so the music thing was a bit unusual. I got home, found the key I thought it should be in, jotted down the lyrics and chord notations, grabbed a sandwich and headed back to work. The song is still part of my broader repertoire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I once had a complete (if not entirely profound) song come to me while riding my motorcycle home from lunch, words and music. I'm not normally the kind of person who hears a whole song in his head, so the music thing was a bit unusual. I got home, found the key I thought it should be in, jotted down the lyrics and chord notations, grabbed a sandwich and headed back to work. The song is still part of my broader repertoire.

 

This might sound wierd but I think engine noise can do this. I remember when I was a kid mowing the yard I would always hear music. Somehow the sort of loud oscillating rising/falling sound of the engine running at a fairly constant rate would just sort of turn into music in my head. So I would just hear really loud music the whole time I was mowing. :cool:

 

Probably there are medications available now for kids like I was. :idea:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

I once had a complete (if not entirely profound) song come to me while riding my motorcycle home from lunch, words and music. I'm not normally the kind of person who hears a whole song in his head, so the music thing was a bit unusual. I got home, found the key I thought it should be in, jotted down the lyrics and chord notations, grabbed a sandwich and headed back to work. The song is still part of my broader repertoire.

 

 

I don't want a pickle

I just want to ride my motor-cycle

And I don't want to die

I just want to ride my motorcy-cle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

This might sound wierd but I think engine noise can do this. I remember when I was a kid mowing the yard I would
always
hear music. Somehow the sort of loud oscillating rising/falling sound of the engine running at a fairly constant rate would just sort of turn into music in my head. So I would just hear really loud music the whole time I was mowing.
:cool:

Probably there are medications available now for kids like I was.
:idea:

 

A drummer friend of mine would be mesmerized by the percussive sound of a public transit bus' windshield wipers - even more so if the wipers were out of sync and made complex non-4/4 rhythms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I used to ride the train from Wisconsin into Chicago. Everyday. 1 1/2 hours there. The same back. I got straight A's in college because of that. 4.0. What else you gonna do but study. Except...

 

Write music.

 

I have a basic but solid knowledge of notation. So I got myself some staff paper and each day I set out to jot down these rumblings in my head. What a different experience from strumming it out. Think it... jot it down. It made anything possible.

 

Then somehow, because of that mental liberation I suppose, the lyrics would just come. I'd write a little arc of a tune and rhythm and... THIS should go THERE. It just came.

 

What else you gonna do on train for 3 hours everyday? Something about not being able to go anywhere. And liking it.

 

I did the same on a flight to Japan. Let's see, I have 386 hours to go... let's jot down a song!

 

Strange, but some of my best stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...