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How do you approach songwriting?


peckhart

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I am a guitar player. I have never felt that I come with anything worthwhile lyrically, but I can come up with decent guitar riffs.

So I would need to collaborate with a vocalist that can write to put a song together.

My question is....what should come first? Guitar hooks? Or lyrics/vocal melodies? I would imagine some of it comes down to how the people involved work together, but I am interested in what works for others.

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I think either is fine, but when you find a guitar riff you like, you should attempt to work in tandem with some lyrics, and vice versa. I don't know about anyone else, but I've run into trouble completing the music first and having no lyrics to go along with it. I have at least three tunes that are complete (music only), and I have no idea what they're about...as a result, they've been sitting around untouched for way too long.

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I always hear the music in my head first. I may hear certain words or word sounds, but not always complete lyrics. Sometimes it does all come at once though.

 

I've got some tunes that i forced some poor lyrics into just to get something scratch recorded so I don't completely forget the original melody. I've forgotten so many song ideas simply because I didn't record something to help me remember.

 

 

If only I could download the song from my brain onto disk. My problem is, I know how I want it to sound, but I have trouble getting it recorded to sound the way I hear it in my head. I'm getting better, but I've got a ways to go getting up to speed with all the recording issues. The other problem is my vocals will never be as good as the vocal I hear in my head for my songs. :cry:

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This is what I do....

 

I first find the music and depending on how long it takes to really feel the music I play it over and over. Eventually the words will come. After playing the music that you have ade for a while you'll start humming and whatever then eventually like I said words will come.. At least that what I do.

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It's good to find out what works for other people, but ultimately it's gonna come down to what works best for you and your collaborator. There are no rules as to what should come first or second. Finding out what works best is really just a matter of experimentation.

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music - melody - lyrics - party

 

That's the way it has to be done for me. I could fit music to a set of lyrics, nor could I write lyrics without having some vocal melodies and phrasings already layed out. Work on the main riffs, try to get an idea of a couple possible vocal melodies/hooks and then go from there.

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all of my songs ussually just come at a random time, and they are almost complete. One day ill just sing it. Its really hard to give advice, but making music is a long line of mistakes until you start to get things that sound like you want them to. So don't get discouraged by your music. Just keep trying different things. As long as it makes you happy to hear it, thats all that matters.

 

good luck man :thu:

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Originally posted by captain average

from the left

 

Isn't that Beyonce??!?! ;)

 

I just bash out stuff on my acoustic and then bits of melody tend to pop into my head with snatches of words, I tend to record all of these snippets onto a tape and then put them all together to get a rough song that I can play with the bits of rough lyrics that I have., there are a lot of "Dum-De-Dum" vocals at this point but there may be a hook line in there sometimes and not a lot else.

 

I then play the song till i'm sick to death of it, get real frustrated that nothing is comming out and then at that point sit down with a notebook and rhyming dictionary and flesh out an actual song. Funnilly enough I tend to end up discardng most of my original lyrics for better ones later.

 

FIN

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Ive always used a lyrics first approach. I guess if i really break down my reasons for playing music, it would be that I write music because I have something to say.

 

I always write the lyrics first, then a chord progression, then take it to the other guys and make it a song. Things like lead guitar riffs and drum fills are completely nonexistant in my creativity process. That comes later.

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Originally posted by Staticnz

I've had a bunch of trouble adding lyrics to songs after I've written them, because you have to figure out what it's about. If you do that way earlier it tends to flow better. Helps to visualise lyrics musically early in the process.

 

 

Try to come up with melody first, and don't force yourself to write about a certain topic always. Sometimes I will come up with a few words that go with a melody in my head and I will use those random lyrics as a starting point. From there I will start to attach some meaning that stems from the starting lyrics, once I get an idea I just roll with it from there. Sometimes randomness is a great creative motivator.

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For me sometimes it's a melody I start playing on my guitar and other times its a word or a phrase I hear. I take them any which

way God gives them to me. So be open to whatever and keep an open mind about where your material comes from. I my write

3 or 4 in a short period of time then sometimes it's months

between songs. I find the more I play with others the more I write

and the more creative I become. Hopes this helps.:)

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i've noticed that there's no one formula to writing a song. apparently, everyone else here feels the same way, heh. when i write songs alone, alot of times i'll write all the music first then the lyrics. but sometimes, a riff or lyric or melody will hit me and i'll build upon that.

 

i have a project in which i work with a vocalist. alot of times i'll hand him finished songs to write to, but sometimes, he'll bring in some lyrics that he's written and he'll sing it the way he hears it and it's up to me to work with that and find some music that compliments that. sometimes we sit down with no ideas and bang out a line, melody or something and just bounce ideas back and forth until we have a completed track.

 

bottom line is, don't worry to much about the process until you've found the right vocalist. you'll know you've found the right one when you play one of your riffs and he pulls out some lyrics and the next thing you know the both of you are working out the kinks on a great chorus and by the end of the day you've got a song that both of you are quite proud of.

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I`ve found that my most melodic songs come when I`m playing chords and singing melodies at the same time. your voice follows your chords, and vice versa.. I never know what im singing but it is something. But most times i start by playing a riff, or a line of chords, then i start experimenting with melodies afterwards.. and after i`ve come up with the melody and chord-changes for the entire tune, i just write words that goes along with the melody, while I hear the now finished song in my head. this lyricwriting process usually can take a long time before im satisfied.. and is usually what i do before going to sleep, or if im bored on a bus or something..:)

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I find songs are a hell of a lot easier to write after writing everything instrumentally and perfectly th way you want them. Lyrics come next, jsut the beat of the song in your head. The medlodies can most times jsutcome to you when you are sitting listening to the others jamming.

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