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how long does it typically take to write lyrics?


dankJ

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Just curious to get other songwriters opinions as to how long it typically takes them to write (complete) lyrics for a song.

 

I sometimes get frustrated in the length of time it takes me to write. I can ponder for hours and come up with nothing...or 2-4 lines. Then other times, i can write a whole verse in one 15 minute sitting. I have yet to write a complete song in one sitting.

 

I know that the best writing is done when inspiration hits...so maybe its a lack of inspiration i have.

 

Our band has been together for about 8 months...and we have managed to spit out 8 songs. To the songs we do have completed...for the most part, i am pleased with the quality of my lyrics...even though most of them were excruciatingly hard to write.

 

How about your opinion on writing multiple songs at once? I consitently find myself working on 2-3 different songs at the same time, and wonder about this approach. Do you think this can take away from the meaning/quality/consistency of lyrics for a partiucular song?

 

So, yah.....any other songwriters opinions on this matter would be appreciative.

 

Also...what do you do when your feeling a lack of inspiration? What helps you to 'get in the mood'?

 

 

I apologize if any of this post was hard to understand. My brain doesnt seem to want to articulate anything past a 3rd grade reading level right now.

 

 

Thanks in advance all you kind people :-)

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Originally posted by dankJ


Also...what do you do when your feeling a lack of inspiration? What helps you to 'get in the mood'?



Thanks in advance all you kind people :-)

 

 

This just happened to me last night. typically, when this happens to me I usually just give up because nothing ever productive comes when I'm just not in the mood to play. That's probably not the best advice but I've learned that its true for me. Eventually, I'll be more motivated to play and will have some AWESOME ideas...hopefully. Unfortunetly, for me I have been writing less and less in the last year. I think for me I just need a day off with my half stack and a notebook.

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oh but I didn't really answer the question. Usually, if it's a good song I'll write it immediately so maybe 1/2 hour tops but there have been a few occassions that I really struggled for words. One of my favorites is "Right Now" which took about a month and a half. I finished them literally the day I was going into the studio.

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I agree with the previous post.. some of my 'better' songs just kinda happen in a short span of time... BUT that is not to say that I haven't worked on songs for days/weeks/months etc..... Every song and every writer is of course different in there processes. I write lyric and music, but not in any specific order.

 

However long it takes, if you're not happy with it - NEVER throw it out.... put it in a book and look at it every so often... at the very least it becomes entertainment for you as you grow lyrically... sometimes it just needs to ripen and BAM .. you've got a song.

 

Inspiration just comes from the whenever whatever... a conversation, another song, a thought about that picture hanging on the wall.

 

Writing can be cathartic... but can also be the most mind numbing and exasperating thing you could ever do... If you don't feel don't force it... Try to stop thinking about it..and then like a forgotten name, it will hit you. You can just sit down and write the words you have been subconsciously searching for.

 

Multiple songs.. I have NOTEBOOKS full of multiple songs that I am always trying to write.. I have umpteen structures for songs that I want lyrics too... unless you are writing an opera and need continuity .. working on more than one song is actually a GOOD thing.

 

Sorry for the long post.... I could keep writing.. which I guess id why I write huh???

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I tend to crank lyrics out quickly, like within 15 minutes or so. Granted, I usually don't write very serious material, but I find that if I spend too long trying to write lyrics, I get bored and just give up and never get back to it. I need to have fun making music or I lose interest.

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I am in your same situation, DankJ. It takes me a very long time to write usually.

 

My lyric process is usually as follows:

1. Inspiration (write 2 verses, a chorus and other various lyrical schemas)

2. Musical tone- This is like my second wind. I will match the lyrics with a melody that evokes the desired mood that the lyrics require. At this point I usually am really moved by the melody and get more momentum.

3. Plateau- The song usually gets tweaked with my band and verses/parts get added. I usually won't have lyrics for these parts, rather write them the night before a show or recording session.

 

That stress seems to provide a good amount of inspiration.

 

 

Do you have anyone to write with?

 

I tend to think that when I am writing alone and everything is in my head, I hit more dead ends. When you are verbalizing and 'bouncing' ideas your mind processes the material and ideas in a whole new way (even if you never even listen to your writing partner!). Just simply verbalizatoin is enough for me.

 

 

I know that the best writing is done when inspiration hits...so maybe its a lack of inspiration i have.

 

 

Man, as far as this goes, I don't know what to say. Many times when I am not emotionally inspired, I seek inspiration in language. Take the subject matter of a song almost randomly and have the words become art. No one said that you had to pour your blood and tears into every line you ever wrote; I even sometimes prefer the smirk to the scream.

 

I hope this helped! I have just found a lot of inspiratoin in travelling and have been really having some breakthroughs after a long period of writers block.

 

Blake.

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My lyric writing process goes like this...

 

I come up with the idea or story of what I'm going to write about, pick up my acoustic and fool around with some progressions. After I find the patterns I'm looking for, I close my eyes and visualize my song as if it were a movie. I describe the images to myself and start writing lyrics to that. I usually get a whole song done in about 25-30 minutes, but that's first draft only.

 

I record what I've got and listen to it OVER and OVER and OVER. Eventually over time (1 week max.) I will come up with better descriptions and patterns to tell the story, then I re-record.

 

That's it, maybe helpful, maybe not. But it works for me.

 

:thu:

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The heart (chorus) of the song takes about 30 seconds for me, once I find something I want to say....

 

Fleshing it out has taken anywhere from a few minutes to a whole year on some, and many times, I'll be changing the words as I stand in front of the microphone, getting ready to record.

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Originally posted by Geno_xl



This just happened to me last night. typically, when this happens to me I usually just give up because nothing ever productive comes when I'm just not in the mood to play. That's probably not the best advice Unfortunetly, for me I have been writing less and less in the last year. I think for me I just need a day off with my half stack and a notebook.

 

Take two days off and don't call me in the mornink.

 

Lyrics are STORIES and unless you know what STORY you is be tellin then you is sunk already blub, blub,blub...

 

To how many songs have you REWRITTEN by hand the lyrics?

How many cover songs did you learn Last year?

what style of music are you writing?

What roots music are you emulating?

For me, lyrics and songs and their ARRANGEMENTS come easily and often and I'm NEVER at a loss for which way to go.

BECAUSE I learn and relearn cover songs on a regular basis.

I never just stop writing and think that a MIRACLE (ahahahaha!)will happen.

I never thank that I'll just be INSPIRED to wrote something really cool and catchy and innovative.

Writeing lyrics and arrangeing songs is easy cause I STUDY how songs are put together by LEARNING COVER TUNES.

I can tear off a song in no time. Folkes ask me to write a song about this or that and I tear one off and it's EXACTLY what they wanted even if it has changed somewhat from the original idea. Most songs I write are complete and whole but some are rewritten and rewritten and rearranged till I feel it's an A SIDE SONG.

HOW do I do this?

By LEARNING "A SIDE" SONGS and "B SIDE" SONGS and looking at the differences. THERE ARE DIFFERENCES. they are evident differences.

One may see the differences ONLY by learning hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cover songs and MASTERING the ART of songwriting.

you WILL NOT get it by stopping or taking a break or jamming while dronk or stoned or piddeling around and listening to folkes what don't know how to write anyway.

theys lots of long winded and clueless folkes who will NEVER be goode or even mediocre song writers or arrangers cause they won't learn cover tunes in ordre to learn why a song works.

learn COVER TUNES NOTE FOR NOTE

THAT IS ALL

ovre and out.

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Originally posted by arellspencer


Take two days off and don't call me in the mornink.


Lyrics are STORIES and unless you know what STORY you is be tellin then you is sunk already blub, blub,blub...


To how many songs have you REWRITTEN by hand the lyrics?

How many cover songs did you learn Last year?

what style of music are you writing?

What roots music are you emulating?

For me, lyrics and songs and their ARRANGEMENTS come easily and often and I'm NEVER at a loss for which way to go.

BECAUSE I learn and relearn cover songs on a regular basis.

I never just stop writing and think that a MIRACLE (ahahahaha!)will happen.

I never thank that I'll just be INSPIRED to wrote something really cool and catchy and innovative.

Writeing lyrics and arrangeing songs is easy cause I STUDY how songs are put together by LEARNING COVER TUNES.

I can tear off a song in no time. Folkes ask me to write a song about this or that and I tear one off and it's EXACTLY what they wanted even if it has changed somewhat from the original idea. Most songs I write are complete and whole but some are rewritten and rewritten and rearranged till I feel it's an A SIDE SONG.

HOW do I do this?

By LEARNING "A SIDE" SONGS and "B SIDE" SONGS and looking at the differences. THERE ARE DIFFERENCES. they are evident differences.

One may see the differences ONLY by learning hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cover songs and MASTERING the ART of songwriting.

you WILL NOT get it by stopping or taking a break or jamming while dronk or stoned or piddeling around and listening to folkes what don't know how to write anyway.

theys lots of long winded and clueless folkes who will NEVER be goode or even mediocre song writers or arrangers cause they won't learn cover tunes in ordre to learn why a song works.

learn COVER TUNES NOTE FOR NOTE

THAT IS ALL

ovre and out.

 

 

What language do you write songs in?

 

What is your native language?

 

You are doing pretty good if English is your second language!!!

 

I have no idea what this post is about, since reading it would actually give me a headache! :thu:

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Originally posted by dankJ

How about your opinion on writing multiple songs at once? I consitently find myself working on 2-3 different songs at the same time, and wonder about this approach. Do you think this can take away from the meaning/quality/consistency of lyrics for a partiucular song?

 

I've done this since I started, and I think it works fine...I don't think it means you're neglecting other songs at all. It can take longer, though, since you've got several in the oven at once. For me...it just depends on what mood I'm in. If I'm down and feel like working on a tearjerker, I do that; if I'm having a goofy day and want to work on my song about wrestling the wee forest folk behind my house (just kidding...or not), I do that.

 

But mostly, I just sit on my butt and wait for Jesus to do the work. :D

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Originally posted by tamoore




What language do you write songs in?


What is your native language?


You are doing pretty good if English is your second language!!!


I have no idea what this post is about, since reading it would actually give me a headache!
:thu:

 

Tamoore is afraid and he wishes othres to be fearful of my words or ideas because he just does not understand.

Ignorance is.

Cover tunes are.

Be.

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One thing that seemed to work for me was to just sit down and do it. I used to basically wait for "inspiration" to hit. Then, when it did, I would write and write and by the time I was done I sometimes wasn't happy with what I wrote. So what I began to do was just force myself and not be insanely critical. I used to always fit in as many changes as possible and try be super poetic in my writing. Then I decided I would just write a song with two chords and some straight forward lyrics. Something about my buddies and I gettin drunk or something of that sort. Well, the song's not great but it's fun for me to sing with friends and it definitely helped to just have a completed product. Something about having a song finished (good or bad) gets my "inspiration" flowin. All in all, I guess it usually takes me anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to write lyrics. But I also often just write poems, "streams of consciousness" or whatever. This usually takes place in "real time". Then I'll take what I wrote and turn it into a song. It might only be one line from any given poem but it'll spark a thought for a song. Then that song often only takes a few minutes(15-30) to write. Remember 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. :)

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Typically, it takes me about a couple of days to write the bulk of the lyrics, although I might make a few tweaks or revisions after the fact.

 

I see nothing wrong with working on several at once, if that works for you. I actually wish I could do it that way, but I'm not much of a multi-tasker. My mind tends not to want to focus on more than one thing at a time. But I think there is a benefit from working on multiple songs; it allows you to take a break from one, work on another for a while, and be able to come back to the first one with a fresh perspective. Something that isn't always possible when you're just focusing on that one lyric. Very productive way of working.

 

For me, it's less a question of inspiration and more one of motivation. If I start feeling guilty about not being at it for a while, that's usually when I know it's time to write again. Usually, its just a matter of sitting down and actually doing it, and I'll almost always come up with something. You just have to feel like doing it, and not sweat it if you don't feel like it. You will eventually. Listening to your favorite music often helps to get into the right mode. Reading can too.

 

I recently wrote about nine songs in a week--just lyrics. First time I've ever done that, actually. Usually I come up with a title first, then I let the title suggest what the song will be about. If one doesn't come to you right away, just perusing through a book or something can help you stumble onto a word or phrase that is interesting enough to be a song. Generally, I'll write the chorus first, then write the verses around it. And I always have a dictionary, my rhyming dictionary and my thesauras beside me when I write. Those things really come in handy when I'm stuck looking for the right word or rhyme.

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Typically, it takes me about a couple of days to write the bulk of the lyrics, although I might make a few tweaks or revisions after the fact.

 

I see nothing wrong with working on several at once, if that works for you. I actually wish I could do it that way, but I'm not much of a multi-tasker. My mind tends not to want to focus on more than one thing at a time. But I think there is a benefit from working on multiple songs; it allows you to take a break from one, work on another for a while, and be able to come back to the first one with a fresh perspective. Something that isn't always possible when you're just focusing on that one lyric. Very productive way of working.

 

For me, it's less a question of inspiration and more one of motivation. If I start feeling guilty about not being at it for a while, that's usually when I know it's time to write again. Usually, its just a matter of sitting down and actually doing it, and I'll almost always come up with something. You just have to feel like doing it, and not sweat it if you don't feel like it. You will eventually. Listening to your favorite music often helps to get into the right mode. Reading can too.

 

I recently wrote about nine songs in a week--just lyrics. First time I've ever done that, actually. Usually I come up with a title first, then I let the title suggest what the song will be about. If one doesn't come to you right away, just perusing through a book or something can help you stumble onto a word or phrase that is interesting enough to be a song. Generally, I'll write the chorus first, then write the verses around it. And I always have a dictionary, my rhyming dictionary and my thesauras beside me when I write. Those things really come in handy when I'm stuck looking for the right word or rhyme.

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All depends. First song I wrote came out completely in about 7 minutes, chords and all, never to be touched again. I tend to dwell on lyrics/melody, as i feel it is my strongest songwriting ability. I usually get inspired by a hooky phrase that pops in my head, complete with melody and go from there. I am not afraid to change the lyrics 5 years down the road, if I've not recorded the song in a professional way. I keep honing until I feel it's 'right.' I also tend to trash or forget about 80% of the songs I've ever started, but I will pull lyric ideas from them that I think are good.

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Originally posted by tamoore




What language do you write songs in?


What is your native language?


You are doing pretty good if English is your second language!!!


I have no idea what this post is about, since reading it would actually give me a headache!
:thu:

 

+ a gazillion.

 

Lyrics for me take between 15 minutes and 5 years (and counting...)

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how long does it ypically take to write lyrics ?

 

hard question to answer , because each song is different and has different inspiration behind it - sometimes the tune reminds me of something or i just have a reason for writing a song with a certain theme - music or words are flip flopped as to which one comes first- its more important to have the inspiration rather than having to be told to write a song about something-- personnaly Im a little sick of so called love songs - unless its really strange -- sometimes they come like a run away train and other times bits and pieces fall into place and they take a long time -- dont think this is set answer !!

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