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Top Line First?

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I'm studying under some really talented songwriters at the moment and they all seem to agree that writing from the top-line down is the most efficient way but i've always written up from the chord progression or for purely rhythmical purposes.

I've played around with writing topline down recently and it does seem to produce much more concise melodies.

I'd like to hear from everyone on their experience with both of these techniques and which one they favour.

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For me, it varies. I've had songs start with the title, with the first line, with the last line, or somewhere in between. I try not to exercise control over such things.

For the two I'm working on presently, one started with the last couple of lines in the *second* verse, then developed a chorus; and the other is starting somewhere in the chorus (and I'm not sure where yet). I'm not sure locking yourself into a box is a good idea.


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I have to say I most often start with the chorus melody, sometimes the verse. I used to start with lyrics but found the melodies weren't as good. I do sometimes start with other instruments but that is more or less as a mood setter and they aren't set in stone. Sometimes though not often i will start with a riff... but in all cases I swap into melody mode asap.. ie before fleshing out riff and linking stuff up. Make sense?



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