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Anyone Else Been At This Point, If So How'd You Get Out?

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Lately, my songs I've been writing have been posing a great challenge for me to actually get done with. It could be summed up as this. Writing the lyrics are like taking my skin off, but when I get to putting my music with it it's like trying to put my skin back on after it's been torn, and stretched to be taken off. It just doesn't fit quite right! I know how it SHOULD fit, but it doesn't. Even though technically, or theoretically, it should fit. Any advice how to get out of this? Keep writing and don't stop? Take a break? Spin around in circles singing "Do Your Ears Hang Low"? Anything?

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Try changing how you approach writing. Write the melody first, then the words. It's what I find successful. For years I never thought too much about writing. I just wrote, words or music first as the random notion took me. Many times I found it similar to yourself. In writing melody first I set a meter the written word would use. By training myself to work that way around I was less precious about the lyrics, I was less attached, less invested in the lyrics being as written. The fact is they never were written in stone, but sometimes it felt just like that. By writing the melody, taking the rhythm and using it for the meter of the lyrics I knew what i had to work to right from the start.

Make sense?

To be honest, listeners tend to hear melody well before they follow lyrics despite the fact that genre affects whether lyrics or melody are given more weight. So in my mind melody wins out. I know I can write no matter the rhythm/meter, the difference is only in that sense of attachment.

It's a good thing to get used to, not being too precious with your songs. One thing worth noting when digging out that edit scalpel, the original still exists no matter the changes. Work is not wasted, you either use it and learn, or don't use it and learn. Going back and forward making tweaks, too afraid to carve it up, dissect what works and what doesn't etc, now that is a waste of time. It must be said, working with the critique boards helps with that. If you find yourself getting defensive, it's usually that over protective, overly precious monster whispering in your ear. It's about the song when it comes to critique, not the writer. Sure the writer and the critiquer both learn, both explore and exercise their songwriting tools, but the focus is what is good for the song, what ideas would help or ruin it. If you remain too precious of lyrics or melody or mix it acts as a block. your mind is not open. This is no doubt where you are stuck, even though you may be acting as both critiquer and writer on your own songs.

I also recommend doing a lot of critique of the works of other writers. To be honest I think you learn more giving critique than receiving. You get to exercise almost all songwriting skills, improve your observation and analysis, and solution finding, without being in the slightest bit precious of the work. It's not your song, so the decisions are not yours and you are not invested in any one part being any special way.

Both help you gain the needed objectivity, an objectivity that is easier to turn on and off, allowing you to get in the emotion of the song, remain connected, but to drop into a more objective role when needed. :)

I hope this helps.



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I always listen to the melody. I do not write a word until the music is complete. I can perhap,s have an idea of how, I wish the song to proceed prior to the music. The Music is the clincher. I listen for how a word will scan with the notes at a particular point in the song.I alwasy use the same approach.

Luckily I never have writers block. :luxhello:

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For me it's always been a compromise. If theres part of the melody that I really like I'll work with the words to make it fit, but if theres a set of lyrics that I really can't bear the thought of changing I'll make it work with the music, I'll even throw in one bar in a different time signature if I have to. all about compromise :D

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Yeah, I get massive up and downs with song writing. It's frustrating coming to a block when I know I was able to do it not too long ago. I usually just try and persist through it and "force it" so to say. Like, I'll just continue to pick up the guitar for half an hour a day, even if I get nothing out of it. I'll try write some lyrics and piece together a song, even if I don't like the end result. After a while, the groove comes back.

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I stopped writing lyrics long ago. And to be honest It really didn't do that much for me to be able to write lyrics. So I'm respectful of those who go down that path.

I write music all three ways. I can start with a progression and graft a melody line to it. I can start with a melody line and graft a progression then add my parts and I can start with both the basic harmony and melody at the same time.

Whenever I read lyrics I'm listening to the rhythmic modes at work. From there I've usually got a key or tonal center I can develop the song from.

What are rhythmic modes?

I'm glad you asked.

So think about the rhythm of the spoken word as you read the lyrics aloud.

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