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HELP! i need some advice please....


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  • Noob

here is the problem....

ive been writting music and lyrics, but i cant put them together.

do i start with the music first and let that dictate the melody or ....? i dont know...

please experienced songwritters i would love your advice.

sincerely, ms. confused and frustrated

Edited by hornetshum
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I'm pretty sure you won't get one specific answer. There is no correct way to go about this. Myself, I write music first then apply lyrics afterwards. I know others here that do the opposite. And, there are those that do it either way.

You can only figure out which way works best for you.

Sorry for the lack of help.

Tom

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here is the problem....

ive been writting music and lyrics, but i cant put them together.

do i start with the music first and let that  dictate the melody or ....? i dont know...

please experienced songwritters i would love your advice.

sincerely, ms. confused and frustrated

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Have you tried to put them together? Just try to do it - change what needs to be changed and listen to it. Ask someone else to listen to it.

Some rewrites are usually unavoidable.

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It's not for everyone to be a songwriter. I'm not saying not anyone can do it, but a certain journey through yourself is required. You need to find your own way of doing it, and it takes time and effort. Results will not come right away - but if you are persistent they will come. And the good thing is: there's no end of improvements and developments you can make on it- you are never finished studying songwriting.

But there really is no free lunch or recipe for making it - there's really just one thing you need to do: start doing it.

Edited by FinnArild
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I nearly always write the music first and the lyrics next.

But, I always used to write the music mostly on the instrument. That is, by trying different things on the guitar I'd think "that sounds good" and then develop the tune from there.

Nowadays the music nearly always starts in my imagination and then it's a question of reproducing it on the guitar - which is a challenge and often better than the original idea. Only trouble is that I have a 138 track studio in my head and obviously reality is rather less than that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

i nearly always write the music first beofre the lyrics however as a habit i carry a notebook with me to note down ideas and lyrics that spring to mind. this often helps me once i come to writing lyrics.

i find that by writing the music first it suggests a mood or theme on which to write however reget this in some ways as i feel the melody of the lyrics can often suffer by trying to make a melody fit an existing structure.

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  • 1 month later...

I tend to write the music and the lyric simultaniously.

When I get a couple of cords and a sentence I like, I have a good starting point for letting the song evolve. I am not wery productive though, only 1-3 song a year, but I enjoy the process.

When I play in a band (shared songwriting) I usually have the complete musical piece finsihed first (or at least a complete verse or chorus), and I listen to I't a extencively. Eventually some nice vocal melodies will become apparent. Try fitting different lyrical structures to the music and so on (different sounds etc.).

I do write down sentences I find amusing or elequent down and occationally try to fit them into a song.

Reading decent litterature also helps improve the writing (both as an inspiration and to the craft of writing).

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I do write down sentences I find amusing or elequent down and occationally try to fit them into a song.

I do that, but when I have finished the lyric, I nearly always find that sentence has been edited out. It's like it gives me inspiration for writing something better.

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i have worked three ways in putting lyrics to music. first one sing la la bla bla etc along and just work out the medlody and then every so often changing the la la to a word etc. This way is a general quick way of getting lyrics in. But you end up with a song thats lyrics aren't that well thought out.

Or i write a piece of music and work damm hard on fitting liyrics in at any cost because thats what i want the song to say.

Or jsut start signing the lyrics you have in front of you and start strumming your guitar finding the notes that fit.

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I do that, but when I have finished the lyric, I nearly always find that sentence has been edited out. It's like it gives me inspiration for writing something better.

or, of course, you can turn the catch phrase into the lyrical hook.

Like

'Jesus Loves Me (But he can't stand you)'

Country songwriters are fond of this approach

It tends to make for cliched songwriting though.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Yes good question with some good answers. Well unfortunately it is not something that happens overnight. One doesn't wake up one morning and say "I know I'm going to be a songwriter"... For me, many years ago, I tried to write songs with a guitar and they always came out so slushy that a penguin would fall-over. BUT I kept at it. Now with six amature albums under my belt I feel like a bit of an expert and "hero" in my own little world. I usually start with my acoustic guitar and these days I find a multi-track recorder almost invaluable. I will record some chords that I think sound nice, or rocky or strange and them develop a Bassline usually with fifths, thirds and tonic. Then (as has been already stated) I sing la la la over the top and maybe record a couple of tracks. Then I go and have a cup of coffee and cigarette and come back and listen for something that is interesting. Sometimes I skip the la la la part and just put myself on the spot by pressing record and letting it all flow.

Another method I use is to start with different instruments. I will write a completely different song which stands out from the rest if I start with a bassline after doing numerous songs with guitar. Or start with a drum pattern. I think it is probably about one song out 50 that I start with a vocal melody.

Another thing I do is to set aside a day to write two songs. And force yourself! The first time I did this, I wrote two of my best songs that I still play today.

Bla bla bla

I hope this has been useful!

Cheesey pops Tony

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As an exercise (not a regular method). Take an existing song, change the time signiture, substitute all the chords and change the melody flow (the phrasing is already altered with the time change) such as make it 'fall' when its ascending etc. Change the lyrics and no-one will ever be able to track it back to the original song.

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I don't start with the lyrics, just an idea, and see if I can get some music to fit that idea. It helps the lyric expand. I find writing the lyrics first seems to put some restraint on what music I could write, almost as if the whole idea is pre-planned. I like a little surprise here and there, so I could sit around for about three-four days just hitting chords and their variations trying to find something that could resemble the idea I have.

Example:

A song about a guy walking a long road.

I'd run off and practice with the slide tube, then grab a harmonica and play along, trying to create that lonesome sound. Normally I scrap the slide because I'm awful with it, lol. Then it's down to the melody, still with no lyrics just this idea. So it's lonesome, so I get some minors and some flats, not even in the correct keys and just bang them out until something falls into place.

Songwriting, in my experience is an accident. It's up to you to make sense of the wreakage..hey, now there's an idea. :P

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest voclizr

I have to have the musical idea first. I start by building a chord structure and then hum a melody over it. From there the lyrics (if I use any) come into play.

John B.

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