Jump to content

Your Ad Could Be Here

What made you start songwriting?


Recommended Posts

Hello!
In an effort to get to know you good folks a bit better, i was wondering what made you jump into writing your own compositions.
Was there a definable moment or was it just a natural graduation from being a musician? Tell me your story.

 

For myself, it's really quantifiable. I started singing in local school bands when i was around 15. I was in and around people writing their own songs, but the craft felt like something beyond me [since i couldn't even play an instrument at this point] so i never considered it. That was until i was 16 and my friend Paddy played me 'Anas Song [Open Fire]' by Silverchair. I still cannot put my finger on why that song completely floored me to this day, but back then, i just couldn't understand how music could be so powerful. That chord change into the chorus married with daniel's emotive vocal delivery was just astounding to me. I must have asked him to repeat it around 15 times before he just gave me the entire album it was on [Neon Ballroom]. Living near Paddy, i made the small walk back home, listened to the entire record and picked up a cheap guitar that'd sat in the corner for a long time and so begin my love affair with the art of songwriting.

 

There's s'mores and beer for everyone.

Now then, Your turn.
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The songs never stop running through my head.  I grab the Voice Recorder app on my iPhone and warble them into the microphone as often as they come to me.  Then, I strive to use the rest of my modest computer's prodigious power to do something with them.

 

First and foremost, it is a personal journey.  I am content to do it, if necessary, only for myself.  But I find that some of the songs resonate with other people, and I've even managed to make a few dimes.  I don't think that I could possibly stop writing songs, even if for some insane reason I ever wanted to.  While I would love for Publisher's Clearing House to show up at my doorstep with a stupendous check, just like anyone else would, I have come to prize my daily encounters with The Muse.  She is a difficult master.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

for me it has been evolutionary (gradual)

 

I started playing guitar in 1988 at age 20. My hero (back then) was pretty much Eddie VanHalen. So basically I just wanted to be a guitar player. A few years into it and I was pretty good.  Left to my own devices im an introvert so I suck at meeting people etc, therefore I never did the whole "join a band" thing, Mainly I made home recordings.

 

fast forward to about 2000 and I discover the internet. Its cool, lots to read about and you cal learn just about anything.

 

fast forward to about 2014. So I have been playing guitar for 26 years. Never did anything with it per se besides "get good" and do home recordings. I probably took about a decade off from home recording from maybe 2004-2014 ish. So around 2014 I decide to start recording some again. So I have to start from scratch like a newbie with questions like "how do I get my music online?"  So I delve into the brand new (for me) world of DAWs and interfaces etc etc.

 

I was still "just a guitar player" so from that point it sort of follows a logical evolution.

 

2014. I go online and learn about DAWs. I start using Reaper. I need drum tracks and I discover wikiloops.com   that got the juices flowing nicely and I started writing lots of nice little jams. After a while it got limiting trying to work with the same few decent drum tracks over and over so I got EZ Drummer2 and use it for drums now

 

2015  I start posting my little guitar/drum jams on fbook. My friends like them etc but they comment "it sounds weird with no words?"  yeah, naturally the average person isnt into jams and instrumentals. I also started playing bass guitar somewhere along the line, just because my jams sounded weak without bass

 

So I start looking for people to sing on my tracks. Hoping to collaborate etc. There is one guy at work who plays in bands and sings with a lot of soul etc. So we actually recorded 2 songs together. One of his and one of mine. But he lives 30 miles away and its a bit like pulling teeth. It just doesnt work out (shame IMO)

 

2016. So, I cant find people to sing?? ok. So I start singing! lol. Since 2016 I have made the decision to consider myself a singer and to consistently work on it

 

So somewhere along the line I sort of had to become a de facto songwriter AND producer

 

 

Naturally when you are a one man show it takes time to get things done. My huge problem has been writing songs. Actually FINISHING them. No exaggeration I have at least 100 decent guitar/drum jams on my HD that need vocals lol

 

I havent done anything yet im SUPER proud of. Im a pretty harsh self critic. Im real bad about writing stuff off and starting something new.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

I wrote some lyrics first when I was about 15, just after I'd started playing guitar. It was called Reminiscence, about an old homeless man looking back at his life after meeting an old friend - my social conscience already kicking in. A guitar mate set it to music and we had a little band for a while, where I was the lyricist and he did the music. I was maybe 18 before I tried to write the music, too, and then a lot of songs before I thought I was a songwriter, though an early one about a police chief called Henry was quite popular with my friends.

 

Reminiscing is fun when you're not homeless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I performed vocal music from a young age. Even before that I my family was in a country dancing group so I was kind of raised into music. When I was in college (early 2000s) I took a basic songwriting coarse that I guess sparked my interest in songwriting. I picked up a guitar and started writing a few songs after that. I ended up buying a digital recorder and getting some drum loops from online to make some basic demos. I never ended up doing much with it probably due to my poor instrumental skills.

 

Fast forward to 2014:

After singing in a cover band for about 8 years and learning to play guitar better I started my own original band playing outlaw country rock songs that I had written since college. We recorded a few of the songs but the rocker musicians that I was working with decided they wanted to go in a different direction with their own music. 

 

That next year I was introduced to a new style of music called Hick Hop. In all honesty I had listened to a little bit of Hick Hop back in the early 2000s but it never took off in main stream music. In 2015 it seemed as though there was a good chance of it hitting the big time with artists like Colt Ford and Big Amo making some major moves in the music industry. I had been approached by a local rapper to sing some hooks on some Hick Hop songs he was writing. When I went to his studio to record it really peaked my interest in learning digital recording. He took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. I started writing and recording my own Hick Hop songs at home and we did some shows together opening up for touring artists. The next year I put out my first album of Hick Hop songs that I had written and produced.

 

Since then I have been on a never ending quest of making my recordings better along with my songwriting. Last year I returned more to a traditional country/southern rock style with my discovery of Band in a Box and recorded a second album comprised of many outlaw country songs that I had written over the past 15 or so years. Now I write regularly to prompts and for music wanted listings on a music licensing website. The more I write the more I see my songwriting and recording skills improving. I am always looking for me skills to improve the songs that I create and I hope to gain some new knowledge as part of this site.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Hey dislocatedlove, and everyone! 

 

So cool, reading everyone else’s stories!  

 

I have a very similar one... I started writing when I was about 10 with a neighbour of mine who I considered to be a good singer.  We were a lil Wilson Phillips wannabe duo.  LOL!  We wrote about love we never experienced and heart ache we knew nothing about!  

 

Later on I found myself somewhat of a poet and story writer in school, and turned a few of them into actual songs which I did nothing with.  

 

After high school graduation, among the theatre jobs I landed, I ended up in a girl group which featured two rappers and myself as the singer.  I wrote hooks with them. Unfortunately, we also went no where with our songs about girl power, and independence.  

 

Fast forward to about four years ago, when I had been in my first gigging cover band, and audience members were asking me where they could buy our album...and we didn’t have one.  I felt bad, AND I also kinda was angry at myself for not having one yet.  It was something I’d wanted to do but always put off in favour of a sure thing... or work that seemed like a “real job”.  I enrolled in a local songwriting course, and learned as much as I could, and felt pretty proud of my two recorded songs I finished and performed after the six weeks.

 

Nothing ever quite inspired me as me as much as that band dis-banding when the drummer / manager decided to quit unexpectedly.  I had been doing a 100 Song challenge on my own a few months prior to the new year,and when he popped that quitting the biz stuff on us, I was already in “go mode”, and just kept on going.  I realized I wasted a lot of time in that band, I didn’t network, or songwrite, or get gigs on my own.... so...I started.  And that’s how my journey all began!  

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I can't believe I actually remember, but I was maybe 7-8 years old.  My family and I were walking home one night from somewhere during a meteor shower. My first one. 

 

At the time it was the late 90s, boy bands rampant and I specifically remember writing a song about meteors to the tune of, "Larger Than Life" from Backstreet. LOL. 

 

Right then.  That was the EXACT moment. Laying on the apartment floor, under the fish tank writing my little hand off.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all,

 

Just adding my 2 cents to this lol. It's interesting to me because I can't even remember the first song I wrote. I was in my 20's and it was very political I remember that. I was so impressed with myself lol.  Now I'm a completely different person! I literally despise the first 3 to 4 songs I ever wrote. 

 

I took it up again several years ago as a cathartic endeavor. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hey man.  I started playing in 92 i think and Metallica was and I guess is still my favourite band even though I listen to lots of different stuff now.  I pretty much started writing straight away regardless of the quality haha.  Lately Devin Townsed has given me a lot of inspiration as a songwriter and not sticking to one style so people may notice when I start posting it wont be the same genre which can be tricky I guess.  Ive always preferred writing original stuff than play cover songs although I enjoy that aswell.  Lately Ive had a lot of ideas forming so Im taking advantage of that.  Theres a lot to record and trying to get everything down may be harder for certain songs than others but I really love the process of it start to hopefully finish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I remember the first song I ever wrote, and I think I was 11, maybe in 6th grade. I had piano lessons for a couple of years, but I wanted to play guitar. So I had a guitar and a book of chords. A friend and I started writing songs, but I don't know what gave us the idea. I don't remember if it was before or after seeing the Beatles on TV. I LOVED the Beatles.

 

Then as a teenager I heard a Bob Dylan record, and I loved that. And I also liked Joan Baez and folk music in general.

 

I was afraid to play guitar and sing in the coffee house in the church. I was so mad at myself for not having the courage.

 

I kept on playing guitar, and I bought a lot of classical guitar books and that's what I played, for many years. I also kept writing songs, privately. I didn't want anyone to hear them, because I was afraid they would say my songs sucked and I should give up. I didn't want to give up, because I love writing songs, whether they are any good or not.

 

I heard about a bluegrass jam session when I was in my 50s. I went and I loved it, and decided to learn bluegrass banjo. Bluegrass has influenced my songwriting a lot. Also old-time and traditional. Playing that kind of music helped me figure out what I like to hear, and what kind of songs I want to write.

 

When I was 64 I cut back on work, and started spending a lot more time on music. I play at open mics, and other unpaid things, by myself or with others. Having chances to perform my songs has inspired me to write more than ever. 

 

The other day I had a chance to play some of my songs on a local college radio show. 

 

I record my songs at home with GarageBand. And have started posting them at SoundCloud.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Noob

song writing began for me a way to create something that felt good. I've always loved making up stories and making mini movies and stuff like that. Writing music was just something that was so interesting to me. it never is really about the music, but the feeling that you get during and after. I also love making albums, which which to me is like making a story or movie. I imagine how i want it to flow and how i want thing to feel from beginning to end. The end is really important to me, I tend to make it the best and most epic song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, this is a great question. My journey to songwriting was also very quantifiable and sort of sudden. Short version is that it came about when I had a newborn (our fourth child) and my father-in-law passed away shortly after the birth of my son. So I had found myself in a highly emotional situation, with great emotional needs, but nobody to emote to haha... (since my whole family was burdened so heavily with the loss, I was sort of on my own with the stress of the baby and my own grief - everyone was so devastated I couldn't further burden them with my own emotional stuff... songwriting came to me as the outlet and helped me cope during that time.

 

I actually wrote a whole blog post about my journey to music and songwriting but that is the very abbreviated version haha. 

 

It's cool reading about everyone's own unique road to songwriting :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I started writing songs as soon as I learned to write in elementary school. I have a very vivid childhood memory of how that pursuit got derailed. I was on the top bunk in the bedroom I shared with 3 siblings one day scribbling lyrics in my notebook. I heard my dad come home late from work, again. He had stopped off at a bar first, his usual habit, but this time brought two other guys with him. They were all stinking drunk. I sat in the living room taking in their conversation. For some reason my dad got up and went into my bedroom. A few minutes later I heard him belly laughing uproariously. He came out holding a few pages of my "songwriting". He said "hey guys, listen to this. I guess my kid writes songs now!". He began reading them my childish lyrics and soon they were all laughing at me. I was jumping up and down, trying to snatch the pages from my dad as he held them above my reach. Finally he handed them to me and I retreated to my room in utter humiliation.

 

I never thought about songwriting again, except for the occasional wondering of how so many people, who had to be responsible for all the songs I heard on the radio, could possibly endure the ridicule I now thought came with writing songs! Of course I now know it was a massive parenting failure on my drunk father's part, one of many. I never wrote another song until recently at age 64. I've been writing for over 6 months at least on a relentless basis. I play my songs at a weekly jam with several people who are up to 22 years older than I am. The usual repertoire at the jam is ancient country music. The leader of the jam suggested awhile back someone ought to try and write some new stuff for them to learn. I took up the challenge and have been immensely surprised with how well it's been received. I also attend a weekly songwriter circle/open mic at a nearby venue where I've become one of the favorites in a pretty large group. I'm amazed they tolerate my vastly less than pleasing singing voice! I always start by saying "most of these songs are out of my range. In truth, the only range I have is in my kitchen".

 

I'm entirely new to this forum but am already much more impressed with it than another songwriter specific forum I've been participating in. That forum has a few people who hyperpost every thought that comes into their head with a forced rhyme and then call it a song. There are several excellent writers as well so I still check in regularly. I have an old friend who is a retired very successful former songwriter in Nashville. He has been amazingly supportive of my efforts. Songwriting consumes most of my waking thoughts anymore. I'm comfortably retired and so have no aspirations of recognition for it. But hey, Colonel Sanders didn't start KFC until he was retired so I guess anything can happen, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

As I mentioned in my introduction, I was inspired to write songs by Pete Townshend's 1983 double-album Scoop, and its liner notes, where Townshend explained how he wrote songs on a multi-track recorder. This was during the same period in which the first cassette four track recorders, drum machines, and affordable digital synths debuted, so it all fell into place. I'm not a very good sight reader of music, and can write even more slowly, so using the cassette, both as a sketchpad, and then to develop more polished demos was a great introduction to the process. It was also during that period that I was reading about how the Beatles and George Martin honed their craft.

 

I used to read books such as The Beatles Recording Sessions, which discussed the mics, pre-amps, and effects the Beatles used, and thought, "I'll never own gear like this." Due to the ubiquity of DAWs and project studios, good quality condenser mics and pre-amps are much more readily available than they were in the 1980s, and many of the plugins from Waves and Eventide replicate the hardware effects the Beatles used. It's a great era for the home songwriter/recordist! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say the first physical exposure to a piano at church. You walked up to it and just started plunking the notes and keys much to the ire of the sunday school teachers. With no one telling you how to play, you explored and manipulated the notes to where by ear you could make out chords. So I was unofficially a song writer at age 4 or 5. Listening to the radio too was an influence to the curiosity of songwriting as well as my older brothers eclectic album collection.

  It was when I heard KLAATU 's song "Calling Occupants" that the curiosity became a possibility, thinking, if they can sound like the Beatles, why can't I? Quite a silly notion for a 14 year old kid.😄

My first girlfriend in high school had a refurbished piano that she rarely played. This is when I actually started composing songs as songs rather than ideas on a late sunday morning after church. Just after high school I would buy a cheap second hand guitar and the seeds were now sown.

 Like Ed Driscoll, I bought a Tascam 244, bass,keys and a used roland tr808 drum machine to start the adventure of writing and arranging my own songs. From the 80s on, I would gradually upgrade as prices of home recording equipment started to become reasonable. Though I would take the ADAT tapes over my digital recorder for sound quality.

  But yeah, once the bug bit to write songs, there was no looking back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

Your Ad Could Be Here



  • Current Donation Goals

    • Raised $1,040
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By continuing to use our site you indicate acceptance of our Terms Of Service: Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy: Privacy Policy, our Community Guidelines: Guidelines and our use of Cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.