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> Writing A Song
ChocolateTeddy
post Apr 22 2012, 02:45 PM
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ugh i always have the same problem and I have to admit, its the main reason I am on and off when it comes to playing instruments.
I always end up screwed when it comes to writing songs. I have 2 books filled of lyrics and no music to go with it. when I try to write/play something that can go with the lyric or atleast the flow, I end up with something completely different >_>
Sometimes I think I'm over thinking it all other times I think I let what other people think or say matter too much. wtf how do I solve this?
any tips? what do you guys do when you run into a road block like this?
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Dinaga
post Apr 22 2012, 03:50 PM
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I'll just share some wisdom from a great musician Voltaire biggrin.gif
He is talking about writing books and songs and over-thinking it, so I really recommend you to watch this part, which starts at 9:50. smile.gif

http://youtu.be/rKTSccB42YI?t=9m50s

Make the art, then think about it wink.gif And you can't get any constructive criticism from others if you don't have anything to show smile.gif

This post has been edited by Dinaga: Apr 22 2012, 03:51 PM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 23 2012, 12:06 PM
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Mate, I would suggest a different approach smile.gif why don't you come up with melodic lines first, without thinking of the lyrics. Then, try to see if the lyrics fit the lines, if they don't here the roads can divide: either modify the lyrics to fit the line or the other way around smile.gif Composition is a very awkward journey sometimes and you are allowed to do ANYTHING as long as the result is the desired one smile.gif

Let's share ideas on this matter in this thread here, k? smile.gif

all the best

Cosmin


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 23 2012, 03:59 PM
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I compose a lot of music all the time but my approach is similar to Cosmin's. I first create melodies, chord progressions, riffs, structures and then I add the lyrics. If you want to compose music in a particular style, the best way to start is analyzing songs and bands that sound like that. I'm working on something like with some students at Gab's Army. We first analyze some songs and then we start creating ideas and song based on the concepts and tools used on those songs.


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ChocolateTeddy
post Apr 30 2012, 03:06 PM
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thanks guys. these are very good tips especially the video. A fellow musician told me that I really need to get out of that comfort zone added on to other things
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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 30 2012, 08:07 PM
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Well, I have to share an experience which happened in the last few days smile.gif Due to the fact that I am working to release the Aria EP at the end of May, we are working in the studio almost daily in order to finish the songs and get them ready.

There is this particular song we call 'Seeds' which will actually be the name of the EP itself, having an incredibly difficult chorus section. The harmonies shift a lot and it was a nuisance until today, when we finally found something with which we were really thrilled.

The difficulty came from the way we wrote these songs - first the songs than having to come up with vocal lines. The limitations existed and the frustration was huge, once we realized that the songs were crushing, but no great lines were coming up.

I don't know how we managed to pull this one out to surface, when there was no hope left, but I am happy. 'Seeds' will be on the EP!

Here's the chorus part at the beginning of this lesson: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Metal-Metrics-3/

Would you find it easier to write lines if you had the music? smile.gif

Cosmin


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SirJamsalot
post May 1 2012, 01:43 AM
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oh man - too many variables to lock in any one approach. It's like going to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread... which kind?! too many choices.

Two general ways I've heard people talk about are

1. If you know the melody, then learn to play the melody, record the melody you played, then determine the key and come up with a chord progression to back it. The melody will often times be the lyrical context. Try to sing your lyrics to the melody, and you'll likely need to replace words with other words to fit the rhythm, or alter the rhythm slightly to accommodate the words. It's a battle of what to replace when.

2. If you have a rhythm / chord progression in mind, then record it, then try to create a melody that sits in the pocket of what you're riffing - this is Van Halen's approach, in my words- "a song should be written so you don't need lyrics/singing for the song to be catchy and easy to follow ~ the singing and lyrical content are just the topping after it's been created". You'll need to figure out how/what to sing after the fact.

Song composition theoretically gets easier the more you do it. Learning cover songs is a great way to learn how popular songs were constructed. The more you learn covers, the more you learn how similar chord progressions were constructed, and will help you create your own.

It's a long involved process when it comes to recording, so take advice I learned along the road I traveled - don't commit yourself to creating a song while recording. Try to create the song learn how to play it before your first home recording session. Once you have the basic structure, things go a lot faster when it comes to recording.

Love the other replies as well. A topic I'm always interested in!

P.S. I've been writing a song that was sparked by a day dream I had while riding local transportation. The catch of the song were the words "Crashing! My mind it is receding - thoughts of her increasing, as I think about her eyes, those eyes that used to comfort, are tearing me to pieces, as I think-a-bout-our- lives."

Built into the lyrics were a natural rhythm, which I used as the chorus of a song I am building the song around. After recording the chorus, I then came up with a rough draft of an intro that leads to it, then used a MIDI bass to come up with a chord progression that I'll fill in later. I also used the MIDI to lead into a solo idea that I didn't want to forget at the end. You can give it a listen. I'll be finding a singer who can help construct the rest of the song since I don't like my voice, but it's something to work with. A link so you can get a feel for what I mean when talking about scratching out a song structure.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/1K6M3Y5WPCNJ6M657A...0219-075053.mp3


So if you happen to be in a creative mood one day, and start singing to yourself, and come up with a hook with lyrics that make you feel like they contain the gist of your mood, then record that, and then you can start working on an intro bridge and conclusion to your song, and leave the remaining lyrics to the end after you've completed.

I



Just some food for thought.

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: May 1 2012, 02:00 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 1 2012, 07:49 AM
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Great input man smile.gif and I also like your lyrics wink.gif

Well, we usually go for the second approach where we have everything laid down already with the instruments and we have to find that super line that fits the pocket.

I am really, but REALLY into trying things the other way around. Anyway, we have so many songs ready, that I am feeling it would be something like running away from them to try the other way and neglect some great material laugh.gif


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Ben Higgins
post May 1 2012, 08:34 AM
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QUOTE (Dinaga @ Apr 22 2012, 03:50 PM) *
I'll just share some wisdom from a great musician Voltaire biggrin.gif
He is talking about writing books and songs and over-thinking it, so I really recommend you to watch this part, which starts at 9:50. smile.gif

http://youtu.be/rKTSccB42YI?t=9m50s

Make the art, then think about it wink.gif And you can't get any constructive criticism from others if you don't have anything to show smile.gif


Man, at first I thought you were talking about the French writer, Voltaire, from the 1700's.. how can he be on Youtube ?? laugh.gif laugh.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 1 2012, 08:40 AM
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laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif ... I was thinking the same biggrin.gif


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Ben Higgins
post May 1 2012, 08:42 AM
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I'm always championing the approach of 'the only way to learn how to do something is by doing it' so you have to dive into writing melodies and putting chords together and don't worry how naive they may seem. I distinctly remember writing a lot of simple, quite childish melodies when I was starting out.. it's something we all have to do and is part of the journey.

What is good is being able to hear that melody and think 'That sounds a bit predictable or a bit awkward or naive sounding'. From that point, you can then do something to change it. Your own personal impression of the creation is what you use to drive you in the main creation process. When you've got something whole, you might consider some feedback or observations from other people but the creation should come from you, or it's not your art.

It really is like learning anything else.. there's no secret approach that will get you coming up with great results straight away, you have to just start doing it and get more adept and fluent. Just do it, doesn't matter if it sounds good to you or not, just doing it is the right thing to do smile.gif

The secret of playing guitar is playing guitar. The secret of song writing is song writing smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: May 1 2012, 08:42 AM


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SirJamsalot
post May 1 2012, 06:39 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 30 2012, 11:49 PM) *
Great input man smile.gif and I also like your lyrics wink.gif


Thanks ~ the song so far is the beginning of a thematic album I'm working on about a soldier who comes home to find his family slain and an entire batallion wiped out and "buried" along side his wife at the bottom of the lake he happens to see her in. At that point, his inner sorrow turns to rage and is met with a decision ~ to settle with his loss in quiet sadness, or make a covenant of death with a spirit that reveals himself from behind the shadows while he meditates in sadness over his loss.

Because I'm basically writing a novel with a story line, I'm taking the first approach from above ~ I have a rough sketch of the lyrics in story form, and spend quiet time day-dreaming of how the story unfolds in images and try to describe the emotion using soft spoken whispers, singing, screaming, growling where appropriate. During the process, I've learned that this is definitely a more challenging method of writing for me than the approach you gravitate towards, since I'm concentrating on lyrical structure to be the force of the mood of the song, then I have to listen to it over and over again and try to build backing material to compliment it.

QUOTE
Well, we usually go for the second approach where we have everything laid down already with the instruments and we have to find that super line that fits the pocket.

I am really, but REALLY into trying things the other way around. Anyway, we have so many songs ready, that I am feeling it would be something like running away from them to try the other way and neglect some great material laugh.gif


My own biggest challenge with this method is that when I came up with the rhythm and lyrical melody for the different parts of the song, I didn't realize how difficult it was to re-create the rhthm - I think I imagine music in varying tempos and time-signatures, and I had to at one point compromise by locking in a beat instead of trying to replicate it because the drum programming was just too time-consuming at that point. But it has been a learning expeience, especially when you have to program all the parts, double track, come up with decent complimenting chords to bring out the mood to an already established melody. Very challenging to say the least.

I'm sharing a little of my song not to hijack the thread, but thought you might be interested in hearing how this approach has been unraveling from my perspective, a person who is trying method 1. Sorry if I'm long winded rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: May 1 2012, 06:47 PM


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