How I Write Songs

user image 2013-08-20
By: songsofdave
Posted in: Writing Songs

1. Sit on the sofa watching telly with acoustic guitar in hand, picking and strumming until I find some progressions I like. Normally takes a few minutes.

2. Turn the telly off. I haven't been listening anyway.

3. Start building melody around my chord sequence. At least to the point of identifying anchor notes and any special (non-standard) melody/chord combinations

4. Move to computer and write the melody/chord score using guitar pro software to create midi rendition (I always assign piano sound to the melody). Decide if what I have lends itself to verse or chorus (or neither)

5. Having decided what I have, that becomes the context for creation of the missing parts. At least to the point of knowing if I am going to take it up or down from where I am. I normally compose the other parts with combination of acoustic guitar, vocal gobbledygook and direct score writing.

6. Once I feel I have the necessary parts, I move on to deciding song structure and arrangement. All within guitar pro. In order words composing guitar parts, bass guitar part, placement of bass drum and snare etc.

7. Probably I have recently been thinking about some subject matter. I decide if the type of song that is emerging is an appropriate backdrop to explore that subject within the lyric. I generally don't write lyrics until I have decided what I want to say because it is too easy to become attached to 'clever' rhymes and double meanings that do not necessarily serve the song. Once I know what I want to say, writing an initial draft lyric becomes focused and easy. The song melody/meter might evolve during the lyric writing phase.

8. I allow the lyric to mature over a few days, revisiting for short sessions of editing.

9. I begin the record process by generating temporary bass/organ/guitar tracks from guitar pro (these are midi sound tracks) .. initially this gives me an effective framework for building the drum part (programmed or loops).  Then I move on to record the vocal and the various instruments (replacing the midi tracks). Then comes mixing/mastering.

10. Done ... ready for the next song!



08/26/13 10:21:14PM @elektronz:
viggy the first rule of song or track writing is to throw away sed book of and go with whats inside you ...simple as ,,if you were to conform to the supposed norm of tune writing they wouldnt be your tunes ,they would be what everyone else is doing and what you do ,,no-one else on here is capable of keep with it and bangin out those vigster monsters :D
08/26/13 07:44:14PM @vig-wig:
I don't know how to write good songs in the proper order: I think it should be beat, lyrics and then flesh it out. I often write the words first because a provocative theme slips into the edges of my mind and I am hot to get it down. That is why I have many half-finished lyrics. Many times I begin in onedirection and come across a new way of looking at the same 'melody' by tempo, key or special effect, so I just add it. Then something does match so I mute that track and try another. Pretty soon I have a whole different song that cries out for different lyrics. and then a pink rabbit marches out of the bushes just a pounding on a drum. Vic/Vig
08/25/13 12:59:55PM @songsofdave:
Keep em' coming ... very imformative
08/25/13 02:14:14AM @elektronz:
very cool ,,,how i write songs ,,i switch everything on ..pick the silliest sounds i can find ,,get some odd sounding minor chords that arnt supposed to go together but do ,then i render up some vocals and treat them to some serious glitch and stretchy fx ...then i have a drink and then imagine im sat on a beach in some garish shorts and a smiley t-shirt ,,then when ive snapped out of that nightmare the tune is done ,,,works for me :D
08/23/13 12:21:31PM @gene-smith:
For me it is usually while I am noodling around playing with chord fingerings or progressions. Sometimes the words just come into my head and I'll write them down, Sometimes they work sometimes they don't (the latter being the general rule).

My problem is getting them finished and recorded ;)

Sam Houston
08/23/13 11:34:49AM @sam-houston:
Well, for me, songs sort of write themselves. It's hard to explain. Maybe it's just part of my....demencia :-O
These days, as far as recording, I just try to get as much done before I'm too drunk to distinguish between C and E.... :-)

08/23/13 08:49:14AM @the-truevulgarians:
I agree, it is interesting to learn how others go through their creative process. Personally, the "protocol" is never the same twice. (I guess that hardly makes it a protocol then, huh?) Ideas kind of pop up for me, I get a sense of the vibe engendered by the idea, and then kind of allow the lyrics and the music to just emerge. Sometimes the lyrics drive the melody and sometimes just the opposite. I guess it's not surprising that when it comes to creating something as personal as a song, or any form of art for that matter, that the process is just as individual as the final result. Thanks for sharing...
08/21/13 08:18:17AM @cooter:
This is quite interesting, Dave. Thank you for sharing, good sir.



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