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Song writing. Where to begin?

 
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gregbankley



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Song writing. Where to begin? Reply with quote

Where do you start writing a song? I would like to write a rock/pop/dance song. I have some good chords down that are melodic that i like. Do I write the lyrics after the chords? Anyone have any good procedures they do when they are writing a song? I never have before.. (particularly trying to write music that people can dance to, so doesn't have to have lyrics. )
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electvibe 8081



Joined: 24 Mar 2012
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly you need either a catchy riff/melody and or a catchy chorus. Although there are many great songs that don't have a chorus.

Structure. If your trying to hone your song writing skills try writing something simple; a verse-chorus-verse-chorus type thing.

Don't worry about getting too technical at this stage, like I say keep it simple.

If your going to sing make sure the song is in the right key for your vocal range.

What instrument do you play?

I play guitar and piano and find I write differently on both.
Can you sing/ harmonize?

As regards to lyrics first/last. It can happen either way. Also don't agonize over lyrics unless you have something you need to get off your chest Wink

Sometimes I will start my drum machine and record a bass riff then play the guitar over that, coming up with different chords to play over the top. Maybe sing a short phrase over that.

Have you got a 8 track digital recorder?

I use a Boss DR-600 8 track. Brilliant machine. Basic but this is it's good point. I write songs and don't get bogged down with a massive learning curve cos it's got too many features.

Good luck. Give me a shout if you need anymore help.
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Darmin De'flern
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Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 221
Location: uk/malaysia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone has diffrent methods for writing songs.

You say you have a nice chord sequance and thats a good basis to begin.

A trick you can use to create a melody if you havent got one is to sing nonsense over the top of the cords. Basicly what your doing is just sussing out what works melody wise and what doesnt.

This style also gives you a feeling for how the song will be sung later on. For example are you scooping your voice? using fast short words briding a word from one chord to another etc.

I find this really developes the shape of the song and where its going. The first two lines of the verse may start long and soft while the second two verses are higher in octavie for example just by "messing" around.

Another thing is that if you do this fairly often you may find that out of the nonses words "fit" into the song and you may find that this gives you insperation for where you want to go with the song.

When you come to writing the lyrics then you will almost certainly have an idea of the shape the words need to be. I.E. how to "fit" words into your verse or chorus.

If at all the best way to write lyrics is steam of concious and that means if together with the method I said earlier you have and idea and now how long each line needs to be and you feel yourself writing. Then dont stop for any reason. Never edit your words as your writing you can come back later and tidy up or rearrange to fit the song.

Sometiems I have written lyrics first. The way I write music from lyrics is basicly just put a simple riff in your head nad sing the lyrics. Once you have a melody in mind go back to the guitar piano or whatever songwriting instrument you prefer and suss out exactly what chords then fit that melody that you have created.

As an example of a song i done using the first method I created a verse really just using g minor f major strum type of thing. Because it was a fast type of chord pattern the vocals had to follow the same way. So I felt it was two words, two words and thats the way I wrote it when i went to the lyrics.
Because of the chug and the melincholy of the minor chord I felt it was like a marching or army type of song with this in mind I come up with the following:

Danger of Doom, Terrible Force
Unchained might, Without Remorce
Swarm of Death, Weapons Glisten
Unchecked power, deepening dread
Heed the call or all are dead.

was the first verse. a song is allways about conveying some type of emotion so together with the mitaristic type of idea the chords gave me the words then reinforce that and are powerfull even if really the lines are not sentances as such they still make sense within the context of the song.

Hope this helps!
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Vermeer
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Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 383
Location: Montreal, CANADA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There isn't a single procedure to write a song. Personally, most of my songs come from adlib singing while I do something else (working, exercising, cleaning, etc.). Then, I sit down at the keyboard or guitar & try to figure out the melodies & supporting chord structures.

One thing tho: lots of beginners try to "break the rules" and not use standard song structures. Use them: they work & there's freedom in structure.

Most importantly, have fun & imagine yourself performing for friends.

- Peace
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jeremykeys
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Joined: 19 Jun 2011
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I want something that people can at least tap their feet to, I generally start off with a simple 4/4 beat on a drum machine at around 120 beats per minute.
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montatore
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Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Song writing. Where to begin? Reply with quote

gregbankley wrote:
Where do you start writing a song? I would like to write a rock/pop/dance song. I have some good chords down that are melodic that i like. Do I write the lyrics after the chords? Anyone have any good procedures they do when they are writing a song? I never have before.. (particularly trying to write music that people can dance to, so doesn't have to have lyrics. )


been doing this for years. Best advice I can give you is learn something about music everyday: theory, chords, songwriting, composition.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on view), there isn't a way to do it. There's many ways.

The most important part is the bigger picture: music structure. The problem is that it cannot be easily understood until after you know about chords, keys, cadences, etc.

It's not something you'll learn in a forum. That's the wrong approach. You have to do it on your own, from knowdgeable sources. One of these sources is good books written by people in the know.

If you are really serious, you should do all you can, to learn, including taking lessons in a college.
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jeremykeys
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Joined: 19 Jun 2011
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are also song writing seminars. I've never been to one though. They are not cheap to attend. I always thought they were just a cash grab but I could be wrong.
I'm also pretty sure that if you ask the right questions, you can find some useful informations on the Internet.
There is no great secret to it though.
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If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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montatore
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Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="jeremykeys"]
Quote:
There are also song writing seminars. I've never been to one though. They are not cheap to attend. I always thought they were just a cash grab but I could be wrong.


You are probably right. This seminar crap is a big thing in America especially: seminars for everything, for how to be a millionaire, how to grow a harem, how to develop x-rays eyesight, etc.

Either a 'seminar' of a 13 DVD course, are a big red flag for me.

Quote:
I'm also pretty sure that if you ask the right questions, you can find some useful informations on the Internet.


the problem is, one might not be aware of what to ask. Also, on the internet actually takes much longer to learn anything, unless you can learn it in a couple of hours. Internet is disordered.


Quote:
There is no great secret to it though


Probably the best answer Smile
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channgam



Joined: 03 Mar 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:03 am    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

Razz
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