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ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Musicians: when you start writing a song, where do you first begin?

Asked by ABoyNamedBoobs03 (7538points) August 31st, 2009

Do the instrumentals just fall into place as you write the lyrics, or do you come up with the lyrics after you write the music? I’ve been in a few bands, and I’ve noticed that almost everyone does it differently, what are your thoughts?

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12 Answers

Strauss's avatar

Not only does everyone do it different, but my songs were all different. It depends what I want to do. If I want to write in a particular musical style, I usually start with a melody, and then add words, if there are words for that style. If I want to tell a story, I usually start with the lyrics. Sometimes a phrase or sentence suggests its own rhythm and/or melody. It changes for me from song to song.

bumwithablackberry's avatar

At the beginning, but the thing is the beginning isn’t always the beginning of the song, sometimes a song will come to you and after possible revisions, it would end up somewhere in the middle. Like this song I wrote “She was a childhood beauty queen, I turned her into a porn machine…” Then the chorus is like “She was a first date buttfuck, oh yeah, my first date butt fuck, that’s right” I wrote it after a girl, we’re married now. So much for not kissing on the first date.

RareDenver's avatar

@bumwithablackberry that sounds like it is a beautiful song

Da_Wolfman's avatar

“1st Date Buttfuck”, sounds like a real winner…...I’ll pass it on to Sony.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

I start with the music, and come up with lyrics later. If I’m lazy, I’ll do a bunch of each separately, then go through all of them at a later date and see if any poetry (in another words, lyrics without a song) I’ve written matches up with any music I’ve created. Starting with lyrics first and then trying to make music TO them is too frustrating. And vice versa. I also typically mix in vocals LAST during the mastering process. I have a troublesome voice and it takes a while to make it sound good.

Jess's avatar

Yeah it’s all different, sometimes the chords first, sometimes lyrics, sometimes just strumming randomly will bring up bits of melody that transform into something tangible….....I write lyrics all the time also as to have a back log to draw from for naked chords…....sometimes even a small rhythmic motive can get the ball rolling….....and some marijuana….....

Jack79's avatar

As you said, everyone does it differently, and that’s because some people are more musical, whereas others are more verbal.

Even though I’ve written a couple of instrumentals, most of my songs (99% of them) started off as poems with some sort of internal rhythm. In many cases the music was added later, and in most of those cases it’s just some simple three-chord melody (very similar to your average Bob Dylan tune).
There was a period in my life when I tried harder to write better music, and then I’d generally start off with a phrase or the first verse, add music to it, write the music+lyrics for the chorus together, then put it all together and add some solo or something.
On some rare occasions I might have a melody in my ear (but it could be from something I’ve heard) and end up adding words to it. Usually those songs are crap though. Or at least the lyrics are crap.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Begin with a traumatic event, followed by a bender, a nauseous morning and a pensive evening.

irocktheworld's avatar

When this about something that upsets you or that has happened to you recently and then think of some meaningful rhyming words.That’s what I do.Then keep on thinking about it and let the music speak to you and other people who listen to it.Then think of a title from all the repeating words in your song! I’m a songwriter and everyone says I’m really good and that I have a great voice and even that I should be a singer one day,haha! Try to let the music talk to people and try to make it something that could happen to a person.:) Good Luck!

fathippo's avatar

When I’m not really concentrating, stuff just starts happening, like an elf took over my mind and wants to beat the piano =P (i couldn’t have said it worse), and i think that lyrics normally happen after (if there are any…) because then i kind of know what things want to feel like, although to be honest it’s pretty much the same sort of moaning anyway… =)
Normally, I like ending up with the whole thing as in strange noises and screaming people and people being killed or whatever in the background first though, or i feel disorganised or something =P but i haven’t written stuff for all that long so i don’t know…

john65pennington's avatar

Sorry to be a downer here, but the songwriters of today are definetely in this position. i truly believe they have finally run out of ideas for new songs. its to the point now that most of the songs today are just remakes of the older songs. i have no idea where music is going today. rap never happened, heavy metal died, country is about to vanish, so whats next on the music scene? the trouble with music today is its already been written and recorded. if you still have the desire to write a song, start with a poem. write about something you are familiar with.

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