How Do YOU Write Songs


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07-08-2007, 12:02 AM
First one of the guitarists plays a riff they wrote.
Then they teach the other guitarist it, or the leads they have in mind
They decide what instrument they need to play.
Them and the drummer start jamming
I, the singer, run out into the garage from wolfing down excedrin and start applying lyrics I've written onto it
We develop song structure based on the lyrics.
If more parts need to be written, we do it.
If a few notes need to be changed, added, flourishes inserted, it's done now
get tones, fx, and reverb perfected

how do you guys typically do it?

07-08-2007, 12:11 AM
wow thats wierd

my bassist hears a beat in his head
he plays to it
he comes up with a catchy funk line
my prodigy of a drummer comes up with a ridiculous beat for it
we groove for a few minutes until i find what to play
magic happens
we have a ridiculous song

07-08-2007, 12:16 AM
Stupid Spazz, I'm not giving away my secrets!

But if I was I'd say one person walks in with the song 'done', (i.e. tempo, riffs, arrangement for all instruments) then everyone adds/ makes changes to it. Lyrics usually come very last.

07-08-2007, 12:39 AM
Stupid Spazz, I'm not giving away my secrets!

But if I was I'd say one person walks in with the song 'done', (i.e. tempo, riffs, arrangement for all instruments) then everyone adds/ makes changes to it. Lyrics usually come very last.


i'm likin that way

07-08-2007, 12:41 AM
i start playing a riff, then i either turn to my drummer or phone him and say i'm sending you a bass and guitar part write lyrics and drums to it. voila we're done

07-08-2007, 01:13 AM
I do it all myself. I just end up playing something cool and I'll run with it and turn it in to a song, which I'll record myself then demo to the band.

07-08-2007, 12:14 PM
I write the lyrics. Give them to my singer, he edits them. My guitarist writes something and it all clicks from there.

07-08-2007, 12:19 PM
I usually write a guitar riff first, then add some bass, then drums. I then look at my lyric ideas, find something fitting, and write lyrics for it. I can't seem to manage to write music to pre-writen lyrics for some reason though :[.

07-08-2007, 12:34 PM
I hear something in my head, a riff, a bassline, drum beat, or some lyrics. Then i write it down and build from there.

07-08-2007, 01:19 PM
Sometimes I compose a whole song on my own, take it to rehearsal and my bandmates say if they like it or if anything should be changed.

But mostly we just jam on a riff or a chord progression and then form the jam session into a song.

07-08-2007, 01:22 PM
Well, me and the bassist oth have a ton of lyrics we allready have. So when we jam I start playen some random chord progression and the drummer and bassist both write there parts to it then we stck some lyrics to it and tweak the rest, it seems to be pretty efficient. We get one or two decent songs done everytime we jam

mr kipling
07-08-2007, 02:37 PM
The drummer and the other guitarist take care of all the really simple riffs that you can show to your bandmates and they will pick them up. I write the more complex riffs that need a bit of time to perfect and I tab them. I write all lyrics.

07-08-2007, 07:23 PM
rythym guitarist comes in with new riff and or progression
drummer starts drumming
i hum a melody, play it , reach into my book of lyrics i've stored away and pull something out

07-08-2007, 08:57 PM
All of my songs come about differently.

Usually I start with a guitar or bass riff and build off that.

07-08-2007, 09:13 PM
Lets see get a basic riff/ chord progression, get some rythmn guitar going, drop in drums then a bassline and jam on it. then add other parts later, get the tones set and fx and theres a song

07-08-2007, 10:47 PM
I come up with a riff while messing around. Figure out the entire song on guitar pro with harmonies and rhythm. Send it to the rest of the band and everyone makes a few small changes here and there.

Dr. No
07-08-2007, 10:50 PM
It all starts with an idea or a riff for me. I'll lay down the basic track. Then I'll start layering tracks, panning stuff like crazy. Then Tom comes in and lays down some drums.

07-09-2007, 12:44 AM
The guitarist, The drummer and myself just jam then the singers hums a melody. If we have somthing we like we write down the notes and try to rememeber the rest. Then the singer add some lyrics..

We're getting there =P

07-12-2007, 02:36 PM
I usually write an acoustic version of the song first, so basicly just he chord progression and the lyrics. Record. Try to put in some riffs here and there, work out the general flow of the song. Record. Bring all of that to a gig, let the guys listen to it, suggest changes, come up with more riffs/bass lines/drum parts. Practice/record, and we're set.

Ed T H
07-12-2007, 05:29 PM
My song ideas usually come from messing aroudn with the guitar, I sit, noodle for a while and this cool riff comes out of nowhere ;) And it's also cool, that usually that one riff is a driving force, inspiration to the whole rest. Often this situation is inspired by some outside impulse, like move watched, something read, etc. Then I punch it into Guitar Pro, make all the arrangements, harmonies, rhytm tracks, basslines, etc. and send it to my bandmates. They tell me what they think, suggest changes and learn the track to be able to play it at rehearsals. Then I attempt writinig the lyrics.

But, thankfully, recently I hear new stuff in my head.

07-13-2007, 12:28 PM
We usually jam on an already written song and then just see if something good comes out of it.

sloppy sandwich
07-14-2007, 09:31 AM
thanks guys.

i have got a band (we dont have a singer) and we've been wondering what the first step is in making a song. this thread has helped us heaps

thx again guys

07-14-2007, 04:41 PM
all you have to do is write one song then play every other song in a different key

lool dragonforce

I usually get lyrics then think of a chord progression or a punk style of it then write more metal/rockish riffs over it then take out the rhythm.

07-14-2007, 08:20 PM
I can't write by my self. mainly cause I'm hard on my self.
but I'll think up a Riff, lick, chord progression, or even a lyric
the odd time a drum beat or bass line.
from there I show band mates and they state if they like it or not
if they do then add to it. in tell presto a original song

07-16-2007, 07:10 AM
WOW i never thought i wud get this much response thanx so much to all u people
xx jks

07-16-2007, 07:51 AM
I don't have a band.

I jam with myself, play random stuff, come up with riffs, solos, leads, etc, and if I come up with something cool I tab it out. When I tab it out, I usually work out drums aswell.

When I write lyrics, I usually have a style of vocals in mind for each part I write, and if it's melodic, a tune for them to follow. When the lyrics are nearly done I've usually worked out the feel for the song, and found a riff or something that I've already written that could fit. Sometimes in parts of songs I can just hear a riff in my head that will work well under it.

I'll also usually have an idea of where the solo will fit in, and what sort of solo it will be from the feel of the song.

Then, I start piecing all the little bits together, and I keep playing the song over any over and adding or getting rid of some parts, and eventually it'll be good enough for me to say it's finished. :)

07-16-2007, 09:15 AM
Usually I listen to a lot of my favorite music and then try to write a riff, or something will just suddenley come to me and I'll write a whole song in 15 minutes, or it can take days. After it's all done, I teach it to the other guitarist in my band, then the bassist (he takes a long ass time to learn) and the drummer usually comes up with a beat after hearing us play the song.

07-16-2007, 10:10 AM
I write down lyrics. Look in my notebook for bass lines and drum beats I've written down.
Chose a drum line. Show the vocals the lyrics, she'll sing them her way. I'll chose the best bass line.

We still need a guitarist lol.

07-16-2007, 10:35 AM
I use two methods.
The first one:
I take a minor scale, look up the intervals, and fiddle a little with riffing. If the day is good, i get a cool sounding riff, if the day is bad i have nothing, and say "Screw this". When i get the riff, i tab it in GP, and try to figure out a chorus riff, intro etc. Maybe add a solo. Then i just tab the second guitar, bass, drums, and send it to my bandmates.

The second one:
I write the lyrics. I try to sing them and find a melody. Based on that melody i make a riff for all the vocal parts (as usual, with a scale). Then add some bridges, intro, outro, tab it, send it, done.

But in the end, im a crappy composer :P

07-17-2007, 03:20 PM
all you have to do is write one song then play every other song in a different key

lool dragonforce

:haha I lol'd :)

Black Star
07-17-2007, 03:23 PM
Generally, I start off writing some lyrics. I'll give the lyrics to my drummer, he'll make some suggestions, give them back, and I'll edit them some more. Once the lyrics are good, I work out a chord progression, and he comes up with a drum beat. Then we reveal it to our bassist, and he comes up with a bassline for it. And voila. A song is born :D

07-17-2007, 09:30 PM
wow. I'm getting a lot more varied responses than I expected. three cheers for diversity!

whoever told me they weren't gonna share their secrets... :rolleyes: . My band already has good stuff going, I was just wondering how other people did it.

a few of you have said you use Guitar Pro to map everything out. I'm assuming that would make it easier if one person was writing it all, but I doubt it would work in a group with spread creative control. And I just picture that cheapening the process. I'm probably just old fashioned though.


Edit: dragonforce comment

...yeah, I'm too lazy to actually quote him.

07-17-2007, 10:21 PM
Usually, we have some issue we're either pissed off about or we have something we need to voice. Our vocalist and guitar player are the first to write lyrics for this, and I think of a certain mood that the music could emulate to get these lyrics across to a listener. A few riffs are written, and then soon they are scrapped because we think they suck. After about 20 minutes of dealing with a case of musical brain-freeze, I call for a smoke break. We sit in our guitar players backyard and smoke a Camel Wide or two, and then music and changes to the lyrics just hits us. We go in to play out our newfound idea, and we usually stick with it. So, nicotine ingestion accounts for about 85% of our original songs.

Sadly, I wish I was lying about this.

Oh, and when we want to cover a song but add our own touch to it, we don't smoke as much. Probably because the music is already written and I just change a drumbeat around in most cases. :)

07-18-2007, 12:47 AM
i start with developing a good chord progression, then I improvise vocals with the lyrics I wrote..

For my way of writing songs, I always turn the recorder on because sometimes I forget stuff.

07-18-2007, 12:57 AM
The lyrics have always come last for me...nothing is more frustrating than having to change your lyrics because they dont fit a riff...I just find it easier to write words around a song anyways.

07-19-2007, 10:57 PM
You just need to start writing, I have no definitive way which I write. Sometimes I start with writing lyrics, sometimes I write a guitar riff, sometimes I have the chords, sometimes its just a vocal melody. And I just work my way around whatever I had and build up into a song.

My advice is just take your time, and if something doesn't work it doesn't work. Just do your best to have something that really flows that you can emotionally connect to. Focus a lot more on the message/feeling/energy/emotion of the song as a whole, as opposed to think about guitar. Thats how I seem to approach song writing.

07-19-2007, 10:59 PM
thanks guys.

i have got a band (we dont have a singer) and we've been wondering what the first step is in making a song. this thread has helped us heaps

thx again guys

Remember, anything can be called a song. You can play a lone G# on your guitar and that's a song right there.

07-19-2007, 11:04 PM
I come up with a tune
I come up with lyrics to fit the tune/mood
I invite the drummer over to my house to work on it.


Long story short, mom pays bail to get us out of jail.

07-19-2007, 11:09 PM
Well, me and the bassist oth have a ton of lyrics we allready have. So when we jam I start playen some random chord progression and the drummer and bassist both write there parts to it then we stck some lyrics to it and tweak the rest, it seems to be pretty efficient. We get one or two decent songs done everytime we jam

You write two songs everytime you guys jam...these better be about 24 hour jam sessions or something...cause one day is not enough for a song, if you think it is...well, I'd like to hear how that turns out.

I'm trying to help I guess, think about what you guys could do if you got the basics to a song then for the next few practices you just worked out this one song and made it the best it could be, not just "decent", me and my drummer agonize over songs for about a month before we will call it good to record or show other people.

So maybe just try this and I guarentee the quality of songs will increase.

As for my writing...I have the benefit of having a drummer who plays guitar as well..I WIN!

07-24-2007, 05:53 PM
I come up with something...I write a lot of the song first. If it sounds happy or cool, I write lyrics that are happy or cool. If the song sounds sad, I write sad lyrics. If it sounds scary or something, I write about a scary or menacing topic.

07-25-2007, 05:17 AM
First guitar, then second learns it, then bass, then drummer jams along. Then I come up with lyrics to the song/ apply lyrics I've already wrote. :)

07-25-2007, 05:22 PM
Firstly either myself or the other guitarist in my band come up with a few riffs that fit together well, which then can turn to either one of two things;

1) We work on the song ourselves and write the basic song (all the riffs, parts, tempo and ****)


2) Me and the guitarist will have a jam and work on ideas we have together and write the song together

then, when the basics are done, we take it to the practice space and show the drummer and bassist, and we will work on it for a couple practices just sorting out beats and tempos and fills with the drummer, and teaching the bassist the chords and bollocks he could play (we leave it open to him to choose what he plays)

Finally, we record the finished instrumental version, and one of us will record just the guitars to a click track onto computer, listen back and then write lyrics to it

And that's how our songs are born :)

07-28-2007, 07:28 PM
Well me and my other band mate sit down and come up with a good riff that we think the lyrics will go good with. Then we build off of it and come up with the chorus that's good with the lyrics etc...

Then we make the bass part, and the drum part on the drum machine.

07-28-2007, 08:49 PM
1. Write lyrics
2. Write melody and chord progression (happens at the same time, really)
3. Finish arranging everything (bridges, breakdowns, anything else)
4. Show it to the band, bassist makes some sweet grooves and the drummer puts a beat onto it. Our genius violinist/pianist/accordion player improvs over it
5. We're done.

07-30-2007, 03:58 PM
yeh advice on metal songs would be gr8 like in real detail thanx

07-31-2007, 02:22 AM
We sit around in my drummer's garage for an hour or so.
Then we go inside because it's hot.
We say many times "Okay we need to write a song."
We all make jokes about songs.
Then we decide on one topic and write it.
That was for the words, mind you.

For writing music, we all just sit around and bang out chords.
This is the easy part because we are a folk band and don't require much in the way of musical technicality.

Today we wrote music starting with our bassist/ukulele player playing a silly little riff consisting of G and Em. When he told us this, we immediately jumped on it because
a) it sounded good
b) it spelled "GEM"

We experimented with other words, like "FACE A DEAD CABBAGE" but they did not work nearly as well.

We're all so naturally goofy that it becomes hard to write a serious song. None of us are particularly angry or sad, and while funny songs are fun, they don't have the lasting power of a serious one. It's a problem we're going to have to work out.

07-31-2007, 02:33 AM
Our first 2 songs i wrote in entirety and showed them what to do. The next song I wrote it all except the bass part, which i told my bassist what notes would work and he got a riff outta that. Next song was the same. The 5th song I wrote entirely in Guitar Pro without touching my guitar and had everyone learn it. And our 6th song I wrote in entirety but i'm gonna let everyone else write their own for it.

07-31-2007, 04:17 AM
my band usally start with me doing some crazy bassline which a waterd down version our rythem guitarist will play then our lead will either go the same way or play something that throws away the beat and brings it into a whole new place while all of this is happening our drummer has come up with a beat he can mash out for 5 mins so thne he waters it down and thne thats it for the music. then the lyrics will come along next band. our singer needs time to trip out to get some nice crazy lyrics

07-31-2007, 03:11 PM
Band One:
Me and the other guitarist seperately write full songs (2 guitars and bass) and then bring them in to teach the other two. We usually alternate, first I have a song, then he has a song. Once the guitars/bass have it down, the drummer adds drums to it.

Band Two:
I come up with a riff, bass player looks at what I'm doing and plays to it, and then the drummer adds drums. Then we jam off that and try to add more to it.

Guess which band gets stuff written faster.

Shredder XXX
08-01-2007, 10:00 AM
I guess i'm lucky in the fact that i just started singing for a band that already have 8 or 9 (mediocre) songs all sorted out,

right now we start with the original song, in its oh-so crappy 4 chord repeated 800 times form and the guitarists and i jam over the original progression to come up with variations for verses, choruses and leads etc. Once the parts are all figured out as far as guitars go, our bassist just grooves along as we run through it, we then record a single track guitar only type thing to make sure we all remember it, leave it for a couple of days to gather ideas and allow our drummer to write to it. Once thats all taken care of it's straight back into putting in any variations we've come up with. Followed by lyrics, and there it is, one (once gay) now radical song done.

This process takes about 2 weeks, time consuming, but works damn well

08-04-2007, 06:52 AM
Songwriting for Dummies

1) Get girlfriend
2) Have fun with girlfriend (no explanation neccesary)
3) Get dumped by girlfriend
4) Get really drunk (whiskey helps)
5) Write down whatever alcohol-induced lyrics pop into your head

And there you go! Your first song! And remember, practice makes perfect.

08-04-2007, 03:01 PM
i prefer to go for the simple, write a song, they just come up with the riffs and see what happens haha

08-12-2007, 02:27 PM
Get a melody in my head while i'm doing something (eating, walking, sleeping etc.).
Try and remember it.
If i can remember it still after a couple of hours I'll put some chords behind it.
Write or put some already written lyrics to it.

I don't understand how so many of you just say "put some lyrics over the riff" or whatever. The Melody's the most important thing to me by a long way, I just save riffs until I have a good melody to use over it.

08-12-2007, 10:09 PM
i dont know what styles u guys play, but my band plays thrash. damn near every song for my band starts off with a riff. then the riff evolves into about 4 other riffs. then i take that to the band, jam a few riffs of it, if they like it we work on it. well jam a few riffs at a time, and if theres a good spot for a drum fill, ill ask for it, if we like it, we proceed. ill say, i want a solo here, there, and there... it gets done. after its all written, i go back and make some harmonies and leads, and then i write the lyrics. if the song doesnt start with a riff, it starts with a solo.

08-13-2007, 03:11 AM
i write pretty weird, i write it all on guitarpro b4 i even play it on guitar. then my band hears it, our singer and other guitarist say if they like it, if they do me and the singer write lyrics to it. then at the next practice we just start playing it and the drummer and bass improvise.

Feel bad inc.
08-13-2007, 04:28 AM
I guess it depends. I mean if I want to write songs which focus on lyrics ill write them 1st, then a guitar part and bass part, then add in a keyboard, and my drummer jams over the top. If we want an instrumental, or song focusing on the guitar or another instrument I write for the main instrument 1st, then add in the others in the order there in above, then lyrics come last if at all....

08-17-2007, 08:44 PM
in my band, either i or the guitarist make a riff and then i teach him it/make a drum part, we show the bassist what to do(hes not good) and then we rehearse

08-18-2007, 01:19 AM
I or my other guitarist has a cool riff. We'll adjust it, then when its top notch, we'll put drums to it (he's also got a drum kit), and after we're done with a few, we start punching it into guitar pro and perhaps doing bass for it (since our bassist is in the band... but not a writing factor due to always having to leave too early/being busy and such). Repeat till finished. Make changes. When complete, write lyrics.

Other than the bassist issue, we all have input since I have a knack for writing a catchy beat or drumline or good bassline. Despite not playing either.

08-19-2007, 10:25 AM
But what works best? Coming up with a riff first, and then adding chords? Or first get the chord progression and then add a riff? I've tried both with the same level of success

08-19-2007, 01:35 PM
So far it's been like this: one of the members comes up with a riff or some chords and we play off that till we have a verse, chorus, bridge, and other parts of the song. Then I'll write the lyrics over the time we're apart, come back next practice with lyrics and put them with the music and that's it.

08-19-2007, 01:57 PM
-i decide the key it should be in
-i make a bassline for the verse (i do that on my guitar)
-i make a guitar part for the verse (ussually just chords that go with the bass)
-do the same things, but for the chorus
-bassline for bridge
-guitar for bridge

ta da! (btw, i dont write solos for songs. i improvise them.)

Rory Kavanagh
08-20-2007, 12:33 PM
Myself and my other guitarist would just jam for a while and build from riffs we come up with. Then generally we write the rest of the song. Show it to our bassist and he will put vocals to and bass to it. And then just tell our drummer what to play. Luckily our lead guitarist and bassist are f-cking incredible so there always full of riffs.

08-21-2007, 09:22 PM
i make all of the lyrics riffs bass lines and drum beats for our songs then just teach them it

08-21-2007, 09:33 PM
I sit at my desk with my guitar in my lap, my keyboard on a stand to the right of me, and guitar pro opened up. I then try to come up with riffs, and if that doesnt work, I try to come up with a keyboard segment, and then guitars, etc. I use GP to write down what I have so far and add drums

08-21-2007, 11:06 PM
I've been thinking of actually scoring my songs, since I find that I never actually set the piece in stone, but instead have a rough idea of how it's gonna go and change it every damn time I play it.

It's just such a pain in the ass to score the whole thing out.

08-22-2007, 01:57 AM
I'm a folk singer, so I just need a guitar line and lyrics. Usually I write the lyrics with a tune in mind, then dick around with chords until I figure out the progression for what I wanted or something close to it.

Made Of Metal
08-22-2007, 02:06 AM
I'm a folk singer, so I just need a guitar line and lyrics. Usually I write the lyrics with a tune in mind, then dick around with chords until I figure out the progression for what I wanted or something close to it.

I do just about the same thing, except some times I start playing a melody and words just start to happen to it. :)

08-22-2007, 07:34 PM
I'll write a song, with words and guitar and then show it to everyone else. I'm not in to the whole jamming thing.

Mark G
08-27-2007, 03:21 PM
I just mess around on my guitar, and tab out the riffs I really like. Then I add them together and make a song out of them.

08-27-2007, 04:59 PM
I write the riff together with the other guitarist
The drummer comes up with something
The bassplayer comes up with a nice bassline
We all go down to the piano and search a melody
We go home and everybody who wants, writes a text
Next repetition we choose the best

08-28-2007, 03:52 AM
I can't say right now that there is one way that my band write songs. Infact, I think it'd end up being rediculous if one of us continuously brought ideas to the plate and the other didnt. Sometimes i'll have a song written in regards a bassline and a programmed drum beat and then we'll put guitar to it. Sometimes it'll just be a 2 second bassline and we'll jam out a song. Sometimes we'll just jam with no ideas whatsoever and come up with something and sometimes my guitarist will bring songs into the band or song ideas. Sometimes we'll write music to some poetry we've written aswell. So it varies.

09-06-2007, 09:26 PM
Well as a singer I hear melodies and words in my head at the same time. So usually I have a tape recorder on me at home, but if not I will call my home phone up and sing the line and melody onto the answering machine so I don't forget it. Kinda annoys mom and dad though....

For guitar I usually just play, but I'm starting to be able to play the stuff I hear in my head.

09-06-2007, 09:49 PM
Guitarist or bassist comes up with riff or baseline and plays it continually
We add the guitar or bass (the one that didnt have the riff) and while the bass/guitar is continually playing their riff, the other guy noodles around a bit until he finds a baseline/riff that suits it
We get the drummer to find a pattern that fits the song

Its all trial and error. Rarely do we have someone come up and say
"Guys I wrote this riff ITS SO AWESOME!"
Its more of a practise, trial and error, spur of the moment thing, but we have a LOT of fun doing it :D

09-06-2007, 09:52 PM
In my band I'm the only guitarist so i play a style which i love like hendrixy lead and rhythm mixed together. Basically I'll come up with a Riff or a Chord progression. break it down and add to it and such. then well add a bass line to what i wrote, drums and then vocals.

09-07-2007, 03:27 PM
me and the bass player decide on the key and beat of the song
we write a riff or solo first
i write some lyrics and get the singer to sing while i play chords
take out the chords and put in the riff

09-11-2007, 06:20 PM
I'm quite lucky such that i've expereinced all of these pretty much, jams, frontman doing it all, music first then lyrics and everyone having an input.

my ideal choices would be - jam where each person is responsible for their own part. the diversity of it would be amazing and everyone would be proud of it, and the performance would be so much better because of that

other choice would be the method of writing a song with meaning; the lyrics having a meaning, matching music where music and lyrics relate. the opposite of jamming really as this way is not spontaneous in any way, its got a target which is amazing when it eventually gets finished

shame we're not in an ideal world though

09-12-2007, 02:37 AM
Hmm , when im writing alone i get stuck in a rut cause i try to write the most coolest song ever writen.
But when im with my band , i write for all the instruments (drums, bass and guitar)
When im with them i get satisfaction out of writing cool catchy riffs unlike when im alone , cause without the drums n bass it doesnt sound as cool , but when it all adds up it sounds GREAT.

09-14-2007, 02:45 PM
My band's songs are usually pretty progressive/through-composed, so usually the bassist and I will come up with a chord progression or a cool riff that we show to the other guitarist, and he and I work on leads for the song. Then when the drummer comes by we all jam with it and form an instrumental work. Once a mood is formed, I'll write some lyrics, and we've got a song.

09-15-2007, 01:09 PM
In my band(s) I write the music. The riffs come to me in several ways, through melodies I got in my head, inspiration from bands, time signatures, sitting down and forcing a riff (to name a few). Then basically I take those riffs and write a song, sometimes they further inspire me to more and more riffs. When I get to band I already have the full score for the other members. Then we listen through it, band members make suggestions, they play suggestions and we adopt what sounds the best. I dont like dictators so Ill always give full thought to the other bands members suggestions and usually theyre adopted into the songs Ive originally created.

09-15-2007, 01:14 PM
I never just sit down to write songs. If I'm by myself, then a riff or whatever will just come to me, and I'll just make structure for the verses, chorus, etc and then put lyrics to it.[I'm as good a writer as I am a guitarist =p]

09-15-2007, 04:58 PM
my songs just kinda fall out of random things that happen.

Like in college, i'd had a hayfever pill the day before and i was half asleep because of the drowsiness side effects... ended up writing a song about it called "Stay awake", which i was playing through in my head to try to keep myself awake during a class.

I've even written stuff thats based on things people have said on UG. Amongst all the **** like "Rub Icyhot on it" there are actually some inspiring, clever posts on this forum.

Also, sometimes a riff comes to me, and i have it stuck in my head forever until some words come - as i said before, my words are usually inspired by things people say, and things that happen around me. And they just come to me, suddenly. Sometimes, words and the music to go with it come to me, i mean... the day i was at a zoo, and a meerkat climbed over the wall of its enclosure and escaped, but the staff caught it and locked it in the indoor section of the enclosure... and my strange little head managed to turn it into a song, words and music just immediately popped into my head.. like i said.. some VERY random things.

09-17-2007, 10:46 PM
I'm unique in the fact that I don't speak drums. I absolutely can't drum at ALL. It really hurts my ability to put riffs together. I should maybe take lessons in drums or something.

I think that it goes : Riffs go together, then comes the drum beat, then lyrics. Although it would help if they could all happen at the same time so I wouldn't have to try and describe the beat I want to the drummer. Plus, drum fills are too hard for me to figure out.

09-17-2007, 11:08 PM
i just sit down, close my eyes, wait for a while, amd when im finally ready, magic happens, i create a riif, and from that riff a bassline, and a drum part and finally touch it up with some lyrics...

09-22-2007, 04:37 PM
1. Get idea
2. Make lyrics/revise/ect
3. Show band mates
4. Let them do the rest :)

LuCiFeR ChRiSt
09-30-2007, 07:16 PM
with my band, the three of us play all three instruments. Guitar, bass, and drums. any one of us could come up with an idea and we'll just go from there but most of time, my guitarist / singer will show up to practice and show us a complete song on the guitar. lyrics, song structure, timing, rhythm, etc.

then, i'll figure out bass lines for the whole song. then when me and the guitarist have collaborated and have our parts down, my drummer will step in and add his amount of flavor to it and then thats pretty much it

09-30-2007, 07:27 PM
I have no typical method of writing songs, and each song is a completely new experience (I'd never write the same type of song twice).

Here's one example of the writing process for one of my songs:

It all started one weekend afternoon when I was sitting at my digital piano, trying to come up with a beautiful piano melody. After a bunch of noodling around, I came up with a beautiful 6/8 melody in C major with simple backing progression of I / V / vi / V. The entire melody was just a bunch of eighth notes, but the passing tones kept it sounding interesting. After I came up with 8 bars of a melody, I worked with a standard notation program called Finale Notepad and, by inputting notes one at a time, wrote a short one-and-a-half-minute piano solo piece, mainly just from playing around with arpeggios of the chord progression. After about one-and-a-half-minutes' worth of amterial, I came to a dead end and couldn't really think of where to take it, so I pretty much abandoned it and put my focus on other songs.

However, at the end of May, my AP Music Theory teacher assigned us an end-of-the-year project to write a piece to be performed by a string quartet. Since I had already spent so much time writing music prior to that, I decided I would just take one of my already-written songs and arrange it to be played by two violins, a viola, and a cello.

After a bit of contemplation, I finally decided my previously-abandoned piano solo piece would be the best suited for arranging for a string quartet, largely because it already had four voices. So, I spent about twelve hours of my weekend arranging the piece, but only after first identifying (via Wikipedia) the pitch ranges of each of the instruments I'd be writing for (I don't play viola or cello, and I haven't played violin for over half a decade). So, I mainly used cello and violin I for melodic parts, with the other instruments serving as harmonic backing.

My AP Music Theory teacher mandated that the piece had to have an ABA structure, so I needed to write a middle section that contrasted with the beautiful melodies of the piece. Again, I was able to pull out something from previously written material. This time, I took a dark classical guitar piece of minor tonality that I previously wrote and, oddly enough, also abandoned as well. Fortunately, this piece was already in 6/8 time as well, so it fit perfectly.

So, after basically "learning" modulation on my own via Wikipedia and my textbook, I finished up the piece. When I ended up showing the score to my teacher before submitting it, he didn't like my excessive use of modulation (too experimental for an old guy like him :p: ) so I just "simplified" my piece to make it a bit more standard, and the piece was compositionally completed.

After the class ended, however, I wanted to do something more with the piece. I played around in Finale for a bit, and made a piano reduction of the piece and chose a celesta as the instrument. It sounded f*cking awesome - the celesta gave the piece a sense of eerie beauty. So, I ditched the string quartet for the celesta.

When deciding what to name this instrumental piece, I settled for "The Bells of Moscow" as an allusion to the identical nickname of Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor".

So that's pretty much all that's happened with the song for now. I plan on rearranging it for a fuller symphonic piece in the future, but it still stands strong on its own for now. It's in my profile if you want to listen to it.

And, uh, the narrative was kind of long, but all my songs are "epic" journeys of compositional self-discovery, so this one was actually pretty typical in that sense. But, this song's writing process definitely had more "formality" than usual. Most of my other songs were written in much more emotional ways. :p:

09-30-2007, 07:55 PM
i just hear crap in my head (im a guitarist but i write lyrics)
and then i try to match it on guitar
put the lyrics i heard with it in the riff
give to my bass
he calls my a genious
then drummer
(then i have to make the solo also :( )

10-01-2007, 02:45 AM
we start with the guitar riffs (2 or 3), then we jam out each riff with drums. then basically we force the riffs together, maybe throw a couple of transitions in there, then bass. we write the whole song without any vocals whatsoever, then when the song is finished, we record it, hand the tape over to our singer and he paces around the room with headphones writing lyrics. then we come back together and practice the whole thing and work out the details from there (trasitions/breakdowns/how many times riffs are played, etc.)

03-21-2008, 05:04 PM
Never worked in a group. I normally play a rhythm section for a song with no idea where it's going, record it to my computer, play over it playing lead, and if it still feels too empty I drag out the mic... =P

Hate vocals, I only get about 20 mins of experimentation without thrashing my throat.

03-21-2008, 07:13 PM
1. Come up with something - be it a guitar or bass part
2. Write it down in guitar pro
3. Try and turn it into one instrument of a song by adding other parts
4. Work in other instruments
5. Tweak bits
6. Lyrics

03-22-2008, 10:47 AM
I play in a duet with my little brother on drums, so it usually goes like:

I write some lyrics in math class.
I come home that afternoon and work out a guitar part.
I yell for my brother to "come and check out this ill song".
He makes up a drum part...and we're done!

03-22-2008, 04:05 PM
Well for me what I do is, I hear a riff in my head that sounds good, then i'll play it a bunch of times and see where I could change parts to make it sound better. Then I record it and put drums to it(ezdrummer rules!) and then i'll send it to whoever in the band is on msn at the time to see if they like it.

Then they'll think of either lyrics or some lead to put over it and when we practice as a band we play it :) It a pretty long winded process but I enjoy it.

Same goes for other members pretty much, they come up with stuff then play it over their mic to me, I record it properly and send it to the singer to make lyrics.

When we are in the rehearsal room writing songs its a little different. I still hear riffs in my head and play then, if that doesn't work out then I take what other people are playing and expand it. We get quite a few songs done that way.

03-22-2008, 05:19 PM
i start playing a riff, then i either turn to my drummer or phone him and say i'm sending you a bass and guitar part write lyrics and drums to it. voila we're done
That's pretty much exactly how we do it, except it's the guitarist and bassist (me) that do that. Or, sometimes, I'll come up with a riff and write it down. Or, I'll come up with some lyrics and write them down. Eventually, I'll have enough to compile it into a song and have some left over.

03-22-2008, 05:32 PM
my bassist and drummer look at me and say "COME UP WITH SOMETHING!"
They usually accept pretty much any riffs I throw at them. Some songs we've written were composed in about 5-10 minutes.

Yeah....that's probably not the best strategy but we get some OK riffs in this way and we usually throw in some big solo sections in there which always sound great.

03-22-2008, 11:13 PM
it just happens....

03-24-2008, 05:45 PM
I'm the guitarist but i write everything myself

03-24-2008, 06:22 PM
usually do everything by myself and drummer. I have notebook full of lyrics and so I just come up with a cool bass line which the drummer comes up with a nice part for. Then i come up with a few guitar parts that sound nice over that. Then we show it to the lead guitarist who comes up with a solo.

Generic User
03-24-2008, 06:24 PM
Me (guitarist/singer) and the bassist/singer hum stuff and try and work it out on the instruments. Then drummer throws some beats about and we go from there.

03-27-2008, 12:41 PM
I'm the bassist in a band with a drummer, 2 guitarists, and a vocalist. The drummer and vocalist are not very dedicated, so they rarely show up. I bring my laptop with Toontrack EZDrummer on it. I set it playing and we basically jam to the drums. I usually come up with something first and build on it as we play. Then they build around that. They never solo, which is annoying, but whatever.

After we jam, the guitarists spend a long time teaching each other what they played. Then we work on getting a structure. We haven't really gotten past that... we're just starting.

Lately I've taken to writing music in Guitar Pro and then exporting tabs and sound and emailing it to the guitarists. I write both guitars, bass, and drums in there.

03-27-2008, 02:35 PM
I usually just play around on my acoustic and find cool sounding chord progressions. Sometimes I'll find something cool without even trying. Once I have a progression, I decide what to do with it. I'll make it into a ska type rhythm, or maybe a pop punk power chord thing. There's a lot of options, I just have to decide what kind of song I want it to be.

Once I've got the progressions and feel of the song down, I add the bass line and lead riffs. Then I come up with a rough draft of lyrics and make a vocal part from there. Then I record a rough demo and send it to my bandmates. Usually lyrics undergo heavy revision but the melody sticks. At the next practice I teach them the parts and they make their own little changes to it. Then we have a song.

08-21-2008, 04:05 PM
im in a ska band so its a teeeeny bit harder to write. but we have a couple ways to write

either the main drummer will compose the horn lines and bass lines and then he and i(the main guitarist) add guitar and lyrics
the main drummer, the bassist and myself and the other guitarist start jamming and pick up something from there and add lyrics and then the main drummer writes the horn lines and voila