How to progress with your band, writing material etc?


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tr3nt
01-02-2008, 08:45 PM
On the 22nd of January will be the night of the first year we've been at our drummers house playing simple pop punk cover songs from our favorite bands. In this year we've completed much more then we ever thought, we've been in front of our whole student body playing songs that they're screaming the words to, and we're having the most fun ever.

The new year has come, and I want to (as well as my bassist, and drummer) want to write our own material, while our vocalist still wants to learn covers but we know which will not get us anywhere. He basically doesn't want to because all of us are self taught and seems to think we won't be successful with writing anything because we don't know anything about our instruments.

I've tried before, writing tunes but it all comes hard to me so in a sense hes right. But my favorite bands did it starting way back in the day. maybe I'm thinking too hard but whats a simple formula to it? My cousin on Christmas was playing with my guitar showing me how to write a song and he made a nice one up just showing me how, I asked him if he knew what he was playing and he said no I've never taken lessons, all I do is by ear.

HOW can I do this? So confused.

tr3nt
01-02-2008, 10:03 PM
this forum is slow:(,

bakshandloomis
01-02-2008, 10:06 PM
Writing songs becomes easier the more you do it. Your first song probably wont be great, but you will get better the more practice you get at it. But you will want to learn some scales, learn how to make leads, etc. to make writing much easier.

Johnnytheslayer
01-02-2008, 10:53 PM
well if you dont know what lyrics to write about, Make up a title name and work from there, it helps me.

And also knowing poetry helps too, sounds gay, but read your favorite bands lyrics, it looks just like poetry, because it basically is, except rhyming. try it and pay attention in English class and get some poetry books.

Thats my Advice.

Ænimus Prime
01-02-2008, 11:52 PM
Check out the Songwriting FAQ in the Songwriting and Lyrics Forum
Also learn a bunch of music theory

tr3nt
01-02-2008, 11:57 PM
Check out the Songwriting FAQ in the Songwriting and Lyrics Forum
Also learn a bunch of music theory

I have all 43 pages printed off

take_it_t
01-03-2008, 12:07 AM
Just start trying to write. Its hard work but the only way to learn and get good at it is to try. You have to have a lot of patience for writing, but just write what you think sounds good. It really helps if you can conceptualize something in your head and then translate that idea to your guitar by ear.

Your singer is right in a sense. But I think you're best trying to come up with some songs on your own, and then bringing them forward to the band. Theres nothing worse than the pressure of having five people in a room trying to come up with something on the spot.

Seeing as what you've been playing is pop punk, just start out with the good old I, V, VI, IV progression. For example in the key of C Major: C (I), G (V), A (VI), F (IV). Try using that as your starting point and just experiment.

Study other bands, experiment, experiment, and experiment.

axemanchris
01-03-2008, 12:11 AM
I'm most successful when I find a melody that fits with a lyric. - a few words that go together that I can sing.

From there, I'll find some basic chords to go with it, and I start spinning it from there. Add a line then that seems to flow naturally from the first, etc. flesh out the guitar part to go with it as you go,.

Once you have a verse and a chorus ( and have found a way of building the verse up to your chorus), and have a harmonic structure (chords, etc.), you can start playing with stuff and working out the vertical arrangement. Swap out a section of chords and replace it with a riff that essentially matches the chord progression you took out, choose what chord voicings and rhythms you're going to use, etc.

Think about it.... all the biggest hits.... ask a random person what their favourite song is, and how it goes. Invariably, they WON'T start singing a guitar riff, or "boom-boom-cha"-ing a drum beat or whatever. They will SING a line from the chorus!! Start there. Get your hook and go from there.

CT

godisasniper
01-03-2008, 10:41 PM
Strangely, I personally find it easiest to write the lyrics first, then go from there, writing guitar and bass next, and so on, though everyone works differently and you may find it easier to write guitar first. I actually didn't even have my guitar with me when I wrote any of lyrics to the songs I'm including on the album I'm working on, other than the instrumental intro. I also don't try to rhyme. I figure it's not good to try too hard to rhyme and have it end up sounding forced.

tr3nt
01-03-2008, 11:50 PM
I'm most successful when I find a melody that fits with a lyric. - a few words that go together that I can sing.

From there, I'll find some basic chords to go with it, and I start spinning it from there. Add a line then that seems to flow naturally from the first, etc. flesh out the guitar part to go with it as you go,.

Once you have a verse and a chorus ( and have found a way of building the verse up to your chorus), and have a harmonic structure (chords, etc.), you can start playing with stuff and working out the vertical arrangement. Swap out a section of chords and replace it with a riff that essentially matches the chord progression you took out, choose what chord voicings and rhythms you're going to use, etc.

Think about it.... all the biggest hits.... ask a random person what their favourite song is, and how it goes. Invariably, they WON'T start singing a guitar riff, or "boom-boom-cha"-ing a drum beat or whatever. They will SING a line from the chorus!! Start there. Get your hook and go from there.

CT

Good point man.

Damascus
01-05-2008, 11:29 PM
Three things I'd suggest:

1) Like others said, keep writing. I tend to store ideas I have in Guitar Pro, and I labelled each file with an original idea "file01.gp5", "file02.gp5" etc. I got up to and past "file50.gp5" before I felt I actually had something worthwhile. You'll learn a lot just by trying, and you'll obviously be picking more stuff up in the interim period through listening to more music, learning theory etc.

2) Following from above, I'd advise you to use Guitar Pro to store, expand on and mess around with ideas. It's helped me no end.

3) Make sure you bounce ideas off the rest of your band and get contributions from them to your material, contribute to theirs, do entire band songs, do songs between a few of you and so on. If you're nervous/embarresed about showing people your stuff...just suck it up. You'll never hit a home run if you don't step up to the plate with the knowledge that you could strike out.


EDIT: Sorry, fourth thing to suggest - don't feel you have to write a song a certain way. I'm not just talking about theory (which is invaluble, but should always be understood as a set of descriptive as opposed to prescriptive laws), but about everything - Pink Floyd is the favourite band and biggest influence on my band, and we were wondering why all our attempts to write songs with the verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus/bridge structure were failing :p:.

liquidbass
01-09-2008, 03:00 PM
Grab a thesauras, and write about something that comes from you that you enjoy. Let the guys put some music to it, record it, and then sit back and listen from a third person perspective. Make changes, rinse, repeat

FrosteeFresh
01-12-2008, 12:11 AM
i agree with the person who talked about the poems. i started out doin those too. also, i would write the lyrics first, because then you can write the music to the words. if you write music first, then try to make up words for it, you'll end up trying to cram things in, and say things that don't make since just so it fits in a line. i am self taught as well and play/write pop-punkish music. when you first start writing it may just be 4 chord songs. but i would suggest to learn scales because they really make it easier to write lead parts and make guitar harmonies. it may seem like it takes a long time to write songs, but as you keep at it it will become as easier, faster, and fun thing to do

axemanchris
01-12-2008, 12:36 AM
i would write the lyrics first, because then you can write the music to the words. if you write music first, then try to make up words for it, you'll end up trying to cram things in, and say things that don't make since just so it fits in a line.

I won't suggest for a second that you're wrong because everyone has their own way of doing things that works for them.

But... if you have the words first, then the exact opposite potentially happens. You find yourself forcing the music to fit the words!

CT

EirikFtw
01-12-2008, 02:54 AM
I mostly write som riffs at home, so does our bassist and drummer. At each practice we sit down with our new ideas and show them to the others.
At this point it is really important being honest.
If we like what were hearing we jam and **** around with it for a while, making sugestions for changes and that sort of stuff. eventually we are left with many loose threads, and from there we try to make a song come together. For us it's important that it comes naturally and that it's something we want to play.

soundcheck1
01-12-2008, 08:45 AM
Just experiment and come up with a basic progression (with powerchords) and then just sing whatever comes into your head over it until you get something you like.

Feel bad inc.
01-15-2008, 12:36 PM
Just keep writing. I dont want to give you advice on how to write a song because there are plenty of articles all over this site and the internet on how to do that. All ill say is just keep going, alot of what you write will be ****, but keep going and you will get better...

bradulator
01-17-2008, 01:09 AM
I've never actually written a song, but tell the singer to go home and work on lyrics for a song and tell the rest of the band members to just go home and just play and see if you play anything awesome.

I usually just sit in my room at about 12 at night and grab my acoustic and sit down and play anything and sometimes you'll find something that sounds real good so just go with it.

And then have everybody show up in a month and play what they came up with and then improvise to fine tune it.