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Old 10-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
dizzie38
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How do you guys normally start a song?

How do you guys normally start composing songs? Do you get the drums down first or what?
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
Hail
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i use exclusively bass guitars and vuvuzelas in my recordings
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
Sleepy__Head
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First of all I get my vuvuzela and record that ...

Just kidding.

It depends. Sometimes I lay the beat down first, sometimes I get a melodic idea, sometimes I start with the lyrics, sometimes with the chords, sometimes I just have an idea that I want to write a song with a certain arc.

Now if it was recording the song then I'd lay the beat down first, then add guitars, then the bass. Or If its acoustic only ill lay a scratch track down using a metronome and then layer on top of that.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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The Riff!!!
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Darth_Pietrus
The Riff!!!

This. Usually just the guitar playing a riff once by itself and again with the drums and bass, then everything else is up to you.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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How else?

But seriously, usually I'll get a guitar riff or hook in my head and build everything up around that.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:08 PM   #7
Nero Galon
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First I like to record myself throwing up before I start playing anything. And then comes the vuvuzela!
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:31 PM   #8
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I usually write a bunch of riffs, tweak them, improve them, and then decide which is going to go where.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:51 PM   #9
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For me, it's about the song's seed.

The challenge is that different songs have different seeds. For some it's the hook. For other it's a smaller piece of melody. For some it's a guitar part.

Usually what I do is develop out the seed - so if it's a guitar riff, I'll figure out where it wants to go. But I don't get too locked into it because I need to work on the melody.

I've found that it can be very hard to develop a melody if you wait too long in the process to put your attention on it. The melody is the most important part of the song, so you need to get cracking on it right away. I don't want to be locked into a rhythm or a set of chord changes, because those things all need to support the melodic content of the song, and I want to be free to substitute chords or reharmonize to support the melodic and lyrical content better.

But bear in mind I write rock/folk/singer-songwriter type stuff, where melody really matters. Melody is a lot less important in the various -core genres which a lot of UGers like.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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I start with the inspiration. A lot of the time i see a beautiful thing, whether it be the crystal clear mountains of the catskills, or the turquoise water of the carribean on my vacation, or a beautiful sunset over my city of new york, or the face of a beautiful girl. These thread themselves into idea's and i try to write them down. I hardly ever write with my guitar in hand (or any other instrument) and i find when i do, they aren't as good as my other works.
Not that my other works are good! I'm just a terrible writer
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by macashmack
I start with the inspiration. A lot of the time i see a beautiful thing, whether it be the crystal clear mountains of the catskills, or the turquoise water of the carribean on my vacation, or a beautiful sunset over my city of new york, or the face of a beautiful girl. These thread themselves into idea's and i try to write them down. I hardly ever write with my guitar in hand (or any other instrument) and i find when i do, they aren't as good as my other works.
Not that my other works are good! I'm just a terrible writer

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:57 PM   #12
Tempoe
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You should always start with a melody
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #13
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Usually I'll get some kind of melody in my head, and then I try (and generally fail) to create whatever progression it works over. I'm not great at composing, though, so very few of my ideas come into the physical realm. It's something I must work on.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tempoe
You should always start with a melody

Why?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #15
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I haven't written anything in nearly a year now.

But my favorite way used to be just coming up with a riff at home. It would usually come from just casually noodling around on the guitar or something I heard in my head and I would figure it out on the fretboard or a combination of both. From there, since I was in a band, even if I only had just one or two riffs that didn't necessarily fit together sequentially, I'd work with the rest of the band and it was always super fun coming up with new riffs, changing rhythms, and making whatever I had come up with fit together.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:29 PM   #16
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You must always start with the cowbell.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:38 PM   #17
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:43 PM   #18
DiminishedFifth
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I typically hear or see something that makes me want to write or have an idea... and then I write.

Or not. I just kinda play with clean chords and I'll find something I like and then I'll branch off from there.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:16 PM   #19
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I normally start with an F7#9 chord.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Suede
I normally start with an F7#9 chord.

Why not an AMb9b6#4add13?
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