There is no answer as which to do first but I was wondering what you guy do first. For me it would be chord then melody, then lyrics.
When I come up with a lyric line I like, I make a melody to it, and build on that making the melody and lyrics at the same time. After the lyrics/melody is done I get my chord progressions from the piano.

Technically my order is:
1) Lyrics
2) Melody
3) Chord Progression
The way I usually do it:

1 - Lyrics (the hardest part i find)
2 - Chords (get a basic rhythm, where the chord changes should be)
3 - Melody (I find it's easier to write music to lyrics than the other way around) (also the basic chords are in place, making it easier to write the melody (i find)).
4 - Go back to the chords (make any changes to the chords that need to be done)
It depends. I will write lyrics and then come up with a riff. Or the opposite way around. It depends how much you incorporate (melody, chord progression, or just a simple verse riff, or chorus riff)
I'll pretend I can mod your amp but break it instead.
Lyrics first. It's easiest for me.

Melody next. It helps me get a good feel for where I'm going.

Edit lyrics as needed for melody.

Chords come last.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
depends, if i come up with a really good riff i try and build around it, then work in lyrics. Or maybe i hear a cool title or line, then or topic that i say, i wanna write about this then i work on a melody
a) Melody
b) Lyrics
c) Chords

I hate finding chords I like, so if I start with a melody and have the chord fill out the basic structure of a song it becomes easier. I tend to write lyrics before everything sometimes.

edit: and I LOVE working on the same song with other songwriters, I'm much more productive that way.
No means maybe
Last edited by pilgrimevan at Dec 31, 2009,
I usually have a few riffs and some lyrics, then I adapt them to each other.
Current gear:
Carvin CT6M
TC Electronics Dark Matter distortion
Harley Benton 2x12, with Celestion V30s
Laney Ironheart 60w tube amp
I normally write the chord progression with the melody in mind but if the chord progression gets too out of hand for the melody I let the progression do its thing and ditch the original melody.

I find myself getting pigeonholed into one way to write a tune so I try to willingly mix it up sometimes. I find writing the words first to be far more difficult. Although if I finally get good lyrics I'll try to work the song around them.

The more I think of it the more I realize how little I actually use any respective technique.

I'll write a whole song on guitar
then my singer and I match the song up to lyrics he has
we edit them both to fit eachother
then we work together on a melody.
MoOsEkNuCkLe......All my friends yell OI!

Jackson Dk2m
Peavey 5150 II
Marshall 1960a
Kramer Focus 1000
Dunlop Crybaby
Hardwire Tuner
Boss NS-2

Red Bear 120 $50/$600