Instrumentals. Or. Vocals.
I had written up 5 sets of lyrics (One for each song on our EP we plan to record)
We then made the music for the lyrics.
That. Completely. Failed.
Although I do consider myself a bit of a poet. My poetry I had written as lyrics did not fit around the instrumentals (Each set of lyrics was written in a poetic pentameter)

Anyways. We have now decided to scratch those lyrics and begin writing new ones. This time we will write the lyrics based around the instrumentals.
Now I ask you UG members.
Which comes first. The lyrics or the instrumentals?
I almost always write the music first, but that often fails, too...though it tends to work much better than trying to write music for words you already have. I would say most of the best songs I've written were the ones where I got the music and words at the same time.

Of course, this depends on how structured your music is. If you're like the band I play in, you can write words that don't fit the meter of the song at all, instead opting to shout them at random intervals. I like that solution, too, and have written a few songs that way.

Also, if you come up with some good lines, but can't seem to find music that fits, just save them and wait until you find a place that you can use them. I've written parts of a few songs that way, too, it especially helps if you get stuck partway through writing lyrics for another song.
Last edited by Bananafish003 at May 11, 2011,
I write the song first, then the melody and finally the lyrics

works gewd for mw
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Lately I've been trying to write lyrics first and then the music around them, but that hasn't been working for me at all, so I'm going back to what I used to do. I would write the music, and then write the lyrics based on how the music made me feel. Sometimes I'll freestyle some good lines while playing, and I'll write the rest of the lyrics based on those lines. Just play around and find what works for you, dude.