#1
I want to know, when writing a song, do you write the music first, then fit a melody and lyrics to it? Or do you write lyrics with a melody in mind, then put music to it?

The way I do it is whichever one comes first. If I have a good meldoy and line I'll write it down and finish the lyrics, then put it to music, but if my band writes some music, I'll listen to it and put lyrics to it. Do you guys have a preferred method or are you guys like me?
#2
Its very back and back with me. My bandmate will come to me with some lyrics, then I'll put my in. Or we will jam, come up with a formula, then start writing lyrics to it.
#4
The way I do it is whichever one comes first

This.

Although I've been struggling with lyrics recently, and have about 3 or 4 songs I've recorded demo versions of which need some lyrics. When I get the music first, I tend to record a basic version in a standard format (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, break, chorus, chorus), then when I get some lyrics I re-record it with the structure I need the final version to be in.
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#5
It depends on the situation, really. I've worked with singers who prefer music to write to, and others who have lyrics that want me to write something for them. It works fine either way, in my opinion.
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#7
I always seem to write music and lyrics completely separately. Then I make sure the music is all figured out, take the lyrics I think would fit with the song, and make a melody for them. I never seem to come up with a vocal melody then write music to fit it to, and I feel like doing so (at least for me) might end up making the music simpler than I would hope for. But I think it'd be a good idea to know how to do both.
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#8
Usually, I'm more comfortable writing the music before hand then crafting lyrics to it afterwards. I prefer it because I can be more specific with the symbols of the words I use because I can see how well they sit within the rhythm of the song. I used to hate writing lyrics before the music because I'd always end up hitting a roadblock when I found out that a certain phrase wouldn't fit and obviously the lyrics meant a lot so I wasn't keen on radically changing them. My 2 cents anyway
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#9
Quote by thePTOD
I never seem to come up with a vocal melody then write music to fit it to, and I feel like doing so (at least for me) might end up making the music simpler than I would hope for.


Yeah, I actually relate to you on that. Whenever I do write lyrics first, it usually ends up just being power chords with very little variation, but if I write music first, it can be as complicated as I want it.
#10
when I write music first, the music is ususally more interesting.
when I write lyrics first, the lyrics are usually more interesting.

it's a lose-lose, really.
and all my songs suck.
#11
music every time, lyrics are the most unimportant and worthless part of a song. lyrics arent even needed really, people just add them for lolz
#12
Quote by s31770
music every time, lyrics are the most unimportant and worthless part of a song. lyrics arent even needed really, people just add them for lolz


Trololol
#13
Quote by Permaphrost
Trololol


explain to me how i'm trolling? If you take lyrics away from a song, it's still a song and listenable, if you take the guitar out, have fun lol.

don't even try to tell me that lyrics play a more important role than guitars/drums, troll
#14
The fact that you said lyrics aren't needed, and that people just add them for the "lolz."

I agree that music can be music without lyrics. Just look at any type of classical piece. However, if you say that lyrics are just there and contribute nothing to a song then you're sadly mistaken. Words added to a song can change the feel entirely. People write lyrics because it's their own form of expression. It's the way they get their ideas out of their head and into something tangible.

That said, I always come up with music first, just because I suck at writing lyrics without any form of background music.
#15
Quote by s31770
explain to me how i'm trolling? If you take lyrics away from a song, it's still a song and listenable, if you take the guitar out, have fun lol.

don't even try to tell me that lyrics play a more important role than guitars/drums, troll


lol Okay, man. Go ask your not-musician friends what the most noticable part of a song is to them, and they'll probably tell you either the vocal or maybe (probably not) the riff, but they wouldn't like to have one without the other. You rarely see instrumentals topping rock charts, eh?
#16
Either, i write music and then add words. I write words and add music. I don't have a set formula, i just play and write.
#17
@Camo1902
Going to meet Andy Timmons at my guitar store in 2 weeks ha!

And answering the question: I find it very easy to write music if I have lyrics to write it to, it's just a lot easier to think of progressions and melodies if I have lyrics
#18
I haven't written an abundance of songs, but whenever I have, the music has always come first. This probably happens because I spend WAY more time playing guitar than I do writing lyrics.

For the remainder of the year, I'm going to write for 30-45 mins every night. Hopefully that way I'll come up with something decent :p
#20
Either. depends what comes first. But regardless of which does come in I always wind up going back and radically changing both on the second time usually because I get a different outlook on the song with both together. That being said do what comes naturally (not too helpful I know)
#21
I never really run into this dilemma. I write lyrics on my own, my rhythm guitarist writes riffs and progressions on his own. When we get together, he plays whatever he's written and I see if any of my lyrics fit the tone, and adjust them to fit the rhythm of it if necessary. From there, I add lead guitar and bass and the drummer does his thing when we jam.

Basically, I don't do either. I never write lyrics to the instruments, and I never write the instruments to the lyrics. That said, I used to try writing instruments to lyrics and vice versa. It never turned out very well, and whichever came second always sounded forced on some level.
#22
Quote by s31770


don't even try to tell me that lyrics play a more important role than guitars/drums, troll


that really depends on what you're playing.

if you're Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen, the lyrics are definitely more important.

but if you're like...Rush or Yes, you may as well forget the lyrics because they're usually more about the music.

and their lyrics are generally horrible.
#23
Quote by s31770
explain to me how i'm trolling? If you take lyrics away from a song, it's still a song and listenable, if you take the guitar out, have fun lol.

don't even try to tell me that lyrics play a more important role than guitars/drums, troll


If you take the music out it's poetry, which many people appreciate listening to. It all depends on style, to me, without good lyrics, a song seems empty.
#24
i normally go with lyrics first just to get the mood of the song down on paper. then use that mood to find a good beat and melody for it. it normally works out good.
#25
Quote by tman267
If you take the music out it's poetry, which many people appreciate listening to. It all depends on style, to me, without good lyrics, a song seems empty.


ehh...
people always say that, but I tend to disagree. there are only a few songwriters that write lyrics that I'd actually want to read on the page.

most lyrics though only work with the music and everything.

like, Because by the Beatles, for example. great song. I absolutely love it.
but if somebody gave me the lyrics printed out, I wouldn't consider it a poem. I just wouldn't want to read it.

likewise though, I wouldn't really want to hear the Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock set to music.

so it goes both ways.
#26
Quote by Jearl
ehh...
people always say that, but I tend to disagree. there are only a few songwriters that write lyrics that I'd actually want to read on the page.

most lyrics though only work with the music and everything.

like, Because by the Beatles, for example. great song. I absolutely love it.
but if somebody gave me the lyrics printed out, I wouldn't consider it a poem. I just wouldn't want to read it.

likewise though, I wouldn't really want to hear the Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock set to music.

so it goes both ways.


I'm not saying to read the lyrics, to hear them read. There's a difference. Also, there are accapella groups, which rely entirely on lyrics.

But I do agree, not all songs are doable without the music. In my opinion, a song is only good if the lyrics have are well written. I'm not saying music doesn't matter, I'm just saying that the music complements the lyrics and the lyrics complement the music, but both can stand alone (in a good song).
#27
I write music first and then add lyrics. Though I may have had some of the lyrics written down in the form of notes or essays, they are always added after the music.
#28
I kind of add them at the same time, if you know what I mean. It goes back and forth for me.
#30
I usually tend to write the lyrics first, but whilst I am writing them I play the guitar riffs in my head (well the guitar riffs that I think will be suitable for the song). Works pretty well for me