#1
I am trying to write some of my first songs and i am having trouble with getting the words to sync with the guitar it just does not sound right, what are some writing techniques that you guys use to make writing easier.
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#2
I work both ways, though I usually write melody after guitar parts. Lyrics can sometimes come before melody and chords, but you have to be willing to edit quite a bit once you start digging in.
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#3
i suck at words and am alot better at writing the music for songs so i usually write the bass,chords,melody,structure,drums and every other instrument before even writing a single word...and then the words suck and the song becomes instrumental...

i wish i was better at lyrics
#4
It can happen both ways, but more often than not I write the music first because most of my songs start out life as nothing more than just backing tracks to practice lead guitar to. In time, riffs & licks develop in my jamming and eventually I'll get some inspiration for lyrics.
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#5
I tend to write lyrics first. Then I just kinda jam out a song. If I like it, I keep it, and if not I'll try again. Sometimes I come up with cool stuff and sometimes I have a lot of trouble getting it to sound good,
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#6
when i was writting my own lyrics i usually had the idea what the song was about but did music 1st......now with a band its about 50/50...sometimes i come in with a riff but he singing it a certain way that is sounds better if i change the riff
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#7
when i play guitar, i noodle around a lot then come up with some guitar part, and i make a verse, chorus, sometimes a bridge/solo too. and the guitar riff might remind me of something, so then i make lyrics to match it.
#8
bass first
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#9
Music first. Unless you have a concrete melody, and you know your theory and you know what chords can support the melody, music first. I do 50/50 though when it comes to my own writing.
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#10
I think a lot of people get stuck because they come up with an interesting guitar part and have a hard time finding a melody that doesn't hew too closely to the rhthmic aspects of the riff, and the result is something that sounds lockstep and cheesy.

Or maybe that's just my problem.

I have actually made a point lately of practicing writing the melody first, which is really how I think most people do it. I'm trying to hone my melody-writing skills to exercise those muscles, so hopefully I can then come back to some instrumental ideas I have and do a better job making melodies on top of them.

Other than that, you just need to find a way to detach yourself from exactly what you're playing on the guitar to find something that works with it but isn't a slave to it, and that's challenging.
#11
75% of the time my lyrics are written first. I write more lyrics than I record music simply because I have a million ideas and my easiest way to remember them is to jot down the lyrics in my head. I have about 150 set of lyrics, compared to about 40-50 collections of riffs and stuff that don't go to anything specific.

Its either that or there written at the same time, for some reason my music rarely is written first.
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#12
I write from the perspective that the most important part is the melody and the lyrics. My rationale: stop the average person and ask them what their favourite song is. Then ask them, "How does it go?" They're going to start singing probably a part of the chorus.... "hey, hey, mama, say the way you moooove.... gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groooove..." They're not going to say, "It's the one that goes, "ba-na-na-na-na-NA-na..."

Right?

So, with that in mind, it makes more sense to hammer and bend the music to fit the melody and lyrics than vice-versa.

Give me a lyric and melody and I can make it a country song, a hip-hop jam, a metal fest or whatever. I'll find the chords, build riffs that work, etc.

Once you've got the music, your options are fewer as far as how the melody can go.

Mind you, with that said, there has been the odd exception.

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#13
Quote by axemanchris
I write from the perspective that the most important part is the melody and the lyrics. My rationale: stop the average person and ask them what their favourite song is. Then ask them, "How does it go?" They're going to start singing probably a part of the chorus.... "hey, hey, mama, say the way you moooove.... gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groooove..." They're not going to say, "It's the one that goes, "ba-na-na-na-na-NA-na..."

Right?

So, with that in mind, it makes more sense to hammer and bend the music to fit the melody and lyrics than vice-versa.

Give me a lyric and melody and I can make it a country song, a hip-hop jam, a metal fest or whatever. I'll find the chords, build riffs that work, etc.

Once you've got the music, your options are fewer as far as how the melody can go.

Mind you, with that said, there has been the odd exception.

CT


when you're working in niche circles though (not that this is a good business model, but just going with the "passion, maaaan"), you can get some very unique ideas from building an instrumental framework and using the vocals as a layering device or in a unique way that people wouldn't think of. not that this would top the charts, but considering the congestion of catchy music, less conventional-sounding songs can really stand out right now. plus, when you're trying to take the lyrics and play the instrumentation into a specific genre, (at least for me) it's very easy to be prone to cliches while pidgeon-holeing the music to sound right.

i'm not disagreeing with you necessarily, especially if we're talking about catchy music that's supposed to sell a ton of CDs, but with so many niche genres popping up these days it's really hard to set any blanket rules without some conflict.
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#14
I normally just play the chords as and let it ring instead of strumming, then just kinda go from there, sing a melody, think of some lyrics. If I want some proper clever, "deep" lyrics I'll sit and write them out before hand then try and fit them to the chords, always editing as I go.
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#15
For me I usually start by writing lyrics, because that is what I connect strongest to in my songs and I like to be able to not be limited by the underlying rhythms, chords or melodies when doing this. Then I put a nice melody to it, but I also start thinking of how the chords and rhythms will go in it at this moment (well a little when only writing the lyrics too, but whatever). Then I just tweak and mix until it starts to take the shape and feel that I'm going for.
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#16
Guitar parts first. Dunno why really, it just sort of happens...

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#17
I'll preface this with the statement that I mostly agree with you.

Quote by Hail
but considering the congestion of catchy music,


Really? Where?

I'm finding that music in general is becoming more and more generic. There is SO little that stands out to me as being particularly catchy. "Here is Goes Again" by OK Go was ridiculously catchy. Hell, "Mmmmm Bop" by Hanson was ridiculously catchy. "The Girl All the Bad Guys Want" by Bowling for Soup was ridiculously catchy.

I'm not getting *any* of that these days. I wish I was.

Quote by Hail

i'm not disagreeing with you necessarily, especially if we're talking about catchy music that's supposed to sell a ton of CDs,


I think whether something is intended to be a "hit" or not, the average listener focuses on the vocal in a song. That's what comes first for the listener.

Quote by Hail
it's really hard to set any blanket rules without some conflict.


Amen. The most important guiding rule in any artistic pursuit is that there are no rules.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#18
after reading all these posts, im just gonna say its complicated, and theres a personal way of doing it.
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#19
Quote by axemanchris
Really? Where?

I'm finding that music in general is becoming more and more generic. There is SO little that stands out to me as being particularly catchy. "Here is Goes Again" by OK Go was ridiculously catchy. Hell, "Mmmmm Bop" by Hanson was ridiculously catchy. "The Girl All the Bad Guys Want" by Bowling for Soup was ridiculously catchy.

I'm not getting *any* of that these days. I wish I was.


i used catchy to substitute for generic/poppy/simplified, obviously was poorly worded though.

I think whether something is intended to be a "hit" or not, the average listener focuses on the vocal in a song. That's what comes first for the listener.

just for an example, prog metal has got a huge rise in the last couple of years. some of the biggest "up-and-comers" there are scale the summit, tesseract, animals as leaders, and vildhjarta, and they're all instrumental (save tesseract, which uses vocals mostly as texture).

in addition, electronic music really has been streamlined since dubstep (and whatever you call skrillex and deadmau5 ) got huge in the last 3 or 4 years, at least around here.

they are fairly niche genres, but they have gotten a lot bigger than one would expect with the internet and (to reword) the congestion of "bad" music in the last few years.

this is mostly disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing though because i do have a "strange" taste in music. mike patton is my favorite vocalist if that's any indicator
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#21
both... My stuff just writes it's self.
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#22
Quote by Life Is Brutal
Music > Lyrics.

Lyrics are just poetry set to music. That said, I don't value lyrics as high as most because I listen to mostly instrumental music, or music where you can't understand what the guy is saying either.


definitely check out kezia by protest the hero, the lyrics are a little hard to pick up on, but after dozens of listens straight through, it still blows me away how beautifully the album is structured and written.

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#23
I never said that lyrics are never important or worthwhile, only that I appreciate the musical aspect of songwriting more. If someone is able to incorporate meaningful words into an equally meaningful song, it can only improve it.
#24
Quote by Life Is Brutal
I never said that lyrics are never important or worthwhile, only that I appreciate the musical aspect of songwriting more. If someone is able to incorporate meaningful words into an equally meaningful song, it can only improve it.


oh no, i just meant to recommend the listen. i think the only lyrics i pay attention to outside of protest the hero are louis jordan's and zappa's lol
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#25
Sometimes I'll write the full tune first and get lyrics to go along with it. This usually takes me longer cause I like to fit the lyrics to the already finished tune. Sometimes when I write lyrics first, I'll make the tune to fit under them. It all depends on how you work, write, record, or practice.