#1
What do you do when you play something you really like as a new song idea but it doesn't sound like it would come in the beginning. Do you work around (which I find pretty dificult), or do you just try to use it when the time is right?

I am just getting into songwriting and for me it seems that it comes easy for me if I start from the beginning of the song first rather than work all around it.

I have lots of ideas recorded but I don't know what to do with them! Some stuff sounds like verses, some like part of a chorus, some cool riffs 2 but I don't know what to do with it all!
#2
Something I have been working on recently is trying to figure out transitions between two different parts....something to make it sound like a smooth transition other than BAM! your in the chorus. Also when Im listening to songs I try to find the parts that repeat the same melody or rhythm in different parts of the song...such as the same melody of the chorus is in the bridge just with a different inflection or a slightly different rhythm...making two or more parts of a song out of one idea....one part clean, the other with distortion....passing a melody around i.e. guitar, then bass, then vocals...just some ideas to keep in mind....when it all comes down to it you are the creator...be creative and be you!
#3
Most of the songs I come up with start from the chorus. which I guess makes sense cause it's supposed to be the best part. Then I use that to inspire everything else.

The rare times I find an interesting chord progression or riff I just play it over and over and make up lyrics to build it into a song.

As for transitions, most songs have a pre chorus to shift the tone over. Look up some Fall Out Boy songs, they almost always have them.
#4
Quote by Unreal T
What do you do when you play something you really like as a new song idea but it doesn't sound like it would come in the beginning. Do you work around (which I find pretty dificult), or do you just try to use it when the time is right?

I am just getting into songwriting and for me it seems that it comes easy for me if I start from the beginning of the song first rather than work all around it.

I have lots of ideas recorded but I don't know what to do with them! Some stuff sounds like verses, some like part of a chorus, some cool riffs 2 but I don't know what to do with it all!


Does any of your music sound like it would make a good intro? If so, start trying out intros with verse and chorus riffs. I sort riffs into style, tempo, mood etc. Then put them together, writing new linking sections if necessary.

If nothing you've done sounds like an intro then start thinking about the things that make a good intro in your opinion, and work on it.
#5
start trying all your ideas in diff sequence,i reckon u will hit gold by experimenting
#6
Use economy of material. Try to change ideas/material you have already come up with and alter them. Via either different rhythm/tempo, playing them with different note groups or keys, and generally changing them slightly. Listen to most great music or classical. Most of the song is 2 or 3 ideas changed into a different method of playing them or order.

Hope this helps,
Brendan
Last edited by Shredworthy at Jan 25, 2012,
#7
Quote by Shredworthy
Use economy of material. Try to change ideas/material you have already come up with and alter them. Via either different rhythm/tempo, playing them with different note groups or keys, and generally changing them slightly. Listen to most great music or classical. Most of the song is 2 or 3 ideas changed into a different method of playing them or order.

Hope this helps,
Brendan


Good advice.

When I come up with a really catchy groovy riff, it usually ends up being an intro riff to grab attention.

I try to make my verse riffs somewhat subdued, maybe even just a single chord, maybe for a whole measure or two. Then I try to add something catchy to the end of the musical phrase, like maybe a short chord change, or a quickie riff. I try not to do too much during a verse riff because it makes the lyrical melody more boxed in. For example, if I base the verse on an E chord, then the singer can have a lot of freedom playing around vocally in that key. If I make a complex progression, then the singer will have a tougher time making the vocal melody fit the music.

Besides, a complex verse riff kinda steps on the singer's toes, and detracts from the lyrical message.

I will often use the catchy intro riff as a musical break between verse 1 & 2. It seems to provide continuity, and grabs attention again as if to say "Listen up, something important is coming".

Retain earlier work that fizzles out. Sometimes you can transcribe a good riff or chord progression to fit a current project. The same goes for good lyrics. A lot of subject material you write will probably be related in theme. A great verse line in an old song that didn't work out because of a weak chorus might be a great addition to a current song that has everything else going for it.

IMO, there is nothing wrong with being somewhat formulaic as you develop your skills. And don't forget the addage of "Sometimes less is more".

And another thing I've found: Fewer words in a verse or chorus gives a singer more flexibility in what they can do vocally, whether by holding a note, riffing around, or whatever. Trying to squeeze a giant pile of words into a lyrical line makes it very limiting for a singer, unless they also like to freestyle rap or do cookie monster growl metal.
#8
Quote by cheapr2keepr
Good advice.


Retain earlier work that fizzles out. Sometimes you can transcribe a good riff or chord progression to fit a current project. The same goes for good lyrics. A lot of subject material you write will probably be related in theme. A great verse line in an old song that didn't work out because of a weak chorus might be a great addition to a current song that has everything else going for it.

IMO, there is nothing wrong with being somewhat formulaic as you develop your skills. And don't forget the addage of "Sometimes less is more".



Exactly,
Always write everything you come up with down. You can slowly and effectively construct a library or appendix of unused material when some bits work or do not work. Some of my best compositions come from previously unworked material, modulated and rhythm changed to fit it.

Keep all of your ideas, they might turn out to be better and more effective than previously thought!
#9
When i'm writing I usually have a system.

Step 1. Get the basic idea. It could be a chord progression a riff or whatever.
Step 2. Flesh out the other parts for my band (guitar or bass, maybe piano if i'm feeling it, and the trumpet part)
Step 3. Let the idea sit for a while. I had a chorus that I didn't do anything with for two months until a verse magically popped into my head.
Step 4. Mix them all up and serve to the band members.
Strauss!
"I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler.

Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!