I am a guitarist, with bit of keys knowledge

Use Furity loops 10 as DAW.

Have created mutliple insturmental tracks with drums supplied by Additive Drums (VST plugin)

My gf writes dark poems.... she has a huge list of them.... I plan to make a real song out of one....

Since the poems doesnt have verse/chorus.... i was thinking of making it more in line with 'bathory' style...

This is the first time I am faced with the task of creating music fitting for lyrics... I am confused from where should I start.. not sure of the direction I should take..

I did try starting creating a riff based on the tune/notes with which the song could be sung....

I did try my luck with google... but was not much of a help

So my fellow musicians and comrades... please feel free to provide me any tips/directions that you can.... everything will be appreciated....

Mr. T
Last edited by tobycm27 at Jun 30, 2014,
I personally can't write vocal melodies but I'd suggest making a sweet bassline and lead to go over it first. Also you may want to write Metal songs because Metal lyrics are practically dark poetry to begin with.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).

my way of doing things (for instrumental) has always been
- play around guitar finding a good riff
- with the root/ main notes of the riff..... identify the scale
- build the song in the same scale... starts with variation of riff, bass lines
- drums to fit the song (my weakness)
- for solos.. usually use harmonic minor, pentatonic scale.....

this is how i used to do with an instrumental....

now with a lyrics... my aim is to go with these steps
- identify a bass line/riff for the song...(thanks to rolandpoe) problem here is I am not a singer.. so while writing how should i base the song melody... on my vocal range or a singers? Basically the question here is should bass line fit into the lyrics... or the lyrics fit into the bass line...
- once i manage to get a bass line, i plan to built a versions of it....
- identify the scale......
Last edited by tobycm27 at Jun 30, 2014,
I usually just **** around until I come up with a good melody.
I don't know if you actually need a bassline first, it's what works for you I suppose. Just try different stuff until you come up with something you like
For writing a song I usually tend to do all the instrumentals first and have lyrics as an afterthought.

The few times I've had lyrics first though:

- Work out what each part of the lyrics would be (if you haven't already)
Sounds pretty obvious that you would know what is the verse, chorus etc. if you're writing your own stuff but since you're not using your own lyrics you'll probably have to identify them yourself.
Just label each bit as "this is the verse, this is the pre-chorus, this is the middle-8". I tend to see something and think "well that's obviously a chorus" for example. It sort of helps since I always seem to think in my head that a melody is 'obviously' suited to a chorus for example.
As you said there isn't any chorus in her poems, you could always look for a certain line and call it the chorus (if one looks like it would be suitable) or go down the Metallica 'Fade to Black' route and just have an instrumental chorus.

- Then I think of how I want the lyrics to be done, for example, the melody for it. I find it hard to do anything with lyrics if they don't have a melody. It may even end up in me having to change the lyrics afterwards to fit the instrumentals, or changing the instrumentals entirely because it turns out I can't make the lyrics fir into that song (since it's your girlfriends poems, I doubt you want to change them).
So, think of a melody. I usually get one by just thinking about the words and trying to imagine a good melody, maybe I'll hum the melody or sing it out loud, or maybe even grab my guitar and copy it on there. Mess about with some scales whilst keeping the lyrics in mind until something happens and it sounds good/catchy.
Sometimes it's pretty instant, sometimes I'm sat there a while until something comes to mind.

- When I've got a melody the rest is usually a lot easier.
A lot of the time the riffs, beats etc. tend to come to mind WITH the melody since I tend to think of how every instrument would work together as I'm thinking about that one melody or riff.
If it all doesn't "come to mind instantly" then think of what would sound best to fit that melody. Would it be upbeat or slow tempo? Would it fit with something really 'riffy' or something more chord based? Heavy or soft?
Once you have an idea of what sort of instrumental will 'complement' the lyrics/melody, it usually comes down to the classic "thinking of something", "messing around on my guitar until something sounds good" and "diddling with scales etc.".
When I was eleven I broke the patio window and my mother sued me... She's always been a very aggressive litigator.
Listen to some Nick Cave music. His songs are basically poetry and I'm sure he would write the lyrics first before the music ( I may be wrong)
Thanks a ton Link01.. for your elaborate explanation...

I will be reading through your reply everytime I get stuck....

really helped me.....

havent thought about an instrumental chorus...

now the hard work of finding a very melody.....
Never really written music to lyrics. But I guess what I would do is just figure out the mood of the lyrics and then try to write something that fits the mood. Use your ears. Listen to the sounds in your head. Random noodling isn't going to get you in the right mood. You could randomly hit something that sounds good for the lyrics but it's pretty unlikely. So use your ears. Read the lyrics and listen to the sounds in your head.

You could come up with the vocal melody first. But you could also write the insturmental part first and then try to sing something over it. I think having lyrics makes it easier to find a melody. Having something to sing over helps you with finding the melody.
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I've said this before, and I'll say it again, but a good ear is crucial to writing good music. If your ear isn't very good (if you can't hear a melody and quickly find it on your guitar) then you're going to struggle to write music.

All of the good songs I've written have been done with a fairly intuitive process. They end up feeling discovered, more than written. It's about not playing a melody until your hear it: don't hunt and peck, don't set out to apply theory knowledge. Listen.

You've come up with some of the backing music. Play it, with the lyrics written out in front of you, and listen.

Listen for some of the lyrics to start to imply a melody to you - until you hear in your head a melody that fits the lyrics. Read the lyrics, play the song, put in the time ... and listen.