#1
I know this topic has come up before, but I'd like to have some ideas to float around. I can't say I'm coming here with this wealth of knowledge, because, honestly I'd say 95% of the time I'm going in with "Ah, what the hell, let's see how this goes."

For lyrics, I've been using the computer. For me, when it comes to words, I've found the computer works best. That said, others prefer pen and paper here. This really has no wrong answer. I would advise putting lyrics down somewhere besides your head. Sometimes they need to stew there, but get them out. I've found that writing it down greatly improves your writing (along with critique). Seeing it there is great, and sometimes what's in your head may not always translate well without some tweaks.

Now, for the music, I go old school. For me, using notebook paper is just easier. As with lyrics, I don't see a wrong answer here. In my method, I use the lines to assign strings and simply note the tunings of each string. Quick and dirty, but if your operate with multiple tunings like I do (CGCFAD, AEADGBE, DADGBE), give it a shot. I won't be offended if it doesn't work.


Other ideas:
Smart phones: if not already installed, there are some free apps in Google Play (and I would assume Apple's App Store) for text editors. You don't need anything fancy, but it's nice to have something for ideas if you don't have a pen handy.

Not suggesting it, but sometimes idea flow easier after a beer or two.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
#2
For words, I definitely prefer pen & paper, at least at first. Like most people, I'll come up with just a rhyme or two, often when I'm in the shower. Late nights or early mornings... mornings, my mind is alert, at night, I'm winding down & I reflect on things that I've heard or seen through the day. But once I've written down the bulk of what I'm gonna say, I'll type it out. Either here, or Google Docs. Docs works well for me since I can add/edit anywhere I can log into Google.
#3
just write stuff geez put down words on paper but chords over them etc.the more you do the more you get better.i have so many songs I had to stop playing my guitar or I would write more songs ha ha .just make up something geez now get off the computer
#4
Quote by INSULIN
just write stuff geez put down words on paper but chords over them etc.the more you do the more you get better.i have so many songs I had to stop playing my guitar or I would write more songs ha ha .just make up something geez now get off the computer


Well, yes, songwriting favors a "practice makes purpose" approach. At the same time, ideas don't always come when you have your weapon of choice in hand.

This is an art, and there are multiple paths to achieve a goal. Best or preferred may not work the same from person to person. I've found writing has been an outlet for me coming out of an ordeal with CPS, living with bipolar disorder, and a host of issues swirling in my head, it came down to writing. And then my Guitar Hero controller started malfunctioning. At that point, looking at eBay and such I just thought I might as well start learning the real thing and make my own shit. Work on what I have some sort of handle on and go from there. I'm no guitar master by any stretch, but I've found something new to work with besides video games. I'm starting out at 35 with a love for the likes of Korn and Periphery and seeing where I go from there. If I retire a billionaire, great. As it is, if I can cobble a band of metal/prog lovers together in a band and play a few shows a year, sweet.

Basically, I go in with a "what the hell, let's try this" attitude.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
#5
If I have a poetic idea, or song title that I spontaneously think of, then I write that down in evernote. I know I wont lose it there.

For writing lyrics, I much prefer paper, but will use evernote if that is not available. That doesn't happen often though, because I dont generally wait for inspiration to strike. I sit down and write a song. I might take breaks, or sleep on it, but once I started a song I usually power through and finish it as soon as possible, whatever it takes.

Inspiration and ideas will come, if I sit there and focus on getting it done.

For the main instrument harmony, I record it on my phone. I sometimes name the file with the roman numerals of the progression, or just a description.
#6
Usually a song will germinate for weeks/months before I write it,or I'll scribble something and come back to it.

Ironically, since joining this forum, I'm in a dry spell at the moment - I'm trying to not copy newer styles I've been exposed to and trying not to write to please others (i.e. knowing that certain people will like certain styles).

I love pen and paper for lyrics, I like scribbling chords/tabs on the side, normally in a different color. If I'm content with a song, it gets written up in a bound notebook I have, then I know it's finished.

I might store a line or two on my phone for later, if I remember it. From my Chicago song I had:

11/19/15 - Gravy & biscuits: isn't hobnobs & bisto
21/14/15 - Rust spiralling out of wheel arches, avariciously eating up chassises, infecting bodywork, gangrenous orange and ochre, flaking off like ash being blown in the wind

I only have two others, so fuck it:

10/23/12 - There's not enough whiskey in the world and Johnnie Walker ain't no friend of mine
9/25/12 - I've heard of geek chic and of nerd glamour, well my friends still play Warhammer


Sigh.
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