#1
So I wrote this catchy chord progression and was wondering if I should create lyrics based off on that. The thing is I'm no poet. But, ignore that its not the question. My question is should I create the rhythm first then write the lyrics or write the lyrics then write the rhythm based off of that? Ive seen dozen of these threads I believe, but I'm looking for some newer feedback. I dont plan on becoming a singer just something I want to do to pass the time.
Last edited by TROUnation at Jan 25, 2017,
#2
Some people have written great melodies by singing completely nonsense lyrics ("Paranoid" is one song that comes to my mind that was written this way). I think having some lyrics to sing is naturally going to give the melody some kind of a shape, and it will definitely help with writing rhythms that sound natural.

But you could try different approaches and see what works for you.


If by rhythm you are talking about the "overall groove" of the song, that usually has little to do with lyrics. Then again, of course you can get rhythmic ideas from language too.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#4
Quote by TROUnation
MaggaraMarine
But is it odd to create the chorus and everything else needed for a song even though you dont have any lyrics?
Naw, music usually comes first to me. Usually, lyrics and the exact rhythm can be adapted to fit melodies

The first thing that comes to mind (lol)
#5
No. You don't necessarily even need lyrics. Just play the melody on a saxophone (or any instrument you like). There are plenty of instrumental pieces (well, technically those are not "songs" because they don't have singing in them). You can write lyrics later if the instrumental piece has a singable melody (and you can also make the melody more "singable").

To my knowledge for example some jazz standards were originally instrumentals but people have added lyrics to them later so that singers could also perform them. One song that was originally an instrumental that comes to my mind is "Four" by Miles Davis.

You don't need lyrics to write music. Lyrics can of course inspire you to write melodies but they are not necessary and as I said, there are plenty of instrumental pieces.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#6
Quote by TROUnation
MaggaraMarine
But is it odd to create the chorus and everything else needed for a song even though you dont have any lyrics?
Not at all. But it may be that you're missing a melody. A "song" is something you "sing", which means a line of single notes. You can't sing chords! You can sing or hum a row of notes without needing lyrics to go with them. Or - as mentioned - you can make up some nonsense words just to give your mouth something to do other than "la la la" or "hmm mmm mmm". Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" famously began as "scrambled eggs", just so he had something to sing while working out the melody.
There's one or two REM songs that sound like they kept the nonsense and didn't bother replacing with sensible lyrics. And how about Phil Collins' "Sussudio"? There's another famous story about "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" where the songwriters couldn't think of words to finish a line, so just filled it in with "wo oh oh"; it was Phil Spector who said "no that's great as it is" - recognising it as a hook.

You can make up melodies by singing along to your chords, finding notes that sound like they fit. Or you can record your chord progression and try playing single notes (on guitar) over it. Generally, melodies form strings of notes that link chord tones together. So you start and end phrases on notes in the chord, remembering to leave spaces (for the singer to breathe!). Singing is best, because a song has to be sung in the end, it has to feel good with the voice.
Last edited by jongtr at Jan 26, 2017,