Hey guys,
My band so far consists of 2 guitars, a bassist, and a drummer.

No vocalist yet, and I was just wondering, are songs easier to write if you write the music first or the lyrics/vocal melodies first? Or if its all just personal preference.
I tend to start with lyrics, since I do most of my writing when I'm away from a guitar. I usually have a general idea of how I want the song to be, but I don't sweat writing the music till I have the lyrics. I find that when I try to write lyrics around music and not vice versa, they sound forced and fake. That's just me though.
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For what it is worth here are my two cents.

I don't believe that there is any one and only way but I have had better luck when I begin working around a theme.

The theme could be a subject for a song, a title for a song, a lyrical hook; or it could be a riff, a chord transition, mood, or tonality of the guitar. But something should stand out as different,, unique, and identifyable. It gives the song its life.

I find that I went through times when it was really a guitar first thing (hook, sound, progression) and then lyrics, and then recently it has started with lyrical elements first.

In both cases, once I found out "who" the song was, I will go to the other part and write music and lyrics almost at the same time.

It seems to make sense to me that if you start writing a guitar part, the key, mood, tempo, will say things to you that you can write about, and conversly, if you start writing down some thoughts, you will find the right chords (whether it should be a minor or major, distortion, or clean) that suits them

The hardest times I have had is when I try to "put" chords to a finished poem; and also when I try to "put" words to a finished instrumental.

Everytime I have written an instrumental to completeion, words always then seem forced; it has already found itself without words and does not need them.

Hope that helps,
i agree with both of the above.

it can sound a bit forced it you try and mould lyrics around the music, and you should always have a theme to the song.

but when you have a vague idea of the music and lyrics, just record the music first, then just play it back and sing the vocals over the top (not recorded - in your head if need be) so you can tweak the music and get random events happening to liven it up a bit, like maybe a symbal crash here and there or maybe a guitar slide or something fitting into the lyrics and whatnot. vice-versa too, for instance "yeahs" and shouts here and there, depending on the music style

if thats sort of makes sense lol. it always works for me, but if you dont understand/disagree i hope you know where im coming from so you could maybe give it a go one day.


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VoodooChild15 And Daddy Gaddy You Guys are genius. Especially you Daddy Gaddy, you need to find out "who" the song is. Amazing.
Both are important their both first u get a feel of a song form the lyrics and from the feel you get lyrics. Goes both ways. Keep an open mind is the best way to do that.
I can do things both ways. My more complex and layered songs usually come from me writing all the music, then going through various poems and lyrics and moudling those to fit the music that's already there. After that, the music will undergo a few more changes to make everything fit.

Sometimes i'll start with the lyrics, maybe strum a few chords to them and build an arrangement from there, or i'll read the lyrics and try to create a mood musically that complements them. It can be done whatever way you find easiest, but i find that the process influences the outcome.

One thing i rarely do is start with a vocal melody, then add lyrics and the rest of hte music after the fact. But when i do follow this approach, i again end up with a different sounding song.