Poll: How do you start writing your songs?
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View poll results: How do you start writing your songs?
With the chords
28 49%
With the melody
17 30%
With the bass
5 9%
With the rhythm
14 25%
I write everything kinda at the same time
18 32%
Voters: 57.
#1
I used to start by finding a good chord progression, and then making up a melody and lyrics on top of that. But I'm starting to find that this works limiting for the melody: you're bound to the notes of the chords and this makes for melodies with little variations.

I'm now trying a different approach: starting with a melody, and then trying chord progressions underneath that. I find this to be a lot more difficult but the theory is that this would lead to more memorable melody lines.

How do you write most of your songs? Start with the chords, with the melody (the singing), or maybe with the rhythm and/or the bassline?
#2
eh usually i fool around with things, and sometiems its the melody that comes first or other times its the chord progression that comes first. it really varies with every song
#3
I had this idea in my head, and the melody line that I sang was in D, so I came up with the chord progression to it, and it sounded nice. I just didn't memorize it. But it was awesome when it first came out. One of those moments of complete magic.

But most of the time my songs are written while I'm just ****ing around on the guitar. I'll do something I like in an effort to do something different, and then I'll go, "Okay, WTF did I just do?" Then I'll proceed to figure it out, then continue with it from there.
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#4
most of my songs will produce themselves as a nifty chord progression but its the rhythm i play them with that makes an impact on me, occasionally a great riff will pop out but i find its hard to apply it to a song arrangement without an effective rhythm, after that i whip up some lyrics that i try to match with the general atmosphere of the song and the way they are sung usually presents itself in its own way or it'll be a rocknroll wail or bluesy drawl or just follow the chord change...
#5
as a general rule, I write and orchestrate the entire song in my head, then work out the melody on the guitar, build up the chords over it (this is a better way round, because you end up using more interesting chord shapes and changes), think of the chorus, then draft the lyrics, then using the melody, work out the guitar solo with vamps et al.

Sometimes though, I'll have a riff I've discovered, or a cool chord progression, and build that into a song.
#6
I'm not a prolific songwriter, nor am I a good one, but the few I've written just seemed to develop while doodling around on a guitar. Tinker around for a while not really thinking about what's going on and in a bit there it is...Come up with an interesting riff or chord pattern and build it from there. Most are instrumentals, I couldn't think up lyrics if I had to. The few lyrics I do come up with are usually drivel, straight into the trash, but once or twice I've managed to think up a keeper...
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#7
I usually start with a combination between chords and melody. Most of my songs are just me playing acoustic guitar and singing so that's more or less the song.

I write a lot of songs, but only a very select few stand the test of time.
#8
I don't get why everyone makes their songwriting so structured. I also don't get why people write stuff on the guitar. When I write my crap on the guitar, it always sounds like...crap.

I write everything in my head. I actually sorta meditate when I do it. Usually it's the riff, or maybe the intro. I just play out the entire thing in my head, however it comes to me. Then I write the vocals.
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#9
None of the above. I start with the lyrics, then the melody, then accompaniment. Then again, my primary instrument is my voice. Occasionally a melody will pop into my head along with the lyrics.
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#10
Each song has been a completely different writing experience with all sorts of miscellaneous and simultaneous ideas, and often I'd integrate two pieces that were written separately. If you want, I could detail how I wrote one of my songs.
#11
I definetely start with lyrics. I occasionally think of a good riff, but then I can't think of any good lyrics and/or other parts of the song.
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#12
Well, I have no idea how to use full chords in metal, so I usually start chugging on my lowest string and then throw in a power chord, then some notes from the root of the power chord's minor scale.
#13
It all depends. I comonly find chord progressions messing around with arrpegions on the piano. Then I right a melody over it. then a harmony to the melody. Sometimes another harmony part (commonly the bass but sometimes it just follows the first harmony I write)
Half the time I end up without the chord progression due to lack of jam buddies. Sometimes I write the melody first. Some times I write a chord progression and a harmony and then the melody (but usually thats from having trouble with the melody)
#14
Quote by Sonicxlover
I don't get why everyone makes their songwriting so structured. I also don't get why people write stuff on the guitar. When I write my crap on the guitar, it always sounds like...crap.

I write everything in my head. I actually sorta meditate when I do it. Usually it's the riff, or maybe the intro. I just play out the entire thing in my head, however it comes to me. Then I write the vocals.


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#15
For me it normally happens in two ways. Either I'm just messing about improvising things (normally using the blues scale, power chords or just whatever chords are in the right key), and I come up with something I like, or I choose a chord to start from, play it as an arpeggio, then work out what I want the next chord's bass note to be and build it from that.

Once I've got a chord progression I'll write a melody over it, and then the bass after that. My basslines normally just follow the chord progression though. If I have something more interesting to go on in the background I normally write it as another guitar, or a piano.

I've written a lot of songs in my head too, but I've never managed to work out how to play or transcribe them, so although it's great fun, it's not much use to me.
#16
When my band writes songs..The guitarist plays a riff or progression..Then the drummer plays a beat then I play bass.

When im writing my own songs on Guitar pro I start off with a progression then add drum and bass..uhh..Theres a lot of trial and error to it..I cant write melodys to save my life..
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#18
I find my best songs are written from ideas I get when I'm walking around town, not even near a guitar. Sometimes other songs will set my mind off, or a set of words. Then I'll come home and see if I can work something out of it.
#19
Quote by Gitzman20
I find my best songs are written from ideas I get when I'm walking around town, not even near a guitar. Sometimes other songs will set my mind off, or a set of words. Then I'll come home and see if I can work something out of it.

Same here. I always forget it before I can get to my guitar though. Sometimes I'll play something that I love, and the next day, I forget the rhythm or something

Yeah, it all depends. Sometimes I'll just being chugging with a metronome clicking in the background. Sometimes I'll be working on phrasing in a new scale and I'll come up with a melody and write chords or some riff under it. Sometimes, it's the other way around, but I think it's harder to write melodies that way. Sometimes I'll be listening to a song and jam over it and every now and then, I can come up with a riff or lick out of that.

EDIT: Sometimes the bass line comes first. That's how I wrote the song in my profile.
#20
you forgot words :P
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#23
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
Same here. I always forget it before I can get to my guitar though. Sometimes I'll play something that I love, and the next day, I forget the rhythm or something


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