Topic: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

I'm the worst song writer ever. First off, I'm way too self-critical and won't let anything out the door unless I think "Man, Paul Simon would love that." This self-criticism creates in me a problem with writer's block that lasts years at a time.  Every few years or so, my creative juices get too much for my fragile little ego to handle and I just start writing and writing and writing and writing. It's a fun time for me.

Anyway, now is one such time. I've put together 5 originals in the last couple of weeks. (You won't hear two of them as they completely suck. LOL) So I'll be posting some here soon.

Curious as to other songwriters' creative processes....I find that if I don't write something and love it immediately I wind up just ditching it. Do you spend a lot of time writing and re-writing your tunes? Are you melody first or chords first?

Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

Good to hear you are in a writing mood. In my opinion playing covers is like an artist who just copies other people's paintings.  When you paint your own paintings or write your own songs they may not be great but at least they are yours.  In conversations with other writers I'm amazed how many different ways that song writing is approached.  I'm the type that almost always starts with a hook and then develops lyrics to support the hook, all the time experimenting with different melodies and chord progression to support the storyline.  Occasionally I'll start with some little guitar riff and build a song around it but in my case that is pretty rare. 

I'm guessing that for every song I've written that I'm not ashamed to play in public, there is at least one that goes into a folder for a future re-write or into a "black hole" never to be seen again..  One of the best song writers I've met swears that the best songs come from re-writes, but unless I consider the song a "keeper" early on, I don't spend much time trying to refine it.  For me the toughest part is trying to get rid of "extra" words that do not contribute new information in each verse.  Nothing bugs me more than a song which drags on, essentially saying the same thing verse after verse.  My goal is to someday write a song like "My Girl" - just 21 words or less in each verse and another 18 in the chorus, yet conveys a story and emotion.

I hope to hear some your song writing efforts sometime.


I want to read my own water, choose my own path, write my own songs

Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

I've never thought of it in terms of word count. That's really interesting!!!!

Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

I'm NOT a songwriter... but I have written a few songs, they all have a lot of personal feeling.  What happens to me is I get a moment of madness and just write out two sheets of paper of thoughts that seem to center around one thing, which is always a strong feeling I'm having at the moment.  Then, a tune gets stuck in my head somehow.  Then I try to make the tune fit the words.  Then I change the words to sound like a song and have purpose.  One song a year and BTW... I haven't written on this year (well... no... I started my jumble of thoughts the other day actually).  I think if I tried more often than once a year when I have a moment of madness, I'd throw everything else away.

Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

In my opinion the more you write the better your songs will become. We all have songs we don't think are great. Some of those turn out to be the ones most liked by other people. You never know how songs will affect your listeners.
We all have piles of song material that never gets used because we just don't think it measures up. Keep that material. Someday somewhere you may use it.
I spend a lot of time rewriting and refining. Sometimes a song just pops out and it sounds great from the start. Most times I'm refining.
Just keep writing. The more you do it the better your songs will be.


Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

My writing is triggered as an emotional response. I think most are.  Anger, Lover, stress, depression.  All great starting points.  I get inspired by a particular moment, or ill be rocking to some tune and ill blank out the lyerics they are saying and my own start poping up.  happend a few weeks ago. 2 verses,, needs work but a great two verses. happened twoice in the same 2 weeks.  showed them to a objective friend and he liked them.I just gotta learn how2 to play the music part in my head!

Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

Hi El Modarino  big_smile
Though I've written songs with lyrics over the years I've been increasingly drawn to the music side of a song.
I guess the melody of a song has always drawn me to like or love a song. Words are good and funnily enough most of the best loved songs have decent lyrics but all have great melodies, riffs and musical hooks.
I know many artist combine the two wonderfully well Dylan etc but I wonder where his work would been without his great melodies.
So I've ended up with lots of chord progressions melodies and riffs and no lyrics... Ah Well.
Good luck with your songwriting.

Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

when i was working in a factory, i'd have shifts (usually night shift) where all i'd have to do is put stuff in and take stuff out. so i'd have a lot of free time on my hands. so i started setting myself "projects" where i'd make a list of maybe 20 titles then try to write songs around them. this was after i first joined chordie so most never even made posting, but they did make a CD or two. writing this way made it's own difficulties, as i was writing words down, i usually have a tune in mind which the words would follow rhythmically. by the time i'd pick up the song (sometimes a week later) the melody would have escaped my mind completely, therefor making me find a new one. when i found one, the words might no longer fit, so re-writing would ensue, which made it more difficult as i like to write stories, so the new text would have to have relevance to the theme i already had.

i have many other ways of writing too, a chord sequence first or a riff. i have even woken-up with an almost complete song in my head. but i find the thing that changes a song mostly is the recording of it, especially if your doing a multi-track recording as i do.

Ask not what Chordie can do for you, but what you can do for Chordie.

Re: Songwriting Year Has Commenced

I cannot reveal my song writting teqniques as they are unknown to me something starts buzzing in my head and I just pickup my guitar and play the melodie it I like it I chart out a lead sheet it dont have to be long just the basic chords and melodie to start and see where it leads me sometimes its right to my recorder this is what happend with my last song everything just flowed from there,sometimes it leads nowhere.I dont know anyone who can say "today I will be brilliant" inspiration is a fleeting moment in time when it comes make use of it or lose it.

"Growing old is not for sissies"