Song writing

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by OHIOSTEVE, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. OHIOSTEVE

    OHIOSTEVE Senior Member

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    I would love to have the ability to write songs. I am pretty good with words, and can make up funny songs on the fly. But to write a serious song just baffles me . It becomes sappy and cliched very fast. For those of you write, do you actually set down and work out a song based on a premise or do you get a line in your head and build on that.... I have quite a few bits and pieces of songs and have no idea how to finish them. I would love to do a set of originals at my shows. I have 2 that I do, one serious and one funny.bI have 3 or 4 more that I COULD do if I polished up my performance of them but thats it... and only 2 of em I think are really good. ANY tips would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Brians Evil Twin

    Brians Evil Twin Poophoria Sōtō Zen V.I.P. Member

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    Usually I have a general topic in mind, maybe a few lines. Try to write a chorus and verse and maybe a bridge.

    Then I try to write another verse or two and maybe add a variation to the chorus.

    Then sling it all together until it starts to make sense and is under 4 minutes. It can take an hour or a few weeks, depends on how ambitious the song is.

    Chordally, i try to write what I hear in my head and try hard not to write to I, IV, V if I can help it.

    Unless it's supposed to be a blues or have a country/folk flavor, then the standard progressions are fine.
     
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  3. Malikon

    Malikon Henshin! V.I.P. Member

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    it depends on the song and what's it's trying to do
     
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  4. OHIOSTEVE

    OHIOSTEVE Senior Member

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    I would love to be able to write a song
    To tell you how I've been since you've been gone
    But my mind cant put how my heart feels into words.
    I'd love to tell the story of my pain
    About how much I'd give to see you again
    But I can't, I just set here alone with the hurt.
     
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  5. OHIOSTEVE

    OHIOSTEVE Senior Member

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    See what I mean about the sappy and cliche' ? Granted that was like 2 minutes but it wouldn't matter.
     
  6. Malikon

    Malikon Henshin! V.I.P. Member

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    Don't write "lyrics",..learn to write poems. Read a lot of poems,...read a lot of books and find poetry in the words, (stephen king is great at this, there isn't a single book of his I've read that didn't have hidden poems in it.) When you read something in a book like, "The scream shattered the night like gunshots in the distance." (or something equally cliche) ...that's poetry. learn to identify it.

    Then write poems, assemble a journal of poems. Then when you have a song, see what poems fit.

    Edit, cut out the words you don't need. Streamline the poem until you have lyrics.

    Songwriting is a craft, and crafting takes practice.

    And I don't say any of this like "high and mighty" ,....I'm a practicing craftsmen myself. Always a student and never a Master.

    It's carpentry with words and a guitar.
     
  7. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Sometimes I get a thought or line in my head. Sometimes I get a vibe while I'm out hiking or working on the truck. Sometimes I've got the amp cranked and a riff falls out.

    The key is not how you do it. The key is to get out of your own way and let the song tell you its story.

    When it's very personal, I do work to spread it out so everyone who hears it can cop a feel. When it's cliche, I put it aside, and read some more, to feed my head better ideas. And when the music is bland, I look for disaster areas I can inject that don't derail the song but rather carry it to a different place.

    It's all about capturing a vibe. I don't try to impose myself, I want the song to talk to me, and that means I need to STFU and listen. You gotta hear it before you write it.
     
  8. OHIOSTEVE

    OHIOSTEVE Senior Member

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    I just do not have it..... i wish I did....its gotta be a great feeling to be able to put into words thoughts and feelings. My mind races with a million things all at once sometimes. So much so that I cannot even sleep sometimes. I wish I could empty that omto paper. But everything just goes all corny and cliche right outta the gate. I am stuck playing covers I guess.
     
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  9. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    No, you've got it too. Just like anything else in life, it can be learned. No one is born a songwriter, or an orator, or a mechanic.

    You build songwriting chops exactly the same way you build guitar chops: practice. And just like guitarin', if you tell yourself you cannot do it, you probably never will. Your first twenty songs will suck, but they'll have a moment that makes you say, "Yeah, that's where I'm going."

    Follow your ear.

    About words: if you want to write well, you must read. A lot. Learn how to do metaphor, learn how to be direct, learn how to paint pictures with words ... and the only way you learn that is by reading and writing.
     
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  10. freak

    freak Silver Supporter

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    have you considered writing some music, and just humming a harmony over it, and coming up with words when you are inspired?
    Have you considered a writing partner? Someone who can do lyrics?
     
  11. DavGrape

    DavGrape Silver Supporter

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    I would love to be able to write a song
    To tell you how I've been since you've been gone
    But my mind cant put how my heart feels into words.

    Holy fUching shit that is beauytiful.
     
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  12. freak

    freak Silver Supporter

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    Get out of your comfort zone.
     
  13. freak

    freak Silver Supporter

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    You're drunk.
     
  14. DavGrape

    DavGrape Silver Supporter

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    ^Who, me?
    or him?
    Me, slightly.
     
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  15. freak

    freak Silver Supporter

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    You. And the avatar gave it away.
     
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  16. dsmcl77

    dsmcl77 Senior Member

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    To write a serious song...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Uncle Remus

    Uncle Remus Silver Supporter

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    It's a gift for me I guess. I have always been able to just sit down and write songs. Some better than others and some I revisit to clean up. If you get an idea or a line in your head write it down and go from there. Unfortunately my best stuff has come from tragedy or hard times in my life. I can pull it off in times if contentment, but it is harder. I like the poetry idea as that is really what it is.
     
  18. Uncle Remus

    Uncle Remus Silver Supporter

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    It's odd, but I normally do lyrics first. Most do it the other way around. I wish I could do music first, there are a lot of riffs that I have and would like to use, but I don't work that way.
     
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  19. DavGrape

    DavGrape Silver Supporter

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    Darrell, and Fezz are the best writers here. I hope they chime in.
     
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  20. danohat

    danohat Senior Member

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    If you're a songwriter, you can't keep it in. You see a song in everything. If you're like me, you play a bunch of stupid riffs and then go do something else.
     

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