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Old 10-23-2003, 05:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tips for writing songs?

Hi all...I seem to have no problem writing music for new songs, however, I have the hardest time writing lyrics...

I think it all harkens back to the fact that I have always concentrated mostly on the music of songs rather than the lyrics myself...until recently, the lyrics were always an afterthought to me...

Everything I attempt to write always comes out too complex or silly to be used, IMO.

Anyway, I was wondering, for those other songwriters out there, what tips do you have for writing a (lyrically) good song and how did you develop your skill?

Thanks very much in advance...
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Old 10-23-2003, 08:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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zenmaster, i await the responses to your thread as well!

i have dozens of melodies i've written, but every time i try to write lyrics i just end up with a lot of crumpled up paper.
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Old 10-23-2003, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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try writing your lyrics first and build a melody around that. You'll find its alot easier to change a melody to fit the words then the other way around.
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Old 10-23-2003, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShadowWraith
try writing your lyrics first and build a melody around that. You'll find its alot easier to change a melody to fit the words then the other way around.
that's funny. I find it harder to change the lyrics to fit the melody as opposed to the other way around.

to each his own I guess hehe
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Old 10-23-2003, 07:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i'm in the same boat as you zenmaster. lyrics for me come last, if at all.... some pointers that i've gotten from researching how my favorite songwriters write theirs are:

1. writing a brief synopsis about the song (i.e. - boy meets girl, girl's not interested, boy tries to win girl, etc..) and then expanding on it.

2. write, rewrite, then rewrite again.

3. come up with a melody line first.

i wish there was a magic solution to writing a great song, but apparently there is none. you just have to do it, and try to have something interesting to say.
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Old 10-23-2003, 07:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have a recording device nearby at all times. Don't over analyse or get hung up on a word.That one word you can't get might sabotage the creative flow or take you in a direction that leads nowhere.

Think of hooks,not just lyrical ones that work well and but also ones that compliment the song as a whole.

If you get stuck,take a walk,play something else,eat something etc,..frustration leads to compromise and then the song will lose its identity.Then all songs sound the same.
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Old 10-23-2003, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Write what you feel. It'll always lead you in the right direction. Listen to the music you're playing and draw inspiration from it.....write how the music makes you feel, what it makes you think of. Whether you know it or not theres a song already in your head you just have to find it. And don't just go by what you think is good.....sometimes we bash ourselves down too much (as a writer myself I do this a lot) play it and sing it for a good friend...preferebly one who actually knows a thing or 2 about music whether knowing what sounds good or not or a friend that actually writes himself to and let them tell you if it's good or not cause you'll want it to be perfect and nothings perfect. If one person likes it you can multiply that by 100 more people in your city that will like it perhaps 10,000 more in your state. Don't let them ultimately tell you what to write just don't be too hard on yourself. Johnny Reznic said something I like....he said when you have writers block it's not necessarily that your writing is bad....it's that You think it's bad. Write it, sing it outloud to yourself or record it and keep listening to it and if you come to a spot that doesn't quite sound right....change it and change it again until it does sound right. You can also give your music to a song writer and he'll write a song to it. Kinda like the relationship between Bernie Taupin and Elton John.....Bernie does the music and Elton wrote the lyrics and sung them. Hmm dunno ultimately it's your decision how yer gonna write and you'll figure it out for yourself.

Asta!!
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Old 10-24-2003, 03:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great suggestions, all...

I think I will try figuring out the structure of the story first...

I have lots of ideas about what I want to write about, but I just cant seem to put them into words...
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Old 10-24-2003, 10:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
[i] Kinda like the relationship between Bernie Taupin and Elton John.....Bernie does the music and Elton wrote the lyrics and sung them. Hmm dunno ultimately it's your decision how yer gonna write and you'll figure it out for yourself.
[/B]
errr,...didn't bernie taupin write the lyrics and elton the music?
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Old 10-25-2003, 05:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't believe so. Was before my time really. I just go by the pops info. Perhaps one of the older chaps on these forums can shed some light on the subject.

Asta!!
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Old 11-04-2003, 11:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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write from the heart....."no two hearts are the same"

tonight's conversation with the woman I love helped me to remember that
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Old 11-05-2003, 01:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by OFKU0
errr,...didn't bernie taupin write the lyrics and elton the music?
yep, you got it write (write, get it? haha... i made a funny...)

anyways, on topic, i'd recommend you look into some songwriting books. while they can't teach you what to say or how to say it, or how to write like a natural, they can help with explaining how songs work, why they work, things to practice in writing, different styles, etc. basically, they can give you starting point for practice of lyric writing, kinda like how a book on how to draw doesn't teach you what to draw, but techniques and stuff.

also, if you don't have them already, buy a thesarus and rhyming dictionary. and as someone said above, keep a tape recorder around at all times. or at least a pad of paper and pen.
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