View Poll Results: How's it (usually) work for you?

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  • Come up with it in my head

    7 25.93%
  • Come up with it by tinkering around on an instrument (guitar, keyboard, whatever)

    5 18.52%
  • Pretty even mix of the 2 above

    12 44.44%
  • other (splain)

    3 11.11%
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Thread: How do you come up w/that initial idea/set of lyrics/melody/etc

  1. #1
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    How do you come up w/that initial idea/set of lyrics/melody/etc

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    Curious how others approach this, generally.....

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    Oh, my! If you saw my "media" folder, you'd probably freak. There are clips of sound; documents with verses or choruses, some times both; whole songs without lyric; whole lyrics without sound...just a mass mess of about 2000 ideas of one sort or another. Sometimes I go through and look at some. Sometimes I'll delete one. Sometimes I'll find a couple I can use together and combine them.
    Did a bit of that this afternoon. Found a whole song that has no lyric and found a verse/chorus bridge that's unfinished. Modified the lyric a bit to fit the structure of the song...now it'll probably sit for another period of time waiting for me to come up with the rest of the lyric.
    MOSTLY, that's my system.
    SOMETIMES, I get a complete idea.
    SOMETIMES, I sit down and write an entire lyric.
    SOMETIMES, I see a poem and write a song to go with it.
    RARELY, I get a complete song in my head with vocal and arrangement already driving me to write/record...well, twice so far.
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    For me, most of the skelton comes out in a flash. Lightning fast! Fleshing it out, now that's where the work comes in.
    Often times however, what seems to come together fast is usually just different ideas that have been brewing for sometimes years suddenly coming together.

    That being said, I read an article by Diane Warren, who's written tons of hits, and she gave good advice.

    She said that if your just spent one day observing people and life intsead of being stuck in your own head, you'd have enough inspiration to last you a lifetime.

    I read this interview in a restaurant while having lunch and immediately put it into practice.
    I watched a waitress, and wrote a song about the plight of the minimum wage worker. That song took me about an hour from concept to demo.
    I watched a busboy who moved real slow like a tired old black man, but was actually quite young. His name was Alvin. Within a half hour after getting home, I wrote and recorded a slow blues shuffle instrumental piece, just based on how slow he moved.

    Moral of the story; Two songs written and demoed in one day, because onf applying the advice of a pro songwriter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BroKen_H View Post
    Oh, my! If you saw my "media" folder, you'd probably freak.
    On the contrary, our approaches sound quite similar. Although I have little songs w/o lyrics (intentionally or otherwise), it's lyrics w/o music. I find the music much harder to write.

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    I tend to write two ways these days: whilst traveling (biking, walking, etc.), I'll have an inspiration and write the first verse and chorus in my head. Then record it and flesh it out later.
    Or I'll be struck with an idea for a song topic, jot down a note in my phone, and write it wholesale later with an instrument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    That being said, I read an article by Diane Warren, who's written tons of hits, and she gave good advice.

    She said that if your just spent one day observing people and life intsead of being stuck in your own head, you'd have enough inspiration to last you a lifetime.
    Interesting notion. But I'm not a "people person" so not sure how much of that I could/will do

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    Quote Originally Posted by joey2000 View Post
    On the contrary, our approaches sound quite similar. Although I have little songs w/o lyrics (intentionally or otherwise), it's lyrics w/o music. I find the music much harder to write.
    I always have a problem making them fit together...the sound of the song doesn't fit the lyric's idea, or the structure is completely wrong or the meter is off...but most of my stuff comes from powering through these obstacles and making something that sounded good sound better...to my ears at least. I listen to my songs every day. I love most of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by joey2000 View Post
    Interesting notion. But I'm not a "people person" so not sure how much of that I could/will do
    Highly functioning introverts we be! I don't like going to public places (like restaurants and ESPECIALLY movie theaters.) Now that I live in the south, parks are out of the question about 10 1/2 months out of the year. But strangely enough, I work for Walmart in the south...there should be some funny songs in there somewhere !!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroKen_H View Post
    Highly functioning introverts we be!
    I'm not an introvert, more like just anti-social I have a low tolerance for jerky/stupid people and I swear they're breeding like cockroaches.

    I don't like going to public places (like restaurants and ESPECIALLY movie theaters.)
    I almost never go to either myself, though again it might be for diff reasons....

    I work for Walmart in the south...there should be some funny songs in there somewhere !!!
    lol no doubt!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joey2000 View Post
    I'm not an introvert, more like just anti-social I have a low tolerance for jerky/stupid people and I swear they're breeding like cockroaches.
    Concur. Like I said, I work for Walmart in the south...I'm sure there are better sectors of society to observe.
    I've always considered myself an observer of the human condition...
    Soundcloud Page
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroKen_H View Post
    I've always considered myself an observer of the human condition...
    That's a good way for a songwriter to be! It's just not me.

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