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Thread: When I write I am nore focused on my story than the music

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    When I write I am nore focused on my story than the music

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    Was wondering how people approach song writing. For me, my primary concern is for the message/story I am telling. But the music is important to create the correct backdrop for the music/story.

    That is the drive behind my song writing. Anybody else with thoughts?

    I mean, we are song writers, it is our job to be weird. We have to think where others won't go.
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    The story is important. I think as a writer if you feel the story is properly represented, the music will fall in line.

    However people have had great success with the reverse. I was listening to the local classic rock station in the car the other day. Man, there were some great songs, but with the most stupid lyrics ever! Yet they sold millions.

    Come to think of it, most of the 'popular' multi-platinum sellers of today are stupid as shit also.

    Many different ways to skin a cat.

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    I don't see a better or worse way here. I know you're not thinking one way is better or worse. I've written words first...........music first.........and a combination approach. Why limit yourself? If you find you're doing it only one way.........try your next tune a different way. I can tell you that approach is all about not getting stale in your art. If you play guitar..........or any instrument...........and you fall into only a familiar pattern........the same thing happens.........and we call that lack of growth or learning. We've all been there.

    You can't tell me you've never heard a tune or a melody in your head and wanted to grow it. And you probably have listened to many music styles over the years and wanted to try to write in one of your favorites. Both of those are not words first.

    Just my 2 cents........and wanted to thank you DM60...........for all your contributions here. Man I've learned a lot from you.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    The idea behind the thread was to share and see what others were doing. And you are right, not thinking a right/wrong, just throwing out an idea and see what bounces back.

    Always looking for fresh ideas and new ways to see things. I don't see much in this area in ideology or approach and thought to try and get some interaction going. From my few years here, we have pretty talented people on here and a variety of views.
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    Usually it is the story pops in my head and the music follows, which I find much easier.
    I have one I am working on right now which started with this really cool Eric Johnsonesque chord progression that just somehow came to me while I was noodling one day. I decided to make it a song for my lovely and sweet wife and I have most but am having a spot of trouble finishing up the lyrics, they will come eventually
    Last edited by GuitarMechanic; 07-02-2018 at 14:31.

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    I'm more focused on the music.

    When I begin working on the lyrics, I don't usually write a story.. I refer to them as "scenarios" or "situations". I may have a
    full story in my head, but the lines I write are just little snapshots of the whole, which make perfect sense to me but may
    not to another listener - yet the idea is communicated. I'm just a flat-picker.. if I was better at fingerpicking I would write
    more fleshed out storylines. I have a few ballads, but I concentrate on pop melodies and the odd guitar instrumental.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
    And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN.

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    You can write starting with whatever you want, but I would say that if you have to let either melody or narrative slide, most listeners would prefer the latter.
    People will listen to a catchy song with bad lyrics repeatedly. Most won't give a tedious song with brilliant lyrics a second listen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    You can write starting with whatever you want, but I would say that if you have to let either melody or narrative slide, most listeners would prefer the latter.
    People will listen to a catchy song with bad lyrics repeatedly. Most won't give a tedious song with brilliant lyrics a second listen.
    There have been many "hits" that were catchy and had bad lyrics, can't argue that. For me personally, I like to focus on the narrative of the song. But in that quest, I also want to make it more "ear" friendly.

    If you are fortunate enough to be able to play and can get the right mix of music with the words and understand how the two can compliment each other. Kind of like when Steve Martin did his skit about the banjo. The instruments, the chords all of that really goes together.
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    I like writing interesting harmony first. If you do that, the melody should follow. And if you have a good melody lyrics usually write themselves.
    Sometimes I do it the opposite way, though, and write lyrics first. It really just depends. But if the harmony is boring the lyrics and melody better be really good.
    Rhythm is really underrated and overlooked, too. Syncopation, tempo changes, etc really helps any song. To me these are very important decorations for a song. But there are times rhythm is the most important part of a song. Sorry, this probably doesn't help since anything goes and kinda depends on the song.

    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    You can write starting with whatever you want, but I would say that if you have to let either melody or narrative slide, most listeners would prefer the latter.
    People will listen to a catchy song with bad lyrics repeatedly. Most won't give a tedious song with brilliant lyrics a second listen.
    Definitely.

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    To me the story is very important, but I need most of the melody and harmony in place for the story to develop.

    I normally start with a chord progression (playing guitar or piano until a progression presents itself). I then "scat" sing as I develop an initial melody - and while I'm throwing out words, trying to make some rhymes, a few "key words" make themselves clear and then I know what the basic "subject" will be. From there I sart to develop a stoy line.

    Once I'm at that point, it seems the main "character" of the story comes to me (the muse????) and helps me tell their story.

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