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Thread: Is it really YOUR song?

  1. #1
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    Question

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    I'm fairly new to songwriting, but not to poetry and I've been playing guitars and basses for about 4 years now. I also play drums.

    Anyway, very often, when a song sounds "good" to me, it also sounds "familiar" and I begin to wonder whether I unintentionally just went with somebodyelse's melody. Has anybody else noticed that with their songs?

    Also, I often find myself trying to sing to a chord progression. I realize, a song should start with a melody and then chords are just a frame of the picture, but it's hard to apply that practically (for me). Very often I wonder how many cool songs there are, based on just 3-4 chords, simple progressions, but really nice melodies. Now, how do I do that?! Thanks.

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    Talking

    AC/DC made 14 albums by just using 3-4 chords.
    lol
    -H2H

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    dat's not just dem!

    Most rock songs are like that. Even if they're in different keys, the changes are still the same. I believe that too, you don't have to compose a classical cadence to write a good tune (well, actually I-IV-V is a classical cadence too, but I mean more complicated things). Only I'm having trouble coming up with melodies first. Just thought we'd discuss it.

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    I very rarely write a melody first. Usually I will find an
    interesting chord progression and go from there, nothing wrong with that. I usually write lyrics last, after the chord progression I will incorportate the melody line I devise and write the lyrics to that. If I write lyrics first
    the mood they set usually dictate the type of song it will be. I rarely write 1 4 5 progressions and the ones that I have written were dictated by lyrics being written first.

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    and how about the songs seeming "familiar"? do you ever get that?

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    Yes, there are only 12 notes, "there is nothing new under the sun".(Ecc. Bible) You really cant help it and there is nothing wrong with it. As long as it doesnt remind you of
    a band you hate your doing allright.

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    Exclamation

    I usually get the melody in my head first.
    The first thing I'll do is record that melody note for note on the guitar. Sometimes the lyrical idea is just a minute behind it, because the melody will actually give me a feel for what type of subject I will sing about.

    Then I bury myself in the room for the next 5 hours (;

    DJ

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    I think I know a bit of what Gear Junky's feeling. I used to write songs but lately find myself moving away from that and into purely instrumental stuff. Why? For exactly the reason Gear Junky speaks of - that familiarity factor. Whether we like it or not we all compose music within the confines of some tradition, even if the tradition is relatively recent like say, grunge-rock. It's hard to find that balance point between something sounding 'familiar' and yet 'unique' unto itself.

    The familiarity thing became so bad for me that I felt trapped by it - no matter what I wrote, I felt I was retreading on territory that other people have been through. Let's face it - there's a ton of music out there and we can't help but do things that have been done before. My move to instrumental music gives me a bit more freedom to experiment and is a good shock to the system. At the moment I don't miss 'regular' songwriting but that doesn't mean I won't take it up again.

    Anyways, good luck, and I sure hope there isn't anyone out there who's hit the kind of mental 'block' that I have.

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    every GOOD art takes time,lot of practising period
    keep doing it for another 2-3 yrs
    you'll wonder how much better you become
    http://www.mp3.com/istyle

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    What seems to help is when I have an idea - like a "spine" of a song. It could just be a title or a phrase, a hook, that makes sense, and then writing becomes easier. It was the same way with poetry. I wrote several songs like that. Even if I don't have all the verses yet, it's still a song already, even if it takes a year to finish it. However, when I don't have such an idea, I can't seem to just sit down, "be inspired" and write something on the fly. Guess it all starts with an idea, a plot, I guess for me I have to know what I wanna write about.

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