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Thread: What method works best for you?

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    What method works best for you?

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    This might be an idea that would help other songwriters that may be in a slump or even better, those who are just starting to write.

    Just post what method of songwriting works the best for you. If your like me you use every method at your disposal. But what I'm talking about is explaining which one is the esiest and most productive in an average situation for you. This may give the new
    songwriters some fresh ideas they haven't thought of yet.

    As for myself, the most productive is to write a song through someone else's eyes. When I'm doing this, I try to imagine what I would be thinking, feeling, or experiencing, if I were in that person's shoes. You may say why not through your own eyes. While I do write that way at times, I find I can be more objective to the situation on the outside looking in rather than on the inside looking for a way out. To mine own self I'm not always true. If all that makes any since from a songwriting standpoint?

    Well I'm out of the shoot. NEXT?

    George
    Psalms 150
    <><

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    I'm not sure what you really mean by 'method', but, if you are talkin about what state of mind, or how songs come to a songwriter, everyone uses a little different 'method'

    I am the most successfull , usually when I am slightly tired, and a little buzzed from either alcohal, or a 'blunt'

    I start playing my guitar, and just close my eyes and try to just let the music sort of take me where it wants.... Usually, a melody sort of appears,(no magic there) and then if I continue for long enuf, words also come trying to describe the feelings from the music/melody combination. This sometimes results in 1 or 2 pages of lyrics, and sometimes a complete song . But not always, just once in a while . A more common thing, at least for me, is that I sort of tail off when the words don't keep coming, and I go on to a different tune/melody, and keep playin till the ideas run out, or my fingers start to get sore....

    I may come back to the same tune/melody several times before it actually becomes a song, and it may not even end up with the 2 pages of words, or even the same thoughts as when it first started.... I'm not sure exactly why this happens, but I always end up with several pages of words that have no melody anymore, because the finished song evolved into something different....

    I have gone back to the original pages/ideas, and done another song based on those, but it doesn't always work that well for me..... I end up with notebooks full of excess thoughts, or lyrics , and every now and again will just read thru them for inspiration.

    If you want to call this a 'Method', then, thats how it is for me.....



    Upstate

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    well, for me i tend to write a lot on acoustic guitar (being primarily a guitarist), though at the moment i'm trying to get out of this habit. i always seem to be able to come up with melodies over chord progressions working this way but it seems like a bit of a 'production-line'. by this i mean building song after song as a builder might build a house, from a plan or a set of instructions. in other words my songs written this way tend to sound very generic: verse, chorus, verse, a vocal melody that mirrors the chord progression etc.

    what i'm trying to do now with my songwriting is to take away the guitar and focus on what seems to me to be the most important component of a song: the vocal melody. for instance, why let a vocal melody be hemmed in by the linearity of a chord progression? (this is pretty subjective, i'm only talking about how i write when using guitar: personally i find that there are certain types of chords which i'm more likely to play on guitar which could have a dramatic effect on the vocal melody)

    perhaps a better way of writing a song on guitar is to write a progression accompanying vocal melody using solely root notes rather than the whole chords. this could free up the vocal melody to go where it wants rather than being 'flavoured' by the type chord chosen to accompany it.

    another thing that i'm trying is writing a vocal melody without the use of a guitar at all, or any other instrument for that matter. then when a vocal melody emerges it's a case of bending the other instruments around it rather than vice versa.

    cheers
    -matt

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    I guess I used the word "method" rather loosely, but you seem to have the idea. For a lack of better tems a guess I could have said what are the particulars that, for you, allow you to flow in your most productive creativity as a songwriter. Or as you define productive creativity.

    I know what you mean about pages of thoughts stuffed in a notebook. About once every couple of months I drag it out and go through it. I'll read one that at that moment hits a sweet spot and begins to gel. Then we're off to the races. And you know what I'm talking about. You gotta write like most people need to breathe.

    George
    Psalms 150
    <><

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    well,
    it depends. I do many sorts. I enjoy writing songs from my point of view, about the past, about the future, about my relationship(s). I can write a poem, put it on guitar and all, or I can just write lyrics, sing them add guitar. I might come up with a neat riff and later add lyrics. I like writing songs that are sort of in the form of Stabbing Westward, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, or Pennywise....its just how I am. I may talk as if its a story, I may make myself the subject, or I might just make statements. My only problem is sometimes knowing what to write about, but if you find something funny, depressing, lifting, write about it. That's what I do.
    peace out, musician

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    matt's bedroom, you have a point. THat's usually what I do. Making vocals after writing the guitar parts can be very annoying, along with not only pitch, but rythm. I used to just directly improv sing the syllables and words into the songs, didn't work too great, though nice songs. Now I make the vocal melody, and make the guitar/bass/drums around that, not only can you perfectly find that right chord (as there are several), but you can also make them as complex as you'd like.
    peace out, musician

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    This topic has been covered over and over. If your interested in finding out what others including myself had to say, do a search. Search the whole songwriters forum from the beggining (it hasn't been here too long this place) as there have been some good threads.

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    Originally posted by musicsdarkangel
    matt's bedroom, you have a point. THat's usually what I do. Making vocals after writing the guitar parts can be very annoying, along with not only pitch, but rythm. I used to just directly improv sing the syllables and words into the songs, didn't work too great, though nice songs. Now I make the vocal melody, and make the guitar/bass/drums around that, not only can you perfectly find that right chord (as there are several), but you can also make them as complex as you'd like.
    do you mean make the vocal melody as complex as you like? if so i can see where you're coming from.

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    that's exactly what I mean, rather then just trying to make the right notes after a guitar riff.
    peace out, musician

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    The biggest pronlem I feel is when you try and write a song. Like I have always said, I don't write songs because I want to (subconsciously (sp) maybe), I write because it kinda' happens. I sometimes just feel like grabbing a pencil and making some notes.

    I never try and force it. I don't think-hey I've got to do this first, then add the guitar etc. By looking for a sound and then natuarlly developing and embellishing it; that where most of my songs come from.

    Some of you that have read other posts of mine here will know just how much I hate deadlines. As soon as anyone tell's me "you've gotta do this by...." I can't do it. To me, in my mind that equates to some form of systematic approach and the development of rules which to me both scares me and takes the fun away.

    Another thing I would add is that you should never (but there are of course no rules) try and manipulate a song by trying to turn it into something that it's not. By taking away this element of trying/seeing it as a job or work you will create something very organic. Let me tell you; I'm not afraid of hard work or putting the hours in, but to me I don't ever think about writing and it comes naturallyAt the end of the day, it's harder to let it go/ignore writing and let it come to you than it is to try and figure out how to overcome writers block, what formulas there are, whatr rules to follow. Why; because there aren't any rules or formulas and you are heading down a dead end when you could be learning to play you instrument(s) better; that's why.

    Note: The above is my opinion only (oh, and I haven't read it through for mistakes) and if you don't like it................I don't give a fuck.

    Later,
    Krystof01.

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