How do you write songs?



How do you write songs?

Postby grindonomicon » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:37 pm

What weird methods do you use for writing crushing songs of doom?

Shit's taking me forever and we gotta show in two weeks. Tho I am using the computerz for recording and stuff now.

I tend to come up with a riff-melody-song parts and vocalize it, record the vocalization, and then figure out my bass part from there. If I have lyrics first, I write to that instead. My biggest problem is setting aside blocks of time to write, where I don't get distracted or dick around, and then get solid work done. I think I need to get up earlier and write - play - record for half an hour or hour each day. I'm horrible at that!
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby misterstomach » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:40 pm

grindonomicon wrote:setting aside blocks of time to write, where I don't get distracted or dick around, and then get solid work done.


you already nailed it. all personal rituals aside, i think this is really the most important piece of the puzzle, and the hardest at times. like right now for me as well. but if you can do this part with an instrument in your hands on a regular basis for a good chunk of time, i've found the rest falls into place.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby gnomethrone » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:28 pm

Lately I'll play a generic rock riff higher up the fretboard and then take it incrementally lower and slower until i find a good fit. Helps me come up with stuff I wouldn't think of otherwise.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby ShaolinLambKiller » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:31 pm

everything is literally on the spot. I might be thinking of playing X prior going to the shed to write and I basically work out ideas and possible riff combos in my head like that and then I go about doing that when I get there. nothing super difficult but I guess to some it is. I think of full composition of all instruments.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby whiskey_face » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:07 pm

I can come up with sludge riffs allll day long but any other genre I fail really bad. But if the riff isnt good enough or heavy enough to give you the same face after you take a shot of whiskey then its not good ehough. Hence muh name.

Drums i just try to play something thats as heavy as possible with in my ability.

Lyrics I get weird. Lots of tequlia and I remember past hallucinations and write about them.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby AxAxSxS » Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:15 pm

My methods are probably not super helpful if you have a deadline.
I really, really, really like having interaction with the other guys in the band to write. I have a few guidelines.

If you come in with a riff, play it and no one cares, put that riff back in your pocket.

Do not get butthurt if the riff you've been woodshedding on all week falls flat. Play a different riff and keep going.

If you come in with a riff, play it and everyone else joins in, you have a start point. A seed if you will.

Write harmony lines for the basic riff. these can frequently be transposed down and become the basis for the next riff. A looper can be killer for this. Loop the seed riff and see what you can play over it. endless variations. Use the same litmus test for what comes next.

If someone has an idea, never dismiss it out of hand unless you are 100% sure it's not going to work. (Rhythm change would interfere with vocal cadence or something)

When trying out an idea, get it right and play it to the standard the person who thought it up wants before deciding if it is good or not. Some of the most interesting things don't exactly lend themselves to being played tightly and working on it to get it right is the only way to really know if it works or not.

Do not get butthurt.

It's ok and I would even say a positive to have one person in the band be the creative vision holder and if that person does not like what you are doing, respect that, if you are that person, don't dismiss anything that the others bring in. Be respectful, give things a proper chance, and if it sucks, try to be nice about it. Resist the temptation to write songs that are filler.

learn to play the other guys instruments. Humming is bullshit. If you have a bassline idea, grab a bass and play it. I really need to learn to pay drums as that's a wekpoint in what I do. Ryder's awesome at being patient with me as I try to describe something I am incapable of describing, it'd be a lot easier if I could jump back there and just do it.

RECORD EVERYTHING ALWAYS!

Big no no's-
Don't fucking play your instrument when someone is showing something new. Wait till you have it and then join in. DO NOT EVER START TRYING TO PLAY YOUR OWN THING YOU WANT THE BAND TO DO THAT IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT WHILE SOMEONE IS SHOWING SOMETHING. Rude, both riffs are now indistinguishable, and time is being wasted.

Don't play your fucking instrument while people are talking things over. Again rude, and a time waster. If you have nothing to contribute to what is being said, then let it get hashed out. Better would be to put the damn thing down and join in the conversation.

If you don't like where something is going, speak up about it, be nice, be respectful, but speak up.

If someone is nicely and respectfully hinting that what you are doing sucks, take the fucking hint.

Do not get buthurt.

DO NOT FORGET TO PRESS RECORD!
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby Blackened Soul » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:02 am

I sit very still for a time
and I visualize things
I jam a bit
something will either come to me
or it wont
if it does I build from there.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby kbit » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:28 am

AxAxSxS wrote:My methods are probably not super helpful if you have a deadline.


Thank you for posting all of that. I feel like this is the type of framework i want to bring into a group but I get to nervous too think of it all when I'm actually in the room. I'm gonna save these points for later.

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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby grindonomicon » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:42 am

Yes! All of this is good. With a duo, and me writing all the riffs, it's just new, and after working on a song or stuff for a long while I just feel like I don't like anything. One of my friends who's in a bunch of bands listened in and dug it, and feedback from the drummer rules.

Working more has helped. The other morning I arranged a song before practice, lyrics jumped out for me, and we recorded a rough demo of it Saturday. Tomorrow going to arrange another and try to get more lyrics done. Or finish music for one of a couple with lyrics I already have. Goal is a song a practice until the show in two weeks. Play the best three or four, 20 minutes or so. Grief or Noothgrush cover is there time to learn one.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby Puck5862 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:07 pm

AxAxSxS wrote:RECORD EVERYTHING ALWAYS!


DO NOT FORGET TO PRESS RECORD!


Great advice. At home, I like to get a real good tone that inspires, mic the cab, hit record and just start jamming' away. If something clicks, I refine it until the riff is solid. Then add another part. etc. Save the recording. at a later date, go back and listen. If it still sounds good, present to the band and see what happens - the ultimate litmus test.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby TempusEdaxRerum » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:08 pm

It sounds shitty, but I play some songs that I enjoy and just morph them a bit until I get the creative juices running and then I turn it off.
Then I come back after grabbing a drink and start working on something more original. It really helps playing music you like and just messing it up. Gotta be inspired to write, and sometimes you gotta force the inspiration.

Either that or I play whatever song ideas I worked out in my head if I manage to make it home before I completely forget it.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby D.o.S. » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:28 pm

AxAxSxS wrote:When trying out an idea, get it right and play it to the standard the person who thought it up wants before deciding if it is good or not


Your whole post is gold but I think this is the most underrepresented part of figuring out whether or not someone else's idea is worth working on.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby AxAxSxS » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:45 pm

Thanks, I hope it's helpful, writing good material is a shared struggle I think we can all emphasize with.

Don't force inspiration, that's a false god if ever I've seen one. Inspiration and enthusiasm can be the same thing, or at least related, if you find yourself getting frustrated, stop. Go check out local music, do an improv jam, whatever you can think of to make it fun again and then, go.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby ShaolinLambKiller » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:51 pm

Yea I never force anything, it'll always be terrible if you do. If I'm not feeling it I simply stop. I might just then jam aimlessly, or seem about pairing cabs and heads for something else. but no need to write when you aren't excited and inspired to write.
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Re: How do you write songs?

Postby TempusEdaxRerum » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:55 pm

Lemme rephrase what I meant. I realize that came out wrong.
Sometimes you gotta force the floodgates open. Maybe it's depression or something, but I gotta strive for inspiration. I'm always extremely busy so I don't usually have as much time to write nowadays. Always have my mind on other stuff.

So I didn't mean force yourself to write if you aren't inspired. I meant warm up to the groove and prepare your mind for creation.
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