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Why do you write songs? #3002584 08/10/19 12:02 PM
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BMD Offline OP
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I haven't written anything new for about five years. The last song I wrote was Railroad You. I recorded this album in 2017, but it contains songs I wrote many moons ago

If something was bothering me I'd write a song about it. It was a cathartic thing. Eventually, I'd covered every subject that did bother me, or was likely to bother me. So I stopped writing. Simple as that

At the moment, through sheer boredom and to keep my brain from atrophying, I'm typing out the Bible*. I'm up to Exodus 2. My wife thinks I'm crazy. Maybe she's right....


*NLT Anglicised, if you're interested


The past is gone. I'm sure it can take care of itself now.

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3002807 08/11/19 09:09 PM
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Anderton Offline
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I don't write songs on purpose (I don't write songs about porpoises, either, but that's a different topic).

The typical scenario is I'm playing guitar or keyboards for some reason, often because it involves some aspect of work, like testing out software or whatever. At some point, I may end up playing something I like. So, I push the record button, or if I'm away from the computer, fire up the iZotope Spire and at least record what I have.

Next, I'll work on what was recorded, either then or pehaps later that day. Like maybe it's a chorus. I'll put on drums and a bass part, and put placeholder words on top of it, or if I a phrase comes to mind, I'll do that. If no phrase comes to mind, I have a notebook with various phrases that I've jotted down, and some of them are keepers. The song just kind of keeps going from there, and lives off its own momentum. Most of the time when a song is done, I have no idea where it came from, or how it developed. It just...happens.

But getting back to your typing - you could do a concept album based on the Bible! I lot of "Christian rock" is so predictable that if you did something that actually used phrases from the Bible, I bet it would get a lot of attention. I scored a rock version of "Midsummer Night's Dream" once - it has songs in it, but no one knows what they were. So I could do whatever I wanted, and it already had lyrics.

You already have lyrics too, so maybe it's time for King James Zeppelin.

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3003573 08/16/19 09:18 PM
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BMD Offline OP
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So that's how you do it. Interesting

I've found something else to do - I'm remastering all of my digitally-recorded songs. It'll give me something to do over the weekend


The past is gone. I'm sure it can take care of itself now.

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3003583 08/16/19 10:09 PM
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Anderton Offline
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Originally Posted by BMD
So that's how you do it. Interesting


I've found the less I think about a song during the writing process, the better it is. But I do spend a fair amount of time editing it afterward.

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3004039 08/19/19 06:55 PM
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Writing a song can be like waiting for a pot to boil. Inspiration isn't going to happen while sitting in front of the recorder. Some gear can inspire songwriting.

Inspiration can hit me at any moment. I keep staff paper at my day job when it strikes. If I'm away from the office and the studio, the memo recorder on my iPhone is a godsend.

Very rarely is a song complete on the first pass, most times it needs "something". Often the song will play over and over in my head away from the studio, and I'll "hear" the missing "something".

Yes, I'm cursed with a studio that plays in my head.

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3004117 08/20/19 03:10 AM
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Songwriting for me either starts with a lick or a lyric.

I don't ever sit down planning to start writing a song. I'm either playing an instrument and I find a lick (or chord pattern) that won't let me alone and it goes from there...or I think of a lyric for some reason (I mess with lyrical phrases in my head more than I should probably admit publicly) and it literally pushes me to an instrument to figure out how to accompany it.

Occasionally someone gives me a lyric and I add music....but it's rare that I add lyrics to someone else's music in any capacity other than the occasional editorial suggestion.

dB

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3004124 08/20/19 03:25 AM
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I've never been entirely happy with anything I wrote all on my own, but have been very happy with collaborations. I think I have good ideas - I can come up with a concept, or build on a concept from somebody else, but when it's all just me, I always feel like it's just a rough sketch that needs work. Happy how things are going now with my progressive metal band. I came on board after most of the first CD was written and only had influence in a couple songs, and felt like I was more or less just putting finishing touches on the others. However, now working on the 2nd CD I like how things are progressing. There's one primary songwriter who writes the lyrics and provides the basic skeleton, then we all shape and mold it from there. Sometimes something I'll come up with will cause enough inspiration to take the whole song in a certain direction, other times, I see somebody else's vision and trying to communicate it to the best of my ability. It's a rewarding process.

Plus it's pretty cool to see that we've had 1300 streams all over the world in such a short time. We've made like $17.00, which split 6 ways has us on the road to stardom!

Last edited by J. Dan; 08/20/19 03:28 AM.

Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3004171 08/20/19 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BMD
I haven't written anything new for about five years. The last song I wrote was Railroad You. I recorded this album in 2017, but it contains songs I wrote many moons ago

If something was bothering me I'd write a song about it. It was a cathartic thing. Eventually, I'd covered every subject that did bother me, or was likely to bother me. So I stopped writing. Simple as that




why ? I think song writing can be a personal experience.

You are on target, it is often connected to an emotional event, or something that
is bothering or on the mind.

I have several examples of this- it involves emotion. Emotion is not often discussed, possibly
its not fully understood, as a song writer connector.

I have several examples how it translates. 1 example, involves my A-fib, an electrical condition involving
the heart. No worries, its not life threatening or life shortening.

However, during all the diagnosis , the discovery/understanding process did churn up emotion,
which resulted in my " Heart of Steel ":

https://soundcloud.com/user-898236994/heart-of-steelwav

This was a hit with my cardiologist smile

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3004186 08/20/19 03:28 PM
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In my mind, I write 10/15/20 minute prog opuses about divine majesty and spiritual revelations.

In reality, I end up with 3 minute songs about chile peppers.


"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)
NEW band Old band
Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: Danzilla] #3004188 08/20/19 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Danzilla
In my mind, I write 10/15/20 minute prog opuses about divine majesty and spiritual revelations.

In reality, I end up with 3 minute songs about chile peppers.


I bet the one about chili peppers gets more clicks!

BTW one interesting songwriting "technique" which may seem shady, but works well, is when I hear a snippet of a song out in the world, and try to play it when I get home. Usually I don't get it right on the first go, but instead, end up with an interesting variation that serves as a springboard.

Having a phone that can record audio is a big help for me, but a major problem is that I can get down ideas for melody lines, but not chords. My only workaround is to say what I think the chords should be in different places. It's not the same thing as actually recording chords, though, because I can't do the phrasing of the chords and the melody line simultaneously.

Still, I HIGHLY recommend capturing little snippets. So many times I have a flash of an idea for a song and record it. 30 minutes later, I don't remember anything about it, but it's been captured on the phone.

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: Danzilla] #3004194 08/20/19 04:04 PM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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Originally Posted by Danzilla
In my mind, I write 10/15/20 minute prog opuses about divine majesty and spiritual revelations.

In reality, I end up with 3 minute songs about chile peppers.

Danzilla FTW. thu

dB

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3006097 09/02/19 05:02 AM
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Bill Heins Offline
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Composition is such an essential part of musicianship I can't picture not writing!

Bill

Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: Dave Bryce] #3007853 09/13/19 12:44 AM
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David Emm Offline
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Originally Posted by Danzilla
In my mind, I write 10/15/20 minute prog opuses about divine majesty and spiritual revelations.

In reality, I end up with 3 minute songs about chile peppers.

Danzilla FTW. thu

dB


Good one, D! I stick to instrumentals, which help to keep the police from throwing a net over me because I'm doing my nude improv of a chicken in the town square. I don't write lyrics because they're largely high-school awful. Paul Simon wouldn't cross the room to slap me over them. I burned the last of them ages ago and promised Zeus I wouldn't take it up again. Following the opaque melodies that strike me at random, however, is one of several good reasons to keep going. My sister said the final section of Saint-Saens "Organ Symphony" in D Minor was too bloated. I simply said "That's because I sprinkled dog hair on your cereal when we were kids." sick


I mainly do it because the astounding tech now hands me most of my early ELP dreams on a platter, minus Keith's gifts, of course, ahem. Its one of the few pure things you can really embrace.


Bill Champlin: "I'd like to run the last 20 years of my life through auto-correct." David Foster: "Yeah and quantize it to the nearest three commandments."

https://soundcloud.com/david-emm-1
Re: Why do you write songs? [Re: BMD] #3007855 09/13/19 12:47 AM
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Mostly because I don't like the other ones.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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