what comes first? music or lyrics?


timr1984
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timr1984
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03/14/2014 8:05 pm
What do you folks do first?

have a riff or a song and they write the lyrics to fit?

Or do you get an idea for a song, pen out a few lines and come up with a tune?
# 1
Slipin Lizard
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Slipin Lizard
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03/14/2014 10:19 pm
Personally, the music first. I really try to establish a mood and feel with the music, then allow that to flow into inspiration for lyrics.

There's no tried-and-true method though. Plenty of artists write the lyrics first. Often, its a collaborative effort, with one person coming up with lyrics while another comes up with the music, or a bit of both.

It can also be a cumulative process... artist gets an idea for a song... maybe just a subject matter or a few lyrics... then a melody idea forms, then, more lyric ideas, then back to developing more music... verses and choruses start to take shape. Now maybe you've got someone who can play a very simple version of the tune on an acoustic. Producers step in, and the whole process starts over again, until the final version of the song is reached. Sounds convoluted, but lots of great music was created this way. Its often why some albums can take a long time to record. If you get a chance, watch the documentary on Fleetwood Mac as they wrote & recorded "Rumors"... gives a good insight into the inspiration, song writing & recording process.
# 2
Mark_Ramdular
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Mark_Ramdular
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03/17/2014 8:53 pm
I like writing out the lyrics first, but as Slipin said, there isn't any correct way.
However, I've tried multiple methods such as, (Chord progression/melodies first, everything all at once, throwing words onto a dry erase board.)
# 3
PjStar
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PjStar
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03/18/2014 1:02 am
my own idea..yet to be tried is...words/inspiration/feel....then rythym and possible keys/chord progressions then melody/tune ;-)
# 4
Spiritinthesky
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Spiritinthesky
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05/03/2014 7:24 am
Either. If you get a good line, write it down and keep it. People like Bruce Springsteen have massive books with all their ideas written down which he goes back to. Any thoughts you, melody's, riffs, ideas for song titles, write them down.
# 5
Kasperow
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Kasperow
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05/03/2014 7:55 am
Originally Posted by: SpiritintheskyEither. If you get a good line, write it down and keep it. People like Bruce Springsteen have massive books with all their ideas written down which he goes back to. Any thoughts you, melody's, riffs, ideas for song titles, write them down.

I'd recommend recording riffs and melodies too, as I personally find it quite difficult to transcribe my riffs with the right kind of notes.

I suggest that you just try a few different approaches and see what works for you. I find that for me, the best approach is to come up with either a cool riff or a drum-pattern (since I also do MIDI tracks for my own stuff), and then I just take it from there, and typically improvise some lyrics as I go. It works for me, but that doesn't mean it's going to work for anyone else :)
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Damra122
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Damra122
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09/27/2014 5:25 pm
Prima la musica e poi le parole!! Music first man!
# 7
jamie.shields333
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jamie.shields333
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11/27/2014 5:06 pm
For me, it depends. Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the music. I just let things happen. If a lyric pops into my head, I will write it down either in my phone or on paper. Sometimes, I'll come up with a riff in the middle of the night when I can't sleep and I'm just strumming guitar to kill time until I get tired, and eventually, I refer back to old lyrics I've jotted down and it becomes part of the song. Sometimes they happen at the same time. It's not a formula for me.
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Jure G
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Jure G
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12/28/2014 1:47 pm
there's no right or wrong answer when it come to writing music. i play guitar but i sometimes start writing a song with drum loop that inspire a cool riff or chord progression. then maybe i record a bass or a vocal line. i usually write a lyrics together with vocal line. i dont do lalalala nanan songs. usually.
but as long as you can write a great song i don't think you should worry about the way you write it.
if you want to get deeper into songwriting you should check some Pat pattison videos on youtube. really cool guy.
# 9
micpogo80
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micpogo80
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02/20/2015 3:37 am
"there's no right or wrong answer when it come to writing music. i play guitar but i sometimes start writing a song with drum loop that inspire a cool riff or chord progression. then maybe i record a bass or a vocal line. i usually write a lyrics together with vocal line. i dont do lalalala nanan songs. usually.
but as long as you can write a great song i don't think you should worry about the way you write it." - i like that answer a lot. Every time i write a song it seems that the method is different. I often have lyrics in my head that are already part of a melody, and then when i put it to the guitar or keyboard then it really comes to life. And then on to the recording stage. I record everything i write then it can turn into an actual and deeper song with many layers to it. Sometimes i do the opposite by recording drums or a loop first, then bass line, then guitar or keys and lastly vocals if i feel that song needs them. To each there own, as long as it comes from the depths of your creativity and imagination and feels real, not forced or generic.
# 10
nick page
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05/16/2015 6:23 pm
usually I'll come up with a hook or some lines first , then noodle around till I find the chords and tempo that fit
# 11
fortmariec
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fortmariec
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08/21/2015 9:52 pm
Rhythm, chords, melody, words. That's how it usually happens for me.

Chantal :)
# 12
Jiri Dolezal
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Jiri Dolezal
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09/04/2015 2:24 pm
In a nutshell, melody first, underlying harmony, then rhythmic division of both. No words, I`m sorry to say. :) Best!
# 13
nanzivino
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nanzivino
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11/04/2015 2:33 am
Yeah, either or.....whatever it takes to accomplish what you are looking to do, I reckon..
# 14
TondaBucek
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TondaBucek
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11/07/2015 11:07 pm
For me it depends on every song. For some songs I have first music for some lyric. But my experience is that when I have first the lyric or at least I know about what the song will be, it batter fits with the mood.
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jaeler
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jaeler
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01/01/2016 10:00 pm
On original material, I usually find a groove with a lick or two, I play them through, then I hum out a melody. When I write the words, I start with my hook. In one song, I'm dancing with the rain, another, sing, oh sing a song, for the years when were alone, another, Lets dance, oh come on baby won't you dance with me.

After that, I substantiate a rhythm structure for the words and the chorus.
# 16
JeremyRodriguez
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03/05/2016 3:11 am
This thread has survived some time lol.

I agree with the people who said either or works. Music first would be the way to go if you want to build upon a sound for the vocal melodies.

However, you can write the lyrics first to give yourself a topic to base the sound of your music off of. The only issue with this approach is that you will probably come up with music better than you expected and will have to completely rearrange the lyrics to fit.

Of course, it goes much deeper than that, but that's just a small portion I'm able to explain lol.
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chordstv
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03/09/2016 1:45 pm
For me progression chords come first then melody and lyrics :)
# 18
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03/10/2016 6:21 pm
It's interesting seeing the different creative processes on here!
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# 19
JeremyRodriguez
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03/10/2016 8:24 pm
Originally Posted by: chordstvFor me progression chords come first then melody and lyrics :)


From what I've learned this is usually the way people do it.
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