Words with music or music with words?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Songwriting > Words with music or music with words?

New Member

Joined: 03/29/02

Posts: 28

which ways do you'all do it? I personally write my words first and then just twang about trying to find a sound that is sutible in mood and sound to what the song is about, but im interested in how other people do it, coz personally i find it hard to write the music first.
Who would call their kid Bruce anyway???

#1

which ways do you'all do it? I personally write my words first and then just twang about trying to find a sound that is sutible in mood and sound to what the song is about, but im interested in how other people do it, coz personally i find it hard to write the music first.
Who would call their kid Bruce anyway???

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/16/01

Posts: 532

I write the music first. Always.
I would never write a song to a text,
Why?
Because I dont really have anything that I want to express
with words. I do it with the guitar instead.
I write the song, the chord progression, where
the solos supposed to be etc, then I write the text.
Many people says to me; "You should write the text first,
dont you want to say something with your songs???"
Well first of all, no I actually dont, Im not RATM and
I will never be, I dont have anything important to say.
And second, if I had something to say, why would I
not be able to do that?
Just because I adjust the text after the song doesnt
mean I cant say what I want to say.
So thats the deal.

#2

I write the music first. Always.
I would never write a song to a text,
Why?
Because I dont really have anything that I want to express
with words. I do it with the guitar instead.
I write the song, the chord progression, where
the solos supposed to be etc, then I write the text.
Many people says to me; "You should write the text first,
dont you want to say something with your songs???"
Well first of all, no I actually dont, Im not RATM and
I will never be, I dont have anything important to say.
And second, if I had something to say, why would I
not be able to do that?
Just because I adjust the text after the song doesnt
mean I cant say what I want to say.
So thats the deal.

Registered User

Joined: 03/28/02

Posts: 569

Easy Way of Handling Lyrics...

My way of handling lyrics is to not write them at all. I'm a decent writer when it comes to essays, but I absolutely suck at writing songs. I write songs with no words at all, or I hook up with other bands and just play guitar while they write words and sing. I can sing... made All State Choir, but I don't like to sing anymore, so I let someone else do it while I do what I like. As for which to write first, if you write both music and lyrics, just do what you're inspired to do. If you have some great words in your head, write them down and write music to it. If you come up with an outstanding riff/chord prog., then write words to go along with it. But remember, not all songs have to have words, and not all songs have to have music (and there's no order to which songs must be written). I like heavy, fast guitar when it comes to my musical tastes, but it's surprising how good some a capella choirs sound.

#3

Easy Way of Handling Lyrics...

My way of handling lyrics is to not write them at all. I'm a decent writer when it comes to essays, but I absolutely suck at writing songs. I write songs with no words at all, or I hook up with other bands and just play guitar while they write words and sing. I can sing... made All State Choir, but I don't like to sing anymore, so I let someone else do it while I do what I like. As for which to write first, if you write both music and lyrics, just do what you're inspired to do. If you have some great words in your head, write them down and write music to it. If you come up with an outstanding riff/chord prog., then write words to go along with it. But remember, not all songs have to have words, and not all songs have to have music (and there's no order to which songs must be written). I like heavy, fast guitar when it comes to my musical tastes, but it's surprising how good some a capella choirs sound.

Member

Joined: 05/28/02

Posts: 42

I would definatly say music with words. But when I write (which I just started writing) I would go words first. Mostly because of the fatct that im pretty new with playing guitar and I go good with power chords and thats about it. :)
Rock on.

#5

I would definatly say music with words. But when I write (which I just started writing) I would go words first. Mostly because of the fatct that im pretty new with playing guitar and I go good with power chords and thats about it. :)
Rock on.

Senior Member

Joined: 01/25/01

Posts: 191

Whatever I come up with the inspiration for first.
Fight the future.
http://www.nofx.com/forum/avatars/fool.gif

#6

Whatever I come up with the inspiration for first.
Fight the future.
http://www.nofx.com/forum/avatars/fool.gif

Member

Joined: 11/06/01

Posts: 32

Poetry & Lyrics...

I made that mistake at first as well - used to write a lot of poetry in my "adolescant" stages... just figured that I could mix it up with a melody.

DON'T DO IT.

Song lkyrics are about as different as you can get. One - it is the hardest thing in the world to make feally amazing intellectual lyrics. Bob Dylan was reknowned fr that... but lyrics have a different inherent rhythm so if you get them muddled up you're started to play with fire... and that might have you tearing out your hair before long!

Good luck everyone.

P.

_______________________
*Lyrics - Wasted time between solos*
_______________________

#7

Poetry & Lyrics...

I made that mistake at first as well - used to write a lot of poetry in my "adolescant" stages... just figured that I could mix it up with a melody.

DON'T DO IT.

Song lkyrics are about as different as you can get. One - it is the hardest thing in the world to make feally amazing intellectual lyrics. Bob Dylan was reknowned fr that... but lyrics have a different inherent rhythm so if you get them muddled up you're started to play with fire... and that might have you tearing out your hair before long!

Good luck everyone.

P.

_______________________
*Lyrics - Wasted time between solos*
_______________________

Registered User

Joined: 03/06/02

Posts: 316

I can write lyrics sometimes, but most of the time I write instrumental pieces. I cant just sit down and write stuff on the page and instantly like it. Every now and again I get something inspired but it's often no more than a few lines and if I try to write it down and develope the lyrics from it later I end up writing cheese. I have a lyric-book full of crossings out, and the phrase 'drop this section its s***e' appears frequently. So I dont torture myself by sitting for hours waiting for lyrics, I let the music do the work.
'There's no such thing as bad weather, there's only the wrong clothes...'

#8

I can write lyrics sometimes, but most of the time I write instrumental pieces. I cant just sit down and write stuff on the page and instantly like it. Every now and again I get something inspired but it's often no more than a few lines and if I try to write it down and develope the lyrics from it later I end up writing cheese. I have a lyric-book full of crossings out, and the phrase 'drop this section its s***e' appears frequently. So I dont torture myself by sitting for hours waiting for lyrics, I let the music do the work.
'There's no such thing as bad weather, there's only the wrong clothes...'

Gear Guru

Joined: 01/18/01

Posts: 6242

Re: Poetry & Lyrics...

[QUOTE]Originally posted by paddybodenham
... and that might have you tearing out your hair before long!...[/QUOTE]LOL...I'll have you know, sir, I resemble that remark!

The best stuff comes together in a rush. There's something bouncing around in my head that has to get out. Phrases suggest themselves to me: both the prosaic and the sonic variety. Usually the music gells first, with disjointed snatches of sentences finding their place in the melody.

Practice helps. I got my start in the Folk scene in the late 60's, when a lot of 'songs' were really just rants that had some music in the background... kind of like what Dylan would have written if he lacked talent. Be true to yourself. You are expressing yourself, aren't you?
Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

#9

Re: Poetry & Lyrics...

[QUOTE]Originally posted by paddybodenham
... and that might have you tearing out your hair before long!...[/QUOTE]LOL...I'll have you know, sir, I resemble that remark!

The best stuff comes together in a rush. There's something bouncing around in my head that has to get out. Phrases suggest themselves to me: both the prosaic and the sonic variety. Usually the music gells first, with disjointed snatches of sentences finding their place in the melody.

Practice helps. I got my start in the Folk scene in the late 60's, when a lot of 'songs' were really just rants that had some music in the background... kind of like what Dylan would have written if he lacked talent. Be true to yourself. You are expressing yourself, aren't you?
Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

Registered User

Joined: 01/25/02

Posts: 1149

Re: Poetry & Lyrics...

[QUOTE]Originally posted by paddybodenham
...it is the hardest thing in the world to make feally amazing intellectual lyrics. Bob Dylan was reknowned fr that...[/QUOTE]
It depends on how your general thought process works;you can't brilliant lyrics while most of the other times you are some slob of a guy.As in it's not just your music that sounds intelligent;you are intelligent,generally speaking.
Speaking of which,me I'm intelligent.:)
I remember myt uncle talking of how good my spoken English was when I was a little boy.And in most African countries,speaking English(or French,or whatever language was brought to you by your colonial master)carries some special meaning.It's associated with being bright and educated and what have you.And often,the association is true,coz if you're not educated,then you most likely don't speak English.

#10

Re: Poetry & Lyrics...

[QUOTE]Originally posted by paddybodenham
...it is the hardest thing in the world to make feally amazing intellectual lyrics. Bob Dylan was reknowned fr that...[/QUOTE]
It depends on how your general thought process works;you can't brilliant lyrics while most of the other times you are some slob of a guy.As in it's not just your music that sounds intelligent;you are intelligent,generally speaking.
Speaking of which,me I'm intelligent.:)
I remember myt uncle talking of how good my spoken English was when I was a little boy.And in most African countries,speaking English(or French,or whatever language was brought to you by your colonial master)carries some special meaning.It's associated with being bright and educated and what have you.And often,the association is true,coz if you're not educated,then you most likely don't speak English.