Is this a "wrong" way to write music

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by rockdoctor42, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. rockdoctor42

    rockdoctor42 Member

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    Whenever I try to write music I generally noodle until I get a good idea, then I kind of write around it and try to learn what I just wrote, adjusting it as needed. This seems a bit wrong since some of the music isn't really flowing directly from my head but it seems to work more or less. Is this a wrong way to do this?
     
  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Do you like the music?
     
  3. rockdoctor42

    rockdoctor42 Member

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    I won't lie, it could be better. I've been struggling to be able to write and play like my favourite musicians for ages but I suppose it's normal for that goal to be slow in the coming.
     
  4. Cody

    Cody Well, look who’s undead!

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    Music is all about the end result. Good or bad, nobody cares how you arrived at it.
     
  5. bigdeal

    bigdeal Member

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    forgive me if you've already tried this... break down one of your favorite songs. chart out the parts and the structure and then try to write a song based on the map this provides. try doing it for a few songs and see what they have in common and what makes each one cool or a "good song" to you and try to build on those things in your own way.
     
  6. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    I once took twenty years to finish a song. I have one now that I've been working on for about five. Most are done a little faster.
     
  7. ModdersAnon

    ModdersAnon Member

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    the first thing: there is no one way to write songs. what works for me, may not work for you.

    Second thing: when you're composing, record it when you get a decent idea. I use the voice recorder on my smart phone. It isn't great quality, but it works for getting ideas down.

    Do you play in a band? anyone else in the band interested in collaborating?

    In the first band which did originals, the drummer really helped me with arranging riffs and rhythms.
     
  8. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," – that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
     
  9. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    As ModdersAnon said, there's no one way to write a song.

    I consider one of my own songs "written" (or finished, even) if I have a core of words, a vocal melody, chords that compliment (and complement) the melody, and an arrangement of all the parts (verse, chorus, bridge, break, solo, etc.). At this point, I can play the song solo with my acoustic guitar, or I can bring in additional instruments, and possibly voices, for a full-band arrangement.

    I left out "tempo" and "style" from the core parts of the song on purpose, because I believe the core of the song (words, melody, chords) can be arranged to many different styles and tempos, with different instruments, depending on what I want to do with the song. I like to imagine that I could release an all-acoustic Americana-style album and an all hard-rock album that had the same songs on them, just done to different band arrangements.
     
  10. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    Dang! how long for a whole album? :cry:


    -jk



    I usually put my riffs and ideas on tape. If there is something that sounds good to me, I usually get some kind of melody to compliment it, then just keep building on it .... sometimes it falls together almost like someone else put the ideas in my head and I'm thinking where did this come from? :huh other times it's more of a struggle and I fight to find parts that will fit. My problem is, I just go on the vibe of what's in my head instead of writing it out in notation.

    I don't think there is any right or wrong way, as long as it flows into the next section smoothly - chorus to verse, verse to chorus, bridge to give it a nice break.

    I wish we had a song writing forum here!
     
  11. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    There's definitely no "wrong way" to write music. In fact, with composition and songwriting there's pretty much as many ways to do it as there are songwriters and composers.

    I don't know what you mean when you say the music isn't directly flowing from your head -- you're writing it, where else is it coming from? I think there's this myth out there that someone just sits down, writes a song in single burst of creativity as if they're channeling some supernatural force and it's done. Sometimes it goes like that, but rarely. Usually it involves taking a kernel of an idea -- a riff, some chord changes, a melody, a lyrical idea, a chorus, sometimes just a concept ("I wanna write a bluesy song about continually falling in love with someone who is bad for you") -- and working, writing, revising, changing things, playing it some more and changing things again. And sometimes that process is quick, sometimes it's slow.
     
  12. xrleroyx

    xrleroyx Member

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    Why?

    You're not Jimmy Paige or whoever. You're you. Try to sound like you.
     
  13. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    There are lots of ways to write (lyrics first, melody first, chords first, cool lick first, drum beat first, bassline first, whatever). Do not limit your methods in any way just go with it.

    Lots and lots of songs started with a riff and were built from there. Led Zepplin comes to mind.
     
  14. PGrant

    PGrant Member

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    I know there is no "right" way, but I always feel like what I write is "wrong" somehow.
     
  15. JeffreyC

    JeffreyC Member

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    I completely agree with this and there are many examples...a good song imo can be broken down to the fundamentals and still stand on it's own. So, typically I start with an interesting progression and vocal melody.
     
  16. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    [​IMG]







    Disclaimer: I am a drummer
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  17. Scottone

    Scottone Member

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    This is a key part of my process as well. I sometimes record several versions as I develop the tune with the last being a full version with just voice and acoustic.

    Even if the idea doesn't develop into a song right then, you may rediscover it later make something out of it.
     
  18. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    Which explains my post about a song taking twenty years. I wrote the first verse and put it aside. Found it several years later and wrote the second verse and a chorus. Put it aside again for over a decade when the music came out of my fingers and I realized it fit those words. I finished it.

    There is also the story of Keef waking up and recording a riff he had dreamed. It became Satisfaction.
     
  19. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    isn't music always in a state of "becoming"?
     
  20. oldtelefart

    oldtelefart Member

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    Always have a notebook to write down phrases, images, titles that could be used in lyrics. Titles alone are a start. Think of a cool song title, then start writing that song.

    Have a simple recorder ( Zoom makes a good one) set up in your practise room. Something where all you have to do is press record, and play.

    I've had some lovely song ideas that I just couldn't catch the next day, or ever again.
     

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