#1August 31st, 2005 · 12:52 PM
1 threads
United States of America
Can anyone help
Anyone got advice for a new songwriter

Thanks
#2August 31st, 2005 · 05:33 PM
115 threads / 18 songs
1,414 posts
United States of America
ooh..

you're gonna get shot by entheon or something

let me save you a little bit of the greif and ask you what kind of songwriting you like, as in.. genre maybe?  i dunno.  song writting is very ambiguous in many ways, but hey.

here's my initial pointers, reguardless of what genre, i think

use your language so that it works for you.  being from america, i assume you speak American.  (i didn't say "english" on purpse   us americans have change "English" too much for me to call it english in passing, hehe)  use things like aliterations, similies, metaphores, sarcasm, symbolism, idealism, philosophy, whatever you want!

but here's the other half of that statement:

don't overkill any one style too much in a single song.  for instance, aliteration can do pretty cool stuff, but if you go off the deep end with it, you're going to sound really dumb.  unless there's an underlying reason, then avoid overuse of any of the above things i mentioned.

are you writing the music AND lyrics?  just music?  or just lyrics?  i assumed lyrics when i read your post.  sry, that was random.

another thing that can be good: rhyming.  sort of along the same lines as aliteration.  but don't over use it...!  please?    rhyming is slightly overrated i think b/c of all the silly pophiphoprap-radio nonsense out there.  do what works best for you though.  don't just sit and mimic somebody else's style.  you may be able to really well, but then someone's gonna accuse you of ripping off that person. .. so, just do it your way.

for instance, i write lyrics like i'm actually thinking it.  i write them in a paragraph form.  i could care less about rhyming when i do this.  i'm not worrying myself about syllable counts and whatever other nonsense until later.  I do this mainly because i have a very "stream of conciousness" mind when i write.  so i put it to good use.  how you write lyrics is entirely up to you.

try brainstorming too.  yah, the oldskool pen and paper ordeal.  i said "pen" on purpose because you can't erase a pen.  (refrain from scribbling out, too  )  anyway, use college-ruled paper b/c there's more lines on it.  just write and write and write.  whatever comes to mind.  if nothing is coming to mind, then just SIT there until something else DOES come to mind.  people do this brainstorming thing differently, though.  i like to write in brief snippets when i do this.  i write single words, or sometimes a string of 3 or 4 words put together.  i make the paper into 2 columns and i just fill both columns all the way down.  think of lots of things though.  if you've got an idea you want to express, then think about it in creative ways...

like...

feelings, emotions, reactions, sights, smells, sounds, colors, shapes, age, lights, memory, settings, etc etc etc..

those were all really really general, though.  make it more specific if you have a specific topic you're trying to express.. for instance, i wrote something like the following one time:

pretty, purple, cars, small town, big escape, brand-name clothes, breakdown, nervous, letdown, scipts are for stories, friends are for heroes, centerfold, magazines, circles, driving in circles, phone calls, apathy, young, figured out, planning, understatements, misunderstanding, yada yada yada.. the list was lots longer than that, but i can't remember everything off the top of my head.  i left the notebook somehwere...

i've said nothing of song structure though.. i'll leave that to someone else if i come back in the morning.  if nobody else has posted, i'll keep yapping.

anyway, ideas are the fuel for music.  you have to have a vision.  if you don't have a vision or a direction... then where are you going? 
#3August 31st, 2005 · 05:51 PM
31 threads / 1 songs
434 posts
United States of America
This post is entitled: Wild Stabs In The Dark by TonightsLastSong

...


as Kurt Cobain said "no, I don't have a gun"


Oh, and... yes, I do have advice for new songwriters.
#4September 1st, 2005 · 02:52 AM
115 threads / 18 songs
1,414 posts
United States of America
hey, i'm just trying to take some of the suspense out of the question.  it's the kind of stuff that people typically end up hearing anyway, so it's worth shouting out right now

Oh, and... yes, I do have advice for new songwriters.

heh.
#5September 1st, 2005 · 08:01 AM
13 threads / 1 songs
408 posts
United States of America
To both points, yes stream of conciousness can be useful bc you might get lucky and write down something you can actually use.
But you have to take it a step further, which TLS said he would do later, focus on what you want to convey. What is the main statement you want to make. I'm not asking you, I'm saying ask yourself that ques.
And I do have a gun.
#6September 1st, 2005 · 10:00 AM
8 threads / 4 songs
246 posts
United Kingdom
why are we talking about guns?

oh - and my advice is experiment.  try writing in the style of different artists ... just dont do more than one song based on the same person.  this isnt necessarily what everyone else likes to do, but i find it to be a good way to fuel my imagination.
#7September 16th, 2005 · 12:05 AM
7 threads
104 posts
United Kingdom
Try to capture all your ideas. Kurt Cobain meant to say "no, I don't have a pen".

Try getting hold of one of those dictaphone / memo recorder thingies that secretaries use. You can then La La La (or whatever) into it when you think of a melody. Best not to do this in a crowded place or you risk being sectioned under the Mental Health Act I find pen & paper still tops for lyrics though.

Remember, everyone's different when it comes to songwriting. Unless they've bought Songwriting for Dummies in which case they are probably all the same.
#8November 27th, 2005 · 01:42 PM
42 threads / 1 songs
556 posts
United States of America
I find that all my best song ideas come to me when im lying in bed, in the dark, with my cat. Which is why i keep a staff paper notebook on my bedside table.  Your own style will come to you when you write; it depends on what you like. you can't write music you don't like. it just doesn't work.  And you can't just sit down and start writing. An idea will come to you, usually at an inconvenient time, which is why arroseuk's bit of advice about the recorder is a very good idea.
#9December 10th, 2005 · 02:41 AM
1 threads
7 posts
United States of America
mine
all things are illusion death destroys them all

this is my title of song and I'm so fucking' stopped there.. i had couple of line but it didn't match but i think the title was cool...
#10January 18th, 2006 · 08:19 PM
171 threads / 24 songs
2,327 posts
United Kingdom
re: Can anyone help
being totally positive....................

sit with your guitar and go through the beatles songbook...........................

inspiration by the bucketfull............plus a demand that you learn bar chords and listen to chord sequences.

plus YOU WILL ENJOY IT

loads of smiles
splash the fish
#11January 30th, 2006 · 11:08 PM
102 threads / 59 songs
204 posts
Canada
reply
Simply put, songwriting is hard. In terms of tips, I'd say everyone has their own style in which they like to write. Quick tips though, I'd have to say is to make sure that your music is properly represented and complemented by your lyrics. This goes beyond that sort of idea that sad songs are in minor keys or happy songs are often in G or anything like that, the point is that music and chord progressions, at least in western music, have an expected flow (i.e. a cadence, movement by step, etc.) the great thing about songwriting is that you now have to opportunity to manipulate that system which tends to lead to more effective and expressive music. Understand that the music and melody you choose should be just as expressive if not more as lyrics should you choose to include them (music predates language). With respect to lyrics, if you listen to any lyrical music you'll get a chance to understand how lyrics fit in with music. Usually this is inate, from listening to popular music all your life, but there is a direct connection between rhyme, melody, and rhythmic flow and this connection should (whenever possible) extend to the content of your lyrics. This means that you should use your music as an opportunity to highlight important ideas within lyrics. This can be achieved by a melody going to unexpected places, or background music cutting out, or even just a break in a rhyming pattern or rhythm.

Another thing, when listening to any music you like, try and pinpoint parts you like. A chord progression, a melody, and beat, anything. Break that part down and apply those ideas to your own music but be sure to include other things of your own so you don't end up just ripping off some other song. Check out the chord progression and don't be afraid to change the key to something that better suits your voice or another instrument you want to include.

Listen to your music without lyrics and try to compose an idea directly from the music. See if your music can give you the same idea as the lyrics your trying to incorporate. For this reason never just grab a poem, lyric, or any words and thoughtlessly attach them to a chord progression or melody... make sure they complement each other.

Finally, be expressive, sincere, original, and uncensored. You'll probably write a lot of crap before you manage to pull off anything you'll want to show anyone. But even if what you've just sung off the top of your head sucks, write it down! You can probably use a line, or word, or some idea from it that you'll forget in 10 minutes and regret. Remember though, that music is an art and art requires economy and justification. If you can't justify a word or note or chord or pause or anything, then you have to rethink your piece. By the time a song is finished, you should be able to argue why every thing in it belongs there, how it adds to the thesis of your peice, and why you haven't added more.
Still, have fun. Songwriting is by far the best part of music. It's hard but rewarding. Don't be afraid to suck and remember that not every single idea was meant to be expressed musically. Don't push yourself to produce - it has to flow freely. Hope this helps, good luck.
#12February 4th, 2006 · 06:16 PM
160 threads / 88 songs
1,666 posts
United States of America
Be the song..... be one with the song..... feel it...... 

   If you write it, they will listen.....

    The main thing is really, what do you want to say?  what are you wishing to express...

       and I agree totally with RandomDave, experiment with various styles....   Look at my stuff, I have all kinds of styles...   so take your time, be patient... and bring it from the heart.....
      JimK
#13February 13th, 2006 · 01:07 PM
117 threads / 55 songs
1,540 posts
Chile
swordfish wrote…
sit with your guitar and go through the beatles songbook...........................

Lol... I love to do that. Have a lot of Beatles songbooks, and sometimes I take them, sit on my bed and play and sing all their crazy and cool song.

And for you, Gotguitar, just let your mind and creativity flow.

     > Iszil
#14February 13th, 2006 · 04:38 PM
42 threads / 1 songs
556 posts
United States of America
Like Iszil said, let it all spill out.
#15February 13th, 2006 · 06:42 PM
117 threads / 55 songs
1,540 posts
Chile
And like Oldies says; let Iszil be your master... lol.

      > Iszil
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