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How do YOU write songs.

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10 Users
Active Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

As of late, myself and my band have had trouble writing songs. The things we're coming up with are nothing special, and the arrangement of riffs are just plain.

So, how do you all write your songs?

Hopefully I can get some new ideas from everyones replies...

Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5342

It's a tough question, for sure. The starting point is Inspiration.

Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes, from the SSG on this site giving you a theme to work round, or Lixuz talking about toothbrushes, to an instant outpouring of words in response to a real-world incident (9/11, or a local earthquake for example). That gives me the words, or at least the general feel for it.

Then it's a case of polishing the words. I do this by talking them back as I walk to the station in the morning - yes, it gets me some odd looks but you can't beat walking to get a rhythm going. Jogging's not so good - the breathing gets all shot.

That will generally give me some ideas for melody. Once I have melody, I can work a chord structure based on my general musical theory knowledge, and then it's a matter of touching up the finer points - key changes, bridges, solos and that sort of thing.

Then I record it onto my Tascam 4-track and that's a wrap.

Makes it sound easy, but getting the inspiration bit can be the hardest part.


A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at:

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184

Dude, you can't force songwriting. Or else it will just be horrible painful and not sound as good as if it were something you felt really emotional about. You just have to feel it. I personally, can just be driving down the road and a lyric will pop up into my head out of anywhere and I'll jot it down the first chance I get. Just don't force yourself. You don't need a million songs to get noticed. Just have like 10 songs or so and start getting a fan base. Tour, then start writing more along the way.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

It might not be a great idea to force songwriting, but it is a great idea to practice.

I write a lot better now after a year of the SSG.  So when I do get inspired, I have a lot of acquired skills to fall back on.

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 121

Actually, it's not so much a matter of forcing it as of knowing what inspires you. When you know that, you can call it up at any time. Of course, it gets easier over time. Read my first article, "So You Want to be a Songwriter" from the Songwriting tab, you'll find some tips and tricks there.

Active Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5

i will record it first!

I am from far away, I am a fish!

Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 530

I'm in a band, too. We tend to like to jam songs out, and sometimes those form into other songs. But ususally, I write the part on guitar first, visualizing how it might sound with the rest of the band, and then I bring it in and we jam it to work the rest out As far as lryical inspiration goes, I have enough trouble with that myself, so go with the other posts! ;D

Usually music comes before words with me, but this is entirely personal. If you have hit a wall creatively, try to write based on theory. You can use a varity of chords to form a good sounding progression. I know a lot of songs work around a main riff that you just come up with, but if you're concerned with structure, use 1-4-5 type of stuff, varying it as needed to get the sound you want, circle of 5ths, etc. If you're unfamiliar, check the theory section, that thing's the motherload....

Hopefully this helps. Good luck! :)


"Contrary to popular belief, Clapton is NOT God. The prospect that he is God probably had a large hand in driving him to drugs and booze. Thanks everyone."

-Guitar World :lol:

Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 14

I harness the power of my emotions to write and I don't fight what it's trying to give at the time.  If I'm happy, sad, horny, and hungry or whatever it doesn't matter.  I convey what I feel and stay true.  My own “Truth” is then transcribed into words and melodies.  

90% of what I am inspired to write never makes it to a finished song, but I learned to be OK with that, because it was great practice in preparation for the 10% that I complete and others enjoy.

I've had writer's block before and will probably have it again.  I look at it as my brain is trying to tell me to take a break and relax and become reacquainted with my soul.  It all usually works out in the end.

Trusted Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 51

This probably won't help, and it's probably wrong, but I don't feel anything when I write, it's just writing, but once I start typing (or writing) things down on paper, the rest just comes together. Your characters will probably just tell the song/story for you, and really, you can't run out of inspirations. Ride a bus, look around, try guessing stories out of the people you see, make it specific, and then you probably got yourself a song.


Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 13

I write songs about everything, i walked by a sign that said" paid in full", i wrote a song about a girl who wanted more then she gave, i when to a funeral not long ago and sitting there listerning to the pastor, i came up with a song called " he ran his race". i just tried and look at things from other people's point of veiw.i wrote a song about a x-mas wish, i started it to be about being lonely on x-mas by the time i got done with it , it began a song of hope and faith, so, just look around, go someplace you don't always go, like a school yard, write about first love or a fight or best friends. hope this helps