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Which first: lyrics or music?

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(@Anonymous)
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Which do you do first, lyrics or music?

I tend to write the lyrics first, then fit the music around it.


   
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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Ouch!  We music-first guys are getting smoked.  Oh well, just one more way that I break from the norm.  Go me!

Cheers,
Greg McNeish


   
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 Gump
(@gump)
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Wow, I find these results very surprising.


   
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(@Anonymous)
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writting lyrics first doesn't make much sense, cause when you write the music, you'll always have to change the lyrics, that's like doing the same thing twice....why?? :-/


   
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(@lyrikal_dreamz)
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I write lyrics first but then I find it hard to put music to them, but if i wrote music first i would find it hard to put lyrics to it I guess I'm just no good at composing music lol


   
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 Rob
(@rob)
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i always used to write lyrics first and just put off writing any music until later,  though now i'm writing music i find the processes are becoming increasingly intertwined, though i still consider myself to be a lyrics first guy.


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Lyrics first. It helps set the tone, feeling for the music. When you know if it is an angry, sad, desperate, love or whatever song, it is much easier to come up with something. To me, that is. To add to it, lyrics are by far the most important of the two, I see music as a kind of melodic poetry, not a cool tune with some words thrown in.

Guess that is why I like REM so much ;D


   
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(@anonymous)
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personally im a both, lol....i dunno it depends...ill sit with my guitar and a note pad and just tap into my head and if i think of a kool guitar part ill bung it down and if i think of some cool lyrics ill bung it down, it just really depends whats easiest for you.......*shrugz* but if u want a 1 or the other answer id say im probably more of a lyrics first kinda guy....lol....i need sleep.....laters..
NeM H


   
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(@gpeddino)
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Guess that is why I like REM so much ;D

Yeah, that's exactly what I love in REM. They rule.

Guilherme Eddino

Check out my music at:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/guilhermeeddino.htm


   
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(@jumpinjackie)
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hey guys, R.E.M. always writes the music first, then the lyrics. Just thought you'd like to know, because you just said the opposite. I actually think it would be easier to write the music first because it's harder to change your music around, as opposed to the amount of syllables or emphasis.  But if you think about it Michael Stipe's lyrics are totally abstract and half the time make no sense at all and there was a time where he had a lot of trouble writing lyrics because he couldn't fit them to the music. I've never written any songs so I don't pretend to be an expert at this or anything, but that's what I know about the band.

"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."
- Napolean Bonaparte


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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No, I didnt say I liked REM because they write the lyrics first, I said, and he agreed, that I like REM because they have cool lyrics.

However, I do have an interview where I can clearly hear both Peter Buck and Mike Mills say something else. And somehow I have an idea that the guys from REM know this a bit better then those discography authors. How they work:

Mike or Peter work out some basic chord lines, a bass loop or a small riff. Then they throw it to Michael, who sits in some dark dungeon, writes the lyrics, changes the music, and when he thinks the music and the lyrics fits together he throws it back to Peter and Mike.

So it isnt really x before Y, it is a part of x, part of y, more x, a bit more y, until both are done.


   
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(@jumpinjackie)
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alright now, i didn't mean to start an argument. i totally agree that their lyrics are awesome, but i think it helps that Stipe has a basis for the musical part of the song to fit the lyrics into while he sits in his dark dungeon, even if he changes the music around while he's doing it.

I mean we pretty much all know that it's not very realistic for anybody to try to write the exact music and then fit the exact lyrics to it (or vice versa) without tweaking things a little along the way. But I actually didn't know that Mike and Peter did so little music writing before passing it to Michael, or that he wrote as much of the music as you said.

This whole conversation pretty much goes to show that whether you start with lyrics or music, you're essentially going to end up doing both interchangeably. There's your answer Mr. Tucker. ::)

"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."
- Napolean Bonaparte


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Yeah, agree 100% with you there  :)


   
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(@Anonymous)
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Wow, this forum relishes in off-topicity. See the hot-dog-to-hot-dog-bun-ratio conversation for proof.

I too love R.E.M! Long live songs about how it's OK to cry your eyes out!

But remember the words of Nick: "Content dictates form". It is this reason these results are not suprising, although the current song I'm working on I wrote the music for first.


   
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(@nicktorres)
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lol, I love it when I'm quoted.

I guess you can look at that both ways though.

If you have the music, it dictates form

If you have the words, that dictates form


   
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