The Art of Songwriting

1167273282_da91962a4eSongwriting is a craft I’ve only really started to delve into seriously in recent years. It’s a challenging, frustrating, and extremely rewarding hobby.

On more than a few occasions, I’ve been disheartened by the number of completed songs in my arsenal or perhaps overly critical of my work. Then again, I think we all start out that way. But I think the way out is simple. Practice.

The great thing about songwriting is that there is no proper technique. What works for you, may not work for someone else. But you never know what you could create if you step outside your comfort zone. That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind about the ways in which you go about songwriting.

So music before lyrics? Lyrics before melody? It’s been debated among songwriters a million times on hundreds of different forums, but really that’s all about personal preference and what you yourself value in a song.

In my experience I tend to come up with a riff or progression on my guitar, and as I think or experiment with lyrics, I find a melody that works. However I can definitely see arguments about why this isn’t ideal. After all, I believe the melody is what can really hook you into a song in the first place.

Since my last post I’ve continued exploring¬†¬†and I came across a video about using vocal melodies to creates boundaries to use in your lyric writing process. I found it really interesting and I’m going to give it a try!

So how do you tackle songwriting?

What is it you value when listening to songs and how do you work that into your technique?


2 thoughts on “The Art of Songwriting”

  1. heh Missing Amelia Records

    I love to hear about songwriters and how they put there masterpieces together. Your write, the argument is the same. melody/music first, lyrics first.

    I don’t have preference for one or the other, to me it’s always been results. I don’t think the argument should be HOW TO START A SONG, but how to finish one.

    That’s what frustrates people the most. They get themselves started OK. That big burst of inspiration, some inspirational guitar playing and awe inspiring lyrics to open the first verse and then nothing.

    What do you do next? most people find it easy to go and watch tv, or do something else, but this is the time when the fun has deserted us and the hard work now begins.

    These were the moments that I relished. I loved to get into the grind of nutting out the next verse when NOTHING was coming out write or sounding good.

    Staring blankly into a half written piece of scribbly lyrics on a first draft. That would drive me insane sometimes when all I wanted was one more word to finish a song, and I would sometimes have to wait weeks until that magic day comes, when it would just drop into my head and there it is, whalla , song completed. thank god for that.

    Fortunately not all songs I ‘v completed have had this type of drama attached to it, but they all have there own long and windy story behind them, which is why we love our own songs so much.

    cheers darryl

  2. I also prefer starting the process with a simple melody, then I begin developing a hook that compliments my melody. I like to experiment with tempos after I have lyrics.

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