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Old 26-08-2013, 02:05 AM   #21
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

There are no rules really. Whatever works for you whatever makes it easier etc

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Old 12-11-2013, 06:04 AM   #22
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

You'll probably end up doing your own thing no matter what we suggest, but I'll share a secret that has really improved my songs: (1) create a very catchy melody with a rhythm to it (2) convert that melody into a chord progression (3) overlay your bass and lead synth melody on top of the chords. The nice part is that harmonization becomes trivial at that point, and everything will fit together really nice!
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Old 13-11-2013, 02:13 AM   #23
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

There's no "perfect" way for writing a song. You can start with the melody or the chords progression... or with the rhythm section. I just make sure I have different variations (or pontuations when it's time to do the rhythm section). You can make a pre-intro section, an intro section, a verse section, an mid-section, a solo section, and an outro section.
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Old 13-11-2013, 02:50 AM   #24
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

Whether you choose to do the melody, chords, rhythm, percussion, etc, whatever, first --- bear in mind that whatever you do first will influence everything that you add after it -- especially if you add the chords first. The backup, lead, etc, will all likely be strongly influenced by the chords when you go to harmonize each addition. If the chord progression has a complex rhythm, that will affect your percussion. The later on in the production process that you try to add things, the less pliable the song is and thus significant shoe-horning becomes necessary. I've tried all sorts of approaches and chord rhythm first has worked very well.
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Old 14-11-2013, 01:34 AM   #25
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

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Originally Posted by arpeggio_junkie View Post
Whether you choose to do the melody, chords, rhythm, percussion, etc, whatever, first --- bear in mind that whatever you do first will influence everything that you add after it -- especially if you add the chords first. The backup, lead, etc, will all likely be strongly influenced by the chords when you go to harmonize each addition. If the chord progression has a complex rhythm, that will affect your percussion. The later on in the production process that you try to add things, the less pliable the song is and thus significant shoe-horning becomes necessary. I've tried all sorts of approaches and chord rhythm first has worked very well.
In fact, I never compose an entire song. I compose different parts in different time signature and when I feel this specific part can be added to this particular song, I adjust this section to the key.
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:14 PM   #26
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

Just one man's opinion, I think starting with the melody is a great idea. This way you are actually composing - starting with the drums is more like producing a puzzle. You can come up with some good things, but it will heavily constrain your melodic ideas.

That being said, sometimes sections of songs are great with only percussion, so don't be afraid to put some contrast in by doing one section with the melody first then one section with percussion emphasis.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:04 AM   #27
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

I'm extremely new to producing and have watched a lot of tutorials lately that always start with the drums and perc then add the bass next, followed by chords and melody later. I was having a hard time trying to write my own stuff as I couldn't get chords to match the bass line.

I've been experimenting and found it do much easier to start with the chords and then add everything else later.
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Old 13-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #28
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

This is very confusing.

Is it best to start with drums or melody? This thread is like a whole mish-mash of conflicting answers, almost like there isn't a single solution to this problem.

The OP clearly wants to know which is best, so please stop teasing him.

- Anyway, the answer is obviously 'start with drums'.

OK, now we can move on.

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Old 13-01-2014, 08:07 PM   #29
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

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Originally Posted by Fighta Pilot View Post
This is very confusing.

Is it best to start with drums or melody? This thread is like a whole mish-mash of conflicting answers, almost like there isn't a single solution to this problem.

The OP clearly wants to know which is best, so please stop teasing him.

- Anyway, the answer is obviously 'start with drums'.

OK, now we can move on.
Start with whatever you like. There is no right answer...

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Old 13-01-2014, 09:17 PM   #30
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

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Old 13-01-2014, 10:22 PM   #31
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

I start with whatever feels good. Sometimes it's a melody, other times just a riff, other times the drums. But I must say it's rather fun to start with a riff because if the riff is really cool and fits the synths well, then everything else starts to fall into place. Starting with drums can be nice too, but then later on I usually fully or partially scrap them and end up with something different. But that can be fun too!

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Old 13-01-2014, 10:27 PM   #32
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

99% of the time I start with melodies, and I usually don't even bother with sound design at first. I start making chords, melodies, bass etc on a bunch of default sine wave patches, and change them to something more interesting after A. I get a cool idea or B. The piles of sines start to hurt my ears
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Old 13-01-2014, 10:27 PM   #33
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

A lot of electronic music (especially things that could be classified as Dance Music) are rhythmically drive. Thus, writing rhythm parts first makes sense.

But that shit gets boring.

Write with your intuition, guided by your inspiration. As others said, their is no right answer. In fact I would consider any answer to the "which is BETTER to start with" would be the wrong answer.

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Old 16-01-2014, 10:15 PM   #34
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

Yeah it all doesn't seem to matter. I've thought about this approach a lot and I try to do both ways to create inspiration. Avicii seems to like drawing out his melodies first while I've heard some guys like Wolfgang Gartner like to always start with the drum beat first.
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Old 17-01-2014, 07:47 AM   #35
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

I mostly start with a straight boring a bassline or a powechord (most often a sharp) on the guitar. Trying to do othervise as often as possible. Do different every time but allways high on caffeine

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Old 05-02-2014, 02:25 AM   #36
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

I usually write melodic music and therefore I tend to start with melody and chords (or just root note) on a simple patch like a piano or simple sine wave.

But before lone I'd start laying a kick snare and away I go...

I guess you start with what you think you need to start with.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:46 PM   #37
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

I usually write the melody first, just put a 4/4 kick drum loop in the background for timing.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:00 PM   #38
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

I always start with a kick, then the bass, then the rest of the drums, synths, misc percussion and so on fall into place as I go. But for me and what I'm trying to sculpt is more hard, beat driven music with most of the melodic elements interactive with the kick, bass and harder drum/perc elements.

But as stated above many times, there is no right way... But there is a million trillion, wrong ways
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Old 17-02-2014, 08:52 PM   #39
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Re: writing songs and starting with the melodies first (before drums)

I tend to prefer to this method because my melodies end up being more complex and sometimes I end up in interesting key signatures that I wouldn't normally use. When I compose using drums first, my melodies tend to become much more simple, and limited. Sometimes that's exactly what I want, but when I'm shooting for complexity, I definitely start with the melody.

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