songwriting: whats your approach?
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Old 16-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
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songwriting: whats your approach?

As of late, this summer hasn't really had much going on. My current band is the pits because each week when it comes time to get together, someone's busy with summery stuff or this and that.

So that's the bad news. The good news is while I'm waiting for a response to a craigslist ad I put out, I can write some new material for my project . But alas, I've had a meanstreak of writers block. I'm sure some of it may be time management and some of it may just be natural blockage, but this is throwing a cog in the gears.

I've tried hacking away on midi-keyboard, pugging in riffs in mouseclicks, plugging in straight quarters in piano roll and then editing things down, but still having trouble.

What's your approach to songwriting?

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Old 17-07-2012, 04:24 AM   #2
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

Personally, my approach is quite arbitrary, theres no formula.

But for ideas, I'll listen to other stuff or look up song/music writing challenges on various forums

or theres this--

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Old 17-07-2012, 04:33 AM   #3
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

for 'songwriting' I always do it by playing an instrument, finding riff, practicing them, jamming on them and basically physically creating the music.

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Old 17-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I repeatedly bash my head against a laptop.

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Old 18-07-2012, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

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Originally Posted by Broton42 View Post
I repeatedly bash my head against a laptop.
you know, that's how I MASTER my tracks!
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Old 18-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

Approach to "songwriting": Picking up an instrument, playing it and singing/humming along with it.

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Old 18-07-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

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Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
Approach to "songwriting": Picking up an instrument, playing it and singing/humming along with it.
yea but I'm a saxophonist, so I'm prettymuch retarded. I have taken up bass, but it's hard to do anything else while playing.
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Old 20-07-2012, 10:27 PM   #8
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

i just play around making stuff, and once i make something im somewhat happy with, i add to it. improvisation my friend

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Old 23-07-2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

i usually choose a scale and then start playing piano on that scale till i find a good melody and make a song around it
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Old 23-07-2012, 06:23 PM   #10
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I typically begin writing with the conception of a piece. I get away from the compositional process and just give myself time to think about the form, harmony, melodic conceptions, rhythmic characteristics, thematic ideas, and textural elements to the next piece. In this time I usually play instruments more, just noodling and when I find something I really enjoy, I will notate it in my comp book and move on until I begin the drafts of the piece.

After I have a solid idea of how the piece is going to unfold and function, I start drafting. I usually do not rigidly follow my blueprints and I follow where inspiration takes me during writing. Sometimes I will find a melody or harmony that inspires an entire overhaul of the piece.

Also, I teach music composition and 90% of the time when someone has writers block, it stems from a disorganized writing process. Even though this is an art and there is no correct way to do anything, it still helps your ideas become solid and clear if you have an organized way of looking at your piece. Think about all of the elements that you want to work on. It sounds to me you are waiting on melody to give you inspiration. Why not harmony? Why not form? Personally, I find inspiration in form almost more than anything else.
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Old 24-07-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I always start with a drumloop to get an idea of the tempo I'm trying to keep in the track... then I build up a couple bars into a good jam... form there I decide whether to make that my intro or my body of the track.. then I take the same drumbeat w/o the synth work and and complete different synth work that still stays in the same theme of what I want in that track... after that it's just adding and tweeking...
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Old 30-07-2012, 03:14 AM   #12
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

With electronic music i get insipiration after i've made a bass or a sound that i like. Then the melody comes by itself.
I focus in getting eargasmic sounds (i dont know if i accomplish it though hehe)
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:25 AM   #13
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I usually have the most trouble with the first 5% of any song. But once you create something that catches your ear right, everything tends to fall into place. So it's just a matter of pushing through the trenches at the beginning.
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Old 31-07-2012, 01:32 PM   #14
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I tend to get started on a new track while working on an older one actually. Since building off of a base melody, drum loop, or whatever is how everyone is saying to start, why not build off of an older one? Go back and take a look at an older track and maybe extend from there. Just don't be afraid to go off in any direction and it'll eventually turn out to sound nothing like the original track you started building off of.
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Old 31-07-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I have a few drum loop midi sequences and preset bass synths that I like to start from. My favourite part of production is free playing bass lines into those midi sequences. once i have something that sounds good I'll tweek / change the samples and the synth and work the structure and layout from there.

struggling with some fresh ideas for breakdown rises and falls lately. anyone got samples?
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:08 AM   #16
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

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Originally Posted by jimmusician View Post
yea but I'm a saxophonist, so I'm prettymuch retarded. I have taken up bass, but it's hard to do anything else while playing.
Pkug your sax into the USB port on your computron, load up your favorite vst, start playing.

I look at the wall for a few hours thinking about planes then put my finger on a key and go from there.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:58 PM   #17
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I just design my own sounds trying to make bass, leads, percs, fx, atmosphereics, ect and try to stick with the idea of does this sound like something i like? Ill do this about 100 times and then ill reflect back on what i have re sampled to audio and designed for my sound. Then ill go and start arranging things (sometimes completely randomly its seems like) the way i think it sounds good. I always seem to struggle with drum lines i don't know why but its a pain in the ass for me i ussally dont use alot of drums to be honest mostly percs
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:01 AM   #18
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I start with drums and make them simple and generic. I put them on a loop and then make sure they are tight and equed. then il just start messing about with melodies over the drums. Once that sounds good i just expand everything into a progression. then i just fucking add triplets, resample, put swing on stuff, improvise little melodies, and add variation and flush out all my basses. I master as a go- but im trying to get away from that. when you concentrate really hard on mastering and making sure all your sounds are clean you tend to loose creativity and get stuck.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:02 AM   #19
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I try not to force it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:07 AM   #20
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Re: songwriting: whats your approach?

I do A LOT of automatic writing. If it's even just two lines, I'll write it down. Even if I can't imagine where or what it will accompany, I jot it down. I'll have dozens of half poems that I can then compare and contrast to something I composed previously, or that I can compose around. With that basic outline, I can then begin editing the lyrics so that they flow better and fit properly.
I try my best to always have a pen and pad near, so if I even just get a phrase that keeps repeating itself I can write it down and flesh it out. If I don't have paper, I'll leave it in the notes on my cellular.
Once I get that basic framework down. I begin building on the foundation.

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