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  1. #11
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    I get the main idea for the music going, choose what I want to sing about, and then alternate between playing the music and writing the lyrics down. I always thought lyrics were easy - but I don't know if they would be considered good or not. Care for a sample?
    "When a resolute young fellow steps up the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find that it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #12
    Oberon
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    You can do what I do and steal lyrics.

    For example:

    This Little Piggy
    by Oberon

    This little piggy went to market,
    This little piggy stayed home
    This little piggy had roast beef
    And this little piggy had none


    Chorus:

    And doncha know, this little piggy
    Went wee wee all the way home.
    (doncha know)
    This little piggy (this little piggy)
    He went wee wee all the way home.

    This little piggy went to bacon
    This little piggy went to ham
    This little piggy went to whole-hog sausage
    And this little piggy's on the lam

    And doncha know, this little piggy
    Went wee wee all the way home.
    (Can you blame him?)
    This little piggy (this little piggy)
    He went wee wee all the way home.


    [instrumental solo]

    [repeat chorus]

    For a really fun song, try looking for lyrics just anywhere. Read the ingredients list on your breakfast cereal and set that to music.

  3. #13
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    This is a fascinating thread ... I always think of a song from the lyrics out, not from the chords / melody in.

    You both (run, simulated world) remind me of musicians I have worked with who are very "T" about the musical structure (for lack of a better descriptor). They could go on and on about deconstructing music at band practice ... when we're supposed to be rehearsing!

    I would suggest listening to songs you like and actually reading the lyrics like a poem. For example, the song on the radio here at home right now is "Second Chance" by Shinedown. It's a good one to reflect on:

    Tell my mother,
    tell my father
    I've done the best I can
    To make them realize
    This is my life
    I hope they understand
    I'm not angry,
    I'm just saying
    Sometimes goodbye
    is a second chance

    Read it to yourself like a poem, open yourself to the feelings behind it. Then imagine yourself saying this with as much emotional support behind it as you can muster. Say it out loud even, or yell it, or cry it! This might help you find your own voice to start writing some verses and then set them to melody.

    Tapping that inner place will yield the words. Don't be scared to go there ...
    I dunno, most of the so-called "great lyricists" are not writing in such obviously literal terms.

    If you make something vague/abstract enough that anyone who enjoys the melody can make it mean anything he wants to him (and he will), then you've done your job.

    A lot of times just stream of consciousness weird metaphors and such will come out with a fairly clear meaning that you didn't even realize.

    INFJ songwriter I know says: "It's always about something, whether or not you realize it."

    This is a stylistic choice, but personally I tend to avoid lyrics with concretely obvious meanings about specific events...they just get outdated too quickly.

    Also, lyrics and poetry are very, very different. I agree it's sometimes a good idea to work on the lyrics independently of the music, but the form and structure of poetry is much more metered and specific than lyrics. Lyrics can kinda do whatever you want; the "poetry community" is quite a bit more discerning.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  4. #14
    Senior Member run's Avatar
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    I disagree that poetry is about the meter. Look at John mayer, and dave matthews songs like #41.

  5. #15
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by run View Post
    I disagree that poetry is about the meter. Look at John mayer, and dave matthews songs like #41.
    Those are lyrics. They're not poetry.

    Poetry isn't always about meter; there is free verse, but everything about the structure and intent is completely different. A lot of lyricists think they're poets, but they're not. I'm certainly not, and I write a lot of songs.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #16
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Those are lyrics. They're not poetry.

    Poetry isn't always about meter; there is free verse, but everything about the structure and intent is completely different. A lot of lyricists think they're poets, but they're not. I'm certainly not, and I write a lot of songs.
    Yeah this has been the jarring revelation of my last two years.
    wails from the crypt.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by run View Post
    I think I'm far on the right-brained end of the spectrum. I'm at the point where I can write a song in 5 minutes, but I still can't write lyrics for the life of me.

    What are your methods for writing lyrics? I have a lot of ideas--I just can't get them in poetic form. (I think being a Thinker gets in the way)
    Develop Ne, Te and Fi .

    Apart from that, I'd say learn to look at words in terms of short term connection. I've found a big problem people have is they want to write a load of crap and put a rhyme at the end of it. Word to word is where it matters.

    Your tools are rhymes, what I call half rhymes, counter rhymes, alliteration, mid-word rhymes. Really it is all rhymes of some sort. Think in terms of syllables and beats rather than words. Know your song structure, know what syllable sounds go okay with each note/chord (you can read up on it, or get an intuitive feel from trial and error), know how different sounds mix with eachother. Think about how the last line ended and started when you start a new line. Link the sounds to make or break continuity. Really just get all the parameters and visualise the system as a whole. I've never been able to do it carefully rather than intuitively, but with a good understanding and Ti you might be able to.

    p.s. in terms of meter, if you've written the music, that is the base of the meter or beat. Why write poetry in some meter that doesn't fit with it?
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  8. #18
    Senior Member run's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Those are lyrics. They're not poetry.
    Thats what I meant.

  9. #19
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by run View Post
    Thats what I meant.
    Fair enough. My favorites are the ones who claim to be "songwriters" because they wrote a page of lyrics on notepad. Sorry, that makes you a lyricist at best--if you don't have any concept of writing a distinct melody for your words and putting them against chord changes for emotional effect, you're not a songwriter, no matter how many words you type up in notepad and wish you had music for.

    By the way, the songs were:

    1) Malaguena (traditional Spanish folk, look it up cause I'm sure you've heard it)
    2) Beatles - Fixing a Hole
    3) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge (outro)
    4) Incubus - Drive
    5) Radiohead - Idioteque
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  10. #20
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    Develop Ne, Te and Fi .

    Apart from that, I'd say learn to look at words in terms of short term connection. I've found a big problem people have is they want to write a load of crap and put a rhyme at the end of it. Word to word is where it matters.
    Yay

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    Your tools are rhymes, what I call half rhymes, counter rhymes, alliteration, mid-word rhymes. Really it is all rhymes of some sort. Think in terms of syllables and beats rather than words. Know your song structure, know what syllable sounds go okay with each note/chord (you can read up on it, or get an intuitive feel from trial and error), know how different sounds mix with eachother. Think about how the last line ended and started when you start a new line. Link the sounds to make or break continuity. Really just get all the parameters and visualise the system as a whole. I've never been able to do it carefully rather than intuitively, but with a good understanding and Ti you might be able to.
    This makes sense to me, though I would say there's not an absolute need for rhyme if all the other structural aspects are solid - there are plenty of succesful artists and songs which make little use of it. Are you coming, though, from a perspective of doing lyrics first then setting them, or *as I tend to do* thinking of lyrics and melody together? It seems a quite different perspective from thinking mainly in terms of already having the melody well developed and then wanting to find lyrics that fit. I suspect the former approaches are more natural for poets *or would-be poets* who are also musicians.

    p.s. in terms of meter, if you've written the music, that is the base of the meter or beat. Why write poetry in some meter that doesn't fit with it?
    Exactly Well, alright, you CAN write in a different metre, but I don't know why anyone would want to who hadn't got a basic grasp of how to write words that fit to begin with. It's like trying to run before you can even crawl.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    My favorites are the ones who claim to be "songwriters" because they wrote a page of lyrics on notepad. Sorry, that makes you a lyricist at best--if you don't have any concept of writing a distinct melody for your words and putting them against chord changes for emotional effect, you're not a songwriter, no matter how many words you type up in notepad and wish you had music for.
    Haha, sadly a lot of people who do this think they're writing pretty damned good poetry as well
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

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