how do you all write lyrics?

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s_mcsleazy
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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by s_mcsleazy » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:05 am

thanks for the advice everyone. i'll keep a lot of this in mind when i'm writing. my bandmate says there's some good ideas that can be expanded on.

what david mentioned about trying to write funny/sexy songs...... that's not my style anyway. i mean an asexual person writing a sex jam..... that's gonna be funny "i'ma lay you down and..... play boggle"
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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by mackerelmint » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:40 am

Generally I don't, I hate poetry to my core and always have. I've never been one to look for meaning in songs, don't care about how some grandstanding ass feels about his or her life, and generally the shallower the better for me. If I ever got up and sang a song about how I actually felt, I'd be betraying myself and I hope that someone would have the decency to murder me on the spot for being a tiresome asshole who can't even live by her own values.

That said, when I do, it happens in Spanish or Mandarin or even Japanese. It just won't come in English. I only ever wrote one song in english because I was writing some hilarious cockrock shit that even KISS would find too boastful to play with a straight face. I'm also very good at changing lyrics of existing songs to be about something disgusting.

Basically, my advice is not to take it seriously in the least.
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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:29 am

The only answer is to do it until you start to see the value in your own work. Complete things for a start, and don't get disheartened if your early work is bad (or even embarrassing).

More specific advice: phonetics are important in music. They can also serve as a sort of useful chaos agent that can drive you toward interesting things.

To put it another way--if you prioritize choosing syllables that sound good and musical (almost in an "instrumental" sense), you'll often find yourself stumbling upon interesting words and phrases that will lead you to ideas/concepts that you might not have been able to contrive with the conscious mind.

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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by cpeck » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:01 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:29 am
To put it another way--if you prioritize choosing syllables that sound good and musical (almost in an "instrumental" sense), you'll often find yourself stumbling upon interesting words and phrases that will lead you to ideas/concepts that you might not have been able to contrive with the conscious mind.
+1. This works very well.

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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by windmill » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:10 pm

s_mcsleazy wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:49 am
so me and my bandmate have some ideas for songs but we've never been good at writing more than 2-3 lines at a time. how do ya'll write your lyrics? how do you know when the lyrics are good? how do you know when the song is done?
When I get stuck like that I put all the lines together and try and make one song.

What sort of story would go with those lines ?

It's good if you like it.

Always try and finish a song once you start,

you can always change things later if you have better ideas.

On the other hand, just repeat the same 3 lines throughout the song,

it may be about the music rather than the words.

You may have a gift for writing very short songs.

HTH

:)

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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by BoringPostcards » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:37 pm

mackerelmint wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:40 am
Generally I don't, I hate poetry to my core and always have. I've never been one to look for meaning in songs, don't care about how some grandstanding ass feels about his or her life, and generally the shallower the better for me. If I ever got up and sang a song about how I actually felt, I'd be betraying myself and I hope that someone would have the decency to murder me on the spot for being a tiresome asshole who can't even live by her own values.

That said, when I do, it happens in Spanish or Mandarin or even Japanese. It just won't come in English. I only ever wrote one song in english because I was writing some hilarious cockrock shit that even KISS would find too boastful to play with a straight face. I'm also very good at changing lyrics of existing songs to be about something disgusting.

Basically, my advice is not to take it seriously in the least.
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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by mackerelmint » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:23 pm

BoringPostcards wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:37 pm
I appreciate the supportive PMs, which I received from others after I called out miss Fishymints in the Trump thread, who feel like they have to tiptoe around any thread she engages in. Some of who, haven't even posted in years, yet still lurk for the content.
If that's true, those people are more than welcome to PM me and talk to me about it. Seriously. My negativity problem is something I'm aware of and am always trying to improve.

I told Sean what I have to do to write lyrics, and why that is. Poetry has always rubbed me the wrong way for some reason, and so it's downright impossible for me to write lyrics unless it's as a total goof or I'm using another language to process words differently so I can get something written down. That's not trolling, or an attack on anyone, that's just an approach that might be helpful to other people for whom playing an instrument is a much more natural way of expressing something is all.

Word salad lyrics are perfectly fine. Art doesn't have to mean anything at all. Flouncing is dumb.
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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by jorri » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:01 am

Love the word salad free association stuff myself. Impressionistic poetry. Sometimes its more about what the song makes the listener feel, not communicating your feelings. If its any random hat pulling nonsense that makes some kind of accidental sense thats good too from Radiohead to The Fall or Talking Heads or whatever.

I also look at poets and novelists. Rarely lyricists. Mainly because what novel is starting "this is how i am feeling" and rarely so much poets either.
I wont put down doing that though, its just somehow very risky, and could make everyone cringe or see that you have asshole feelings. Im mainly taking some of the local acts ive seen.
Then again making the free word association stuff can be weird if too emotional, like "the tree and sky is nice" stuff.

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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:26 am

Yeah, word salad used to be a lot more common. Duran Duran is one of the best groups at it, the words sound cool but usually don't actually mean much of anything. And that's fine! Writing lyrics is such a skill, but it also relies on your brain being able to get started on it in the first place, and for some of us that's the hardest part and we have to trick our brains into cooperation.

Just singing some kind of phrase over and over again, and then associating some kind of story from there, for instance. That can work. I do it over instrumental music in the soundtracks of shows I watch, sometimes. Destroying some other song by pillaging its lyrics and building them back up into something entirely different, and then taking that and massaging it to fit over music you write yourself. Or if one has a musical partner with whom one gels well, they can bounce ideas back and forth. "What's the vibe of this riff? What's happening in there that we can turn into some kind of descriptive idea?"

When people just sit down and write some words out and it flows, that's as alien as anything to some of us.
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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by jorri » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:18 pm

It can be strange, sometimes Ive had ideas for a story narrative or something like a scifi idea and however it goes is not in the lyrics by the time i have finished. Word salad but so be it, if i have take short descriptive phrases it can be ideal.
Its never separate from the musicality and thats the important/hard part. So often the start point is the nonsense i use when singing before some late moment before a recording where i actually try to write it down!
Of course, looking at more poetry would help, and the various avante garde styles of it too, but getting it to musically FIT, then somehow not changing the feel of the piece too much. As soon as a coherent poem with meaning arrives it does not fit. Musically its not the style of music it could fit, as its got no folk or song format. If you want more suggestions for repeated phrases and seemingly unrelated imagery look no further than the imcomprehensible choirs of classical music :) sometimes arrangements just overshadow it and so be it if its a centuries old tradition!

I do like the hat pulling method though. Was that a Brian Eno creation?

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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:30 pm

In fits and starts.

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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:29 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:30 pm
In fits and starts.
Quoted for truth. I can't write lyrics to save my ass. I wish I could. I've always got ideas. Lyrics are difficult.
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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by FrankRay » Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:56 am

I think listening to early rock n roll can be useful; the lyrics are both extremely simple and also emotionally resonant.

Stuff like A House With No Windows by Hank Ballard, Who Do You Love by Bo Diddley, and, say, Blue Suede Shoes are all brilliant, IMO.
I think the best lyrics are simple articulations of genuine emotions. Being able to describe what it feels like to be jealous, or bored, or angry is at the heart of it for me personally. Classics like I'm Not In Love, for instance, manage to make the listener understand the singer's feelings before the singer has realised it. Small scale genius.
So I guess pick an emotion you've had recently then attempt to describe it to a dog, or a visiting alien. Use that as the basis.

Also there's a long tradition of very very simple lyrics- often one or two lines- that are great too. Live Forever by Oasis for instance just repeats one verse three times. From The Flag Stones by the Cocteaus just repeats three lines. Rave classics like Ride On Time often just have one line.

Less is more.

I'm not trying to imply Oasis are great, by the way.

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Re: how do you all write lyrics?

Post by panoramic » Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:43 am

usually with a pen
Typically I write a bunch of "cool lines" and then i paste them together into a song later or I write about an ex or something I hate
i used to be cool

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