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rocker13

New to songwriting

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Hey I have been playing guitars for a couple years and am new to songwriting. First off i i'm having some trouble with writers block. i have songs i just don't know how to put lyrics to my music. Also i'm having trouble figuring out how to sing to the lyrics i'm writing. any suggestions:dunno:

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Hi punkrocker13, I think everyone deals with writers block now an then, to me its just a matter of finding a theme. Once I do then I write down every word or phrase that comes to mind and then step back and look it over to see if it can work in one way or another. Sometimes you just can't force it, so let it go for a few days and then try again.

I'm not much help on getting lyrics for your music, I have no problem with the writing its the adding music thats fighting me at the present time, kind of the opposite from you.

Again I'm probably not much help in how to sing your lyrics, I think that would depend on the tune, rhythm, style etc. I'm sure the more informed will offer some real help for you.

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Hi punkrocker13

There are quite a lot of places to find inspiration for lyrics, personal experiences, the way society works, the media, news stories, lyrics are really reflections of your view of the world and your outlook on life, the main thing if writing a song is to connect with the listener, the majority of us have some shared experiences we've loved and lost people, we know what it is to be happy or sad and the majority of people have access to the media so we have opinions on news stories etc.

The main thing to avoid with songs is not to be obscure to a point that no one knows what you're thinking accept you that alienates your audience straight away, songs also need a good tune and in someways rely on the vocal expression of the lyrics

A song also needs a good hook to reel the listener in, this can be a killer chorus or an unforgettable guitar riff anything that sticks in the listeners head.

I know what you mean about fitting lyrics to a tune, it isn't easy, I'm pretty new to songwriting as well, I have put songs on here and some recordings, some of them are ok but I do tend to let the vocal follow the guitar too closely sometimes, it does take a bit longer to learn melody and the art of arrangement.

It might be worth going through the songwriting forum, a lot of these songs are put on and either have music added by the writer or are picked up by other members who put music to them, this may give you an insight into the process.

Personally if I've written a song and am trying to put music to it, I just sit there with my guitar and try a few tunes I've made up, you do find that when you start putting music to lyrics some words either need changing or become redundant.

As I said punkrocker I'm pretty new to songwriting as well, and these are just my thoughts, hope they help you a bit

All the Best

Chris

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Hi Punkrocker--

Chris really gave you some great stuff as far as where to find the inspriration. Let me throw in two cents about the technical aspect.

I know what you mean about not having lyrics. I've written some great riffs and chord progressions that have never seen the light of day because writing lyrics is my weakness.

And then I began to realize something that made sense. I needed to learn to write what I have in a conversational manner.

I don't mean perfect English, I mean in the same way as you want to get your message across; the same way in which you'd speak to someone (whoever your target audience is for the lyrics).

One way I go about fleshing out lyrics is by just sitting down and brainstorming. I'll write a page or two about all my thoughts regarding the subject. "Turn off the internal editor and just write".

Next I'll take a look at what I have and see if there's any one or two thoughts that say what the central idea is...just to see if I've fleshed it out enough.

Now I'll look at some of this stuff and pull out the good sentences and see if I have some ideas to work with. Then I'll decide which one or ones I want to use as 'the hook' or the main idea. I just start laying in the sentences in rhyme form (find different words for what I'm saying when I need to) and shorten them as needed.

In short, tell a story. Say to yourself after every line, "What I'm trying to say is..."

Give it a shot. Like Chris is saying, there are plenty of places to find inspiration. Now spend some time learning the craft so the craft can serve the inspiration!!

Steve

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Hey pr13,

Sage advice from the others. Take note of what they say!

First, get the notion of "writers block" out of your vocabulary. It is a form of self-prophecy. It's bogus. It's wasted energy. If you think it, it will happen. Don't start your writing career with the thought of writers block. It's only dead weight that you wind up carrying around on your shoulders. In reality, writers block doesn't exist anyway. Clear your mind of "writers block" and it goes away.

Getting started in writing lyrics and accompanying melodies takes thought, hard work and a real desire to create. Writing lyrics/songs has one goal. And that is to entertain a listener. Regardless whether you wish to tell a story in a song, send a message in a song or just make noise. The goal is to capture and retain the interest of your listener.

As a new writer, you are under no pressure what-so-ever, by any one, to create a masterpiece. As a new writer your job is to learn the process of writing a lyric/melody. You must spend time learning how a lyric/melody is constructed. You must take time to listen and dissect other writers work. You have to learn the vocabulary of a writer/melody-maker. If you can't understand the language, how can you ask the questions? Start learning. Start asking!

Writing is just like learning to play the guitar, you have to learn how to play chords before you can play songs.

If there is anything I can offer, it's this. You are not alone. You are in good company. Every single song writer, with no exceptions in the history of song writing, had to start from the beginning. They had to learn the craft. And you too will learn if your heart is in it.

**

LC

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Thanks everyone for the advice. it is good and I will definetly take in to consideration all the ideas.

I have just one more question to ask. For some reason when I do write some good lyrics I always want them to rythm and be more in a structured poem style. I think they have to rythm or it doesn't sound good.

Is there anyway to really get out of that stage or is it just all a mental thing that i need to overcome myself

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**

Rhyming is natural. We were all brought up on rhymes from birth. It's the way we learned to talk. Our parents and teachers in our early days read rhyming poems to us. It's how we learned to memorized things.

Rhymes are good as they help make tunes memorable for our listeners. Rhymes help tremendously to resolve lines. And rhymes are easy on the ears. Our brains expect rhymes.

Rhyming is not a stage to "get out of". Rhyming is a tool to help create great lyrics. The trick is learning how to use rhymes in various ways. You don't always have to rhyme but most lyrics do rhyme in some fashion. You don't always have to use perfect rhymes all the time. You can use imperfect rhymes.

Keep in mind that rhymes *always* help the listener remember your song.

**

LC

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Hi punkrocker13, The reason I have improved my writing skills is because I came to this site, LC Jones who oversees this forum has been a great help and the feedback I have had from Members has been invaluable.

The hardest thing was plucking up the courage to post a song and the fear of ridicule but once the first song was done I was on a roll and the critiques I received were helpful and allowed me to improve, I had the same problem with rhyming but like LC says there are different ways to rhyme it's just a question of practice and learning new writing skills. If you post a song here you won't get ignored or torn to shreds, any critique or suggestions will be fair and intended to help a person improve.

If you have any ideas, write them down and see where they go, once you start writing it's hard to stop it tends to free your mind up and makes you look at the World differently. A lot of barriers in life are physical but some of them are in our heads, I believe it's true when people say "Sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves," we can't all be brilliant songwriters or brilliant guitarists but if we give challenges our best shot we can still feel a sense of achievement.

Again just my thoughts but give it a go and see what happens.:winkthumb:

Cheers

Chris

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Punkrocker,

You will find that one of the great things about this site is people like LC Jones, Solidwalnut, X4 and Starsailor who are so willing to assist anyone interesting in plying this craft called music that we have become involved with. You have been given a lot of great advice and you will find a lot of support. From the stand point of writers block I like to quote a cartoon character Pogo "We have met the enemy and he is us."

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