My Songwriting Process

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My two cents on songwriting and how I do it.

Okay, as many of you know I write and play a very different style of music. It's a bit along the lines of gothic and industrial... I can't really explain it, you'd have to hear it. (Which will be possible soon hopefully).

Anyway, I figured I'd write a little article about how I go about writing music. The First step for me is often writing lyrics in the form of poetry. I will lock myself in my room, turn on some soft music very low, and let my fingers start to type. I don't like writing it out because my hands can't scribble words as fast as my brain can think them up. Once I have a rough draft of the song underway I leave it and let it sit for anywhere between an hour and a month...

The next thing I do is go back over the song and try to determine my state of mind, was I happy, sad, angry? This will determine the overtone of the music, and more often then not, which instrument will lead. (I'm not fond of using the guitar as the lead instrument in every song, as I feel it limits my creativity as a musician.) The next step is creating the music for it. Most of the time I will plug in my guitar to a distortion pedal and then sit on my bed with the lyrics in front of me, and play some riffs and sing the lyrics however I think they sound in my head... this usually produces the basic tempo and structure of the song.

Once this is done I do it again, this time recording it for future reference. I find the rhythm of the song the most difficult part, so it is done next. I will usually use Fruity Loops for rhythm. I listen to the recorded portion of the song and program the beats and loops to that. I then add this into the recording. At this time I do the same exact thing I did with the guitar, only with a keyboard. I then add that into the recording. After all this is done I have a recording which has the drums, guitar, vocals, and keyboards. I listen to it, make notes on it, then edit it some, like taking out the guitar during the chorus... things of that nature. After a few weeks of doing this I come out with one final product that I'm happy with.

That's the complicated way... Sometimes I'll be playing guitar, start singing, and just remember and not add anything to it, just call up a friend of mine to add a bassline to it, and another friend to add real drums and bam, there is a song. It all depends on everything.

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User-submitted comments

Claes Cornelius
Dec 03, 2018 10:11 am
Lyrics - some tips and copyright aspects
There are innumerable ways of coming up with a spark of inspiration... In my case, I need lyrics! The beginning is to suddenly be interested in a general theme - that can be watching TV and reading newspapers along with whatever comes online. Stories also come by way of family & friends and anything happening around the block. There has to be an element of a "message" and you simply NEED to have it said publicly in the form of a song. If possible, have something between the lines.

My own method is to write down what I call buzzwords and short lines working on the rhythmical riff feel for the words while hand-drumming on the desktop - that's also useful for syncopation experiments. At that point, on to a melody line & chords the usual way. What I do with this is Rock-oriented guitar + synth music.

But... everything depends on what style of music you are doing is the case. So listen to preferred tracks and analyze composer tricks for tips - and then, do it your own way.

An extra element usually goes unnoticed - the copyright. So, lyrics and melody lines are better placed than chord runs when considering publishing rights and solely constitute a copyright if and when registered at the applicable Copyright Society of your country - they'll cover the World through associates. Until officially registered, a song is PD - public domain and open to copy, modify, re-arrange etc.

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