how do you compose your songs?

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Post by nickture »

My method has changed a bit in the handful of years that I've been writing my own music. For a little while now I get my inspiration from words first, then the music kind of comes into place afterwards. I find that it's easier (for me) to write out a song in lyrics or write a poem and kind of "speak sing" it into musical rhythm. From there I tweak the words so I can get a semi-ordered meter going.

I have a little notebook that I'll jot down some ideas about what kind of atmosphere or mood I want and/or what kind of instrumentation I think would be best for the particular song, and some ledger paper that i'll sketch out some real super basic melodies so I don't forget them the next time I pick up writing again (with full time work and a 4 year old that can be a few days at a time in between!!).

I'm still trying to figure out what works best for me and so far lyrics first/music afterwards seems to be the best workflow.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Post by folderol »

Usually, I'll just be pootling around on the keyboard, and a short phrase will stand out, then I'm off.

Very occasionally I'll wake up in the middle of the night with a tune running through my head. Then I have to immediately dash downstairs and switch on to get it down (however badly) before it disappears.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Post by chaocrator »

i can't compose (in the strict sence of this word) at all.
so i take some chord progression as a starting point, and trying to arrange some drum groove (i'm a drummer) with these chords.
if i like resulting riff, i write it in my sequencer, loop it and probably add some notes to make things more interesting.
that's it.
not that universal, but works very well for rock & electronic dance styles.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Post by GraysonPeddie »

I'm late to the thread, so I thought I'd like to chime in. I compose my songs using a piano roll editor in MusE Sequencer and used a randomize feature in Qtractor to slightly randomize the notes to give it a human feel. Sometimes I slightly moved MIDI notes when I disable snap-to-grid. I'm not a keyboardist/pianist and I'm also not a drummer. My songs in Soundcloud reflect how I wrote my songs.

More details: My songs are based in influences from other songs.

Listen to my song called "Car-Free Village." From the beginning, I borrowed the beginning part of the song from "Flow." That's from a video game called "FEZ."

I interrupted the flow by going into the epic part, which is the core of my song and it's called the "hook." That hook is what I decided to write first as the hook can make or break the song. After the hook, I then borrowed part of the song from "Freedom" by Checkfield. That's from the album "Through the Lens." ... B000008E64

Now see if the song called "Castaway Cove" has some striking resemblance to my song.

That song is from the game called "Ni No Kuni."

The melody is of my own. I did use a keyboard to improvise, but sometimes I get stuck in missing one note, so I've decided to add a MIDI note using a piano roll.

On to the second song: Roamin' 'round the World.

I used to hum a melody while I was in the shower during February of 2016, so I've decided to wrote a song based in that and it's heavily orchestrated.

I thought what I've hummed must be coming from the overworld soundtrack, "Terra's Theme" from Final Fantasy 6. It is during the chorus part of the song. The "!" represents a bass note while the "." represents a silence.


I did not use that in my song, but it's more of a chord progression.

And into my last song: Building a World From a Grid.

The beginning of the song borrows from TRON: Legacy, called "A Son of Flynn." (The song in YouTube below is transposed.)

The rest of my song came from my imagination with no influences from other songs.
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Post by Dominique »

I begin with the lyrics. It can be a text I was reading, something I wrote, or an old song which I am doing a contemporary version. In that last case, it is very easy because for the music, the only thing to do is the arrangement, and I already have a frame for the lyrics.

Otherwise, I begin by looking at what I feel about the text and search to express these feelings with the music. If it is just some funny text, it can be as straightforward than to take my guitar and play a few chords with some rhythmic and that's it. But with more structured and expressive texts, I first try to find which tonalities are best suited to exprim the different feeling of the different parts of the text. From there, I work parts by parts to find the best chord progressions and rhythmic. Last, I figure out how to musically go from one part to the following. That part can be straightforward, but can also trigger modifications in other parts.

For the rhythm, I like to experiment a lot and try different rhythms on the same song. Not only variation on 4/4, but to play the same song in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 or 6/8.

For the melody, I just sing it. Also I like to use my feeling to play a lot of extra notes during the chords. That can give some kind of bass progression or anything else.

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