Song Creation Process

Dystisis

Member
Hey folks. I have a question that deals with band dynamics, particulary the process of song creation, jamming, conceptualizing songs/riffs/themes, etc.

What are your experiences with this? In other words, how does your band deal with it? Does a person (vocalist? guitarist? bass player? you?) come up with the basic ideas, then other people come up with their own parts? Or do you all gather together and, maybe based on a riff, discuss and come up with a song? Or do you base it all on jamming and picking up the pieces of what you created impulsively? Or does a person write the entire songs and the rest of the band does what they are told?

Or perhaps a mix of more of these?

My band is having some issues at the moment, regarding this subject. I'd want us to move faster forward, even though it is only our sixth band practice at the moment. Anyways, we have basically made 0 songs, but we have many loose threads. The dilemma is how we move forward creatively as democratically as possible while coming up with good results.

Any input, whatever it may be, is welcome.
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
My band is having some issues at the moment, regarding this subject. I'd want us to move faster forward, even though it is only our sixth band practice at the moment. Anyways, we have basically made 0 songs, but we have many loose threads. The dilemma is how we move forward creatively as democratically as possible while coming up with good results.
Don't rush things. Just because its not moving at the speed you want it to is not a reason for frustration. Some of the most popular bands today have gone months, almost years without having one lick to build from but they stay the course with tremendous results.

I have sat with musicians in every type of songwriting scenario that you mentioned. I have found that what it needed is......... FOCUS! Start with a riff or a beat. STAY WITH IT.... and form a song around it, if possible. Judging from your post alone its evident that you guys are new to the idea of songwriting. Each band member has thier own gems that they are trying to get out there. Do yourselves a favor, and set each gem as a basis for a song.

The guitarist might have a gem that he is really proud of. GREAT! Base a song around it. The bassist might have a gem that he is really proud of. GREAT! Base a song around it. You might have a gem that your really proud of. GREAT! Base a song around it. Thats a possibility for 3 songs right there.

It does no good to have everyone blow thier best stuff during a jam/songwriting session. You guys need to come together and focus on one thing at a time. Hell, put all of your names in a hat and the one thats pulled out is who's gem everyone focuses on for practice.

You guys need to gel, and the only way your going to do it is by allowing proper communication and giving way to eachothers gems.
 
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Drumsword

Pioneer Member
Don't rush things. Just because its not moving at the speed you want it to is not a reason for frustration. Some of the most popular bands today have gone months, almost years without having one lick to build from but they stay the course with tremendous results.

I have sat with musicians in every type of songwriting scenario that you mentioned. I have found that what it needed is......... FOCUS! Start with a riff or a beat. STAY WITH IT.... and form a song around it, if possible. Judging from your post alone its evident that you guys are new to the idea of songwriting. Each band member has thier own gems that they are trying to get out there. Do yourselves a favor, and set each gem as a basis for a song.

The guitarist might have a gem that he is really proud of. GREAT! Base a song around it. The bassist might have a gem that he is really proud of. GREAT! Base a song around it. You might have a gem that your really proud of. GREAT! Base a song around it. Thats a possibility for 3 songs right there.

It does no good to have everyone blow thier best stuff during a jam/songwriting session. You guys need to come together and focus on one thing at a time. Hell, put all of your names in a hat and the one thats pulled out is who's gem everyone focuses on for practice.

You guys need to gel, and the only way your going to do it is by allowing proper communication and giving way to eachothers gems.
That hits the nail quite squarely. Jam on a riff, see where it takes you. If it gels then write verses to it, a bridge......chorus, etc. If it's going nowhere then come back to it later.

I usually write lyrics to my songs with a basic melody in my head, then take it to my guitarist and sing it to him repeatedly as he figures out the chords, etc. Then we'll take the structure of my songs and play them over and over and listen to them and see what could be improved on or added on. Then we'll bring in a full band and it will sometimes change again. So sometimes the original song goes into the studio exactly as I wrote and hear it, other times it is quite different. When you write music/songs you need to be able to let your band play it and add their input and see what happens, often times the song will just improve and get better as players add their touch.
 
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