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Writing Lyrics.

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This is a pretty general set of questions for all lyricists in the community. How do you go about writing your lyrics? Is it a matter of mood, or can you sit down at any time and work them out? Also, do you generally find it harder to write a chorus or a verse?

Not trying to be specific on a genre here. I'm just curious as to how the (few and far between) songwriters in this community go about their work.

edit: any "OMG LYRICS SUCK" posts will be promptly deleted.

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I think you hit most of it on the nose there. It's all about gathering up the words to speak of something on your mind in the most descriptive manner possible, or at least in the way you want to portray it, whether it be with imagery i.e. something poetic, or just a normal narrative that sounds good with the tune e.g. the Rabbit Joint Cover mix.

The way I see it, figure out your tune first, and then see what lyrics would fit well with it, what YOU think would fit well with it. Keep in mind syllables and pick your rhyme scheme if you want one.

I think it all comes with practice, and you just have to keep trying. Eventually, the words will just come to you, especially if you want to write about a strong feeling you have about whatever--the words should come to you even easier. Try it.

EDIT: about your note on a chorus, yeah, it is harder because it is the part of the song that "summarizes" your thoughts or expresses the general feeling or subject of the whole song.

Anyway, good luck.

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personally, i just kinda let my emotions flow onto the paper... narrative lyrics are kinda lame imo.

apparently the lead singer of thursday, geoff rickly, got some imagery in his lyrics from novels:

Lyrically, vocalist Geoff Rickly concentrates on the struggles of living in the world today using violent imagery coupled with beautiful and shimmering phrases. Rickly cites Denis Johnson, Michael Palmer, Jim Carroll, and William Burroughs as major influences. Furthermore, some of the more memorable imagery from Full Collapse and War All The Time are borrowed from the book White Noise by Don Delillo, a novel that Rickly has recommended to fans via the band's website.

btw thursday's lyrics are effing awesome.

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for me personally, the hardest part of a song to write is the chorus -- but that's because I value the chorus above the rest of the song. it needs to be the catchy part, the memorable part. it sums up the song, usually.

also, I can only write a good song if I'm really feeling it -- it's all based on emotions and intuition, not working it out (for me, possibly/probably not others).

but when I do write a song, it usually all comes out in the space of 5 minutes, or it sucks.

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Lyrics are so easy when you write about something you feel passionate about. I usually compose an instrumental first, and then work on the lyrics afterwards. The rhythm of the vocals are very important to me as it controls the vibe of the song.

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Oftentimes, I go about coming up with lyrics by singing complete gibberish out loud along with the music I'm working on, in order to come up with the inflections and general feel for how I want the song to flow. Once I have that down, then I start writing lyrics that fit those inflections the best and make the most sense. Like Legion303 mentioned, all my lyrics have to flow naturally and never, ever feel forced. I always want my lyrics to feel natural to just about anyone who sings along with them.

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Basically, whenever something important happens I can do a few lines to myself, occasionally I'll remember a line or two and I get it down. Mostly what I do though is rap, too bad I don't have the voice for it (yet, but I'm working on it).

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Oftentimes, I go about coming up with lyrics by singing complete gibberish out loud along with the music I'm working on

Funny, I do that too! I always thought it was a strange way of doing things, but I guess I'm not alone.

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I try listening to music. If it's lyrics for the music I'm writing, I'll listen to the mix I have so far. Otherwise I'll open Winamp and play something until I find what I want to write. Then I'll stop the song and write from there. Of course, when you do this you run the risk of letting the song's lyrics influence your lyrics.

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