View Full Version : Song writing

05-31-2006, 07:19 AM
Of course you guys know that I love music. I love the guitar (even though I'm no good at it). And I do play with writing every now and than.

I was thinking the other day I might take some of the stuff I've written and pick up the guitar and play with different chords and see if I can put them to music.

Sounds like a fun exercise and might even help my playing.


John Bell
05-31-2006, 07:20 AM
How to write a song (http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Song)

05-31-2006, 07:24 AM
Good link John. I will keep those tips in mind. BTW don't really care about making a hit (although that would be nice) but it would be even nicer to write and compose an arragement that I could be proud of.


05-31-2006, 07:29 AM
I wrote a bit, some 25 years ago. Got to say, I revisited some of those songs a couple of years back, when I was sorting through junk before we moved house. The most unadulterated, gawdawful, self-serving drivel ... the tunes were derivative and the lyrics? Uhmmm. Though writing it all out was therapeutic at the time ...

... I'm glad I sing other people's songs.

John Bell
05-31-2006, 07:38 AM
You're welcome, Chad. I saw that link a couple of weeks ago and was intrigued by the idea that someone actually sat down an wrote a how-to. I always figured that talent was innate, it had not occurred to me that it was also a craft.

FWIW, I've lately been listening to a radio station that plays "classic" hits, stuff from the 60's 70's 80's and I'm amazed at how much better the musicianship of that time measures up against todays popular music. Back then, people played their instruments instead of relying on drum machines and one or two sampled riffs. For instance, I never was a Styx fan back then, but listening to them now, my goodness, those boys actually had some skills.

Edited to add: I was part of group that recorded a little ditty for work last week for an inside the company presentation. It was fun, actually going to a big deal recording studio, but the song, well, it's not going to make the top 4,000,000. Me thinks writing songs is tough...

Dan McCosh
05-31-2006, 07:47 AM
A friend once wrote a blues classic about Jo Jo Shutty, the local traffic reporter, called "I'm in love with the girl in the whirleybird." Somewhere I have a record we recorded.

There was drinking involved.

05-31-2006, 07:53 AM
don't ferget "Back Bay Baby from Biloxi Bay".....:D

Memphis Mike
05-31-2006, 09:01 AM
"You're welcome, Chad. I saw that link a couple of weeks ago and was intrigued by the idea that someone actually sat down an wrote a how-to. I always figured that talent was innate, it had not occurred to me that it was also a craft."

There are numerous books available on the subject. Visit your nearest bookstore.

My problem isn't the music but the words.

After gaining a thorough knowledge of chords{yes, Chad, all of the barre chords} and which chords sound best together, the music comes easy.

A good way to do this is to learn the diatonic triads and the "three chord theory."

This will teach you the I, IV and V chords and how to start a song, transition, create tension and resolve.

Send me some words, Chad. I'll see if I can put them to music. Who knows, it might be a hit and we both could quit work altogether.:D

05-31-2006, 09:08 AM
Well Mike, you can play with it, but this first is for me to figure out. I will probably have to re-write to make it into a passable lyric form, but here is the first one I'm thinking of working with.

I Want

When I go to sleep I want to hear the crickets.
When I awake I want to smell the coffee and hear the birds.
To see the clear blue sky, Aahh what a wonderful feeling.

I want to stand on the corner and play my music.
Or sing the blues.
I want the crowd to feel my joy, sadness, and love.

I want to learn something new every day.
And not forget what I learned the day before.
I want to share what I know with others.
Lest they make the same mistakes.

I want to seize the day.
And live life for the moment.
With no regrets for what I didn't do.

I want my heroes to prove true.
I want to believe in myself.
And not need heroes.

I want to be the light in the darkness.
The shoulder to cry on.
To be there at the darkest hour.

I want to love with all my heart.
. . . And be loved.


Memphis Mike
05-31-2006, 09:16 AM
It looks interesting but needs a chorus. I'll see what I can come up with.

05-31-2006, 09:17 AM
Yeah that is what I was meaning by the re-write. Remember to keep your composition to yourself until I compose some on it and than we will compare.


Memphis Mike
05-31-2006, 09:26 AM
OK, I may try to work on it some later today. This will be fun.:)

Edited to add:

I think it should be a happy song and done in a major key.

05-31-2006, 11:21 AM
I keep thinking I need to get another guitar and keep one at the office so when the mood hits me at lunch I can play and practise.


Memphis Mike
05-31-2006, 11:47 AM
That would be a great idea, Chad.

If a guitar is more accessible, you will find yourself picking it up more to practice.

Keep it on a stand and not in the case.

I have a guitar on the stand right next to me and I've already come up with some chords for your song.

But not tellin yet.:D

05-31-2006, 03:42 PM
Not sure the folks in the office would like that though.:D

The only guitar I keep in the case is the one in the shop and you've seen my shop so I'm sure you understand.

If I had my way there would be a guitar in every room. :D


Memphis Mike
06-01-2006, 12:21 AM
Well, I stayed up past midnight and put together a whole song.:D

I changed the words around a little and added a chorus. I like it. I think it's pretty good. It's taken on the form of a rock ballad.

All it needs is a guitar solo.

Let me know when you want to see it, Chad.

I may even make a recording on cassette and send it to you.

06-01-2006, 06:18 AM
I was hoping to work on it last night, but when I got home I sat in the recliner and hardly moved. For some reason I was wore out.


Memphis Mike
06-01-2006, 09:31 AM
Hey Chad! Check your PMS!:D

06-02-2006, 06:27 AM
Mike you can go ahead and post it here if you like. I worked with your version a little last night, but really worked on my version. Just spent some time picking on it. Working with G A Am E & D. Trying to find the right fit. Will work with it some more.

BTW I did bring my combat guitar to work so at lunch I can play a little.


06-02-2006, 07:47 AM
A guy up my way had a string of local folk hits back in the 60's. One of his songs made it's way onto the billboard charts and was getting airplay. He had 15,000 singles(45's)made. After selling about 10,000 the song nosed dived on the charts and there was about 5'000 copies sitting in a warehouse. A couple of years later he went to the distribitor to get his records. He was told by the distributor they were discarded and had been taken home by an employee.He asked what the employee did with them,he was told the records were used as shingles on a shed.
To this day everyone still teases him about having the worlds first "hit shingle"

Memphis Mike
06-02-2006, 08:56 AM
Ok, here's my version.

I Want

Words and music by Chad and MM

Moderately fast strum

Verse 1

[B]When I go the sleep I [G] want to hear the [A] crickets
[B]When I awake I [G]want to smell the coffee and [D]hear the [A] birds
[B]to see the clear blue [D]sky what a wonderful [A]feeling
[B]I want the crowd to feel my [G] joy sadness and[A] love


[E]I want you to love me for [G] who I am and [D] not who I should [A] be
[E]I want to love with [G] all my heart and be [B] free

Verse 2

[B]I want to learn something [G]new every [A] day
[B]And not forget [G] what I learned the [D] day [A] before
[B]I want to share waht I know [D]others lest they [A] make the same mistakes
[B]I want the crowd to feel my [G] joy sadness and [A] love


Verse 3

[B]I want to seize the day and [G] live for the [A]moment
[B]With no regrets for [G]what I didn't [A] do
[B]I want my heros to [D] prove true I want to [A]believe in myself
[B]I want the crowd to feel my [G] joy sadness and [A] love


Verse 4

[B]I want to be the light in the [G] darkness the [A] shoulder to cry on
[B] to be there in your [D] darkest [A] hour
[B]You'll always be the [G]one I love the [A] only one for me
[B]I want the crowd to feel my [G] joy sadness and [A] love


06-04-2006, 01:36 PM
Here's something that popped into my head as I sat here this afternoon, thinking about this thread a little. No chorus.

Sort of a blues waltz feel, around 50 measures (3/3) per minute, two measures per line of lyrics. Rock a little from side to side as you sing, and maybe stomp on the italics.

Basic melody:

hung a picture of a bat
reminds me not to be crazy
and a picture of a woman
reminds me not to be lazy
but still sometime
there are things that get hazy
like what’ll I do
till I push up the daisies.

gotta sweep this floor
‘cause it’s covered with dirt
and I gotta do some wash
‘cause I’m running out of shirts
might need to get out more
and practice my flirts
but it’s a long drive
and I’d feel like a jerk

you see since she left me
I’m trying to make my way
I’m not going nowhere
do the same **** each day
leave projects unfinished
or take no time to play
I’ve got to keep planting
seeds, find a girl who’ll stay.

I can’t say she’s wrong
for leaving like she did
She’ll be no worse for it
and I’ll just do my bit
cause I got her goat
and it’s gonna bear a doe kid
there’ll be milk and honey
if I can find where the bees hid.

they say wind is free
‘till you try to catch it
we don’t have a quarrel
we buried that hatchet
looked over my tools
and I’ve still got a ratchet
problem’s like a mosquito
I’m gonna dispatch it.

I hope she does fine
wherever she ends up
and if she stops by
she can still drink from my cup
Just got different goals
and though I’m no young pup
I’ve got to get living
and get this place cleaned up.

Oh yeah. Copyright Dan Huisjen, 2006.

Memphis Mike
06-04-2006, 07:22 PM
Pretty good, Dan.:D

Peter Malcolm Jardine
06-04-2006, 08:37 PM
I was a SOCAN member way back. Got a royalty cheque for 78.00 once. :D