Monday, May 26, 2008

Music and lyrics

Occasionally people ask me which comes first when I write a song: the music or the lyrics. The answer is that it depends on the song, and I've gotten equally good results both ways. However, I've noticed that most of my songs begin with an idea for lyrics.

There's a good reason for this. I always know that if I create lyrics, the music will follow. Most of the time this will be quick; occasionally it will take some time. Either way, it will happen. It's as though music exists in the ether, and I can tap into it almost any time I want.

Lyrics are another story. They require hard work and concentration and more hard work and looking stuff up in rhyming dictionaries, and did I mention hard work? When I create an interesting melody or piano riff, lord only knows when I'll discover words for it. It's hard enough to figure out how to say what I want to say. If I have no idea what I even want to say, well ...

* * *

So last night, I started to hum a melody that came to me out of the clear blue sky. I jotted it down in my little composition notebook so I wouldn't forget it, then sat down at the keyboard. Frustrated by my tendency to let music-first creations lie fallow for-freaking-ever, I decided to fish for some lyrics. In short order, I had three lines. They weren't particularly profound or original, but they seemed like they could lead somewhere.

Less than 24 hours later, I had a whole song.

Granted, there are still things I need to tweak musically, and then Ron the Drummer and I will need to arrange it. Still, I'm pleased, and kind of shocked. This is the fastest I've written ANY song. It usually takes a few weeks at the very least. To break my record for speed with a music-first song feels pretty amazing.


DeppityBob said...

Most excellent! I am psyched for you. Few things feel as wonderful as a burst of creativity...especially if it actually goes somewhere. I want to hear the song now. :)

ng2000 said...

Valuable resource of lyrics news summaries: