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I hear whole pieces (even down to the minutiae) in my head so can't really offer any decent advice as to where I start. Sometimes it may have been triggered by a thought, sound or riff I heard or played days earlier. Once it is down the I try and shut off to it and approach it from different angles to see where I can add variances to the main theme.
That said I do wholeheartedly believe the more you do it the easier it is.
Write a crap song - Decide what you don't like about it, what sounds clichéd and work out what bits would stop you playing it to someone else. Now write a less crap song using what you have learned and do the same. Then write a less crap song still, and so on.
When we are commissioned to write a specific piece I try and absorb the pace and emotion of the description or accompanying tracks and spend a lot of time just calmly and quietly thinking. Sometimes the thing that comes is just right from the get go, other times I bin them but they have got my brain working in the right direction so act as a good base for inspiration.
Radiohead : simply gave up the idea that anything had to make sense but now just use cryptic abstract phrases to give a flavour or a mood. I really like that
One thing I try not to do is stick to scales as I find it limiting. I play any sequence of notes and if it sounds good/different then great... I'll work on it and THEN apply some sort of structure/scale set to it later.
koneguitarist;217332" said:I think it varies for everyone, I hear a sentence that can sometimes make me think of lines, other times, it's hearing a song and almost trying to write a reply to it. For instance I wrote a song called "Don't call me fool" after listening to an Elvis song she's not you. Tried to write it from another viewpoint.
I'm thinking Eamonn and Frankee from a few years hence...pure shame upon any of you that know what I'm on about....
EricTheWeary said:...I read a thing with Al DiMeola ( okay, not noted for his sing along ditties) where he said that songwriting always started with a chord progression- that you can make melodies over interesting chords but it's much harder to put interesting chords under a melody.