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deanc2000 2011-03-20 03:44

Survey: When Do You Guys Add Your Vocals/Lyrics?
Hello Everyone in Propellerhead Land,

I'm still relatively new to Reason5/Record1.5 and with song writing in general, so I have to ask you guys a couple questions.

I have written a couple of songs up till now, and they turned out so-so (for a beginner). What I have been doing up till now is start with chord progressions for verse, chorus and bridge. I then compose a basic melodic line to each of them, and maybe a guitar melody, and then a bass line, and then a drum loop.

Usually around this time, I usually have about 4-5 tracks composed in my song by this time of the above. This is when I usually think of adding in lyrics/vocals.

So up till now, lyrics/vocals have come in late in my song writing process. I've been doing alot of studying and researching about music theory and song writing the past few days. The question has come up in my mind as to is this the best way to work? Would it be better to work on the lyrics early in the song rather than late? How have you guys incorporated lyrics into your songs?

Any input will be highly appreciated.


clarktw 2011-03-20 06:17

3rdFloorSound 2011-03-20 14:26

I think that when I really get into writing I begin with lyrics. Well, sorta. I might actually begin with an extremely basic idea of a song in my head that has a general rhythm. I'll put that down in some way so I don't forget it and begin writing lyrics if they come easily. Other times I'll begin with the lyrics in some form, be it a verse or chorus--whatever I have written down--and think about the rhythm of the words and try to match a beat to them. Then proceed from there. Most of the time lately though, I begin and end without lyrics at all. Just pick up a guitar and I suddenly have a song. Happens every time I even look at a guitar

Edit: I'm not sure if I came to some sort of conclusion above, or just talked a lot. :D

EDX500 2011-03-20 19:26

For me the lyrics seem to be 1st. I write to suit the words if that makes sense. If anything i find it hard to get a good melody going, or worse to avoid repeating myself.

Writing is pretty easy, but getting that nice chord progression or catchy melody....harder I think!

zillis 2011-03-20 23:06

I've started with a lyrical melody then mold the musical stuff (chords, synths even the drums) to the melody. I've often had trouble with this very issue. As a result didn't write many songs because I would not find a song, just a half baked idea.
I found out about writing music to a lyrical melody recently by studying music theory and literally studying the art of a great song. I'm not saying I'm a great song writer... I'm improving. One thing I do recognize though is if you don't have a melody you don't have a great song.... You may have a mediocre song.

Just my two cents...

3rdFloorSound 2011-03-21 02:09


I found out about writing music to a lyrical melody
Heh, you just put a song in my head, thanks :)

zillis 2011-03-21 04:49

Cool, Cool!

noobinberg 2011-03-21 18:23

well for myself it's beatz and bass first...but I've been trained to do that with recording arts classes. Lyrical vocals will always come last. However you may have vocal 'cuts' that add to either the basic beat or melody and that might not be possible to put last as it will help with placing other musical aspects around it.

I've seen the process go every way imaginable and, really, it's up to the artists' preference. While I may suggest the "proper" time line to clients, they might have a flow that works best for them.

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