Sunday, May 26, 2013

How Do You Write Songs?

When I ask other songwriters how they approach the craft of songwriting, I get a lot of answers. Many
get inspiration, write the lyrics and then add the melody.
My wife Jilda and I begin with the melody. I have a recorder app on my iPhone and often in the mornings during coffee, I'll pull out my guitar and play melodies. Some of them stick, and some don't. When I get something that has interesting pieces, I'll record it and save it for later.
Then when we sit down to do a songwriting session (which isn't often enough), I pull out the iPhone and listen to the melodies I've saved.
More often than not, when I play the piece over and over, I'll begin to sing non-sense words to the melody.
Then one of us will say, "This feels like this." We'll come up with a hook phrase and start cobbling together verses, a chorus, and sometimes a bridge.
Several months ago we did a session with our friends Fred Miller, Jonathan and Diana Mayhall. We used the process described above and within an hour, we'd written a song called Tattoo'd Soul.
Here's a link to the song on our website.
Tattoo'd Soul


  1. Hi Rick,
    I am the new follower of your wonderful blog.
    I enjoy reading your interesting posts.
    I am a poet, song-lyricist, freelance writer, blogger, dreamer,
    animal and nature lover, etc.
    I do not get paid. I volunteer my work.
    I am so glad to have found you in Blogland.
    Thank you for reading my posts, and saying
    nice things about them!
    We all love feedback. I am a Christian mom and grandmom too.
    Well, about song-writing, I always write the lyrics.
    I am NOT a musician. I wish I was...
    I composed one full song with the melody and lyrics.
    I recorded it in MP3, and sang my own song too.
    Well, that is all for today, Rick.
    I shall return to read more of your interesting posts.
    Inspirations and muses do not come too often in my heart...
    Welcome Aboard, Rick!
    Greetings from Starry Dawn.

  2. Happy Holidays, Rick. Thanks so much for finding and following me. I'm glad to do the same and will check out all the other links.
    As far as singing, I've been known to clear a room, once I started belting out a karaoke rendition of Barry Manilow's Copacabanna. So I probably don't belong, and may get ousted from here. But looks like a fun place, so I'll camp out as long as I can.


  3. Thanks Robyn, we have fun with music. My other blog Life 101 is the one I update daily. I started this one a while back with my songwriting group but it hasn't take off yet:)