Apr 13, 2008

Harmony, Melody, or Lyrics?

As a songwriter, how does the creative process begin? By plugging away at some guitar chords? Some plunkety plunk on the piano… or perhaps a melody that has you entranced?

At a very early age, I loved to write lyrics and build little melodies around them, but as of late, I find myself mostly writing the harmony first. (Being mainly a guitarist that means a chord progression or riff, although the piano is transforming that process for me). Lyrics are written in a slew of notebooks in various corners of my ‘music room' and melody always comes last. Now this is a very personal formula…a custom formula, you could say. I'm sure many people have it quite different than that.

The most blessed experience is when a song comes all at once – like a little lightbulb being switched on in your head. It's like you take a breath in, and there it all is, simultaneously and unwavering. I have only had one of these moments, but I always hope more will come.

1 comment:

Eric Lo said...

I have a different songwriting experiences. As my song lyrics are in Cantonese Chinese, I would write the lyrics first and get suitable melody. As Cantonese has nine tones I have to change the words sometimes to accustom with tone changes.