What Inspires You to Write Songs?

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Oct 18, 2013, 07:31 AM

I write songs with my feelings and emotions, and I found songwriters who use their head and mind sound really cliche/unoriginal. I usually have to feel first so that I can write them, and if a professional who use his mind to write songs which is compared to an amateur who use his heart—I found an amateur is more likely to be better. But the question is what’s your inspiration?

I found myself to be inspired by my past, present, nostalgic moments, just anything which relates to me.

What do you believe in while you write songs?

 
     
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Lucio Kai Joined Oct 18, 2013
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Oct 22, 2013, 01:12 AM

Inspiration can be anywhere, anything. The real key is being in the mood to play and create, ready to receive the inspiration.

Beatle Paul McCartney said he didn’t expect to write great songs anymore because he wrote all his great works long ago. I believe as long as you will reach for your instrument, whatever ‘gear’ you employ, even just a pencil and paper, and open your mind to it, there will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? Despite the limitations of the number of notes, the limited number of keys, the possibilities for new songs has not been exhausted.

A rhythm and tones from a guitar often inspire me to ad lib words. The guitar work has ‘hook factor’ for me, the first listener. If I’m hooked on that I ad lib a line of words, and, if those words hook me, making me wonder what the singer-character in the song is talking about, I try to find the next line, and the next.

Sometimes a song bogs down. I DON’T know where to go next. Sometimes I get another song going, new guitar work, new lyrical lines. If that ‘sister song’ bogs down, I get stuck and don’t know where to go next, I go back to the first song and often find the next line comes to me. That little bit of ‘incubation’ time enabled me to ‘get’ more of the story the singer-character is trying to tell.

Inspiration comes from that; the sense of a character, a person imagined as real, in a real situation, trying to communicate about it. They may be a narrator, not in the song, just telling the story as he knows it. They may be IN the song, the guy, the girl, talking directly to someone else, the girl, the love-interest in his story, or telling you, the audience, the story.

As the songwriter you get to ‘assume the character’ of that imaginary person. You get to ‘be’ the guy in love, or rejected in love, whatever the ‘scene’ is, wherever, whenever. You don’t have to be you. You don’t have to BE experiencing or even ‘have’ experienced the situation of the singer-character. You DO have to have imagination and common sense about it. Don’t assume the character of a serial killer, or a spouse abuser, a child rapist. Create characters YOU want to know, and others might want to know, and let them tell their story.

There are a million people around you, in a million and one situations worthy of having their story told. You don’t have to have their whole story. Just a bit of it, enough to imagine a person in that situation, and to imagine how it might go. Someone called songs ‘3-minute movies’. You might imagine a song telling the story of someone real who existed 100 years ago, or who might exist 100 years in the future.

Bob Dylan imagined the characters in “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid”, and created a soundtrack for the movie, and an excellent music album for himself. He imagined the story of ‘Hurricane’ Rubin Carter, a champion boxer framed for a crime, and then serving time in prison. The Beatles imagined “Bungalo Bill”, “Lovely Rita, Meter Maid”, and many a first-person ‘I’ in songs that weren’t about them, just imagined situations they or anyone might find themselves in.

For me, then, it’s just fantasy, imagining a story and putting myself in it as the character singing the song, telling his story, talking his story.

My website is down right now or you could hear some of my songs.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Nov 01, 2013, 07:22 AM

Hi LK,
I’ve written mostly poems which have been published and have recently pushed the boundaries and have started writing song lyrics which I am enjoying very much, it’s really quite difficult though because now I have to consider the melody to suit which I never had to worry about whilst composing poems.
But very definately it’s mostly emotional stuff, from the heart and soul; and I find the lyric really justs comes pouring out and can’t wait to get finished :-)
Then I have played around with some “Commercial stuff” - songs that I think could do well if delivered to a certain dedicated audiance - like for instance I’ve written a lyric entitled “Blind Eye” - it’s a coming out song for thousands of people still living a double life bridged between the straight and ### life.  There’s been a number of songs out there intermating the message e.g. Take a walk on the wild side” or “YMCA” by the village people, but nothing as far as I can ascertain as a “Real Coming Out Song”, in this lyric It’s the story of a ### person (No particular gender) that is telling his/her mama that they are ### and has had enough or living under cover and wants to come out. - I had fun writing this, but it’s got it’s challenges - firstly it’s not the normal acceptable type song out there that everyone can relate to (which is perfectly fine as I intend it for the ### market which is huge, people dont realize how many ### people are out there) and secondly it would have to be performed and delivered by a ### artist -  Freddie Mercury wish you were here :-)

 
     
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Gwyneth Bradley Joined Oct 09, 2013
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Nov 11, 2013, 03:45 AM

Good humour, some joints, life incidents, reflexions

 
     
Jenot Joined Nov 11, 2013
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Dec 10, 2013, 12:06 PM

Well, mostly the falls that I take inrl..

 
     
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Bluelight Joined Jul 23, 2013
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Feb 07, 2014, 12:44 AM

The falls that I take…

There’s a song in that. Those words, that idea…something stirs in my imagination.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Jun 05, 2014, 10:59 AM

Friends and every day expiriance..

 
     
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Gabrys Juk Joined Jun 05, 2014
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Jun 05, 2014, 09:55 PM

I use my heart to create songs and my mind to write them.

  With out my mind I could not write. When asked how much music theory do guitarists need to know Cheat Atkins replied ” enough to know what you doin’ and not enough to let it get in the way of you doin’ it. Sorry Chet I love you But, my ear is so tin that can’t hear any notes just different sounds. So, music theory is what I’m doin’ or I wouldn’t be playin’. Same for writing songs you can put all emotion into them with your heart but If your mind has poor command of the english language then your writing will never be at it’s best. There are 12 notes (to most people I just hear millions of sounds)  but tens of thousands of words. It is alot harder to come up good words as there is no scale or key to follow with lyrics. You can use any words you want to say what you want and if it can’t be said in english try another language! 

  Most of my songs come from feelings I have,  things I’ve seen, or what the drunks / stoners around me spout out (they have written some great songs for me). A lot of my songs come from pain and some are just one big metaphor for the wayIi’m felling at the moment written about some who doesn’t exist facing something just as sad but entirely different .  As Guy Clark said ” If you don’t feel it you can’t write it”. So true if I don’t the right feeling when I’m trying to write the song will never be as good as one written in the right frame of heart.

Songs are like playing an instrument when you feel uninspired on you instrument and you’ve gone as far as you can go getting a new one or trying to lean a new instrument that you haven’t played before always helps. The same for songs If you are out of ideas / feelings at your desk go somewhere and get them!! That works for me I can only write so much until someone, someplace, or something gives me new feelings or ideas. But they can be anywhere for me.

“All music is folk music I ain’t never heard no horse sing”- Huddie William Ledbetter AKA Leadbelly
” There’s good music and bad music, and I like both kinds”- Duke Elligton

 
     
Jesse Matty Joined Jul 19, 2013
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Jul 10, 2014, 02:55 PM

I think for me simple taking a walk is most inspiring.

 
     
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Zlyczarnoksieznik Joined Jul 10, 2014
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Jul 16, 2014, 02:51 PM

Sometimes I get inspired by reading some books or poem. Other ways which works for me is writing a diary or some short stories. It inspires me and relieves my feelings and emotions which helps me to write lyrics.

 
     
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elfka Joined Jul 16, 2014
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Jul 23, 2014, 08:17 PM

Mostly past experience for me.  Though, sometimes a story or character will grab my attention and I’ll write about that.  I can’t imagine prose or poetry..  Never been able to write either of those at all…

 
     
David C Eads Joined Jul 13, 2014
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Jul 24, 2014, 02:23 PM

I hear, see or do something. I take ALOT of notes. One day I will fit them into a song. Lately it has been experiences, hiding things that happen to me in life, just disguise it with words. Latest is “Angels and Demons”. Always thought that was a cool title, the song is really about my making the choices in music that have been put on me lately. But someone could perceive it in a different context, I suppose. I have wrote about true life in my past and have written about how I was raised in the back woods of Louisiana or from something I did in the military, being homesick from the south( I live in Illinois now). Brush with death or anything that inspires a poem or song. Life writes songs, you just have to be perceptive about it.

 
     
Vet393 Joined Jul 02, 2014
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Jan 25, 2015, 02:29 PM

Sadness, lonelyness, rarely joy.

 
     
Kasia Joined Jan 25, 2015
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Jan 31, 2015, 05:02 PM

An opinion…......especially if it differs from most.
As I get older my opinions tend to do that a lot! :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Feb 22, 2015, 05:10 PM

I usually collect song titles, making a note of them when I think of them. Often they come from an overheard conversation, film, song, tv programme, book, etc. When I next sit down for a writing session, I tend to choose a title from my list (depending on my mood) and not leave until something has been recorded in demo form. Often the output isn’t very good but I like to think of it as a process. Chords are strummed and random noises made (which I record on my dictaphone). When I listen back, I may hear a hook or line somewhere, which I then bash into submission until it resembles a melody.

 
     
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Tokyo Warning Joined Feb 22, 2015
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Mar 21, 2015, 12:05 PM

Well I’m just a rookie but I like to write based on what I feel at that moment , Greetings

 
     
almudena lopez Joined Mar 21, 2015
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