Are musicians who write their own lyrics inspired mostly from personal experience or is it work?
Do you think those who write their own lyrics to songs are mostly inspired by personal experience, work very hard at thinking of things to write about, or does a lot of it just suddenly pop in their head?
Well all of Adele's songs seem to have come from past relationships. Some writers use the songs dynamics and tune to make the lyrics.
I think it completely depends on the songwriter. Some people probably write the lyrics even before the songs, while others just choose words that fit the melodies. Still some people write about personal experiences or other topics they know... there are even songs written about favorite books and historical events I do think that some songwriters are lucky enough to have lyrics spontaneously pop into their head, but I would guess that these people are few and far between.
Hank Williams wrote many songs about his life's experiences and things that he saw. His son, Hank Jr, has done the same. Through their pain, many of us have enjoyed many great songs.
I think it's both, in varying amounts. Think of it as a continuum: at one end, you have the (surely pretty rare) case where a complete lyric just pops into one's head. (FWIW, I've never experienced that.) At the other end, you sit down with the intention to write a lyric and just grind it out the best you can.
In the first case it's pure inspiration--but it's a very slippery slope to change a rhyme, drop a word, add a phrase--and then you're editing, and it's 'work', not pure inspiration anymore.
In the second case, you're 'working'--but ideas still come to you somehow, even if the process is painful, or kick-started by some kind of mechanical strategy. (People have been known to pick words at random from the dictionary just to get started, for example!) And those ideas have some connection to your life, whether remembered, felt, thought-out, or whatever.
Usually, I'll start with a phrase, or at least a topic. Then I'll be looking for what it connects to--shape-wise, concept-wise, rhythm-wise, feel-wise. It pretty much always feels like work--but work I want to do, and (mostly) enjoy.
interestingly enough, i've never given that much thought to the proscess,... the answers here fascinate me,.... i dont publish that sort of thing here but when i get a song done it usualy began as a fast thought in my head, first a word or phrase that hit me, and then an entire verse will come together and a chorus,.... this usualy happens on the road at 75 miles an hour when i cant write it down without pulling over,... so i wind up singing it to myself until i reach a stopping point where i can whop out a pen and paper to write down the lyrics,.... the first whole half of a song will come together this way for me,.... the musical part, chords melody etc, i dont have to write that part, i can remember that till later,...
later, when i get myself back home and to the guitar, i will note the chord progression, the melody line is left to memory, and then i'll work out a second half to the song.
rarely, i will get the entire song in one gulp, it usualy comes in two halves, the first being spontaneous, the second being contrived, and then the third stage is edit to bring it together.
there may be an hour or so between these stages,... i've had gaps of months between the 3 stages.
thanks for giving me a chance to think the proscess through,... i've never done that before.
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