The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Fast vs Slow Writing
Old 9th April 2017
  #31
Lives for gear
 
BarcelonaMusic's Avatar
 

SLOW. I`d rather make 1 good song than 100 bad ones. I`ve seen this in action. "A song a day". It can`t be forced. Only the writer knows when the song is ready. It takes sometimes weeks of reflection. Just get everything as perfect as you see it. That`s what works for me, anyways. Not everyone's cup of tea.
2
Share
Old 9th April 2017
  #32
Lives for gear
 

Based on the new material and timeframe, Chainsmokers are most definitely NOT spending 6 months/record anymore. It really shows, you could hear the love and craftmanship in their breakthrough stuff, which isn't quite there the same way. Comes off like the quantity-based process at play with the quality filter set too low and the release timeframe set as too important. Though definitely some hit records on it, they'll be around all year.

Doing great work comes down to taking your time with the process. If you go quantity, you still want to take your time with it and find the gold, that's the whole purpose. You'll do better work by not rushing the process as much as possible, whether that's coming up with a lot of ideas and then fine tuning your favorites, or fine tuning each as you go.

Although I'd wager these guys only have a year left until they've burned themselves out to the public, so from a business and "set up my life financially" perspective, it makes sense to catch the wave that's about to crash while its still there to catch. So get the album out fast!

Last edited by newguy1; 9th April 2017 at 08:31 PM..
2
Share
Old 12th April 2017
  #33
Depends on if you can't finish a song or can't write a good one.

IMO, this is an important topic and the answer depends on where one is as a song writer and what one's goals are. For me, this has changed over the years. It is a question of quality control versus output. I think if you tend to over edit yourself to the point of not producing anything, then you need to spend some time using the fast method. If you can pump stuff out but it is boring, mediocre, low quality, etc. then you need to crank up the quality control, craft and patience to spend some time so that the songs hit the way that you want them to. I mean ****, if you're cranking out amazing songs using the "fast" method then you don't need this forum right? But who does that, especially consistently?

When I first started writing songs in the late 80s, early 90s, my peers had a lot of trouble writing or really finishing anything. So by me being able to finish a complete thought, get it out there and have people sing along... man, that was alright. But as a matured as a song writer, I started to get bored with what I was writing and also started to hear more nuanced and frankly more complex things that I wasn't capable of early on. Now, I just try to find a balance, kind of like opening the gain on a mic pre, good signal without clipping. My 2¢
2
Share
Old 16th April 2017
  #34
Gear Head
 
Jake Break's Avatar
 

without reading ALL of the comments in this thread, ill just add my two cents, for whatever its worth.

In my opinion, Speed should only be used as a tool to get out MORE ideas and allow you to hone in on your process. Song writing is like a muscle. The more times you repeat the process, the more efficient you'll become at it. With speed in mind you should never be afraid to "write for the garbage can", nor should you be worried about recycling certain ideas. Practice is practice. And the more often you "practice" the more readily available you will find your best ideas when you're in an actual writing room, cowrite, etc.

One thing that drives me insane though are people who use speed and volume as their only metrics to quantify their ability as a song writer. I know a few guys who are well decorated song writers, and who pump out 300 + songs per year... but there are very VERY few gems within those 300 songs. When you're dealing with that amount of volume you are no longer "writing" songs; you're manufacturing them.

at the end of the day, a great song is a great song, regardless of how much time was spent on it. But in my experience (both direct and residual) I've found that great songs take hours, and hours to get close, and sometimes weeks and months to get right. Some of the greatest songs ever written took months.

The way a song is produced will often affect its direction as well, which will require more on there fly changes.

In the end don't fixate on how long it took you to write a song. Either write for the trash as practice, or go for the gold and don't stop until you feel the song is "right".

Cheers

S.
1
Share
Old 16th April 2017 | Show parent
  #35
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Break View Post
I know a few guys who are well decorated song writers, and who pump out 300 + songs per year... but there are very VERY few gems within those 300 songs. When you're dealing with that amount of volume you are no longer "writing" songs; you're manufacturing them.
"Sometimes a smooth process heralds the approach of atrophy or death"
– Neil Young
Old 16th April 2017 | Show parent
  #36
Gear Head
 
Jake Break's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by creegstor View Post
"Sometimes a smooth process heralds the approach of atrophy or death"
– Neil Young


I understand the quote itself. But I don't really understand it's relavence to the quote you pulled from my post.

Please explain lol

Last edited by Jake Break; 16th April 2017 at 07:52 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 16th April 2017 | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Break View Post
I understand the quote itself. But I don't really understand it's relevence to the quote you pulled from my post.

Please explain lol
Seems to me you'd have to have a greasy smooth process to crank out 300 songs a year!
Old 16th April 2017 | Show parent
  #38
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Break View Post
without reading ALL of the comments in this thread, ill just add my two cents, for whatever its worth.

In my opinion, Speed should only be used as a tool to get out MORE ideas and allow you to hone in on your process. Song writing is like a muscle. The more times you repeat the process, the more efficient you'll become at it. With speed in mind you should never be afraid to "write for the garbage can", nor should you be worried about recycling certain ideas. Practice is practice. And the more often you "practice" the more readily available you will find your best ideas when you're in an actual writing room, cowrite, etc.
I agree with this. I don't believe there's any such thing as a junk idea when it comes to songwriting. However there can be such a thing as a poorly executed idea, which is generally what happens when you don't bother taking the time to get it where it needs to be. Speed (not referring to the drug) is a great way to generate raw material. Rough drafts, if you will. There's that saying, "Songs aren't written, they're rewritten." So instead of having to start from scratch every time you need an idea, you can take something you've already made, that may not be perfect, and mold and sculpt it into something better. The more you do it, the less time it will take you to get to that finished product.

I've tried this before with lyrics. Once, when my basement got flooded, I couldn't do much of anything music or recording-wise, so I wrote a set of lyrics a day. Of course, some were better than others, and I didn't wind up using all of them. But when I finally got my studio hooked up again, I picked the ones I liked the best, finished them up and recorded them. I got some really good songs that way. Admittedly, I haven't tried this recently. But at least I know it's a method that really can work.
1
Share
Old 24th March 2020
  #39
Lives for gear
 

There's definately a difference between "songwriting" and composing.

Imho there's way too many ....

"strum a chord, sing a bit, strum another chord sing a bit more"

You've got to think, search, create, sweat a bit ... you not going to get "Bridge over troubled water" like that.

Sure, occasionally something great comes out in one sitting, but for me it always needs development and work.

I think Paul Simon once said I've only written about 100 songs, but they've been a 100 hits!

Don't create "filler" leave that to the building trade.

Be inspired and go searching for those gems.
Old 2nd May 2020
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
Gazsilla's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Histedied View Post
Young songwriters need to know that writing is like a work. It’s not something that can be done in a few hours. It takes much longer than writing a review for college. You have to stay with it. When I look at something I wrote, I remember the trouble I had writing it. I don’t write in any kind of fever. Not at all. I might start with the ending and work my way back to the beginning. It’s more like a mosaic, pieced together. When it’s working right, a story has a certain fluidity. That’s my ideal, to move it along like a stream. My colleague from paidpaper.net prefers to write very slowly. He is trying to write something perfect, spending more than one week on it.
Not that I've had any commercial success, but I'm able to sometimes create something I'm proud of - even if the world doesn't notice.

When that happens, there's something basic/core to the song that comes very quickly. But to refine it and complete it can take months or even years. Some of the tracks I've recently completed had their inception 5+ years ago.

Never understood the obsession with quantity. Would much rather get it right.
1
Share
Old 4th May 2020
  #41
I've heard of some hit songs being written in minutes and others taking years to come to fruition.

I don't think there's any hard and fast rule on this stuff, just nice stories that people make up about it all. But to take a song from rough idea to finished product that's ready for airplay? It's a group effort that definitely takes time. It's not just about creativity but organization, communication, trust and more than a little compromise. The difference between a demo and a finished product might seem minor if you're not paying attention to the details but it's the sum of all the parts that get the idea from your head and as you want it to the world at large as the world wants it.
Old 10th May 2020
  #42
Lives for gear
 
EvgenyStudio's Avatar
It depends on what you need to do.

Fast for laying down main idea and hooks - you can’t screw up inspiration flow and you have limited art-drive

Slow for rewrites and all extras - you can take time with technical stuff like rhyming and syllables count
Old 5th October 2020
  #43
Closing this thread as it’s become a spam trap... if you want to continue discussion please start a new one! Thanks!
Closed
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump