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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 4508
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:52 pm 
 

Hello, i've been playing guitar for an year now (just acoustic). And I've been listening to metal for about 2 years now. Except for guitars, i find lyrics to be quite interesting, too. Some days ago i started to try writing lyrics, but there's some problems!

1; I'm (just) 14 years old, therefore, my lexicion is pretty limited, i'm aiming to write lyrics about fantasy, but i don't want my lyrics to be too directly.

2; I don't have (much) inspiration! i find subjects like fantasy, religion (not anti religion) and corruption (of mankind) very interesting. When i'm trying to write something it ends up either 1 Too directly, or 2; too simple written.

If anyone could give me some tips how to write, when to write ect, i would appreciate it alot. Thanks in advance!

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Unholy_Asar
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:29 am
Posts: 574
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:58 pm 
 

I've also been writing lyrics for quite some time. The question you're asking is quite connected to what genre you intend to go with the lyrics. I write mostly lyrics about (dark) fantasy, with aspects of theistic satanism and paganism sometimes thrown in (I know these subjects are usually considered quite stupid, but the theistic satanism I am talking about is used more like another form of dark fantasy, a bit like christianity is sometimes used in doom metal, and not in the Deathspell Omega/Funeral Mist kind of way). I have found that the key to it is generally practice.

What I did is that I've spent a lot of time learning lots of complicated and old words. This is the best way to expand ones vocabulary, and teaches you a lot of cool words to use for lyrical purposes. I did this through reading a lot of old books in english. H.P. Lovecraft teaches you a whole lot of uncommon words you can use, as does a lot of romanticist poems, and The Divine Comedy written during the middle ages is also highly reccomended. This is also very good reading...

...You can also read metal lyrics... :p

Apart from this, there is no harm in starting a poem at one time and finishing or editing it later. If you edit a really bad poem enough, you might wind up with something useable at some point.

As for the "doing it too directly", I'm going to have to guess a bit what you mean by that, since there to my knowledge doesn't exist such an english expression. I'm guessing that you mean that your lyrics become to straightforward. The way to battle this problem is to master the use of metaphors. Don't just write that something is beautiful, make the one who reads or hears the lyrics believe that it is beautiful by describing it in such a way that the word "beautiful" isn't ever needed in the lyrics. This is the way that I go about it.

Be a bit careful with this though. If you overdo it you might end up with an extremely abstract piece of lyrics that nobody understands, since they just think you were high on acid while you wrote it. I speak from experience... :uh oh:
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Last edited by Unholy_Asar on Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Misainzig
Epicurean Gynaecologist

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:30 pm
Posts: 2255
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:07 pm 
 

What I do is just write shit. Even if there's nothing at all I want to write about. I'll just start writing random fucking sentences. Eventually, I'll hit on a concept I might want to expand. Sometimes I don't. The only advice I have for you is to write as much as you can. There will probably be some stuff you think is fucking dumb, but that's why you keep writing. That way you can just replace that stuff with newer/better stuff.
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tallman2555
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:08 pm
Posts: 41
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:03 pm 
 

Read alot of different stuff. It'll expand your vocabulary. If your writing about a subject, try and look at it from a lot of different points of views.

Also, go back to what you wrote a few days later and revise it, instead of going over it right after your done. You'll usually be able to see that some parts are lame if you let it get out your head first.

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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 4508
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:01 am 
 

Thanks everyone! i might read some english books soon, probably the easiest way to make my lexicion better. For now, i will just try to work on a few sentences a day, since I shouldn't start writing too much at once.

Again, thanks you all!

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Warlocks_amulet
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:56 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Depths ov Hell, Germany
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:50 pm 
 

Often times ideas will pop into your head at the most obscure times, always be ready to write anything down, then improve upon it. I've come up with several lyrics in the shower, driving, etc.. Draw ideas from what interests you, if religion interests you, read up on it, learn more about it, then writing about it will be easier.

Something like...

"Burning flesh, blood and gore
This is hell but we call it war
force fed lies we've heard before
from the holy father and his worthless whore"


I don't know, not religious or anything but just an example, and yes it does suck but oh well.

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grotesqueartistry
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:52 pm
Posts: 19
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:43 pm 
 

Misainzig wrote:
What I do is just write shit. Even if there's nothing at all I want to write about. I'll just start writing random fucking sentences.



i did this for a good 2 years straight. Nothing good came out of it, at all. I kept everything i wrote down for two years then reviewed them all. After a while I did get a lot better though.

id suggest incorporating metaphors and personification when writing lyrics. Those are what really makes it interesting. Those are good ground rules for making imagery as well. When you are writing, describe your subject, dont just tell us what it is you know?

Also just think of different ways of getting the same message across. Use a thesaurus too.

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secretninja
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:17 am
Posts: 251
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:51 pm 
 

Warlocks_amulet wrote:
"Burning flesh, blood and gore
This is hell but we call it war
force fed lies we've heard before
from the holy father and his worthless whore"


I honestly hope you're not planning to write that into a song. Not saying it's bad, but doesn't it sound a bit too much like "God, His son and his Holy Whore" by Amon Amarth?
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Misainzig
Epicurean Gynaecologist

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:30 pm
Posts: 2255
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:58 pm 
 

colin040 wrote:
I shouldn't start writing too much at once.
Why not?
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Warlocks_amulet
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:56 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Depths ov Hell, Germany
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:45 pm 
 

secretninja wrote:
Warlocks_amulet wrote:
"Burning flesh, blood and gore
This is hell but we call it war
force fed lies we've heard before
from the holy father and his worthless whore"


I honestly hope you're not planning to write that into a song. Not saying it's bad, but doesn't it sound a bit too much like "God, His son and his Holy Whore" by Amon Amarth?


Whoops, it's one of the Amon Amarth songs I haven't heard lol. And no, I just made something up as an example.

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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 4508
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:37 am 
 

Misainzig wrote:
colin040 wrote:
I shouldn't start writing too much at once.
Why not?


Hmm, well Okay. I will try to write some random sentences today and try if they match together.

When i've got something, i'll let you know! thanks everyone!

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secretninja
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:17 am
Posts: 251
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:16 am 
 

Warlocks_amulet wrote:
secretninja wrote:
Warlocks_amulet wrote:
"Burning flesh, blood and gore
This is hell but we call it war
force fed lies we've heard before
from the holy father and his worthless whore"


I honestly hope you're not planning to write that into a song. Not saying it's bad, but doesn't it sound a bit too much like "God, His son and his Holy Whore" by Amon Amarth?


Whoops, it's one of the Amon Amarth songs I haven't heard lol. And no, I just made something up as an example.


Yeah, Amon Amarth has a lot of music :| Anyhow, I guess it's good for just an example.
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LindisfarneAnno793 wrote:
ALL THAT DEFAULT SHIT SUCKS. IT DOESN'T BELONG HERE. IT BELONGS ON FUCKIN' MARS, MAN!
Current ringtone: Default Nokia tune.

Cephalopod wrote:
He thinks the gorillas 4 arms and dexterity will save it. I'm skeptical

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mattp
Veteran

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:57 pm
Posts: 2910
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:11 am 
 

First, I'll either sketch out a concept or plot for a song, or I'll randomly come up with a cool phrase. Sometimes both.

For instance, one of the new songs I'm working on is called "The Chains of Rememberance". I got the idea from a sign on my college's wall, "The Book of Remembrance". I already had a concept, involving the independence and breaking free from the chains that bind you. I wrote a chorus around the main idea, and used the verses to fill in the details and write the story.

Or alternatively, another song ( "The Mind's Betrayal" ) I didn't have a "cool phrase". I just had a story and a concept, and I wrote the song from there.

Then there's the "lets throw a lot of cool phrases together" songwriting aspect, which I do fairly often...
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Hollywars
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:20 pm
Posts: 142
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:26 pm 
 

Write about the horrors of the world. At the Gates got away with it for like 4 albums and a demo. Angst works too. Might not necessarily be good, but it's lyrics.

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DerekBuhr
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:45 pm
Posts: 151
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:38 pm 
 

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head when I'm writing.

1) Be in the mood to write.

If you don't feel like writing, it will be horrible. I've got 40 pages of lyrics to prove it. I can figure out whether or not what I wrote was worth it easily the next day, and every time I've tried to just force something it's come out horribly upon later examination.

2) Dictionary.com

Get word of the day in your mailbox. You'd be surprised how much this will expand a vocabulary. Read something, anything. I personally haven't read a fictional book in ages. However, I read pages upon pages of scientific literature at work, so in some form make sure you're reading.

3) Read Metal Lyrics?

This is so touch and go it isn't even funny. You'll find something you like in the plethora of the genres. Personally, I find Will Jackson of FASSW lyrics extremely influential. I hate anything to do with the standard gore/anguish/war type lyrics in death/black/thrash, so for me it took a while since I generally can't stand metal. Just read the lyrics to every CD you get, you'll find a style that fits.

4) Write Whenever You Can, Keep It All

This I think is huge. No matter if it's just a single line or an entire song, keep it somewhere. Saved on your computer, in a gigantic notebook, it doesn't matter, put it down. I can't tell you how many times I've had something on my head but because I didn't have pen and pad I lost it. As for keeping it all, it lets you know when you're repeating topics you've used before. It lets you know stylistically how you work, do you tend to emphasize a single word over and over or are you neurotic and attempt to never use the same word twice in a song (it's a horrible vice I have).

I've been writing like this for 8 years and I've got piles of crap songs, and a few things I think are worthy of actual songs when I conjure up the time to record things. You've also got websites like Scribophile that you can post up poems, stories, etc., for feedback.

But like anything, it's practice makes perfect. Add personal feedback from friends or people on this board and you'll be writing material you like in no time. I emphasis "you like" cause honestly, I've never thought it a great idea to write for your audience when it comes to music...
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wrak
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:02 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:14 pm 
 

If you are having a hard time writing lyrics just write a text stright forward with what you want the lyrics to be about. Then try to split it up and make it rhyme etc if you want. I'm not a great lyricist but I've got a lot of good feedback from my lyrics.
Write something and make it seem like it you're deepthinking or what i should call it, but when all comes to all...it doesn't really need to be a deep text.

Haha sorry for a bad explanation :)

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