Words or Melody: Which Comes First?

When people ask some of the most famous songwriters whether they prefer to start composing the melody or writing the lyrics to the song they’re working on, chances are the answers they’d give would vary. Some would say that they come up with melodies while playing around with different chords on an instrument, while others find inspiration to write a song beginning with the words. Contrary to what many people believe, there is no definite formula for writing songs. What works for one song writer may not work for another.

Creating one’s own process in writing songs is a very personal thing. Some people go through a process of trial and error to find a way that works for them, while others just wait for things to come to them naturally. There are also some song writers who don’t follow a particular formula when practicing their craft. Each song they write has a story behind how the piece came to be, and the way they began writing the song varies each time.

Some people are just natural-born lyricists. They are good with words and can express their thoughts and feelings clearly through the lyrics that they write. These people tend to begin the song writing process by writing down words, phrases, or even entire verses that revolve around a central theme. They then arrange the structure of the verses and then create a melody for the song.

Other composers are so musically-inclined that melodies are the first things that they come up with when they get inspiration for a song. Some of them fill in their songs with gibberish while arranging the different melodies that make up the song, while others are able to complete a song with words only added toward the end of the process.

Many songs are written through a collaboration of two or more people. These songs often become hits because the people working on it are assigned to do what they do best. Co-writing is a good way for beginners to start creating their own masterpieces. This way, they are able to focus on their strengths and learn how to improve in parts that they are weak at by observing how their co-writer works. Many artists who want to start writing songs on their own also learn the ropes by working in collaboration with another song writer until they know enough to start working on a song on their own.