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-   -   Neil Young On Songwriting - "Thinking is the worst thing for writing a song". (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271802)

LGOJerry 11-10-2012 03:56 PM

I think everyone probably begins with the spontaniety of Neil's method, but in reality, once you have the first few lyrics down, you need to go back over them and refine them so they make sense.

There are far too many nonsensical songs out there, some with fine melodies, but still incomplete and poorly constructed. The usual problem is that the writer didn't bother to refine the lyrics.

alnico5 11-10-2012 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billgennaro (Post 3237273)
i agree with Glenn - coming up with a subject, especially one that isn't about a woman, is the hard part. its always a struggle for me.

bill

John Fogarty never wrote about women much (Sweet Hitchhiker maybe). He is unique.

Glennwillow 11-10-2012 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alnico5 (Post 3237950)
John Fogarty never wrote about women much (Sweet Hitchhiker maybe). He is unique.

John Fogerty is a good example of a good songwriter.

- Glenn

Bern 11-10-2012 10:03 PM

I guess, Neil has never thought about writing a song about 'thinking'.:)

MBE 11-11-2012 09:34 AM

That approach works for some people, in some styles.

All my best stuff has come out in a whirlwind of "where did that come from?" so I can understand his perspective.

I find it hard, however, to imagine a prog-rock song coming out without much thinking involved. There are only so many key changes and time signature changes that could happen spontaneously ;)

Glennwillow 11-11-2012 09:53 AM

I think inspiration can be one of those things that comes into a person's head, and yet we really don't understand how it happens. For this reason, there's a tendency to think that "not thinking" too much allows inspiration in. My own experience is that a great deal of thinking often leads to inspiration. But you have to know how to work your brain to allow it to happen. It cannot be forced, but you have to be open to it when it comes and then be willing to jump on that inspiration right then and there and turn it into something real.

In my everyday life as a mechanical design engineer over the last 42 years, I have been confronted with many problems that needed to be solved, and I spent a great deal of time thinking and trying on ideas and then twisting and inverting those ideas to try to come up with really good, cost-effective answers. Many times those ideas came to fruition in the form of inspiration after weeks or months or even years of thinking, often when waking in the night at 3 AM with the idea right there for me to grab hold of and use the next day at work.

- Glenn


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