Music or Lyrics First?

A lot of people ask me how I go about writing my songs. Do I write the lyrics first and set them to music, or do I have the music first and then write lyrics to go along with it?

Basically, I simply pick up my guitar and start strumming and playing random chords, or I do some finger-picking. Then I just sort of start humming the melodies that come to my head. A lot of la-la-la / da-da-da’s. And before I know it, words take shape and I start getting a feel for what my heart is trying to say about the music I’m playing. Then I start writing.

A lot of times I write the chorus first, but not always. There have been a few songs, such as “Beside Still Waters,” where I had the verses all written for weeks and had to come back to the song to write the chorus later on. But most of the times I write the entire song in one sitting. It usually takes about 90 minutes or so.

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