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#443355 - 12/07/17 11:06 AM [Songwriting] Coming up with Songs
Islansoul Offline

Registered: 05/15/15
Posts: 650
Loc: St. Petersburg , FL
How do you all make such wonderful songs in the user showcase? I can barley come up with one.
Computer: Mid 2014 Macbook Pro,
DAWs: Pro Tools, Logic, and Maschine
plays drums, percussion, bass, steel pan, keyboard,
music producer/engineer

#443361 - 12/07/17 11:19 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Guitarhacker Offline

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5248
How does one create? That's a hard question to answer. Kinda like my dog.... she's a cadaver dog. We taught her what she's looking for and we know she can find what she's looking for, but we don't know how she does what she does. Same thing with writing songs..... it just happens. Some people struggle and some people can write a good song in 15 minutes and do it consistently. If you dig deeper, you will generally find that the ones who struggle don't spend the time writing or learning about writing, and the ones who can consistently knock out good songs every week are students of the craft and have thousands of hours invested in their instrument, their recording techniques and in their writing and you'll find them writing lots and lots of songs.

The more you write and create, and study the art and craft of songwriting and actually spend hundreds and thousands of hours doing it....and become knowledgeable with the software tools you have to the point that they don't impede your work flow, the better your musical creativity becomes.

Study the songs in the genre and style you really like and try to use those songs as a template for writing your own. You'll often see people commenting on a song here say that the song sounds like a certain song or artist. Chances are really good that the writer is a huge fan of that artist. I know I do that and I've seen it in so many other writers as well.

This doesn't even scratch the surface but it's a starting point. Songwriting, while having a natural talent for it helps, is, for the most part, an acquired skill. Acquired through endless hours of writing songs.
You can find my music at:

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

#443363 - 12/07/17 11:32 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Islansoul Offline

Registered: 05/15/15
Posts: 650
Loc: St. Petersburg , FL
Thanks, I see so many songs on the forum and I feel sad that I can't come up with songs most of you do. I end up writing backing tracks to famous songs.
Computer: Mid 2014 Macbook Pro,
DAWs: Pro Tools, Logic, and Maschine
plays drums, percussion, bass, steel pan, keyboard,
music producer/engineer

#443382 - 12/07/17 12:30 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Samuel Davis Offline

Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 130
Loc: Florida
I agree with what Guitarhacker has said above. Like the old saying goes "Practice Makes Perfect." I find my recording and producing techniques becoming better and better the more I do it. Same with my songwriting skills. (Always remember there is a difference between writing a song and producing a song.)

As far as producing I am probably not the best at describing how to go about that. Half the time I'm not even sure exactly what I'm doing. I just try to make it sound good and BIAB has helped make that a lot easier.

As for writing a song itself there are many different ways to go about it. Nobody does it exactly the same. You have to experiment until you find something that works for you. If you are rather new to songwriting I waould suggest reading a few books about the subject and the techniques that others use. Perhaps you will find something that works for you. As for myself I use different methods when writing different songs but let me tell you what I do a lot of the time.

I like to strip things down to the basics when writing a song. Usually I will start with just my acoustic guitar, a pencil, paper and my phone. Once I have an idea to write about I will usually start by coming up with a chorus or hook. I sing a melody and strum the basic chords sometimes recording it on my phone for a reference. I'll write it down and go over it a few times to see if I like what I have. Then I move onto the verses following the same steps as I used to write the chorus. I find it useful here to have an online rhyming dictionary and thesaurus at your disposal. (It will help you find word to tell your story that rhyme) Once You have all the verses and chorus written you have your song. Then you can move onto putting your chords into BIAB and finding a style you like to start producing your song.

I hope this helps you out.
Samuel Davis Jr
BIAB 2018 + Cubase + Ignite

#443406 - 12/07/17 01:54 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
JohnJohnJohn Offline

Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2008
Join a songwriting group and write lots of songs.

#443440 - 12/07/17 05:17 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Guitarhacker Offline

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5248
many songwriters simply observe life and write about what they see.

I get song ideas all the time and titles for songs from what people say. Example.... I was out with my wife and we were in WalMart when we met a friend we hadn't seen in a long time. In the conversation something was said and I instantly thought..... Hey that's a damn fine title for a country song.... I gotta remember that and I did..... I'll be working on it as soon as I finish a few other projects first.

I also get ideas to write about from listings. Some of the publishers I work with put out listings with specifics as to what the producer is looking for. If you really want to sharpen your skills, try writing for a subject that a producer wants and has to have in a day or two. Deadlines either blow you out of the water or force you to focus and get the job done. Fortunately, the last one I did like that was a cover tune, but I still had to put the music together, record it, sing it and get the wave to them. With BB/RB/SONAR, I had it done in a few hours.

One song on my website..... RAINY DAY was an original that was done under a very tight (2 days IIRC) deadline. They gave the details of how they wanted to use the song in the movie and the details of what it needed to be about. I had to write it, record it, and get it to them before the deadline expired. That one was a TAXI listing. That is a good place to get song ideas and songs that have deadlines. Even if you're not a member, you can go there, see the listings, and write to the listing. You can also hear what others are writing for the very same listing if they post it.

Collaborating is another good way to force yourself to write. Having another person to bounce ideas around with is good. Often, I find that at least half if not more of the ideas I try to work on with collaborators doesn't pan out very well...... but..... if you and they are willing to let it go and keep trying, those magic moments will happen, as is evidenced by a number of the songs I have had the pleasure to work on with others.....

Whiskey For Breakfast is one example of a more recent collab with David Snyder from the PG forum here.

Lots of ideas and things to try.... the important thing is to do it.

Edited by Guitarhacker (12/07/17 05:19 PM)
You can find my music at:

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

#443461 - 12/07/17 08:20 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Sundance Offline

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 3955
You've already had some good advice. I'll add this -

Since you are already comfortable making backing tracks for famous songs - go to one of the sites that post lyrics from wannabe lyricists - find one that moves you - what do you feel hear when you read those lyrics. Offer to put it to music. Will you find the next number one hit there - probably not but you will get great hands on practice.

Do what you can do now. Learn more as you go. Read articles, books and watch any videos you can find by Jason Blume. There are many great songwriting books teachers and online classes. Jason's road to success is inspirational and he's a great teacher who I always recommend for anyone interested in learning to write songs.

My videos
My songs

Laugh often and love much.

#443820 - 12/09/17 11:27 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
rockstar_not Offline

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7206
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
What do you think are stumbling blocks? Lyrics, chord selection, song section and form decisions, etc.? If it is none of those what is the biggest struggle? All of the posts above have great advice. Maybe you need a self imposed constraint to finish a song in a weekend, start to stop and ‘publish’. Experiment, try different song forms, etc. as stat d before it takes lots of practice writing throwaway songs to get a few keepers. Make sure it’s fun. If it isn’t it might not be for you.

#444410 - Today at 05:09 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Jim Fogle Online   content

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Try taking a free, six week, songwriting course taught by Pat Patterson. It's available on Coursera and Pat Patterson is a professor at Berklee College of Music. You will be urged to pay for certification but you can audit the course for free. +++ Find Out More HERE +++
Jim Fogle
2017 BiaB (470) UltraPlusPak RB 2017 (Build 8)
Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB HDD
Music at:

++ Saving My Sanity One Song At A Time ++

#444435 - 35 minutes 28 seconds ago [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Jim Fogle]
Don Gaynor Online   content

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7586
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Lots of excellent advice above.

A great Nashville songwriter and forum-mate, Floyd Jane, posted his workflow today. He has been very successful with it

You may need to be on Facebook to view it but I think PG Music has posted it also.

Several of us took the Songwriter Course by Professor Pat Pattison. It's the same course taken by 5-time Emmy winner, Gilian Welch. You will learn a lot in the course. Pat is a great teacher.

Thanks for reminding me, Jim Fogle.


#444443 - 17 minutes 31 seconds ago [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Don Gaynor]
Don Gaynor Online   content

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7586
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Since chord progressions are not copyrighted, try "borrowing" the chords from a favorite song then let BIAB create a brand new melody.

I borrowed the chords from Beatles' "Yesterday" and came up with this:

You will hear the original trying to escape.


Edited by Don Gaynor (11 minutes 1 second ago)
Edit Reason: Added a link


Moderator:  Andrew - PG Music, PeterGannon 
PG Music News
Announcing…The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

We are excited to announce the release of a new project: The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

Songwriter Floyd Jane shows the songwriting process from inspiration to performance and publication:

The idea for this project came about when many members on this forum and elsewhere were asking questions about the song writing process. There are many aspects, and many parts of it necessary to create a song, get it arranged, performed, and then published on the internet. So we asked the great songwriter Floyd Jane, who is a regular member on this forum, if he could help. Floyd agreed and was even able to collaborate with other forum members, Janice and Bud. The result is this video we put together that you can see on YouTube or Facebook, called "The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)".

We hope this video helps other songwriters with their songwriting process, and also shows them tools that are available to them along the way. Also, we mention this User Showcase Forum, and hope to see many new aspiring or accomplished songwriters join this community :blush:

A big Thank You to Floyd for sharing your knowledge with the community and making this possible. And to Janice and Bud for your great collaboration!

Here is Floyd's original forum post for his song "A Little Bit Of Me":

Check out Floyd / Janice & Bud’s music here:

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows - 49 Requests Fulfilled!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows boasts more than 50 new features... and a lot of the new features fill the requests posted by program users!

Some of these include:

Q. I am learning guitar. The RealTracks are very helpful in that I can hear great guitar players, and most of the tracks have tab and notation as well. But there is much more to guitar, could you include some videos of some of the RealTracks Artists? Because I would learn much more from seeing a guitarist than just hearing them.

A. We have a major new feature called "Video RealTracks." These work and sound like RealTracks, but you get to see a video of the Guitarist (or whatever instrument) playing as well. The amazing thing is that this works with any chord progression you type in. So, if you want to learn to play like the great guitarist Brent Mason, for example, you can type in chords to any progression you are interested in, and then hear and see a video of Brent soloing over your progression. Now you can learn much quicker, as it helps to see how a musician is performing, as well as to hear.

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Q. I like to save songs as MP3 files, and can't do this with BiaB, except a very low quality one, 64kbps.

A. We've improved this, by adding support for Windows Media Foundation. This allows you to save MP3 in your choice of resolutions, up to very high 320mpbs. Better still, it works on current versions of Windows (Windows 7,8,10) and also on older versions too (Vista, XP).

We've answered 49 questions - review all of these answers on our forum post "49 of your Problems solved? List of 49 Requests fulfilled in Band-in-a-Box 2018" here.

All of the new features in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows can be reviewed at

RealBand® 2018 for Windows Build 3 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 users can update their version with the latest patch, Build 3. Download this patch here

Summary of Changes since 2018 Build 3:

Added: Section Numbers supported. All section letter menus now include numbers 1 through 9 in addition to letters A through Z.
Fixed: Section letters in Notation Window were not being resized if the notation was zoomed in/out
Fixed: RealBand might freeze when generating audio harmonies
Fixed: Loading in a BB song (MGU/SGU) or generating realtracks could freeze up the program.
Fixed: Chords in Notation/LeadSheet on 1st beat of a bar were being drawn too close to bar lines.
Fixed: Support for XP and Vista.

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 505 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can update their version with the latest patch - Build 505.

This patch can be downloaded here.

Summary of changes for Build 505:

Added: You can now put Section Numbers in your song. Previously you could only use letters A-Z, but now you can use 1-9 as well.
Added:You can now filter styles in the StylePicker for styles that contain Video RealTracks.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box would crash with error "Procedure entry point MFTEnumEx could not be found in the Dynamic Link Library Mfplat.DLL" while starting up if using Windows Vista.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box would crash with error message "dwmapi.dll cannot be found" while starting up if using Windows XP.
Fixed: The Transcribe feature in the Audio Edit window was not always working.
Fixed: The Windows Audio Devices dialog might show garbage text for names of devices if not running Band-in-a-Box in English.
Fixed: There was no Quality selector in the Render to Audio File dialog if rendering MP3 on Windows 7 or earlier.
Fixed: There were visual artifacts in the leadsheet & notation windows when moving the cursor.
Fixed: Using the Transpose or stretching features in the Audio Edit window might cause an access violation if the audio track is mono.
Improved: Band-in-a-Box will start up faster.
Improved: Importing ABC Notation files has been improved.
Updated: Help file and manuals.
Updated: RealTracks Artist bio's.

New! Video RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

NEW with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows... Video RealTracks Sets!

Video RealTracks allow you to see the RealTracks artist playing that track - you can use them just like any other RealTrack, and you can generate a video which will display the musician playing your song exactly as you hear it. You can also include a chord sheet or notation in the video.
TIP: If you load one of the video RealTracks bands, you will have video RealTracks on 5 tracks, and you can make a video of 1-5 musicians!

We've added Video RealTracks Set 1: Pop Ballad Band to our Free Bonus PAK included in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows packages during our December special.
Video RealTracks Set 2: Country TrainBeat Band is included in the 2018 49-PAK, along with 40 Bonus UNRELEASED RealTracks, 22 MIDI SuperTracks, 101 Instrumental Studies, and Artist Performance Set 8: Traditional Songs Sung by Béatrix Méthé.

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Video - 202 NEW RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows we also released 202 NEW RealTracks (in Sets 278-300)! Listen to all the individual demos here:, or watch our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows - 202 New RealTracks Overview Video:

Get all 202 new RealTracks when you purchase any Band-in-a-Box® 2018 UltraPAK, Audiophile Edition, or the PlusPAK upgrade, on sale until December 31st!

NEW! Xtra Styles PAK 4 - Available for both Windows and Mac!

We've just released Xtra Styles PAK 4 with over 150 new RealStyles for Rock-Pop, Jazz, Country, and 'Folk and Beyond' styles! These new RealStyles will work with the RealTracks included in any Band-in-a-Box® version 2017 or higher UltraPAK or Audiophile Edition.

To add to the excitement of this release, we're putting all of our Xtra Styles PAKs on SALE! Until December 31st, purchase any Xtra Styles PAK (1 - 4) for just $29 each! (reg. $49)

Listen to all the demos of these new Xtra Styles here, or check out this video:

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