SG101 on the Web

Follow SurfGuitar101 on Twitter

Photo of the Day
Shoutbox

Tqi: Synchro, I managed to squeeze the Axial's in. Still working on how to lay them out next to the pots though.
253 days ago

dragonfly: Being homebound I just downloaded SG101 2014 music and loving it. Hooray for downloads. Thanks to everyone responsible. HBISM retired coordinator 2014 Cool
183 days ago

dragonfly: Thanks whoever posted photo of the day with Dean Dick and yours truly. What an awesome day that was. Love to all the surf community!
180 days ago

DannySnyder: People often say "icy" is the easiest word to spell and looking at it now, I see why.
127 days ago

Emilien03: BAJA SURF STOMP!
111 days ago

Emilien03: https://www....
111 days ago

Tqi: Oy, Fender, Orange. One of you, make a 20W starved-plate valve bass amp. Like an Origin 20 with a big OT.
62 days ago

Remora: New member here saying hello
27 days ago

Clint: Ever try to explain “surf music” to friends? A Day at the Beach Podcast #150 can do this for you. It explains how it got started and ends with today’s modern bands and much more. Please share with those unaware… https://www....
19 days ago

synchro: Hello Remora.
8 days ago

Please login or register to shout.

Current Polls

No polls at this time. Check out our past polls.

Current Contests

No contests at this time. Check out our past contests.

Donations

Help us meet our monthly goal:

67%

67%

Donate Now

SG101 Banner

SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Musician »

Permalink How do you write a surf song?

New Topic
Goto Page: Previous 1 2 3 4

Yeah simple works Smile

I know song writing is hard, its easier to talk about then actually accomplish in my mind. It can take 5 minutes to 5 years to write a song. Ok I admit my dance theory is out there but I just ordered a good book about that and will update later what I find here. My idea about this is it may be easier to make backing tracks that groove with dance moves.

One idea is you could just make new Surf Instrumentals and just post them on YouTube and maybe make money through monetized commercials - The key to that is you have to update everyday and have new material all the time for that to work - some bands just put up a few songs or just a Cd worth - that's not enough for that to work etc... So that's a lot of work and talent to pull that off ….. Whatever

I might try this - I have lots of gear to pull this off - I am real lazy recording because I play covers and rather listen to the original artists or other bands and not me - but writing and recording them sounds like fun to me.

I have a Beat Buddy pedal and even has the feel of a real drummer and I can midi chain it to a drum module etc-

So I might try converting some old music or use as inspiration being my music theory memory is low right now. Take some classical score and make a surf tune out of it. Just to see if I can do that too, like many others did.

Today was a all time low point for playing. That bothers me too somedays I'm great and today not so good lol Laughing Oh well is that a good day to write songs on off days and record them on good days? Maybe that will work for my usual performance.

Last edited: Jan 28, 2019 21:53:44

Surfing_Sam_61 wrote:

Today was a all time low point for playing. That bothers me too somedays I'm great and today not so good lol Laughing Oh well is that a good day to right off days and record on good days.

It happens to all of us. At last week’s at band practice, I couldn’t make a mistake, but this week’s was a different story. By two hours in, I was fatigued and not playing well at all. Sometimes we just have off days.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

I played better yesterday - even made up a song Cool

Yeah I think its important to have a work station for creating new songs. I got the idea while playing yesterday. So I organized all my gear I already have and set up a mini studio of sorts on a counter top type desk. I have a ton of stuff I forgot I even had. I don't even have to buy anything to make recordings etc.

It will take me a couple of days to set up still - but I'm going to try the YouTube artist thing and see how bad that goes. I tried that before with other stuff and only had a few hundred views but I didn't work on it hardly at all or manage the account in anyway.

I have a lot of books on song writing over the years I forgot I had as well. So I have a lot of resources plus all the stuff on the net. The world probably doesn't need any new songs but it looks fun to do so will try this out. I did make up a few songs like 25 years ago but the band I was in wouldn't do them being it didn't fit the alternative rock crap they were into. (I couldn't stand the stuff to be honest). They did let me play Wipeout on the drums at a party once. One song I made up was comedy type rock song - but the backing track sounds like a Surf Instrumental anyway .....hum Whatever

It's funny when I did make up this song back thenI thought it was something new and different etc - but I now realize there are millions of songs with different variations of the same exact scale and chord progressions. - I have a lot of Classical and Big Band type music around this new desk work station already, so I can reverse engineer some ideas to start with. I do not even have to search for any on the net or my storage area - I got tons of records in there etc.

I have been listening to a lot of new Surf Instrumentals just to see what is being made out there. And right off many sound like old standard surf tunes or have almost the same type leads or at least can tell what song they were evolved from. Oh there's Pipeline - Surf Party - or Walk Don't Run 64 etc ctc. I found myself doing the same thing trying to come up with something - oh there's Bullwinkle again (stop that Surfing Sam) lol ...but I guess its just the habit of what we play the most that comes out naturally - So I'm trying to fight that - I guess you have to think outside the box to write new fresh material.

I do like the new Surf Tune I came up with yesterday in Dm - Ok it started sounding like Bullwinkle at times. Ok how do you stop playing other well know riffs you know well. It took some other ideas from various Surf instrumentals and varied the notes a little etc and it sounds amazingly different and new. I tried to come up with something I never remember hearing before. I think thats how its done. In like maybe a hour just fooling around I made a new song. I did add in a few on the fly rhythms etc . Dunno

Last edited: Jan 30, 2019 04:13:02

Just read two excellent books on Writing Songs:

Song Maps ( A new system to write your best lyrics) by Simon Hawkins

He is a British song writer that has co-written many songs in Nashville and has co-written 500 songs with over 80 other writers. (He says most hit songs are written by teams of writers) I thought this was pretty good.

Another good book:

Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting 126 Techniques for Writing Songs that Sell by Robin Frederick

Basically the main feature of this book is if you have no co-writer or writers - the next best method is using ghost-songs or hit songs on the radio as a backing track to come up with new Lyrics and or melody. You can't use the melody or and Lyric phrases of these tunes in your final draft of your song being it is the only 2 components or features of a song that is copyrighted. But everything else is up for grabs as far as a song writer. One example many songs have the same Chord progressions so you can't copyright that and they can be used for new songs etc. .. which goes back to my original theory on here that all music is reverse engineered and goes back generations. This method is used by all song writers (just a well kept secret).

Song titles are a good place to start writing a song, but you can't copyright the title, its much like chord progressions you can't copyright that either. (Only Lyrics and Melody). A good example there are 439 copyrighted songs named "Angel." So don't worry about title's being similar or the same - just write the songs with new melody and Lyrics.

It's the Lyric and the melody that is original in all songs and this book gives you 126 shortcuts to do that.

Being Surf Instrumentals follow the Verse-Chorus form of songs this book might help in arranging a new instrumental maybe - but its more about creating new lyrics than anything else.

Last edited: Feb 06, 2019 12:10:27

I admit the thread is a year old but I'm not (as a poster, that is). Agree with the 2nd response that mentioned a rhythm chord progression and multitrack recording.

Actually, the 'multi' part in terms of different instruments isn't as crucial as the multi part in terms of being able to record one track after another and to compare them side-by-side. Depending on your preferences or approach, you can 'comp' them by tying them all together in a single track ie that's the song length you end up with...or it can help you decide on a final structure and play it start-to-finish as a full take.
eg IVCVCBCVCO (I=intro, V=verse, C=chorus, B=bridge, O=outro)
or
ABCBCDCBCE (where letters correspond to sections)

I usually decide on a key first because it can dictate where the progression goes and how and because my perception of keys is such that they have 'personalities.' For example, F# is a growly, menacing key while G is sunshine and happiness even though they are a half-step apart. This is also because F# often leads into an E or an A and therefore has a power-chord feel. Once the mood is established via a key it sets some 'rules' for the progression.

Lead parts are, for me, pure noodling but again by recording, deleting, appending, comparing various noodles I can latch onto and keep one or more good ideas (PS - much of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours parts were originally captured in this manner). I rarely write anything down and I generally can't be fussed about scales, modes or theory. I like to feel like the guitar is 'talking' with breaths, pauses, emphasis, punctuation, etc. I don't like melody lines that are just a flood of notes.

Bass is where the fun is...for me anyway. I'm capable and experienced enough to avoid root-note drudgery and almost always go for a walking or call-and-response part or throw thirds, fifths or octaves in.

My 'drumming' is limited to MIDI pads tied into plugins but I'm only recording demos and they sound good enough to get the job done. I use sticks and track kick, snare, toms, crashes and hi-hat separately.

It's amazing how much a song's personality can change when the bass and especially the drums are added....kick drum seems like such an afterthought at times but it is the heartbeat of the song and choosing or changing a pattern can make all the difference.

Yeah Robin Frederick has a lot of song formulations like your talking about in her book "Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting 126 Techniques for Writing Songs that Sell form" 2008

There are 5 basic types , but Surf Instrumentals usually follow the AABA type or Verse-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus type or something similar to that.

Even within the Verse there will be lines or phrases that are different from one another. Some may vary in intervals or octaves etc whatever - the idea is to not be boring by adding interesting changes - yet repeat a melody as much as possible with all the variation required. Its more to do with tasteful choices writing music in the end. What I found is what I like to play may not be what I want to hear as a listener - so you have that element of it too. Its a fine line.

Yeah I have recording gear too - still spinning my wheels trying to set up my writer and recording station. I have had this stuff for years and never got around to it - making progress - someday Smile

PolloGuitar wrote:

DeathTide wrote:

Sure, if you’re talking about covers or adaptations. But what about original songs composed for a surf band?

Yes, definitely much harder to find examples of surf songs that made their way into other genres. But, a song is just melody and chords. A decent melody is all you need, the rest is just arrangement.

I posted this 17 years ago. the references are dated, but I stand by the rest of it: https://surfguitar101.com/news/story/31/

Ten years ago when I gathered my surf band I printed it and used as a guidline and it hepled a lot, thanks, Ferenc) Just forgot to tell you this in Livorno, great and useful thoughts and tips.

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

Last edited: Feb 09, 2019 04:05:32

How to write a surf song (or any song I guess?)
No recipe for me I guess, sometimes it is a riff, sometimes chord progression, sometimes melody.
It may be a morning coffee, long walk in a park or a late night vodka on punk concert that evolevs something in you. One tune came to me while scuba diving and I was lucky enough to hmmm in on a recoder back on the diving boat.
New gear or great sound from the amp also may push you as well into some creativity.
And then the hardest part - to make a tune that tells a story) it may take years)

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

Last edited: Feb 09, 2019 04:40:53

Yeah that's pretty much what the books I read said as well. A song can be written using all kinds of devices.

Yeah the one devise that helped me as well was using a small hand held digital recorder for ideas like your saying - you get the idea down on recordings right away before you forget it (Which will happen) What was the line again? Uh-Oh But it works even for just working on anything.

Another devise is to consider every idea just a rough draft and a idea to start working on not the finished song or part of a song. So many devises like that it is hard to remember them all for me.

And the equipment change up really does change the approach you take to performing a song. Even effects like delay really impacts your playing the most to me or going to acoustic guitar verse electric etc...

Surfing_Sam_61 wrote:

Yeah that's pretty much what the books I read said as well. A song can be written using all kinds of devices.

Yeah the one devise that helped me as well was using a small hand held digital recorder for ideas like your saying - you get the idea down on recordings right away before you forget it (Which will happen) What was the line again? Uh-Oh But it works even for just working on anything.

Another devise is to consider every idea just a rough draft and a idea to start working on not the finished song or part of a song. So many devises like that it is hard to remember them all for me.

And the equipment change up really does change the approach you take to performing a song. Even effects like delay really impacts your playing the most to me or going to acoustic guitar verse electric etc...

I use Music memos as a recoder on iPhone an love it. It gives you chord progression as you play and may add a drums and bass to see how it may sound with a band.

image

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

Goto Page: Previous 1 2 3 4
Top