How do you come up with an original tune?

I really want to write a song for Glitch...I was initially planning to make one for the re-release, sort of a counterpoint to GNG, but, well...change of plans. Either way, the words will be easy enough to write, but the problem is that I can't think of a tune. Even when I think I might have something all my own, I eventually realize I got it from a song that already exists. I know there are songwriters around here...could you please give me advice on how to make up a brand-new tune?

Posted 8 years ago by Kestin Subscriber! | Permalink


  • I'm not a song writer, but I know several, and I've had my music theory class.

    There are generally two ways to develop something original:  Take something you've already heard before and change it, either by altering notes until it does what you want or by mixing it together with something else; roll dice for each note and keep doing that until it creates something interesting and cool that you can work with (of course, you can always edit it, it's just a brainstorming technique).  Neither method is quick.

    Throughout history, what most song writers did was to take a song that everybody knew and rewrote the lyrics.  You could play it a little bit faster, happier, louder, or with big drums to make it sound different.  In fan culture, these are called "filk songs".  Throughout the rest of the world, they're known as drinking songs, national anthems, hymns, and classical music.  Only pop songs are stuck trying to be completely original, thanks to the industry being overprotective of copyrights.

    Personally, I'm excited about the mix and match method.  It takes a lot of fiddling, but it often produces the best new stuff.
    Posted 8 years ago by Carl Projectorinski Subscriber! | Permalink