How Much Of Your Guitar Time Is Spent Writing Songs?


Approximately what percentage of your total guitar time is spent on songwriting?

Is it something you try to do every day, every week, or just whenever you’re in the mood to write?

Finally, when do you write lyrics? Do you write them before the music, at the same time as you write the music, or after you’ve already written the music?


Hi Acecrusher,

90 % of the time having a guitar in my hands, I am writing songs or at least a riff. Most of those I will forget immediatley, because I don’t have a recording device ready. But often enough I start my DAW, a tape recorder or my ipad to record it and sometimes use it for the band.

10% I am practicing. Mostly trying to get my bad picking chops together. But at the end of the day I am fine with it. Because once I played a little bit tremolo on the low E-string I tend to start a Motörheadsong, which leads me to writing my own stuff again. Solo practice is mostly playing Blues clisheés, then turn to some sloppily executed 3nps-shred-licks that end in bluesy Hardrock-Playing again and suddenly I am into Rainbow’s “Stargazer”.

techniquewise I am undisciplined and therefore unsatisfied. Musicalwise I totally love it, because “guitarists just wanna have fun” (Don’t we? :smiley: ) !!

Lyrics: I can read English pretty well due to my job, but writing is always a little bit clumsy for lack of better terms for my incompetence.
However, it depends. Sometimes I have a hookline in my head, a chorus, a word or something and a groove. I record it or write it down. Then I think of it: what’s the subject of the song and then I write. Then I try to find a chord progression, record it again. To turn this “folk-approach” into Hard Rock I usually try to find hooky riffs for the frame of the song (I call it “jingle”) and the chorus and then a “boring” riff for the narration of the verse. Then comes the additional stuff. Usually my song ends with this form: Intro - Verse- (Pre-Chorus) - Chorus - Repeat - New Idea - Solo - (Verse/Pre-Chorus) - Chorus - (Solo) - end

The other day I have a song demo which demands lyrics for our singer. She won’t write, so I must, so do I. Influences come from everywhere but must match with the atmosphere of the song. Often I fail at least partly, because I am not a genuine singer. It has then to be matched during band rehearsal for the sake of a better metre, groove and catchiness while maintaining meaningfulness.

Yeah that’s how it works for me somehow (and often not :slight_smile: )


What is your approach? Do you also sing?

In any case, a cool topic you started! :slight_smile:


0% of my time is spent writing songs, I am always practicing something or reading.

I think for fun this week I will spend a few hours trying to write something. I don’t know too much about writing (except that Max Martin is the king of popular music), and this is a very interesting web site,


You have a singer that won’t write lyrics? Do they realize how replaceable they are?


That the singer is replaceable if he doesn’t write lyrics is a wrong assumption, I think. Not everybody has to be a poet like not every organist has to be Bach but can enjoy to perform his works :slight_smile:


Not nearly enough!

Most of my time not doing more structured practicing is spent just kind of improvising or jamming along with things, and while sometimes song ideas do come from that, more often than not I’ll just be walking around and a melody will pop into my head and then I’ll pick up a guitar and try to work it out. I’ve gone through periods of more structured writing where I’ll try to sit down with a guitar and a DAW and just write something, and I’m probably due for another bout of that as I’ve got about half an album worth of songs I’d like to get moving on, I just need another half!


I did this a few times thru facebook. She gives you a song prompt in the early morning then you write a song from scratch. Most people just did acoustic or piano songs played live but I made full demos lol.

write 5 songs in 5 days lol. Id use preexisting drum “songs” I wrote with EZ Drummer. Its surprising but some good stuff can come from it