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Thread: Need help putting cords to lyrics

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers

    Default Need help putting cords to lyrics

    I've written two songs recently and I'm a bit clueless about putting cords with the lyrics. I can sing the songs close to the way I want them to sound but again what cords to go along??

    I've got The Cord Wheel booklet I'm using some to help me, but I'm a rookie.

    I'm playing mostly first position cords simpler strum patterns.

    One song is more of country western folky song. The second song is a blues song.

    Any help out there?? I can't pay anything but when I make it big I can add you to the royalties.

    Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)


    Welcome to songwriting.

    There is no one way to do it. If you have the melody line pretty much figured out, that's a great starting point. If you know the key you're singing in, that's another big help. Then you can start trying some common chords in that key and see what works. There are books and resources on songwriting but a lot of it is trial and error figuring out how the pieces of the puzzle fit together - how your melody weaves through the chord progression to give the mood you're trying to convey.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Corvallis, Oregon


    To follow up on Jim Hanks’ good advice...
    Knowing what key the song is in will help you know which chords are likely to come up in the song. If you don’t know what key it's in, try this: Sing or play the melody to the end of song. The very last note in the song will often indicate which key the song is in. For example, if the last note is a C, then the song is in the Key of C, and the chords you will likely need are C, F, G, Dm, Em, Am, and B dim. Good luck!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers


    Well I've got the blues song worked out. Only three cords Dm Gm A7. I need to be ready to perform it by the first week of December. I'll let the other song lay for a while, it's a little more complicated. I've got a workshop this coming weekend and as always life is busy.
    I've always made up lyrics and written a little bit but putting all this down to musical combinations that make sense is all new to me.

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