Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Filling in the missing bits

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Harry Nilsson

Most [songs] I find you can write in less time than it takes to sing them. The concept, if there is a concept, or the hook, is all you’re concerned with. Because you know you can go back and fill in the pieces. If you get a front line and a punch line, it’s a question of just filling in the missing bits…

Usually it’s in a car, or on an airplane. Usually the expression or the thought will suggest a melody…Usually the first line comes first and you take it and put it in the middle. The chorus will come out as the first line and you turn it into the chorus…A lot of my songs build to the punchline or title.

Harry Nilsson, in Songwriters on Songwriting

Written by nevalalee

November 23, 2014 at 9:00 am

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