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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Did Prince ever talk about how to write music or say anything about how he started?
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Thread started 09/05/19 4:28am

3y3no

Did Prince ever talk about how to write music or say anything about how he started?

I'm inspired more and more to write my own songs every time i listen to Prince...

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Reply #1 posted 09/05/19 9:46am

PeggyO

3y3no said:

I'm inspired more and more to write my own songs every time i listen to Prince...

This may be somewhat superficial, but I read that while living with Andre C., Prince started to write frequently, perhaps in competition with Andre. Andre's older brother was impressed with some of Prince's lyrics.

Others have mentioned he could "sneeze out" a song-seemed to come fairly easily to him.

Later I heard him say that he needed to do it freqently to sort of "clear his mind" like an Etch-A-sketch.

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Reply #2 posted 09/06/19 9:23am

TrivialPursuit

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PeggyO said:

3y3no said:

I'm inspired more and more to write my own songs every time i listen to Prince...

This may be somewhat superficial, but I read that while living with Andre C., Prince started to write frequently, perhaps in competition with Andre. Andre's older brother was impressed with some of Prince's lyrics.

Others have mentioned he could "sneeze out" a song-seemed to come fairly easily to him.

Later I heard him say that he needed to do it freqently to sort of "clear his mind" like an Etch-A-sketch.

In reality, those aren't things that can help anyone else write a song, or write more. No one is competing with Andre Cymone, or clearing their mind like an Etch-a-sketch.

Fans forget that Prince purposely put himself in a unique position that other artists maybe didn't sometimes. He immersed himself in music. It's all he did. Sure he had a few friends, hung out, ate dinners, fucked some girls, etc. But he was always somewhere playing music. He didn't just play for 4 or 5 hours, then go off and watch Match Game or The Bionic Woman. He stayed and kept playing. Things start to come to you, ideas based on other ideas (like maybe something taken out of one song could be the lead for a new song later), it starts just to happen.

Writing is a muscle. You have to use it frequently and intensely while feeding it accordingly, so it grows and becomes stronger. He also had people around him that he did compete against. Every band member he's had said he could play and sing his part, as well as theirs. He wasn't adverse to walking over to a keyboard and playing a part to show Fink, Lisa, Gayle, or whoever what he wanted. Same with bass, drum, or guitar parts.

Iron sharpens iron. So be your own iron until other iron shows up.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
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Reply #3 posted 09/07/19 6:33am

LovePaisley

3y3no said:

I'm inspired more and more to write my own songs every time i listen to Prince...



I don't remember reading any direct quotes from Prince himself, but others have mentioned a few things. Morris Hayes said that prince called himself a poet. And he was. So maybe learn some poetry structure? In the margin notes for many of his handwritten lyrics you can often see a list of rhyming words or synonyms for words, just for ideas, I suppose.

He worked with Chris Moon, of course, and Chris described their writing process a bit, initially with Chris writing lyrics but I think with Prince beginning to do them as well. So to some degree he may have had a teacher. I believe what Chris helped him with (or maybe it was Owen) was structure, because Prince's initial efforts tended to ramble.

Manuela once mentioned that the song, "Reflection" was written when Prince was teaching her about stream-of-consciousness writing. I do that sometimes to break writers block. Or I write a letter to a friend and ramble about what I would write if I could get the words out. Weird how well that works.

And then there were the ever-present notebooks, meaning, as others have mentioned, that Prince learned to write and write well by doing it a *lot*
And the MUSIC continues...forever...
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Did Prince ever talk about how to write music or say anything about how he started?