The reason I ask is because I've been writing lyrics for years and never gotten around to putting the music together for them. Also I've played around with tunes on the guitar but not put words to them. Funny thing is, the lyrics I have don't fit the tunes and vice versa.
music first for me too.
lyrics for me usually start as gibberish first while i establish a melody. with some repetition the cadence falls into place and the random sounds start to morph into words. somehow in the end they take meaning/start to make sense.
i've never been much for sitting down and deliberately trying to write lyrics. this method feels much more natural to me
music first for me also. I usually have to kinda get in trance mode playing the music over and over for decent lyrics to come to me. My younger son is the good lyrics guy in our family. He can just bust out great lyrics without any effort. My claim to fame is I can usually come up with a catchy hook. That's about all I got but it is usually enough to cobble together a song if I throw enough time at it. Funny this topic came up as I just wrote my first new song in months yesterday... well I should say I just came up with some music that I liked. No lyrics yet. I tried the trance mode to come up with some lyrics and even after 10mins straight of playing the main riff... nuttin
Edited to add: I always write new stuff using my old strat. Sorry to the SG fans but my old strat used to belong to a famous touring musician and has gobs of mojo so I just tend to go for it when trying to be creative.
I did music first for a long time because I hate writing lyrics, but a friend prompted me to write something, it being National Songwriting Month and all (was May). I found that once I'd written the lyrics and knew everything that the song was about it took no time to write the music for it. Nowadays I'm going to try lyrics first, even if the lyrics never get used. It also has the advantage that if I write lyrics that are even the slightest bit "unreal" I don't like what I've written, so any songs made in this way will be my utter truth, right from my heart.
For me, every song starts off differently. Most start with lyrics and a melody that I write around. Sometimes they start as a series of grunts in to a recorder and i later turn it into music (always bring a recording device into the bathroom, lol). Other times I write a musical piece and then write lyrics. Inspirations hits just before i fall asleep, or during a drive, or after a crazy day. Bottom line is that whatever it is, a few words, a fleeting melody, it must be captured immediately or it will be lost. Who knows how many of those inspirational moments we have. Capture them while they're here. A fleeting moment may turn into your best work..
Lyrics first on the first link, music first on the second..
A Darker Fear
JUST A LITTLE MORE