How many songs have you written

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I am doing some research on number of songs people have written and over what period of time and if they write just lyrics, just music or both and lastly how many have been recorded and available to the public. Its not a competition Smile and i am not looking for exact numbers. You can give me info here or if you prefer privately at. [email protected]. Thx

IA's picture

I've got about 300 songs recorded.
Another probably 20-30 or something with just lyrics.
And I used to make music with guitar pro, so I have about 200 ideas there, but only about 20-30 of them are ready songs.

Oh, right, I started with guitar pro in 2002 or 2003... and I've been recording my songs since 2010.

Thanks @IA

In my case over 90% is both music and lyrics. Doing a quick count there are about 150 songs posted and streamable right now on my Bandcamp page so those would be the ones available to the public. Hundreds of others, maybe approximately 1000 total written/recorded and posted in FAWM, 50/90, NaSoAlMo, Song Skirmish, and in-between challenges from 2010 to date that are archived. One of these days I will do a proper catalog. (EDIT:) After reading other responses I am inspired to catalog and categorize them in a spreadsheet.

I keep a spreadsheet, because of course I do. Since I took part in FAWM in 2010, I've written and recorded 692 songs.

But a lot of them are *terrible* and will never see the light of day ever again Smile

I've written about 300 or so, lyrics only over the last 4 - 4 1/2 years

How do you count a grand opera?

I don't keep any lists or spreadsheets, but I started writing songs when I was about 12 and haven't really ever stopped (although hopefully I've improved).

So 26 years - maybe 800-900 songs at a guess? Music and lyrics, for the most part. I would guess that up to 200 of them have been "available" at some point but it is key to note that all of the early ones are not available any more, haha.

I don't have a spreadsheet, but as a quarantine project I went through various USBs and hard drives back in April, so now I have a fairly accurate accounting of where everything is. Over 1,000, and maybe 100 of those instrumentals. Maybe another 50-75 collaborations. The rest are words and music.
About 100 available online year-round (not counting the FAWM and 50/90 songs that get cleared out every year).
Period of time 2005-present.

Since I started 50/90 and FAWM in 2012, about 150 recorded; probably another 20 or so lyrics only (though I rarely do that now). Pre- FAWM there's another 30 or so.

So about 200 all told.

1200-1300 total , maybe a 60/40 mix of with vocal/just instrumental

I have all my songs on Bandcamp, even the terrible first one I wrote, so it's easy to count. Smile

Started in August 2014 and made 20 albums with 271 unique songs. 37 of them have lyrics.

I need to start a spreadsheet to track them all but I'm easily in the 800-900 range. Possibly higher.

I started recording music July 2016, I wouldn't call the things I did before real songs. I would say I've recorded 225-250 at lowest 300 at most songs.

I'd be curious to know how these numbers compare to other musicians outside the FAWM/5090 community.

@Elesimo i am collecting data from many sources. My initial observations are generally much less from most groups with the odd exception.

Over a thousand spread through 50 years. Smile
Mainly instrumentals - or bed tracks for singers. I've written four actual songs with lyrics out of all that number, and one set of lyrics that Lord Sapient turned into a song.

My productivity has varied. From 2012-15 I gradually wrote and shared demos of my first six complete songs, which seems ridiculous looking back now. From 2015-16 I successfully completed a full-year weekly songwriting & recording project. Then up until this year, I was writing between 10 & 20 songs a year and releasing one album or EP of the best ones. Now that I did FAWM and I'm doing this (both for the first time), I won't be surprised if I write 100 songs this year, the best of which might get released on a couple of different albums (including concept albums), and then I hope I can continue writing this way every year. I think this community has taught me a new mindset of discipline to finish songs while ignoring the inner critic. Not sure if that helps but that's my complicated answer!

From 1978-2000, about 6-10 finished songs a year, so make that ~175. From 2000-2010, about 25 a year, so add 250. In the last ten years, about 40 average per year. So make that 800-850 in the last 42 years. I am not counting "songs" made up on the spot and immediately forgotten, which is the way you get kids to eat broccoli. Smile Of these, 5 are good, and 17 are OK. Biggrin

Thx so much guys. For you info the biggest number so far complete songs is Jonathan Mann Over 4000 complete songs. Kingswood Cowboy seen in FAWM. Over 6000 lyrics. Lyricists only generally write more. A high number of amateur writers get big numbers quickly. Few instrumentalist hit big numbers, these are some initial findings. Nothing in here so far has changed those initial findings.

I don't keep count but I would guess from what I have registered, performed and officially released (300+), I probably have round 1000+ songs written from 1999 until now. Didn't really start writing lyrics until 2014 so maybe between 120-150 songs with lyrics that are written by me.
And most songs prior to 2014 are collaborations with other people.

By the time I was 40, I had written 30 or 40 songs. Then I took a 20 year sabbatical. Started again in 2007, so then by 2012 I was in full swing with FAWM. That currently brings me to about 500 total, with about 50% instrumental and 50% with lyrics.

I have no clue how many songs I've written. I started writing songs in 2014, and things started pretty slowly.

In 2018 I live-streamed 329 up until March 1st. I got curious and counted them, which is the only way I know that tally.

I've done over a hundred as pure lyrics using derivatives of public domain hymns and Christmas carols. This includes one released album (with full sheet music), a 50/90 worth of holiday carols, and 51 unique Christmas gifts of alternate-lyric carols for family members.

And there's another hundred or so written purely for personal projects with no intent to distribute. This includes a failed 14-track musical I turned in to a novella and 114 songs for an extended tarot project which were written in a February, though I only a few were posted to FAWM.

I have 32 albums available on Bandcamp right now. 3 are Christmas albums. 2 are instrumental. 1 three-sided single. 2 are EPs. So, 24 are LPs with lyrics. An unreasonable number were published in 2018.

I don't usually bother trying to reproduce my music, and instead just improvise new tunes to my existing lyrics. I've found this to be faster and easier. It does mess with the tune-count, though.

I'm basically an edge-case you can ignore. Wink

i have written, recorded, and made publically available, over 1000 songs.

dzd's picture

Probably all told, weird little instrumentals, instrumental parts for others, lyric co-writes, etc... probably around the 5-600 range since the mid 90s, things I would consider full songs fully done by myself 150-200ish

This is an interesting thread.
For myself, I can only guess.
My songwriting started in 2010 during my first FAWM very soon after I first picked up a ukulele (a trial by fire for sure).
Since then, if you include all the weirdo sound experiments, I'd say around 200 to 250 "songs" written.
Tunes I would play again or that I consider "good" songs?
Probably around 20, which I think is a pretty good ratio.

I have a spreadsheet that keeps track of the ISRC numbers I've assigned to songs (going back to 1997 - I added ISRC numbers to older songs a few years ago). Currently it's sitting at line number 758. I figure, take about 20-25 lines away for empty slots (between years) & headings, so that puts me at around 725ish. And I know there's a whole bunch not accounted for in my ISRC spreadsheet that are older (from my days with Gargamel's Revenge, The Shades Of None & other bands). So let's say a nice round 750. Wow. That's a whole lot more than I would have thought Biggrin

See You In The Shadows…

dzd's picture

Pretty interesting topic/research @coolparadiso do let us know what you find out Wink

@Candle I was surprised myself once I actually sat and thought about it for a minute the number was so high

@Fuzzy That is a good ratio, IMO since especially we'll be our own worst critics in most cases....I have maybe 15-20 I'd listen to, number would be higher if they would of been done by someone else

What's interesting to me is the difference between FAWM/50-90 people and the general public. Before I joined FAWM then 50/90 I wrote a few songs now and then. But, like others have said, this FAWM/5090 thing taught me how to take an idea and finish it. Regardless of whether it's an amazing song or not. Finish it. Take the thought to its conclusion.

So I don't know how many songs I've written. I have no spreadsheet. It's hundreds. It may be over 1000. But I don't know, and I'm not sure it's important. I have a bunch of songs that I consider "worth playing for someone else", and that number maybe is under 100.

dzd's picture

@standup I know....all the people I've tried to get to join fawm always say, but I spend like 3-4 months or longer writing one song, and then I'm not happy with it...........I know of a good way to get over that Biggrin

Has its drawbacks as well though, I tend to take that way of thought into every project...who cares if it's perfect it will never be perfect let's move onto the next thing Wink to a lot of "regular" folks ire

I was genuinely curious, and so I actually counted all the songs I have written and stored in various files.
Including collaborations, I have written or been involved in almost exactly 300 tunes, plus or minus a few.

@dzd, I got the same reply from a guy who I know would benefit from FAWM.
He's been working on the same song for at least a year now.
I've been trying to convince him to let go of it.

Ahhh, spreadsheets! I started one in 2015 and was at about 300 songs then, but then I forgot about it. With subsequent FAWMs that’s another 70, plus my thrice-yearly songfests which average 7 apiece that’s another 105, and whatever other songs happen throughout the year I guess I’m pushing 500. Guess I’d better get back to that spreadsheet.

....although I like @standup’s answer a lot. The truth is that of that ~500, the reality is that a lot of it (especially the written under deadline stuff) is the result of the exercise of songwriting, and not anything I would display to the world. The thousand pots, and all that.

yeah.. alot of songs, and I like standup's answer (and many other answers here) alot. I've been doing FAWM for about 14 years, 50/90 for about ten, (tho i've rarely gotten to 50 songs for 50/90, and i think always have gotten to at least 14 for fawm) and have about 10 albums out at bandcamp by now. So.. yeah, alot of songs, which are kind of a 'time capsule' for those years for me, in a way. and before fawm and 50/90, i did songwriting, (seriously since about 1998)... so... yeah, alot!

I'm one of the people who keeps a spreadsheet. I wrote probably a dozen or so in grammar school and high school, and then stopped for a while. Started back up in 2012, and since then have written a bit over 200. That includes three completed FAWMs and a couple incomplete 50/90s. The last two years I set myself goals for number of songs written in 12 months. Prior to 2018 my record for number of songs written in a year was 23, so I decided to set what I thought was a bananas goal of 40 songs for 2018 - I wrote 48. Last year I set a goal of 50 and just barely made it. This year I didn't set a numbers goal, but I do have dreams of getting some decent recordings started by the end of 2020 (will probably be home recordings, because...*gestures vaguely at the world*). Right now all I have are phone demos.

Of the 200-odd songs I have a record of in my spreadsheet, maybe a quarter are things I still like, and that shifts day-to-day and month-to-month. I like enough of them that I can (or could, pre-COVID) pull together three or four distinct set lists of 7 or so songs for the rare times that I play out.

80 between May 2015 and now, I have a spreadsheet with them all listed chronologically. I'm extremely 'quality over quantity' so I sorta won't bother finishing a song if I feel like it's too similar to one of the other songs, or isn't very good, or whatever, so out of those 80 songs there's not a single one that I dislike. Probably about 70 of them will be in the setlist rotation at any one time because if I don't play a song for a few weeks it can slip out of my memory and I have to relearn it. With the exception of one song where it's very difficult to sing and play the rhythm on guitar at the same time. I'll get it but I just need to spend like an hour sitting practicing it and I've just not got round to it for years.

Unfinished ideas is well into the 1000s and it's funny because these can range from things where it's just the guitar riff to things where I'm like two lyrics away from completing the damn thing. I reckon if I spent a week or two just finishing off a bunch of songs that are nearly complete, I could probably double the amount of finished songs I have fairly easily.

I write both the music and lyrics.

This is a rough number. Now bear in mind I primarily made music pretty much non stop for a few months at a time, then stopped for a week, with breaks and productive spells in between... as well as mostly being a pantser/improviser...
Now on the channel, only around 30 songs are public right now, but most times I have had them all public for at least a week or more.
I've had a look at YouTube - it says I have 149 videos. Now take away the various gaming, darts, art, covers, compilations, and other projects that I won't include... which totals around 20-30? I'd guess... that leaves 120ish videos of original videos. Also, only around about 30 are songs on their own with no other songs in them. However, a huge chunk of the videos are crap art albums, varying between 5-20 songs per video... so my guess at a general figure, which I cannot provide accurately... I'd say around 230+ songs from January to October 2020. But I never intend on thinking 'right I'll do ten songs today, three tomorrow, fourteen day after...etc' it just tends to happen this way. I happen to pick up the guitar, and see how many 'crap songs' I can get done in that time. And they're not all quality, I'd say only 25 songs altogether are any good out of all that... but it's not a bad return Smile
can't be exact on how many, I don't really care for the proper number and would have to go through every video to see what it is. and that's for a rainy afternoon when curiosity will get the better of me, thanks to you asking @coolparadiso !! :P

When I was learning guitar and only knew three or four chords I'd just make up stuff to practice switching between them. A few years later I started making up little instrumental bits and even added a third part to a traditional fiddle tune (heck if I even know the name of it.) that I can still play today. But it wasn't until 1988 or '89 that I really started writing words down to remember with the music.

I reckon around 1500 songs written. I lost my spreadsheet a couple years ago in a computer crash and it had a bit over 1100 songs then. I've written 400+ since then so... good guess.

I like to say, "I've written over X songs and at least one of them doesn't suck." Where X = 1500 or so now, I guess.

Since 6 y.o., a little over a kazillion. +-