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Old 01-04-2013, 06:50 AM   #1
In-Ghost
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Question Best ways to learn writing

Hi,

so my problem is I can't really write much after playing for 3 and a half year. I've come up with some riffs and melodies I like, but I've never been able to finish anything.. (except for one song, but we want to play MeloDeath and this one was pretty Don't Cryish in terms of genre, so not really what I'm aiming for.. Very proud of it though )

I think that maybe when I try writing I overthink it and maybe I'm too self-critical, so anything I play feels very generic and unoriginal and makes me quite frustrated so I switch to technique/improvisation exercises instead. Another thing that frustrates me is that progress here is not easily measurable and I always feel like I've wasted my time.. I know this sounds ******ed and that I have to overcome this attitude and that's why I'm asking for your help.

Because for me to get motivated or not is just a question of whether I believe I'm on the right track, doing something meaningful. Once I do, I don't care how long it's going to take, but I have to know I'm learning the right way..

So what d'you think is the best way to learn writing riffs, with all the elements of it (interesting rhytm, frasing, harmonies, song structuring)? I thought learning songs I like would help, but what I learn just feels very inert, like it isn't enhancing my composition skills at all.. And what about composing in my head?

Great many thanks for all help in advance

P.S. I can post some of my work if you wanted to take a critical listen
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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I wrote my 'best' riff, when I just said to myself 'I'm gonna grab my guitar, and the first thing I'll play will become an awesome riff.' So I did.
Then I had my lyrics, and a melody, and I started bringing that together.

So my advice is to write lyrics with a melody, and bringing the lyrics and guitar parts together. Don't start with the whole song, just parts, like verses/bridges/choruses. When you have enough of that material, you could bring the parts together and make a song out of it.
That's not the only way to write, but you can easily measure where you're at, since you can say 'now I've done a verse'.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #3
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Listen to lots of music. play lots of music. take lessons. record every good idea you get; back in the day when I didn't have legitimate means of recording, I used my phone's voice memo function. Don't sit down and try to write an entire song start to finish.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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The riffs on their own might not sound good but once you add the other instruments, it starts to sound much better. Try to get the ideas for your song without touching your guitar. Try different stuff: sing melodies that come to your mind, maybe try to write with another instrument like piano, write drum or bass riff first or write a rhythm idea or chord progression and start building your song over it (use same kind of rhythms/bassline/drum beat/chord progression throughout the song). Write with your friends (that helps a lot).
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Another thing to note is that even if you have a hard time writing a full song, sometimes that riff or part needs time to grow. One of my bands song had the verse written 6 months before we came up with a chorus during som improv jamming.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsThatDude
Listen to lots of music. play lots of music. take lessons. record every good idea you get; back in the day when I didn't have legitimate means of recording, I used my phone's voice memo function. Don't sit down and try to write an entire song start to finish.


I still use my phones voice memo today. If I'm just practicing and have a good idea I get the phone out then record again on my proper gear when I have the time.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #8
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best way to learn to write is by writing.
A helpful tool is to learn songs you like by ear all the way through.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:45 PM   #9
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best way to learn to write is by writing.
A helpful tool is to learn songs you like by ear all the way through.


This. You can't write music if you can't think in music. Training your ear trains your mind to think specifically in tones.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
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best way to learn to write is by writing.
A helpful tool is to learn songs you like by ear all the way through.

So much this
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