How To Get A Song Started

author: zman#1 date: 03/12/2012 category: songwriting & lyrics
rating: 7.8 / votes: 4 
This is my first lesson on anything to do with music so hopefully you can use this information to your benefit. This is the first lesson on how to create your own songs. Most of this information is basic, but I find it very useful. In this lesson I will be showing you how to use someone else's song to make your own song. The key in this lesson is not to plagiarize the other person's song. I will show some of my example songs that I have came up with. Also this information will help you get out of a rut or if you have no more ideas for songs. So without a further ado let's begin. Step 1 Step 1 involves you picking a song or songs by your favorite band. For this lesson I would suggest you just using one song to start with because more than one song can be tricky. Choose a song that matches your level of guitar playing. That's what all of step one is. Step 2 Once you find a song that you like try to find the chords of that song and the chord progression. It's pretty easy to find the chords all you have to do is match one note than figure out if it is an open chord or a power chord. Now you can start making your own song once you know the chord progression. Take the chords and mix and match them to your own chord progression. Your progression can be close to the original progression or be totally different. It doesn't matter how you make your progression as long as it's not the same as the original progression. Also as a side note don't be afraid to add different chords that aren't already in the original song. Step 3 This step is usually the hardest and longest step to get through. This step is the riff making step. For this step you want to change the riff as much as you can. Try to learn the song you picked all the way through. Learning the song will help you get an idea of a riff down. Once you get the riff down think about your chord progression you made up, and try to get an idea on how you want your riff to match your chord progression. Also listen how the original songs riff matches their chord progression. This can help get you an idea. The next thing to do is to change the originals song to your idea. If you don't like what you made up you can restart and get something else out of it. Unlike your chord progression, your riff shouldn't sound like the original song you picked. Down below is an example of my riff I came up with using Metallica's song Fade to Black. EX. This is the main acoustic riff from Metallica's song Fade to Black
e|----------0-----------------------0----------| 
B|-0^1---------------1---(1)---1-------------0-| 
G|-2---2---------0^2------0--------------0^2---|
D|-2-----2-----2----------2------2-----2-------|
A|-0----------------------3--------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
                                        
e|------------3-----3--3-----------------------|
B|-(0)---3-------------------------0--(1)-/-3--|
G|--0---------------2--0---0-------0--(2)-/-4--|
D|---------0-----0-------------2---------------|
A|-------------------------------2-------------|
E|--3----------------------0-------------------|
This is the riff I made out of this song
e|-------------0-----------0-------------------|
B|---------1----1---------------0-1-3-1-0-----|
G|-----2----2-----------------0---------------|
D|-2-----2---------------2---2-----------------|
A|---0-------------0-2-3-------------------3-2-|
E|---------------------------------------------|
                                        
e|-----3---3-----3---------------------|
B|-----------3-----3-------------------|
G|---0---0-----0-----0-----------------|
D|---------------------2---------2-----|
A|-----------------------2---------2---|
E|-3-----------------------3-2-0-----0-|
Well that's pretty much it for this lesson. I will hopefully post more lessons to help finish songs and help create solos. Once again this is my first lesson I hope you can use this lesson to your benefit, if not than this was a waste of time. Thanks.
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