Making Original Music

If you want people's atention these days you have to play something they have not heard before, something original.

Ultimate Guitar

We've all heard songs that make you want to say "God how many times have I heard this before... I can't believe someone is geting rich off of of this!". Making original music is not an easy task, but it is chalenging and fun (as music should always be). In this article I will give you tips and advice on how to make original music that can give new life to a music industry that seems to be in a vicious cycle of repetition. We are the musicians of tomorrow being original is our duty.

Note: Keep in mind that these tips can be aplied to any style of music you want to make...

  • Rythme

    Most songs have very basic rythmes that comme almost naturaly when you are playing the chords/notes to your song. You could play on a more unusual rythme and make the chords fit right in that rythme scheme so that it doesnt sound awkward. Unusual rythmes are hard to master but in some ways they can show the true talent of a songwriting musician.

  • Tuning

    Normal tuning and drop-D seem to be the tunings most commonly used ,but the guitar and bass offer endless tuning possibilities. Try going drop-D and G on the two largest strings of your guitar you will (like on the two first strings of a 7 string guitar) or tuning all of your guitar down half a step and then tuning your first string down half a step of drop D. You can also find classical tunings in music theory books (nothing would sound cooler than a heavy metal song using a nearly unknown classical tuning!)

  • Scales

    There must be a thousand posible scales on a guitar so why always use the same ones? (the perfect example of this is Nickelback, how basic is the scale in "how you remind me"). If you combine a uncommun scale with an uncommun rythme your sure to show you are an inovative and talented songwriter.

  • No Formulas

    There seems to be a predefined arangement for the parts of a song: intro (sometimes), verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo (or interlude), verse... let's try to chalenge this.

    You can put 2 solos in your song or 2 different interludes your chorus could be the same thing as your verse only with different lyrics over it. The point is: don't follow any formula.

  • The Little Things

    If you want to add something (like a certain effect or an extra instrument) to your song nothing should restrain you! If you've writen a song that sounds punk-rockish and you think it would sound better with piano or violin on it except your affraid the punk rockers are going to reject the song that way, well forget about them and any one else who thinks you are to daring, go ahead experiment do something you can be proud of! This kind of situation can aplie to any style and any kind of band (if you wanna add banjo and mandolin to a death metal song ect... the list of examples could go on and on).And if your drummer wants (and is able to) sing a part in one of your bands songs why shouldnt he? His voice would make the song more unique and offer a bit of change from your usual lead signer.

    Thank you for reading my article. It's my first one and I hope it will be well recieved.

  • 61 comments sorted by best / new / date

      How cute this article was. I got really fluffy and I got goosebumps. WOOOHOOOOO!! !! I feel ALIVE!!! IT IS THE LORDS UNSPEAKABLE WAY OF TELLING ME TO EAT SOME CORNBREAD!!!
      The article was ok, a bit amateurish and the spelling was pathetic. If I may make a small suggestion, try writing your article in word first, and then do a spell check before copying and pasting onto the article submission form. I don?t mean to be a tight arse, but if you are going to write articles for people to read then spelling is a skill you must possess. (3 stars)
      Very true! As long as you can understand what he/she is trying to say/write what is there to complain about?!
      it wasn't bad.. but violin and piano aren't unusual in punk-rocky songs, look at blink's new album and something corporate, they both have piano, and yellowcard play a violin..
      The singer of my band plays a harmonica in the middle of a song. Its not completely origional coz aerosmith did it, but it still sounds damn good! makes a rock song sound like heavy blues.
      All these "originality articles" are pointless because you are all basically saying: "don't listen to what anyone says or do anything anyone tells you ... except for me, because i am the best". Seriously, if someone wants to be formulaic and unoriginal or just do covers why shouldn't they, if they do it well, they enjoy it, others enjoy it.
      ..... .....*whoa.. . sorry fell asleep readin that, wtf happened to good articles.... somethin remotely intelligent that hasnt been done before? just a thought....
      yo i tried to make my own music and it hard as hell but its ok untill it pisses you off to the point where u wana throw your guitar the room,, but still i love it hell ya
      Big Bhoy
      It is very difficult to do anything new considering almost every progression has been used. Theres only so much that can be done with a limited number of notes. even with different tunings, effects and rhythms, it will always sound like something else, no matter how unknown, so it is not truly origional.
      oh yeh; great original artists like Avril Lavine, and Sean Paul...
      This article sucks. There's no such thing as a, "classical tuning." Alternate or open. Pick one. There's nothing worse than recieving advice from someone who has no idea what they're talking about.
      This article is so ironic it's unbeleivable. Let me explain, the article is about how to make 'original' music but the ideas in it are all 'unoriginal'. Nice try, but you failed miserably at being 'original'. I'd like to hear some of this guy's music, it could be a laugh. Oh and read more, that way your gramer and speling wil be nice and proper. (I'm not taking the piss)
      If you follow this guys ideas then logically you're not being orginal, because you're copying him. Anyway, this stuff is all obvious, and not even that well-written. Two stars.
      you don't know shit about writing music, listen up kiddies Take 3 or 4 hit's of KB Get a pencil, a paper (and a tape recorder if desired) 1 guitar You'll be writing shit like crazy, If you can't play it, sing it into the tapre recorder. WORKS EVERY TIME
      I agree with the dude above me. just go hard and if it gives you a headache.....take somemore KB's.
      didnt nirvana use the formula verse chorus chorus? and didnt atomship have a drummer sing example the song pencil fight
      Skater LTJake
      hey like the one of the last lines of the article says: let the drummer do some singing. Sometimes it works out great, for example there's a band in VA that's steadily growing called When All Else Fails and the drummer often sings either little parts or most of the song itself! check them out too at
      I really like this article actually, shows some creative flair at least!! Some really good tips there I think!!
      Nothing new to offer, but it was summarized perfectly and succinctly. Great tips like encouraging odd scales and rythms are excellent. A good tip is to leanr as many differnt sounding chords as possible and listen to what other people are doing. Not necessarily to copy them but to avoid what they're doing also. Mark
      its ok, so have 1 star. gay fck. You can't really write an article on being original, so dont even try.
      South Paw
      nothing to write home about but i can see where it might get some people off
      are you basically telling me (in a whole lot of words) that as long as I do what I music will be mine!? be creative?!? and be awesome!?? SIGN ME UP
      There really is a limit as to what one can logically do with 12 notes, and I'm pretty sure we've close to reached it. Nice effort.
      It is spelled RHYTHM, not Rythme, Not only is it spelled wrong, for some reason you've stuck an E on the end. USE A SPELL CHECKER. Spelling gripes aside, quite a good article mate!
      I'm sorry, it was a good article, but I wasn't too excited about it, maybe because it's been done before, maybe that I've already thought of all these ideas, I don't know. Keep at it man, hopefully we'll see something good from you.
      are you saying that Tuneing low is original... cause Nirvana and countless others these days Tune a half step down...
      BULLSHIT, Whatever happend 2 good columns? y'know, interseting things to read... i swear this is goin downhill dude. Any1 agree?
      ok, eight other people have said something about this, but if your gonna put an article up thats on the HOME PAGE of this fantastic site, at least bother to come up with an orginal subtitle, and spell RHYTHM right....
      nice article, spelling could've improved, but hey, too much time spent on guitar, not enough on hitting the books, eh?