Hi. I've been playing for about a year now, many of you kow me, I'm the annoying one who asks the masses of questions (thanks by the way Steven Seagull, zhilla, awesomo and everyone else who's ever helped me). Anyway, from all that nagging and tip-seeking, I've improved so significantly in one year, and I'm eagerly awaiting what my musical future has installed.
Me and my friend all the way in wisconsin, USA, were talking aobut songwriting today, and we crossed a point which we both seem to agree on, but had no idea it happened to both of us. This point is, that when me or him write a song, we eventually start to feel a sort of "... Meh" feeling aobut it, if ya know what I mean. We come up with a riff, but it loses its magic.
Now, for once, I'm here to give advice, not ask for it. I logically tohught about this, and this is what i got. I'll heading it off into captions below for you all:
What I'm talking about
I'm sure its happened to all of you guitarists. You write a piece of music, whether its a riff or a whole song, but after working and working on it, it eventually gets boring. So what do you do? You keep editing it, till its eventually soemthing completely different. What do ya know? You get bored of that, and rewrite it again, and so on and so forth.
Anyway, I suffer from this a lot, and as a result, I've never written a whole song. Now that I've realised this simple concept, I'm starting to get soemwhere, but its a very difficult, psychological problem which affects all guitarists and artists etc, so just follow me, and I may give some pointers out of this.
What's going on?
There could be a few reasons to why this is happening. The main reason is the way we constantly refer to other musicians. For some reason I have no idea why, we either listen to an awesome band, the one that influences us as musicians, and we suddenly think our stuff's gotta be as good as there's, or better to be song-worthy.
Obviously, this isn't true. This is jsut something that musicians and artists think quite a lot; we listen to a track by a great band, then listen to our track. Since they may not be exact, or as technical, we automatically shun the track we've made.
All you've got to do in this situation is look at your track carefully. DON'T HAVE OTHER MUSIC FROM ANYWHERE AT THIS POINT. Your brain will try and compare the two, and make yours seem inferior. The Brain can be a bully, remember that. Anyway, read onto the next paragraph, and I'll give you my personal example.
Ever since I got into rock/metal, I've always loved a band called Sonata Arctica. Their Ex-guitarist, Jani Liimatainen, is the guy who influenced me to buy a guitar and get rocking. Since he's such a great inspiration to me, I try and adapt some of the techniques he does (being a year-old-musician, I'm obviously far from this, but you know what I mean).
Today, I wrote a riff that I thought was great. So I started filming it so I wouldn't forget it. Straight after, I kicked Cain's Offering on (Jani's Current Band). Waht do you know? I suddenly doubted the lick I made up. Now, as I write this, I actually love the riff. Basically, whilst its 100% acceptable to site your technique around an artist, just keep in mind that you don't have to sound incredibly similar to them to be as good as them. Just keep trying, especially if youve still got a long way to go, like me.
Another popular reason for doubting your work
This is another massive factor which gets me a lot when I write stuff; Guitar Pro.
For those rock-dwellers who don't know, Guitar Pro is a system which you can wrtie your songs as tabs or notations and play them back through the computer. I record my tabs all the time on it.
The problem with guitar pro is the sound quality pretty much. The guitar tabs you play back, in are word, are crap. They barely sound like a guitar. Now, this is a stupid thing to do (I did it a lot) I reviewed my songs strictly through Pro, and didn't actually review through actually playing the stuff. Trust me, this isnt a way to go. Use it to get time intervals and stuff like that recorded, but just review a recording of yourself playing it. Its far more confidence-boosting.
One more Thing
One vital thing I've learned to do is let your friends to the talking when it comes to reviewing your work. As artists, its in our demented nature to question the quality and awesomeness of our work, and we all hate it.
I mean, think it logically. If your friends are into the same genres as you, and they think its a great song, then why fix which they say isn't broken? And if you have no friends with a similar taste, youtube a vid of you palying it, or post it on here.
To Wrap Up...
Reviewing your own Songwriting is one of the otughest tihngs you can do, Its just so cluttered with hurdles which make us question and shun our own love of music. Just remember, only compare your song to other similar artists by the bare essentials, make sure you don't let Guitar Pro be the Picky Critic, and get some fellow music lovers to crit your work for you. It's so much more confidence-boosting and realistic. And most of all, ENJOY IT! Even if you're not good at the guitar, you will be if you stick to it, and enjoy it WHILE you're bad, it actually makes you more confident when you improve.
P.S: Theres a great film called Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. That's a great example of what my last point was. They start of as a "suckish" band (they're not bad actually, but that's what they try and make out), and the whole film's about them trying to improve their rock, in a very weird way. anyway, hope this article helped. It is my first article ever, so I hope I did it justice. Peace!