#1
Ive been playing for just about 2 years now and the one thing I really struggle with is composing original songs.. So my question is what are some ways i can go about writing riffs, somthing structured (this is a real problem as i can only seem to play licks for leads & stuff) and then create a chord proggression from that (or the other way around, progression then riff, dosent matter). Then after I have that basic proggression how do i get a verse, bridge and chorus out of it? I thing i might be overthinking things by trying to put difficult chords in and trying to apply different theory lessons ive learned. I play blues and jazz type things so any help or insight at all would be amazing, thanks.

ps i posted this in the songwriting forum as well, not sure which one was right but im just looking for some feedback.
My Gear:

Fender Aerodyne Stratocaster
NOS Tweed Fender Blues Jr
Boss BD-2
Boss CE-5
Boss CS-3
Dunlop Slash Crybaby
Korg DT-10
Boss BR-600
MXR Script Phase 90
MXR DD-7 Analog Delay

GASing for:
Vox V847
#3
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Write a ton. You will suck at first; everyone did. You will eventually get better.

It's okay to be terrible at something when you're first doing it.

^


Just give it time. I never had any interest in writing my own material until recently. I've been playing for 9 years and all of the sudden it seems to come naturally.
#4
by composition, are you tring to write four part melodies or just songs in a rock band format. for either, but ESPECIALLY, the latter, the easier way to do it is make a chordal foundation and build off of it. Identify what kind of song you want it to be, figure out major/minor etc, then come up with some chords that work well. from there, you can make a bass part that connects the chords together, then come up with other instruments and then put a melody on top. or you can do this in the reverse order. but a lot of times it'll sound cool with lots of chord changes, so starting with the chords may be easier than coming up with chords for different parts of possibly complicated melodies. happy writing!
Phish Phan
DeadHead
Moe.ron
If there's a jam out there, I'm probably listening to it.

Check out the Bodatious Banana Extravaganza: http://myspace.com/bbeboston
#5
My advice would be to copy the structure and basic format of a favorite song and build around that
#6
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Write a ton. You will suck at first; everyone did. You will eventually get better.

It's okay to be terrible at something when you're first doing it.
This

Composition is a skill. Like every skill it takes practise, but you can hone your skill by learning the theory behind that skill. So learn your music theory, analyze some songs with your theory, borrow a "melody writing" book from your local library (just search in the search terminals for "melody writing") and maybe look at some counterpoint if you're interested.
#7
thanks guys that makes perfect sense, i guess i wasnt thinking of it as a skill and just something that happened after youve been playing a while . Now I just need to buy a recorder so i can put it all together lol
My Gear:

Fender Aerodyne Stratocaster
NOS Tweed Fender Blues Jr
Boss BD-2
Boss CE-5
Boss CS-3
Dunlop Slash Crybaby
Korg DT-10
Boss BR-600
MXR Script Phase 90
MXR DD-7 Analog Delay

GASing for:
Vox V847
#8
Remember to constantly listen to all types of music. It's like making deposits in the bank. Then, when you're sitting down to write, remember to use your ear and brain and not primarily your fingers. Your fingers are only going to play things that they already know how to play.
#9
a cool trick is ,

for chorus use cadences such as :
"I-V-I" or
"I-IV-I"
or in minor keys try
" Im-bVII-Im" or
" Im-bVI-Im"
verses try I-IIIm-I
or I-IIm-I
or I-VIm-I

a good starting point ,
then try to substitue chords

say a chorus of

I - V -I - IV
could become
I - V -VIm (relative minor substitution of I ) , IV
#10
Some simple tricks...
It has been postulated that all music is simply a rehash of V-I.

The three chord trick: I-IV-V

vi is the relative minor of I. A simple concept I-vi can be the basis of an entire song.

Or you can use it to create a simple variation on the three chord trick - a four chord trick:
I-vi-IV-V

You can sub a ii for the IV for a variation on this four chord trick:
I-vi-ii-V

This gives a kind of circle of fifths feel vi ii V I, you could draw this out even further or borrow and make them all major.

ii-V is great since ii is the secondary dominant of V. ii7-V7-I works a treat. A great way to end a phrase. You can use the circle of fifths to continue back even further vi-ii-V-I

You can use a simple root climb
I-ii-iii-IV

You could go up and down
I-ii-iii-ii
i-VII-VI-VII

Another variation on the three chord trick is instead of resolving V back to I you can come back down through the IV
I-IV-V-IV

You might just use the IV-I without the V in parts of your progression. A good variation on this so to start with major IV then a minor iv then an I which would look like this
IV-iv-I

Anyway these simple ideas can be varied and combined to construct pretty much anything you want. You go to play with them though and start simple to get a good feel for the tools you are working with. As mentioned in earlier posts learn about different kinds of chord substitution and reharmonization which are vital tools in creating good harmonic progressions.
Si