#1
Hello!

I, like everyone on these boards I'm sure, am a long time appreciator of music.

But only recently have I had the urge to produce my own tunes.


Unfortunately, I am lacking ground to start on. I play my guitar more than any of my instruments at the moment, but I am still very new and it is still awkward in my hands.

Although I feel that my acoustic/classical guitar is my best tool towards finding my solo sound.

Some of my more important influences, in regards to 'what I would like to sound like' are: Neutral Milk Hotel and The Tallest Man on Earth. My taste in music is surely not limited to this, but I want to produce music that is raw and meaningful. I couldn't think of two gentlemen that made me feel true meaning in their music more than them.

I play open chords, I've got my cowboy chords down pat. I know the basics of how a chord is constructed(mostly) and I am of course also working on a few fun scales. Nevertheless my songwriting ability is very limited. The melodies in my head, lyrically resemble Jeff Mangum's, of Neutral Milk Hotel and I would like to mature these compositions.

I don't want to make simple rhymes, I don't want to write songs in a meaningless fashion, 'just because it fits'

Are there any bits of documentation anyone can point me towards? Any hints, tips and advice for the beginning song writer?

In the giant spectrum of music, I want to start on the side of emotion, rather than technicality.

Maybe some simple chord progressions to hum along to. I of course want to keep things simple but I've got that fire burning hot as anything and want to throw myself in this passion as fully as possible.

Thank You In Advance
#2
Great artists steal.

If you want to compose, the most important thing to do is that you compose, obviously. Take some of those chord progressions from your favorite songs, screw up the rhythm and melody, and make a new song. It'll give you good practice composing in the idiom you want while maintaining a manageable foundation for learning. (starting from nothing is terribly inefficient) Also keep in mind that it is best to consciously be aware of the implied harmony of a melody when ever you create one.
#3
Quote by Erc
Also keep in mind that it is best to consciously be aware of the implied harmony of a melody when ever you create one.



In response to this, if I understand it correctly, is not an easy feat. Especially for the untrained ear/voice. Are you referencing "keys" ? Sorry my music vocabulary is severely limited.

I understand the "being concious" aspect, knowing you're producing an A as you produce it.

Side note: What is the difference between implied and actual harmony?


Thank You !
#4
I love Neutral Milk Hotel too.

However, if you are just beggining to write songs then maybe you should set your heights a little lower. It's great to aspire to write songs like In the Aeroplane Over the Sea ect., but your first songs are likely to be nothing like that (I don't mean to be condescending, those are just great songs).

Also, although a lot of Neutral Milk Hotel is open chords don't ignore bar chords. Sure, Magnum could write great songs with open chords but that's not reason to limit youself to them. If you do then you'll probably end up writing lots of songs in G, C and maybe D that sound very similar to each other.

As far as lyrics go, if you can write deep, meaningful lyrics then go ahead, but if you're having trouble then don't try and force yourself. If you are having trouble it's probably because you don't have anything deep and meaningful, and perhaps anything at all, to write about.

And don't take yourself and your music too seriously. If you act like your music is the greatest most meaningful thing ever written (I'm not saying you would, but that's the most extreme end of the spectrum) you're going to set your self up to be laughed at much more than if you act like your music is just a bit of fun.

My best advice, after taking all the other things i've said into consideration, is to just write a lot. Songwriting is like any other skill, the more you practise the better you get at it. You could search the internet for days on the perfect way to write a song but you'd spend the time a lot better just writing songs. Of course, they're probably not going to be very good to start with but did you pick up the guitar and expect to be Hendrix?

Anyway, good luck!
#5
Quote by 12345abcd3
I love Neutral Milk Hotel too.

However, if you are just beggining to write songs then maybe you should set your heights a little lower. It's great to aspire to write songs like In the Aeroplane Over the Sea ect., but your first songs are likely to be nothing like that (I don't mean to be condescending, those are just great songs).

Also, although a lot of Neutral Milk Hotel is open chords don't ignore bar chords. Sure, Magnum could write great songs with open chords but that's not reason to limit youself to them. If you do then you'll probably end up writing lots of songs in G, C and maybe D that sound very similar to each other.

As far as lyrics go, if you can write deep, meaningful lyrics then go ahead, but if you're having trouble then don't try and force yourself. If you are having trouble it's probably because you don't have anything deep and meaningful, and perhaps anything at all, to write about.

And don't take yourself and your music too seriously. If you act like your music is the greatest most meaningful thing ever written (I'm not saying you would, but that's the most extreme end of the spectrum) you're going to set your self up to be laughed at much more than if you act like your music is just a bit of fun.

My best advice, after taking all the other things i've said into consideration, is to just write a lot. Songwriting is like any other skill, the more you practise the better you get at it. You could search the internet for days on the perfect way to write a song but you'd spend the time a lot better just writing songs. Of course, they're probably not going to be very good to start with but did you pick up the guitar and expect to be Hendrix?

Anyway, good luck!


Great words. I always get ahead of myself with new endeavors, this post definitely brought me back down to Earth (not in a negative way!)

Not that I have anything to prove or that you have any intention of disproving, but in my opinion, I hope I can say that I have enough meaningful things to write about. I've lived a long life for a young man. With that said, I don't want to glorify my works, I just want it to be as real and expressive as possible. My true goal out of this experience as a whole isn't even to share my work, but simply to recognize my creation, to hopefully one day add something beautiful to the long list of overly pleasing tunes.


On another side note, In an Aeroplane Over the Sea and his more "refined" work is actually my least favorite (but still preferable over a lot of pop music) I love his more raw and gritty work. In my opinion anything that is recorded in a closet or a boiler room is gold

Thank you for your reply.
#6

In response to this, if I understand it correctly, is not an easy feat. Especially for the untrained ear/voice. Are you referencing "keys" ? Sorry my music vocabulary is severely limited.

I understand the "being concious" aspect, knowing you're producing an A as you produce it.

Side note: What is the difference between implied and actual harmony?




It is very difficult to do when you are first beginning. I'm assuming the music you are writing is tonal, because 90% of western music is, so in that respect I am loosely referring to key, but there is more to it than that.

The implied harmony would be the "most natural" and fundamental harmony that would go under a series of given notes. For example, if you were to sing a very simple 5 note motif, like G stepwise down to C in the key of C, and resolving on that C, then the implied harmony would be clearly a C major chord. You then could sequence that motif starting from D and move stepwise down to G and then your implied harmony in that case would be G major chord. So then, finally, your implied harmony for that ordeal as a whole would be a I-V progression in the key of C major.
#7
Quote by Erc
The implied harmony would be the "most natural" and fundamental harmony that would go under a series of given notes. For example, if you were to sing a very simple 5 note motif, like G stepwise down to C in the key of C, and resolving on that C, then the implied harmony would be clearly a C major chord. You then could sequence that motif starting from D and move stepwise down to G and then your implied harmony in that case would be G major chord. So then, finally, your implied harmony for that ordeal as a whole would be a I-V progression in the key of C major.


I love how you explained that.

Thank You

Feel free to lay down any more knowledge.

/bow