#1
Question regarding composing a songs on the guitar?
I found a nice melody by playing the bottom 3 strings (G,B,E) and started to mix some of them with E, A, D strings

when is it right to add chords, should i just find chords that sound good to go along with my melody?

Also Im just trying to compose a short simple song (like the easy version of greensleeves http://www.guitaretab.com/c/christmas/12168.html)

* wow i've always used yahoo answers to ask guitar question but how dumb, I should have done this a long time ago

I hope to learn a lot from these forums, Im really passionate about the guitar esp fingerstyle nylon ones lol
#2
Truth be told, most of fingerstyle songs are written with counterpoint. Not that this suggestion is helpfull to you. I'll only touch on counterpoint in my post, as it is a ridiculously complicated subject.

Your best bet, other than counterpoint, is to find out which chords are implied by the melody and play only the root note of that chord (or the third of that chord if you think the root note should be part of the melody) at the start of the bar. Keep in mind you should set it out so the first note of every bar is a chord tone (preferably a third).
Theres more to it than that though and I'll explain more by using an example..


So say my melody is: A|C D E F E|D B G A B|So on. Let's ignore rhthym for the time being.

The very first thing I do is check what key it's in. It's in Am, you'll have to believe me on this as this is only a part of the melody. To find the key or mode check what scale most of the notes fit into and which note the song resolves on. Thankfully my song is in straight Am, as the only accidental used is a G#.
Now we find what chords fit into the Am scale. They are Am, Bm7b5, C, Dm, Em, F, G and we can also use E7 and G#diminished, but these last two chords should only be used as the second last chord (last chord should always be Am).
Keep in mind we are only implying these chords, we don't need to play the full chord.

First I would leave the first bar blank. Easy.

Than in the next bar I would make the implied harmony Am, as there are alot of chord tones in that bar in Am, the first note is the minor third of the Am chord and when the implied harmony is Am theres no big (as in bigger than 1 or 2 semitones) jumps to and from non-chord tones (this rule can be broken without too much bad effect).
C looks like a good idea as well (and the accompaniment note would be E), as most notes in the melody are also chord tones from C. But this actually wouldn't be good as C doesn't really move anywhere in Am (as it's a III chord, avoid III chords) and it would also mean alot of harmonic octaves. If our accompaniment is E, all those E notes in the melody make an octave with the accompaniment.
Perect octaves and perfect fifths are generally avoided, but if we really can't avoid them we don't use more than one in one bar and we never use them on the first beat of the bar if the next or previous bar also has a perfect harmonic interval on the first beat of the bar (to simplify this, just don't use perfect intervals). There are special rules which can enable us to use more than 1 perfect intervals in a bar, but they're sort of complicated (I'm sure I'm confusing you enough as is)

The next bar is probably G. The other alternatives are Bmb5 and Dm (if we make the accompaniment a third of the chord).
Firstly we want to avoid Bmb5's unless they're used to resolve upwards to C, this would be a bad idea as resolving to C would mean the songs actually in C (not good). Diminished chords of any quality (Bm7b5 or B'diminished') always want to resolve upwards by a semitone.
Dm isn't a good idea either as there are jumps from a non-chord tone (B-G is a jump, neither note is a chord tone). It's better than Bm7b5 though.
This leaves us with G. The melody in this bar has most of the chordtones from G and there are no jumps between non-chord tones.

So for just these two bars, I've found that the implied chords need to be Am and G. Remember to verify the chords with your ear. Your ear might not be the best for arranging (it's way too damn slow), but it's great for figuring out if something works or not.

Kudos for anyone that figures out the name of my song.
#3
Wow thank you so much for answering my question, however yes I am confused..a lot

I have little understanding of all these chords and how you found out they fit together and most of the terms, I dont even understand lol

but once I do understand this information is going to be very helpful

...uh so yeah..I found a really nice melody on the first 3 strings (dno if its already taken, that would suck) now im trying to add some base notes and chords at the end of each bar or w/e its called..
#4
Quote by A.Kia
Wow thank you so much for answering my question, however yes I am confused..a lot

I have little understanding of all these chords and how you found out they fit together and most of the terms, I dont even understand lol

but once I do understand this information is going to be very helpful
Go to the column sections of this website and search for "the crusades." To write a good song you need to know what you're doing, therefore learn your theory.

"Fingestyle" songs (by my understanding of your term) are classical songs. Most classical composers spend years learning theory and counterpoint and even longer building up the experience to write the way they did.