Am I the only one who just cannot write? Is it because I lack a drum machine or (as of late) people to collaborate with? I feel like a lot of my "written" stuff comes out sounding either cheesy or like something I've heard before, and my solos just feel repetitive. I also have a hard time finding that "magic note" that a good solo has that kind of hooks you on it. I think I am a fairly technically competent guitarist, but I just can not write anything, and can't be assed to learn written songs note for note as it isn't as fun as trying to create something.

Would it be a good idea to go back to taking lessons to have someone to work with and learn some new scales and break out of some of my playing cliches? Also, fwiw, I was considering just writing down three chords to build a song around and seeing what I could do, but I still get suck at actually building it and making a solo. I've also thought about trying to just grind at it, but that seems a bit boring.

EDIT: FWiw, I try to lean towards a hard rock/british metal sound like Van Halen, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Airbourne, etc.
Last edited by CJRocker at Dec 17, 2008,
Yea I know what you mean. The best solution is to find another musician, preferably a bassist or guitarist, but even a drummer will do. You just need to feel the creativity and vibe from other musicians in order to spark yours again.
Ibanez RGT42DX
-D'Addario .09-.42
Washburn X10
-Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottem
Cort 5 String Bass

Kustom Arrow 160FX
Electro-Harmonix-Metal Muff w/ Top Boost

Quote by CJRocker
and can't be assed to learn written songs note for note as it isn't as fun as trying to create something.

That's it. You need to learn other songs to know how songs are formulated, this'll help you. You can't get inspiration out of no-where.

Secondly, music is often very simular to other music, there's only 11 notes after all.

Finally, don't force yourself to write. When you're ready again - you'll know it.
Try something new or go do something different, something thats gonna give you a source for inspiration. Get together with some other guitarists that you dont usually play with and have them show ya some of their tricks of things you havent seen before. That usually helps me come up with new ideas at least...
From the sounds of this post, it sounds like you are having trouble more with writing solos. then the chords. As for writing progressions, try doing variations of chords, like adding 7ths or making them diminished. Like edawmail said, there are only so many notes you can hit, so you just need to mix them up.

For the solos, I'd advise you maybe take lessons, or get together with other musicians. You can basically do anything where you can learn new scales and such. Because I find myself having that same problem, when trying to write a solo or a cool riff.
Well, last night I just kind of scribbled down a few notes that came to me and played with the chromatic scale a bit.... actually came out sounding decent. Also, I am considering lessons again, though atm it will likely need to wait as weather this time of year gets rough and transportation can be an issue.
Sometimes it's a matter of trying too hard, and focusing on your belief that you "can't write music". Get that thought out of your head. If you like listening to music, and you have enough experience playing a musical instrument, chances are you can write music if you just let yourself.

Focus less on how good or bad you think you're doing at the moment, and just let yourself enjoy the experience of creating music.
shred is gaudy music

I write best when I'm not thinking too hard on it. I just play and enjoy playing and mess around. I can make a song with just two chords. The melody just flows out and starts to form words and it's so much fun making **** up. - And the lyrics always sounds so much better than when I sit down to try to write lyrics

Other times when I'm writing I put pressure on myself and that's when I hit walls and seem to lose the direction of the piece. I usually need to put it away for a while and maybe come back to it later - though I usually just keep moving forward and don't look back.
Alot of times a break from the guitar makes me more creative when I pick it up again.

Not a long break, just a day or two. I don't try too hard to write new songs either.. i definantly don't have the approach where I compose it out before I write it. Most of my songs started out as just mindless jamming
Funny, another "Stuck in a Rut" post currently shares nearly the same position. It
definitely qualifies as a regular theme...

Here's another funny thing: Music and playing guitar give you literally an infinite
realm to explore. There's so many things you can look into it's actually pretty
mind boggling. Yet, regularly, people can't see anywhere to go!? What's
getting in the way?

Maybe this blog will help, but ultimately you already have the solution inside yourself: