#1
I don't know what to focus on more, technique or songwriting. I really enjoy impressive lead playing and fancy acoustic riffs and such, but I also feel like this is a waste of time. Great bands that I like rarely bother with such trifles, and focus more on writing great songs and great lyrics, and chord progressions, yet I still feel obligated to practice scales. Eddie vedder averages about 3 chords a song but they still sound amazing. The killers have great lyrics and catchy riffs and chord progs. also radiohead is similar in just overall musical catchiness. The beatles were amazing and wrote amazing songs. Should i just continue practice my songwriting or would it be more worthwhile to dabble in nonsense such as theory (i know the basics, enough to get by), more exstensive soloing techniques (i usually stay in the same scale but i'd like to branch out more but tthats a whole nother thread). I also like oasis, and i'm sure they dont care about their lead playing

i just need some direction and its depressing me quite a bit.
#2
Most popular music is really simple. People like it that way, that's why jazz is not popular. If you want to be popular; Songwriting first, technique later. If you want to be good; Technique first, songwriting later.
#3
I personally think lead playing is a lot more rewarding then simple chords. So I do both, but just do what you like, but it's really possible to do a good job at both of these things. Personally I often write chord progressions/riffs record them and then improvise over them so I improve my technique/scales/songwriting at once.
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#4
I don't see any reason why you can't work on technique and songwriting.

Also, if you want to be a songwriter then theory isn't "nonsense". Learning theory will allow you to understand why your favourite songs sound so good and theory will help you to write your own songs.

I'm not saying that you can't write without theory, but if you don't know much theory it will take you a lot longer to create that I-IV-V progression and even longer to find chords that would sound good the chorus/bridge ect. And the longer you spend on each chord progression the less time you have to think of a killer melody for it.
#5
Quote by mikeman
I don't know what to focus on more, technique or songwriting. I really enjoy impressive lead playing and fancy acoustic riffs and such, but I also feel like this is a waste of time. Great bands that I like rarely bother with such trifles, and focus more on writing great songs and great lyrics, and chord progressions, yet I still feel obligated to practice scales. Eddie vedder averages about 3 chords a song but they still sound amazing. The killers have great lyrics and catchy riffs and chord progs. also radiohead is similar in just overall musical catchiness. The beatles were amazing and wrote amazing songs. Should i just continue practice my songwriting or would it be more worthwhile to dabble in nonsense such as theory (i know the basics, enough to get by), more exstensive soloing techniques (i usually stay in the same scale but i'd like to branch out more but tthats a whole nother thread). I also like oasis, and i'm sure they dont care about their lead playing

i just need some direction and its depressing me quite a bit.

Where do people get this idea that "learning theory" means you have to sit down and study the stuff for eighteen hours a day and memorize every name of every scale ever created? That's not the case. Learning theory means keeping an open mind and absorbing information at your own pace, as opposed to being completley shut off to learning new things. You have to realize that awesome technique means nothing without songwriting ability (unless you want to spend your life doing covers). It'd be like having a car with 1000hp, but no wheels; you'd have all that power, and no way to make use of it.
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#6
The average pop song is more then just 3 chords and sappy lyrics. You can apply alot of skill to writing pop or you could apply nothing. The latter is what kiddie bands do and than bawwww that no-one likes their stuff.

Good pop is like this. It's realistic. It focuses on what listeners REALLY like in a song, melody and lyrics. If it's a good (vocal) melody with meaningfull lyrics that still fit the melody, you have a successfull song. A good melody takes alot of practise to write and alot of skill to perfect.

It doesn't matter if the average, shallow-minded musician views it as simple, it's effective and sounds great. Alot of non-musicians like at least one pop-rock band. It's not that it's simple that makes it popular, it's that the writer focuses on what's actually important. Keep in mind, jazz used to be the "in" music.

So yeah, you might think it's as simple as picking three chords that work and wailing some nonsensical words, but it's not.
Quote by wesselbindt
Most popular music is really simple. People like it that way, that's why jazz is not popular. If you want to be popular; Songwriting first, technique later. If you want to be good; Technique first, songwriting later.
Why can't you be good at songwriting? I respect a guy who can write a good song more than a guy who can shred at 23nps.
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#7
Being able to write a good song will open more doors in more places for you than being able to shred like you're possessed.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#9
I don't understand why so many guitar players adopt a 'this or that' mindset.
#10
I disagree somewhat. It's a matter of how much time you have, and how you allot it. The time I have to spend on music is fairly limited with commitments like my three kids, wife, full-time job, etc. While guitar playing used to be my primary life-focus, it's not even really in the top three of my musical focus right now. Over the past few years, it has been:

-singing
-songwriting
-recording
-band management (which is most definitely part of my 'musical' development)

Guitar might be fifth now.

So, yeah... you can't do everything and have to prioritize your time.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Quote by wesselbindt
Most popular music is really simple.



bingo


i go songwriter.. i went for theory rather than technique..

and kinda "guessed" my way into some styles.. i dont have to be a virtuoso..
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#12
well right now i think singing is most important to me, as i have little confidence in my singing ability. I suppose i must work on what i'm worst at, and right now that's singing and songwriting and chord knowledge, technique will have to be on the back burner.
#13
You have to ask yourself, "what is most important to me?", and go with that. Figure out your goals and put your energy towards those. Judging by your post above, you've done that, so I think you are going in the right direction. I think people sometimes get hung up with "should's" - e.g. songwriting is most interesting to them, but they feel they should have x or y level of technical ability, almost like a guilt thing. That's no good.

There's no reason why songwriting can't drive the process of improving your technique. i.e. the more songwriting you do, the more experimental your ideas get, and pretty soon you run out of technique and have to improve it to play what you are writing. To me, that's a much better, more sensible, goal driven way of thinking about improving technique than just doing it because you feel you should be better at it.
#14
Focus on song structure more. Too many guitar players these days waste all their time on lead playing and end up being terrible musicians that can noodle really well. Studying chords and song structures is the best way to learn lead playing anyway. Please don't obsess over speed like all the wanker kids of today, you will just end up being a musical idiot with great technique that you can't utilize.
#15
You can spend time on both just don't approach working on technique by hours of playing scales to a metronome click. Work on musicality above all.
12 fret fury
#16
Quote by mikeman
I don't know what to focus on more, technique or songwriting. I really enjoy impressive lead playing and fancy acoustic riffs and such, but I also feel like this is a waste of time. Great bands that I like rarely bother with such trifles, and focus more on writing great songs and great lyrics, and chord progressions, yet I still feel obligated to practice scales. Eddie vedder averages about 3 chords a song but they still sound amazing. The killers have great lyrics and catchy riffs and chord progs. also radiohead is similar in just overall musical catchiness. The beatles were amazing and wrote amazing songs. Should i just continue practice my songwriting or would it be more worthwhile to dabble in nonsense such as theory (i know the basics, enough to get by), more exstensive soloing techniques (i usually stay in the same scale but i'd like to branch out more but tthats a whole nother thread). I also like oasis, and i'm sure they dont care about their lead playing

i just need some direction and its depressing me quite a bit.


Don't worry about it. Work on whatever you want to work on. Be true to yourself and follow your own interests
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#18
Quote by mikeman
I don't know what to focus on more, technique or songwriting. I really enjoy impressive lead playing and fancy acoustic riffs and such, but I also feel like this is a waste of time. Great bands that I like rarely bother with such trifles, and focus more on writing great songs and great lyrics, and chord progressions, yet I still feel obligated to practice scales. Eddie vedder averages about 3 chords a song but they still sound amazing. The killers have great lyrics and catchy riffs and chord progs. also radiohead is similar in just overall musical catchiness. The beatles were amazing and wrote amazing songs. Should i just continue practice my songwriting or would it be more worthwhile to dabble in nonsense such as theory (i know the basics, enough to get by), more exstensive soloing techniques (i usually stay in the same scale but i'd like to branch out more but tthats a whole nother thread). I also like oasis, and i'm sure they dont care about their lead playing

i just need some direction and its depressing me quite a bit.

its not really that black and white. you can do both you know. people like hendrix and clapton made great classic songs and also were very good at playing leads. you just have to make time for both. plus a lot of artists dont completely write all their songs. some co-write and some dont write at all. i dont think anyone expects you to write all of your own songs. that would be nice but not very realistic.

just set aside time to write, and time to practice. maybe some days you might just write. some days you ight just practice. like you said, most popular songs are simple and catchy. well it isnt that hard to come up with a simple progression. writing the lyrics would be harder. so again, just make time to work on it. talk to different writers. read books, or articles on songwriting etc... but dont make it one or the other. do both.
#19
Make sure you've developed your technique to the level that you personally find appropriate. As long as your technique is developed enough to play the ideas in your head, I think you're all set. If your vision of what your playing should be involves having the musicianship of your favorite bands, develop your technique to the point where it's effortless to pull off the kind of things those bands are doing and then just make sure you maintain your technique there, unless you really want to push for more technique, and want your music to involve ideas that require more technique.

As long as you have your technique together, I think it's more important to focus on the music (songwriting).
#20
Quote by axemanchris
Being able to write a good song will open more doors in more places for you than being able to shred like you're possessed.

CT



I agree! 200%
#21
Try to decide the kind of music that you like to play and want to write. If you like accoustic riffs and impressive leads, why not play lead over accoustic backing tracks. Make some songs with that. Play what you like, there are too many genres of music out there for you to limit yourself to copying what your favorite bands are doing. I like listening to metal bands but I don't write metal tracks, I write slower more melodic stuff because that is what I like to play. Just have a think and see what you really enjoy playing, what comes out when you just noodle around on guitar.