I've jumped deep into both of these subjects in this past week and just knowing them have improved my writing dramatically(no lie). Though, sometimes I find myself using different approaches to writing. Sometimes I start by writing vertically and then pull intervals out of the chords to create the melody... other times I write the melody or several riffs and then harmonize them.

How do you do it? What do some of you more experienced musicians have to suggest for using these fun tools in writing?
the only way i write them is with chords, like how you said you did. or just out of nothing, by messing around on the guitar and knowing what works.
Usually the melody first, and then harmonize it. If you try writting all the voices at the same time, to fit specific chords, you generally won't get as good of a melody, and its harder to pick something to start with. If you write the melody first, you've got a good starting point, and the chords will usually fall out pretty easily, making harmonizing fairly simple.
See I dont use traditional forms of practice so I practice by using different techniques in riffs and if it sounds good I keep it. I find this helps cause it helps with skills, how/when to use them, and writing riffs.
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Two opposite answers? (EDIT: three of them) If I'm reading correctly. That is interesting at least.

Both seem to work and both end up in the same style, for me. That is the glory of music. I'm still interested in hearing some tips for using these tools.

Thanks guys.
it depends, sometimes I come up with the chord progression first and extrapolate the melody from that, sometimes I come up with a melody and throw a chord progression behind it, it's largely down to what pops into my head first, a chord progression or a melody.

My suggesting is to experiment as much as possible and develop your own method for using different techniques.
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When im writing guitar stuff I just mess around til I like something then build on it. When writing choral music however I write the melody, usually in soprano, and then harmonize and decide where I want it to go.
They're not exactly mutually exclusive. Three or four voice counterpoint will frequently (generally...almost always) outline a chord progression.
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They're not exactly mutually exclusive. Three or four voice counterpoint will frequently (generally...almost always) outline a chord progression.

Of course, I said this in an earlier post. This seems like a widely discussed topic about where you start when writing music; melody or progression. Both seem to end up in the same place, I think.
If I'm writing something with a counterpoint method in mind, I'd write the CF first, and then the voices, although not always.

If I want to use counterpoint, I usually do that with an existing melody I already have.

But I don't compose lot of counterpoint. I think in terms of combining melody and chords at the same time, since I like classical guitar stuff.
Are you asking how to compose works on a guitar, or any piece in general?

If in general, write your harmony as a separate voice from the cantus firmus.

Do this after you have a basic melody written. This way you have something for a base. Stay in key, and experiment with intervals.

sorry if that didn't help, It's hard to explain theory over a post...
I sometimes take chords and make a melody out of chord tones or extensions and just dress it up with fills and stuff. Works fine.