k well musically im theory retarded and dont know anything bout structures of songs and such. i picked up guitar on my own and taught myself everything. ive become pretty good, can play anything from flamenco to heavy metal even virt. stuff like vai or gilbert but dunno how to apply this to writting. i know nothing and need help. i can come up with random riffs and stuff but dont know how to tie it to anything. or when it comes to adding lyrics i cant do that either so if anyone can help please suggest writting styles or perhaps things that could help to composing stuff better and how to add in lyrics to compliment your work. any advice will do
Unless you are really talented and can make up songs in your head, you'll need to learn some theory.
idk like know were to start with theory though, like i dont get what with theory helps organize songs. wat bout it can you use to apply to songwritting?
songwriting is like anything. you get better with practice. no ones gonna write their best song the first time they try to write, so don't get frustrated if it doesn't sound good to start with. i generally write music around a riff, then come up with the chord sequences for other parts of the song, then write riffs around that. when it comes to lyrics, try humming a tune over the existing song and then improvise by putting a few random words to the tune: the first words that come to your head. if you find a word or two that you like try and build some more lyrics around that, and then hopefully if they make a tiny bit of sense you'll have a theme to write the rest of the lyrics about. also, write the music you feel like playing at that period in time, then the the finished product should sound more convincing.
First you have to understand keys. You have to learn how the circle of fifths (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths) works and which chords fit into different keys. You also need to know how chords are constructed, the way triads are built up and so on. When you are done with these, learn scales and arpeggios and learn which scales and arpeggios you can use in different keys for different chords. Those are the basics you should learn in the first run.

Last edited by imaginary.frnd at Nov 3, 2009,
I usually start with making up a melody in my head. Then I play it on a guitar, quickly record it or write it down so i won't forget it. Most of the time I just have a riff standing on its own, and when I feel like it I start writing the chord progression, the bass line and everything else around it. When I'm done with the instrumental part I try to write the lyrics, which is the hardest part for me. I try to write a poem that fits into the mood of the song and sing it in the right key. When im done with that i make some modifications in both the lyrics and the instrumental parts to fit together well.

*had to edit coz i can't type
Last edited by imaginary.frnd at Nov 3, 2009,
You can check out this lesson, it's called "A systematic Approach to Songwriting"...it may help.


Also, like mentioned by others, you really should take the time to learn alittle music theory. I would start by learning Keys, Chord structures/triads, and Intervals.
It would make composing, arranging and writing music a lot easier in the long run.
Like anything else, the more you do it, the more confortable and better you'll get at it.
Your best bet to get into theory really quickly is to go take a music theory class. As suggested here, you'll need the basics if you want to understand what you're doing as you songwrite, but the more you learn, the more you'll be be able to think through how the progressions of your song will work.

I wasn't a music student, but took some theory classes for my own enjoyment and they were a great help.
i agree with all these guys, was in your position a few months ago, but then i just picked up how to use scales and that alone opened up my songwriting immensley