#1
How long have you been playing the guitar/bass/keyboard/drums? Actually the better question is: how long did it take you to start writing your own songs?

Also how did you develop your own style? (if you have your own)
#2
4 years/guitar

around my 2nd year

I don't know if I can answer that, I think I'm still developing my style, that's something that takes years (decades probably).

It's not like Vai or Malmsteen just started playing like they do now, it took them 20+ years to find their style.
Why should I come down?
From here, I can see forever.
#3
I've been playing guitar and singing for close to 4 years I believe.

I wrote my first entire song (guitar and lyrics) about 2 years ago. I had riff ideas and chord progressions floating around in my head so I wrote some lyrics with a specific rhyme pattern and organized it to work. Took me maybe a couple days to totally complete it but I'm quite happy with it and besides maybe adding a solo in the future I would not change anything.

Just try to write things you think are powerful and that sound good. Bands you like are good influences as long as you don't try to sound exactly like them.
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#4
Me, I started writing poems and what not before learning Em on a fretboard... See, I have always loved poetry and writing, so it wasn't a problem with me.
After about 6 months of learning guitar, I began to write my own stuff, easy, simple stuff I never used again.
Now that it's been 4 years since I started writing real songs and playing the guitar, I have developed not only my own distinct style on the fretboard but also in writing... whether it be the melodies, the lyrics, or the vocals, developing my own style was just a matter of writing and writing and writing, and of course after a while of doing something you get a sense for it. Or at least I did. I tend to focus on vocals and lyrics more than guitar as I'm more a vocalist/frontman/rhythm guitarist than a lead guitarist, but now I write almost all of the songs in a trio band I front, I record my solo stuff, and I also run an experimental band as only the vocalist... You just keep at it, try different stuff, just find what fits you, suits you, means something to you and you can do well, and after a while you'll get good at it and love the stuff you write yourself.
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#5
Finding a style isn't a milestone, it's an eternal process. You don't arrive at it, you evolve it.
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#6
My primary instrument is guitar, and I guess by now I have been playing for around 5 years, with the first 2 or 3 years being a very active time where I played and practiced all the time, mostly as a self-taught guitarist using tabs from our very own UG and any information I found as I needed it. I technically can play bass, as every guitarist can, but admittedly, that's an art I have yet to perfect. Drums are what I'm most interested currently but only have about less than a years worth of truly trying to play the drums and not just screw around like I normally did (my drummer keeps his kit in my basement). I started writing music within the first year of playing but it wasn't very good or complete. Within my second year I had a band from high school and we started writing music. Most of us were not very seasoned, so the process was long and often grueling...but very rewarding.

Your style develops as you play. Personally, I will totally admit that many of the songs I've written, even ones I still play with my band today, were all based on a certain feel of a song I heard that I wanted to recreate. A lot of people will say that there is NOTHING but emulation in music nowadays, and I would say at least in my playing, sometimes that's true.

Since my style is more based in an organic kind of creation (how it sounds, the feel) rather than based in theory, I am actually more limited to what I've practiced and heard instead of the more mathematical aspect of making a song purely based in theory. While I usually don't say, "I want to rip-off (song title) today," I can usually see how a what I play sounds like certain guitarists or bands I used to sit and learn all afternoon after school. After learning catalogs of material from Incubus and Red Hot Chili Peppers, I can see certain aspects of that kind of sound in parts of my songs. It might start with a simple riff that I just came up with, but when I make a chord progression for a chorus off of it, I might think, "That really sounds like a Mike Einziger (of Incubus) kind of chorus."

Some people would get offended if somebody said their music sounded like someone else, but I personally wouldn't mind too much. I suppose if somebody called me a "poor man's" version or "rip-off" of something, it wouldn't feel very good, but if they say, "Hey, that sounds like a John Frusciante solo!" I would be proud, because I like that sound.

So basically, you can only play what you know, for the most part. It's hard to know how to get a certain feel on an instrument unless you do some research into similar songs and techniques you use to get your point across. Like drums, for example, seem so simple to sit down and do if you know the basics...but the possibilities are endless for different feels and touches and accents, even with a basic kit. To simply play is one thing...to develop a personality and style takes so much longer, and is a constant process, when you think about it. Ideally, for me at least, I hope I never get stagnant in my playing, because there is always something new to be learned. Obviously I won't master everything, but I will develop more of a personal style as I play more different kinds of music. You may not like the sound or style, but you know how to play it, and that just reinforces your existing style.

Variety is the spice of life. Play plenty of types of music and keep pushing yourself. When you find something you find to be cool sounding or unique, maybe that is something you aspire to be. Figure out what makes that music interesting to you, and see if you can recreate it with your own spin. Pretty soon you will find yourself able to express yourself easier with guitar playing than you would with words.
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#7
from first time i picked up an instrument i started crating my own small melodies. grat way to learn an instrument
MR morgan
#8
I've been playing the Euphonium for 6 years, and the bass for almost 4 years. I started writing music as soon as I picked up the bass (as I only learned it at first to join a band, now it's my favorite instrument). It took me two years of playing bass to write and complete a song by myself. In those two years I've only completed two songs. But I've wroted about a dozen half songs (I only need words, I even have the melodies for the nonexistant words).

I developed my style from weekly jam sessions as well as what I listen to.
#9
My teacher got me to start improvising within a couple of weeks of starting playing and writing within a couple of months - and yes I sucked lol

Start writing as soon as you can find some way of transferring whats in your head to a recording or tab or notation, and don't worry if it sucks at first - you can't expect to write something brilliant when you start any more than you would expect to be brilliant at an instrument first time you pick it up. You develop your own style over time - as you gain experience and confidence, you start to develop and trust your own ideas more and your own style starts to come out.
#10
ive been playing 6 or 7 years now
i started writing within my first year of playing but i didnt come to my own (and current) style untill after almost 2 years that just came naturally cus thats the music i hear it took me another year to get it exactly as in my head though
#11
Quote by lionheart425
How long have you been playing the guitar/bass/keyboard/drums?

I've been playing guitar for about a year and a half. I've been playing bass for about three years.
Quote by lionheart425
how long did it take you to start writing your own songs?

Almost immediately, once I started playing guitar. I was the vocalist in a band. We kicked out our guitarist not long before a show. I had to learn his parts. When the band broke up, I started writing my own stuff right away.
Quote by lionheart425

Also how did you develop your own style? (if you have your own)

By using a lot of reverb and delay to create all sorts of ambient noise.
#12
Straight off the bat. I admit, they were incomplete and disgusting creations, but it was the pure euphoria of creation that drove me onward, and fueled my desire to improve.

I wrote my first 'passable' song at 6 months, but it was just chords and lyrics, and the song has gone through many transformations since then, so I have no idea how it sounded when I'd only just written it.

'Style' isn't something you stumble across, and then say 'I've got it!' Often, you start down a road to one style, and find yourself making detours and overcoming obstacles, your style becoming stronger for it.

For example, when I started, my lyrics were very trippy, they didn't make a lot of sense. Whilst I evolved that style, I found ways of writing clever, more themed lyrics, that I could not only apply to my existing style, but allow me to be led off in another direction entirely.

Your overall style is guided by your own personal musical experiences, wants, and tastes.

Edit: I've been playing seriously for about 4 years.
Last edited by Gargan at Nov 19, 2009,
#13
I'll have been playing 13 years come the new year.
I wrote my first song the first week I owned a guitar.
404: Sig not found.
#14
Playing 27 years. *looks around the room for his teeth*

I think I wrote my first complete song - words, melody, chords, etc. - after about two years of playing. It was utter crap. After all this time, the oldest song I have that I still play for people was written in '93.... so I had been playing for a over a decade by then, and writing songs for about eight years before I actually wrote something I still think is good.

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.
#15
Quote by gwitersnamps
Finding a style isn't a milestone, it's an eternal process. You don't arrive at it, you evolve it.


this is very true, i've been playing for four years and my style has evolved into a bluesy/metal style. think mark morton. But lately i've been trying to develop my style into a neoclassical kind of thing alot like jeff loomis. its always changing deponding on what/who is inspiring you
#16
Quote by axemanchris


I think I wrote my first complete song - words, melody, chords, etc. - after about two years of playing. It was utter crap.
CT



dude i think i had been playing 2 months before i wrote my first song. can't remember it now for the life of my but i do remember listening to a tape of it later and thinking "how did i actually think that was anything other than god awful?"

Quote by lionheart425
How long have you been playing the guitar/bass/keyboard/drums?

guitar about 15 years
bass about 13 years
keys - off and on for 4 years or so
Quote by lionheart425

Actually the better question is: how long did it take you to start writing your own songs?

this isn't fair cuz everyone works at different speeds. that being said i think a better question is "how long did it take you to write a song that didn't totally suck" that being said i wrote my first song a couple months into playing and i still have a riff that i wrote around that time that i think sounds good and i have a song from when i was 16 after 2 years of playing that i'll still play for people. its really just a chord progression and a nice melody, not much too it but it sounds good.
Quote by lionheart425

Also how did you develop your own style? (if you have your own)

i think peoples styles are constantly changing, i know mine is. i dont sound quite like i did 2 years ago and definitely doing better than 6 years ago. that being said, i really used to knock the crap out of my guitar, i mean i'd put 70 gauge strings on it because i kept breaking the low E. knocking the ever loving hell out of your guitar was part of my style. i wish i could find those low gauges again
Last edited by z4twenny at Nov 19, 2009,
#17
I wrote my first song after about a year. My primary instrument is guitar and I have been playing for 10 years.

It was about drugs because I thought I was being cool. It's an ok song, I played it to a guy and he cried. He was wasted :P

Edit: My own style? Umm, I don't know. I became comfortable with the instrument after about four years. I have a sound similar to Mark Knopfler, which isn't surprising because I completely love him.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#18
I've been playing bass for about a year and a half and I'd think I'd say it only took me about eight months to know how to improv and have a distinct style and everything. I mean the style changes all the time but it's the way I play. I've only been playing guitar for about two months but I have three or four solid songs. I think you'd find that it's more about the confidence than the actual creativity, because everyone has it in them to write music; it just depends on what you decide is the type of music you want to share with the world
#19
Ooooohhh, I wanna join.

I've been playing guitar since June of 2008 and have been writing songs for about 2 weeks. I made an album weeeeeeeee.

Good luck.
#20
Aha! This got me thinking as to whether I'd still got that first song written down anywhere; I found it last night!

|-0--3--1--0-|
|-0--0--0--1-|
|-0--0--0--0-|
|-2--0--2--2-|
|-2--2--3--3-|
|-0--3--x--x-|

|-0--3--1--2-|
|-0--0--0--3-|
|-0--0--0--2-|
|-2--0--2--0-|
|-2--2--3--x-|
|-0--3--x--x-|

With a little hammer-on to the G on the 1st string on the third beat of the D bar.
Joy!
404: Sig not found.
#21
Been playing Guitar around 6 years, been messing around with drums and bass for about 3.

I started writing songs within the first week. It's more about inspiration and open mindedness than how much theory you know. If you have an ear for how things sound and how you want things to sound, you can write great songs without being a great guitarist. The only way to get better at anything is to practice, so even if your first few songs suck, it's still good practice to see what you need to work on
I hate my sig
#22
Been playing since I was 13, over 5 years ago. Myself and my old singer wrote a song when we were probably 15, but I didnt start writing till I was 16 or 17 I'd say, so it took me 3 or 4 years. I also play bass and drums, which i learnt specifically for the purpose of writing, so I started writing on them straightaway.

One of the comments remind me of an anecdote, I heard that Thom Yorke of Radiohead wrote the riff to The National Anthem when he was 16.
#23
Been playing 7 or 8 years, and writing since day 1. In fact, I was a fair bit more prolific in the early days

I'd say I've definately developed my own style though. It will come.
#24
Quote by Beserker
In fact, I was a fair bit more prolific in the early days
Same... I think it's because as you write more and gain experience at it, your standards rise and therefore it takes longer to write something you're completely happy with.
404: Sig not found.
#25
Quote by lionheart425
How long have you been playing the guitar/bass/keyboard/drums?

quite a few years

Quote by lionheart425

Actually the better question is: how long did it take you to start writing your own songs?


Not long at all....... practically right away. (keep in mind I didn't say they were all that great..... I was 8 and liked to be creative.... even with 1 or 2 chords)

Quote by lionheart425

Also how did you develop your own style? (if you have your own)


listening to, learning, practicing, playing, enjoying..... music
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 20, 2009,
#26
I've been playing four years and I've barely written little melodies. I just can't write at the moment.
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#27
Quote by gwitersnamps
Finding a style isn't a milestone, it's an eternal process. You don't arrive at it, you evolve it.


You took the words right out of my mouth.
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#30
I guess you have to determine what you mean by 'song' as well. When I said 'song', I meant words, melody, chords, etc. I'm sure (at least if the many threads around here are even half true about 'so-and-so stole my song' and it turns out that it was just a bunch of chords strung together by a couple of riffs) that many of you aren't using that definition of song.

About personal style.... my style is similar to a lot of the artists I really like who also sing in my range. That's just taking stuff from your influences. Beyond that, though, only YOU can be you, so you should have your own voice.

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.
#31
i've been playing for about 2years now, been making my own songs since I played 1year on guitar.
#32
Quote by ChrisN
Aha! This got me thinking as to whether I'd still got that first song written down anywhere; I found it last night!

|-0--3--1--0-|
|-0--0--0--1-|
|-0--0--0--0-|
|-2--0--2--2-|
|-2--2--3--3-|
|-0--3--x--x-|

|-0--3--1--2-|
|-0--0--0--3-|
|-0--0--0--2-|
|-2--0--2--0-|
|-2--2--3--x-|
|-0--3--x--x-|

With a little hammer-on to the G on the 1st string on the third beat of the D bar.
Joy!


I don't think this counts as a song. I'm not intending to be offensive, but it's just a bunch of chords. You need a bit more, even if it was intended to be an instrumental song.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#33
^ That was exactly my point..... and I suspect that that probably isn't the only 'instrumental' song being referenced here.

And yes, a 'song' can be instrumental, but effectively, there needs to be a 'lyrical melody' - something that has a melody you can sing without sounding like Beavis and Butthead "singing" the riff for Paranoid.

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.
#34
Yes it was a song.
They were the chords for the rhythm and it of course had lyrics.. of which I can only find the first two verses and chorus.
404: Sig not found.
#36
Quote by ChrisN
Yes it was a song.
They were the chords for the rhythm and it of course had lyrics.. of which I can only find the first two verses and chorus.


That's all good then
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#37
How long have you been playing the guitar/bass/keyboard/drums?

I took up piano in 10th grade but I only remember a C chord lol. To busy sleeping but I'm going to probably learn it all over it again. I've been playing guitar since last year.


How long did it take you to start writing your own songs?

It didn't take too long mainly because my teacher made us do it for a grade lol. We had to come up with our own song and write it in standard notion. But lyrics I started when I was 13 or 14 and my first song was a rap song with my cousin lol. He came up with the beat and I came up with my verse and the chorus.

House party we be jamming tonight
House party so don't start no fights
House party we be jamming tonight
House party so don't start no fights

I don't remember my verse lol

Also how did you develop your own style? Well I'm just influenced by my favorite guitarists but I haven't really developed my own style really it's just a mix of everything. lol Like I'll learn a song and the positions of chords and then try to come up with my own chords that I think sounds good.
talk to me
and i better not hear a word
do me baby
i better not feel it girl
i still got one bullet left in my nine
finna do a love crime
love crime
finna do a love crime

lovecrimes -- frank ocean

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Last edited by Fearless(Times) at Nov 21, 2009,
#38
Quote by AlanHB
That's all good then
I wouldn't say that; I cringed when I played it again
404: Sig not found.
#39
i have been playing for about 2 and a half years and i just decide what scales sound the best to me and i use them. that's kind of how i developed my style, but everyone just kinda develops it some way or another.
#40
Ive been playing 25 years.

In addition to my business I run, I am at this time an aspiring singer/songwriter, primarily acoustic. I don't really use theory in my songs, maybe a little. I actually have songs happen" to me. If I sit down to write a song, I feel I bomb. Im all about inspiration.

My songs are for the most part basic, and intentionally so. I write for the song or mood and theme. Its funny because what I teach, I apply very little in my own writing, its just how its come about - I write songs for people, not musicians, people that dont know a Lydian from a Dorian, so I just write for the song.

How did I start writing? It happened as soon as I decided that I wanted to teach myself how to sing and play on the guitar, which is right about 2 years ago, now. I'd been playing for years and in bands, but once I started learning covers and getting more comfortable with playing out in front of people, I started getting woke up in the dead of night with a song idea. From there I'd drop it on a small digital recorder in my nightstand.

My style changes from one song to the next, but I'd say my "vibe" vocally is folk, soul and feeling and passion, and my writing is acoustic, not electric. Anyways, over a 30 day period, after the first song hit, I found myself being woke up with 2-3 songs a night. Learning to play and teaching myself to sing (self taught again) by learning covers, opened up some sort of conduit of sudden inspiration for me, so that my songwriting is purely done like that. Now there are times, when I run into a dead end on the song and from there, I may draw upon my theory for finding that thing to unblock it. I have a few people still trying to figure out what my sound is, and/or why I have such a wide range of nuances to my voice

But for the most part my stuff is quite diatonic and simple, but as a song, the songs themselves are well received, and Ive developed a minor fan base from around the world, and I attribute that to the fact that I didn't try to be anyone else or like anyone else, the origin of the songs was from inspiration, and I didn't let theory get in the way or prevent me from writing a simple song.

Here's an example of a cover song and my vocal - on this site I think Ive done some 400+ recordings, some better than others, but they've been invaluable in my learning to become a better singer.

http://www.singsnap.com/snap/r/c7ffd7ec

And an example of one of my originals played on the fly through a poor mic, may be one of my first singles when the album releases.

http://www.singsnap.com/snap/r/bba4d70a

In this song, I deviate slightly out of the key and use a Bb to C during the bridge - that was intentional, theory at work and gave me the thing that I was looking for, but the song itself is pretty basic and diatonic. But again, I was writing for the song.

Yeah no solos at all in my writing. Just because I can, doesnt mean I should
Last edited by Sean0913 at Dec 12, 2009,