Okay, I've gotten pretty good at guitar that I think I can handle writing some simple songs. I have a drum machine to lay down some drum tracks so I'm off pretty well. The one question I have though is, should I write songs with lyrics or instrumentals? I don't play with a band and I can't sing very well. I have written some poetry but never really put words into music. I know artists like Satch, Gilbert, and Vai have some pretty good instrumental songs, but I'm not exactly a virtuoso. Maybe this is a sign that I should get better at guitar, maybe not. I know someone wants to post something along the lines of: "Write songs in the style you like." or "Write whatever inspires you." But I don't write shred virtuoso songs on my first try, and I don't have many inspirations besides shred guitar. I'd like to open my musical influences up and broaden my horizon. I also like classic rock, but the only stuff I can come up with is power chord progressions over power chord progressions. A lot of help is needed and all help is appreciated.
Power chords are fine

You have to start writing somewhere, right? You could try put a few words to your progressions for part of a song, then in between take lead breaks or something. Just write a bunch of stuff. You'll quickly learn there is no formula for writing (not counting keys, scale, etc.) and that the best way to get better is to just write a shit load.

Also, being a virtuoso is not necessary, even if you're writing lead guitar-based music. Just not suck, and have something that seperates you from the next guy wanting to be the next Satch or whoever. Try incorporating both lyrics and instrumental aspects into your writing. Your entire song does not have to focus on one or the other. Lengthy instrumental breaks are fine, as long as it doesn't like some mediocre guitarist wanking. And if your vox aren't great, that's also fine. Plenty of people who sing don't have great voices. If you want to focus on instrumental parts, you can limit the lyrics and melodies, if you're not totally comfortable with them. This way you'll seperate the instrumental parts to keep it interesting, and you won't be competing with every other purely technical instrumental guitarist.

Exploring new things musically will also definetly help with songwriting, because other genres put more emphasis on things that another genre may disregard. For example, a lot of pop has heavy focus on melody. Remember, all pop isn't along the lines of "Friday, Friday, gettin' down on Friday". There is good pop music out there.

To start your first song, try coming up with a simply power chord progression. Then write some words, it doesn't matter how great they are. Then try to sing them over your progression. There's no need to come up with fancy vocal melodies now, just sing along with the guitar. If the chord gets higher, follow it with your voice, if a chord gets lower, do the same with your voice. Then after singing a stanza, take a solo break, I'm assuming you know scales and how to play lead parts here. Maybe switch up the power chord progressions in the middle, to extend it without it getting boring. Then come back in with the original progression, and a new set of lyrics, doing the same thing.

Basically, just write. It's not really a skill that can be taught, it needs to be practised and honed by you. You'll eventually figure out a certain style or method you like to use when writing.

Good luck
IommiPage, you are a god/saint/master of life/greatest UGer ever. Never leave this site. NEVER!!!