Key. I write my riffs when I play alone or while jamming with my band, having no thought of what key it would be in or based around a scale. This might make my riffs sound "wrong" or odd from a theoretical view.
I want to write songs, and I figured that knowing what key something is in, it would help me, so if somebody could explain this it'd be very appreciated!

Modes. I've heard of it, but never researched or understood it.

Time signatures. This I have an idea about what it is. How do I write my riffs to go along with this better?

Any help will be appreciated!
Key: figure out where your riffs resolve and work out the general idea of a chord progression that makes sense under your work. It's really about being able to hear if you can't just identify scales easily. In general, the key is the scale the song is based on: if a song's in E minor, it resolves to E and includes E, F#, G, A, B, C, and D.

Modes: don't even worry about it. It's complex theory that really isn't necessary to ever know, especially when you don't understand keys/time signatures.

Time signatures: if you're in 4/4, it's just a simple 1, 2, 3, 4 beat; 3/4, 1, 2, 3; 6/8, 1-2-3, 4-5-6. Find a song in an odd time signature and just listen to the notes they emphasize to build the style/rhythm.

A little dabbling on GuitarPro or something should help a lot with what you don't understand.

These are really make-shift explanations cause it's really hard to gauge how much you actually understand about music and I don't want to look pretentious and assume too much.
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Last edited by Hail at Apr 29, 2011,