#1
hey there, been playing guitar five years. into metal mostly, at least in terms of songwriting, mainly stoner/sludge/doom/death/thrash/progressive i guess.

im desperate to get a song down. i've had riffs floating around for years, some if i may so myself are awesome, but my main issue is ARRANGING them to form a song.

i appreciate that songwriting is a gift and arrangements come naturally to some people, me not being one of those blessed persons. how do you approach it if this is the case?

i can string 2-4 riffs together and then i just lose momentum. i never know whether to go back to a riff or whatever, or how to make it kick ass and formulate an entire song. i can do a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge thing but to me it just sounds boring you know?

i want to write something interesting but it just eludes me. for me, inspiration is a rare thing. once in a while i'll write a totally killer riff, but if you had a gun to my head and said on any given day write a good riff i'd probably fail. anyone else in my boat? anyone got any pearls of wisdom to help me?

thanks
#2
Best word of advice, listen to something else besides metal.

When you expand your horizons, you learn.
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#3
The timbre of the music has changed and the emotions have changed, but certain things about great musical creations have remained the same. If you've ever studied music historically, most of the greatest composers wrote around a central theme. Bach wrote fugues, Vivaldi wrote for soloist redundancy, Beethoven used a simple theme in many of his pieces, Berloiz had an idee fixe, Queen had an ostinato, Guns and Roses use guitar hooks, Messhuggah uses a thematic progression of technical whatsamahoozits. Don't be afraid to repeat a riff, but be afraid to play the riff exactly the same every time (dynamics, passing notes, modulation!).
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#4
Like Svetlova said, inspire as much you can. Make yourself (even if its hard) to listen something more than metal. It can be antyhing. Some new wave, even elctronic or jazz/blues music. Hear how people come to composing. Youll be suprised how much you can learn even from this "music" product that comes from lady gaga.

composing is hard but gives a lot of satisfaction to find the great way to make a song.

also you can try analysing songs in guitar pro. it helps me alot to see how the songs are "build".

good luck!
#5
hey guys, thanks for the responses. i guess i didnt state in my post that i listen to loads of other stuff besides metal, i'd say that metal accounts for only around half of the music i listen to. yeah, i've thought about analysing songs, i guess i'll give that a go, and see where it takes me. cheers anyway
#6
bets thing writing a song music wise would be to first establish a chord basis before you start writing riffs. make a good rythmn pattern of some chords that flow nice and from there design a riff in that key and from their u can morph them into a way that works with your lyrics thats pretty much the incredibly dumbed down version of how to write a song
#7
There's no real right or wrong way to write/compose songs. There's definatley no magic formula, but you'll find a lot of bands/songwriters do use a formula to some extent. I tend to just come up with a hook first or maybey a chorus. I'll probably have thought of a really cool phrase or way of wording something which will form the building blocks for whatever it becomes. Try and write freely, flow. If you're struggling for ideas stop. Don't force things. Music is supposed to be fun, and enjoyable. It should be about expressing yourself not stressing yourself. Take your time, and just write what you think is good. Don't worry about the opinions of others just yet, write for your own enjoyment and expressisveness.
#8
See, it sounds to me like you don't actually have any song material. You have riffs and such, but from a "definition" standpoint (useful for things like copyright), all that counts for is as accompaniment to a song.

Take your favourite songs. Now strip the vocals from them. How interesting/exciting is it now? Not very. It's the same stuff, over and over again, running through a few predictable patterns, and arranged into sections that are mostly pretty predictable.

Does this sound like your problem? Sounds like it.

CT
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