Basically, when I write songs, I have no problem writing chord progressions for verses and choruses etc (I understand the basics of music theory), and I also have no problem thinking of vocal melodies etc. The problem lies in writing rhythms for the guitar. I never really know whether I should arpegiate the chord, strum quarter notes, 8th notes palm-muted and always fall into the trap of having the same pattern.
What I mean is: how do you know what will sound good with a particular drum beat, when there are so many variables, such as bass, keyboards etc that the slightest changes in alter everything so differently. I guess I don't understand instrumental texture changes in songs, as a guitarist. I can't "hear" or imagine what a guitar line will sound like ontop of a rhythm section in my head. What do? It's weird because I play drums and also sing so I dunno... I've been told I'm good at them, and also songwriting in general, but I wanna be better... Should I learn a load of songs I like and try to emulate them or what? Any help appreciated

EDIT: It probably doesn't help that often I don't have a vague clue of what genre I want to write in. I just find nice chords and melodies...
Last edited by ckly at Jul 5, 2011,
Don't try to write in a genre, just write what comes naturally.

As for songwriting, what seems to be helping me at the moment is analyzing pieces of music that I really like. For example if you learn a song on guitar, sure you know the notes but do you know why it sounds the way it does? I would suggest taking the music that influences you and figuring out what exactly is happening in the song (chords, key, accidentals, etc.) and how everything is working together (drums, bass, keyboard, guitar, w/e else) and see if you can incorporate it into your own stuff.
You dont know if it works until you do it. Thats why music is an art, not a science.

Just splash it all up on the canvas and work out afterwards if its good or not. If its not, change it.
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
jam with some people,i did know shit from clay until i started jamming with a few people,it will come naturally.