This might sound pretty dumb to some people or pretty obvious but I am kind of a newbie...

I always had trouble trying to write good hard rock riffs and songs. I know scales , chords, keys, and how to improv but when it comes to trying to write a structured song i have trouble. I think I have a good idea though on how to approach it ..let me know if this sounds good.

Lets say you pick a key say A minor and you just play any single note melody that you really like on any string and try to make a riff or something that sounds good, and let that exact melody be the base for everything..then just harmonize the melody to your liking. basically just build the song of the prominent melody. And even if you don't know all the different ways to play chords and the million different things you can do to a song..basing off the melody will be a good guideline and you can just go by ear.

I was listening to this new song by whitesnake called "love will set you free" and its in A minor. I just played single notes in the A minor pentatonic box and its the same thing as the opening riff except i did not harmonize it. maybe thats how he created it?

So do you think it is possible to literally write a whole song just by a single note melody and in the end come out with something killer?

If I start to want to write a song I usually get so confused as to what to do . but it seems like the melody the key...
Last edited by Unreal T at Jul 16, 2011,
yeah you can, although usually this would be kinda fugal and would need a good enough knowledge of theory/counterpoint etc to look at the different possibilities. it is a grand way of doing it though, and sometimes it can be easier if your basing the song off one or two ideas, your head isn't as cluttered and you can really focus on your materials more closely
You should pretty much be able to use almost any chord as long as you can bring it back to the tonal center. That's the beauty of it.

Analyze several songs and observe how everything fits together.

Personally I cannot write a song if that's what I'm trying to do. My songs all come from inspiration.


Quote by Sean0913

Personally I cannot write a song if that's what I'm trying to do. My songs all come from inspiration.



Me too. The best IMO is to just jam keep playing discovering more stuff. When your ready you will write a song.
Using a single melody to generate a song is a perfectly good idea as long as its a really GOOD melody. Making a melody is actually the most difficult thing in songwriting for me. Riffs come more naturally.

If it works out it doesn't mean you should write every song that way. Try different approaches as you gain experience.