#1
Hey UG, I'm trying my hand in songwriting once again (acoustic music, mostly). I'm very confident with my lyrical ability, but when it comes to putting music to lyrics, I just can't do it. Either I use too few chords so the song sounds empty and boring, or I use too many chords to the point where it just doesn't sound good. So my question is, how many chords do you guys typically use when songwriting?
#2
Try using chords that are in the same key first.

edit: Analyze the songs you like, what progressions they use, how they layer the instruments on each other to from the chords how they harmonize the vocals with the rest of the song, etc..
Last edited by imaginary.frnd at Aug 1, 2011,
#7
Here's a suggestion for you,
If you were to play three or four chords you could try messing around with how you strum them. Strumming hard at some parts of the song and strumming softly on others can add some variation, even when you use a small number of chords. It ends up sounding pretty cool. For instance, if you were to play the chord progression for "Knockin On Heaven's Door", it is just G - D - C (unless you are looking at the original Bob Dylan version that has an Am7 thrown in for every other C). If you were to strum softly during the verses and strum a lot harder for the chorus it would make those three chords sound a lot less repetitive and pretty interesting. Also, if your doing singer/songwriter kinds of stuff you can make due with only a few chords. You don't really have to go all out.
But it is your music. Play it the way you want to, weather that means you have 2 chords or 100 chords. Just play what you feel.
Hope that helped in some way.
#8
Quote by lolsuperking
Here's a suggestion for you,
If you were to play three or four chords you could try messing around with how you strum them. Strumming hard at some parts of the song and strumming softly on others can add some variation, even when you use a small number of chords. It ends up sounding pretty cool. For instance, if you were to play the chord progression for "Knockin On Heaven's Door", it is just G - D - C (unless you are looking at the original Bob Dylan version that has an Am7 thrown in for every other C). If you were to strum softly during the verses and strum a lot harder for the chorus it would make those three chords sound a lot less repetitive and pretty interesting. Also, if your doing singer/songwriter kinds of stuff you can make due with only a few chords. You don't really have to go all out.
But it is your music. Play it the way you want to, weather that means you have 2 chords or 100 chords. Just play what you feel.
Hope that helped in some way.

^Yep, I write song aswell and I pretty much agree 100% with everything here.


Some of my advice:

- You can even go further and not just hit the strings harder or softer, you can also put in some totally different strumming patterns for the different parts of the song.
I'd suggest looking up some drumming lessons/videos on youtube and try to mimic some of the drum riffs

- Playing simple progressions with just a few chords is fine. The best songs are often quite simple. But if you still think it sounds kinda dull then go to http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/ and try to find some chords with more "color".
For example: If you play an Am, D progression you could "jazz it up" with an Am7 and D 9(no 5th).