#1
I feel like I'm ready to write a full song on the guitar, i'm just lacking the knowledge. I'm good at making riffs but I can never turn them into a full length song and end up just repeating them. Can someone explain to me how to take a riff or a chord progression and turn it into a full length song with like a bridge and stuff? I'm trying it on an acoustic guitar if that helps. Oh and I've been playing for a few years now and I'm pretty good. I know a lot of chords and scales....I just dont know what to do with them.
#2
Honestly, doing this is an interesting and satisfying way is not the sort of thing that can easily be explain in a bulletin board post.

I'd work on your theoretical knowledge, because that will help. Keith Wyatt's book "Ear Training" will give you a lot of theoretical knowledge while developing your ability to compose in your head.

I've also heard good things about Rooksby's "How to Write Songs on Guitar." That's a book-length on the subject, which most people would tell you just scratches the surface.
#3
Take the riffs you have and if they are in the same key and piece them together and see what works. Its sort of like cut a paste. Write a chorus then write a versus then a bridge.
Durka
#4
what exactly is a bridge though? i know its a part of the song but I'm not sure what it should sound like or anything. is a song always supposed to be played in the same key or can you mix it up[ a little? what are some keys/melodies/scales/chords that are related and would work? i have so many questions that nobody can ever answer for me.
#5
you can switch keys you know. I'll give you an example. let's take a I-IV-V chord progression in the key of E major, that would be E-A-B. now, when soloing over these chords, you can either play an E major scale (or its minor equivalent - Db, which has the same notes but different root), or you can "treat each chord like a separate event", in the immortal words of David Taub. that means that while the E chord is playing you play an E major scale, then switch to an A major scale for the A chord and a B major scale over the last chord. you can also change the key of a chord pattern (like I-IV-V) to toy around with the emotions invoked by the song and what the listener feels, like creating/releasing musical tension and stuff. you could change the key of the previous progression in, say, B major and use the I-IV-V chords in that key (B, E, F#) - the listener would recognize that as familiar, due to the intervals being the same, but will feel different based on what key you change that to and from what key key you come. for example, if you switch to B major after playing in A major, the listener won't feel the same they would've if you changed from E major or whatever else.
Last edited by schniepel89x at Aug 17, 2011,
#6
Quote by TheRealMcCoy24
what exactly is a bridge though? i know its a part of the song but I'm not sure what it should sound like or anything. is a song always supposed to be played in the same key or can you mix it up[ a little? what are some keys/melodies/scales/chords that are related and would work? i have so many questions that nobody can ever answer for me.


I gave you two references which will help you learn the answer to these questions.

You want easy, bite-sized answers to a very complicated topic which people spend years studying. Get, and work through, the two books I referenced above, and you will know the answers to all of these questions.

If we gave you a simple answer to your questions, they would be very misleading and tend to lead to uninteresting songs. Go buy those books.
#8
a bridge is a part of the song that sounds completely different to the verse and chorus. that is what makes it unique. it doesn't have to have lyrics, although most do (otherwise its just a solo)

the best way to complete a song in your situation is if you have bits of big chunks in your head just snip some of it off and change the order of the chords/notes. i find this helps. i trust you have all the lyrics

hope i help
woodery9896