#1
I've been messing around on guitar a lot recently, trying to write my own stuff. but everything ends up sounding practically the same, which has been basically all blues for some reason....

I'm aiming for a sorta punk/indie rock sorta sound, with a touch of blues (black keys is a good example for what I'm kinda looking for), with maybe some surfy solos, also stuff like Sonic Youth, Pixies and Algernon Cadwallader are bands I've been really into a lot.

I know there isn't a set method for writing, but I'd like to know some sort of basics or where I can get started. The only "theory" i know is a few pentatonic scales, and all I know about them is how to play them on the guitar.

Sometimes I can get an idea for a song in my head, but I can't transfer it to the guitar to save my life, so I'm guessing theory knowledge would help, but I could be wrong. All help is appreciated.

Thanks
#2
Learn some songs by those bands. You will also get a basic idea of which techniques, licks and chords are used in what you want to write.
#3
About theory: What you say you want to make isn't very complicated. Despite what anyone says, you don't need to learn theory, and you probably won't apply much beyond the basics if you do. Learning some theory (intervals, scales, chords) will help with anything, but it's very rarely necessary.
That being said, I'd recommend learning some basic theory. There are plenty of threads and lessons that can help you; I'd suggest looking for info about intervals and basic chord progressions first.
Cheers.
EDIT:
Quote by Zeletros
Learn some songs by those bands. You will also get a basic idea of which techniques, licks and chords are used in what you want to write.

That's always good advice, but knowing at least a little theory will help you figure out what makes them sound like they do.
Last edited by Cavalcade at Nov 4, 2011,
#4
Quote by Cavalcade
About theory: What you say you want to make isn't very complicated. Despite what anyone says, you don't need to learn theory, and you probably won't apply much beyond the basics if you do. Learning some theory (intervals, scales, chords) will help with anything, but it's very rarely necessary.
That being said, I'd recommend learning some basic theory. There are plenty of threads and lessons that can help you; I'd suggest looking for info about intervals and basic chord progressions first.
Cheers.
EDIT:

That's always good advice, but knowing at least a little theory will help you figure out what makes them sound like they do.



I never learned any theory, but then again, I'm not trying to sound like someone else, and mostly don't. So theory might have something to it.
#5
Both of these guys are right, learn some theory and some songs and figure out how that band makes that song. Then apply the same technique to your own writing.
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#6
Thanks for the advice, I'll look for those lessons asap.

I'm not trying to sound like a carbon copy of the bands or anything, I just like how they sound overall so I want to use aspects from each of them to make it my own.
#7
Two things:

First, develop your ear. Buy the book "Ear training for the Contemporary Musician" by Keith Wyatt and others. This will teach you some basic theory, but more importantly it's help you think in music. It'll help you develop to the point where you can think of an idea and translate it to the guitar. This is a crucial, crucial skill for writing songs. I would argue that you're basically not capable of writing songs if you don't have this skill.

Second, the book "How to Write Songs on the Guitar" by Rikki Rooksby is a good, light-on-theory introduction to the topic. Parts of it are very good. Other parts of it are pretty thin. But it's a huge subject and that book is as good an intro as any, and there's a lot of good info in it.
#8
Quote by Zeletros
I never learned any theory, but then again, I'm not trying to sound like someone else, and mostly don't. So theory might have something to it.

Learning theory won't make you sound like anyone else.