I've been playing guitar for a good year an a half. I can play pretty much anything I set my mind to but when it comes to writing stuff, I usually have amazing ideas(IMO) when I improvise with my friends but I never get to put it all into one piece. Most of what I write are guitar-driven, metal core riffs and harmonies, but NEVER a full song. Any help? tips?
Sounds a lot like me!

I have a few incomplete songs I am working on right now. What I do is just write whatever comes to me for whatever part of a song (not in linear order) so maybe you'll actually write the end of the thing before you have an intro for example. I find that this is less constrained, because you aren't forced to deal with one part of one song at a time.

However, you could also see it as inefficient and disorganized. Personally I am still trying to figure out my own process so I can start pumping out songs at a good rate.

Another thing: Listening to how other band's completed products work can give you inspirations for things like making different song structures.
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One thing I'd recommend is maybe tabbing out your own songs in Guitar Pro (or Powertab). That's what I do. It'll give you a better idea of structuring your own songs.
Practice makes perfect... as always. Write whole songs, no matter how bad you think they are, you need to start somewhere. No one writes a masterpiece straight away, it takes time, you need to grow into your very own way of writing songs, and you can't get pass the problem of "not beeing able to write whole songs" without doing just that, even though you might think it sounds like shit.

How do I learn to build a house? -By building houses. First builds will be shit...
How do I learn to write whole songs? -By writing whole songs. First songs will be shit...

And always, always write down/record your ideas, they will come in handy later. I've written loads of ideas that I've abandoned but found out to fit other songs later on.
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Exactly, oakn. I've been learning Japanese for nearly two years, and while I've come a long way with my studies, I have an even longer way to go to truly be competent and, ultimately, fluent, at the language. We're not machines, so we need to work and work (and work) at something to understand it and succeed at it. Writing music is no different.

Basically, you want to be a good songwriter? Write songs. Good, bad, decent, whatever. One minute long or three minutes long or six minutes long. The only way you'll learn, improve, and ultimately succeed is by exposing yourself to it.
Last edited by nihongeorge at Feb 22, 2012,
Please use Musician Talk for music theory and such. Songwriting & Lyrics is for the lyrical aspect of songwriting.