So, I can make up riffs and chord progressions, but my struggle in writing music is finding a vocal melody that fits with the song and putting lyrics to that melody. Can anyone give any advice to that? Thanks.
I usually write the lyrics first, then the melody. At least I get through a few lines so that I know what rhythmic figure I'm trying to work with.

EDIT: Upon rereading, that doesn't seem like helpful advice at all. I'm at a loss. I usually just try a bunch of things until something grabs me. Practice helps. Also, my vocals don't have a whole ton of melody. Plenty of rhythm, but not a lot of melody. I spend a lot of time on roots, 3rds, and 5fths. Its just a matter of navigating from chord to chord.

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Last edited by kaptkegan at Feb 23, 2012,
I think Rivers Cuomo once said (while quoting some other guy) that there are over 99 ways to write a song.

For melodies - there are endless ways to go about doing this, but to start out I'd recommend slowly playing the progression as you hum or scat over it, if you're using riffs, i'd recommend finding the chord progression beneath it and humming, slowly (so you can get a more defined sense of melody, if you want rhythm's i'm sure the same applies) then you begin writing lyrics. I usually do both simultaneously, I come up with lyrical ideas as I'm humming and that's what helps form my rhythms.

As for lyrics, come up with them either while coming up with your vocal melody, write them beforehand, or afterwards, it doesn't matter, it all comes down to preference. The most important thing in lyric writing is to not censor yourself, if you think it's stupid it probably isn't, and if it is, it doesn't matter. Somebody once said "If it's too stupid to be spoken, then it's sung", or atleast something to that effect. Don't worry about lyrics and stick to topics that are familiar. With practice you'll get better.

Read the above. Read it again. Now you are as prepared as a forum can ever make you. It comes down to just practicing and above all, having fun. You'll find you write your best stuff when you just let go and enjoy what you are doing.

When writing anything, you are your own worst enemy every time. Get the conscience out of the way and the magic will happen.