Me and my band do not know anything about songwriting really. I've tried putting stuff together but it never sounds good. what are some tips for a singer/guitar player to come up with music and lyrics?
Music first... melody second lyrics third or lyrics then melody try both. Recording the guitar might help you find interesting stuff for vocals coz you don't need to think about playing.
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Sfedf the First ...
or should it be the insane?
Songwriting is the same as any other skill in that practicing it every day will dramatically improve your abilities.

When I write, I usually start by just jamming around until something I play strikes me, then I'll try to fit a vocal melody to it, then I'll write lyrics. But everyone has their own process that works for them, and practice is the most important thing.

Also, you should try to always have a tape recorder and a notebook with you so that if anything strikes you out of the blue you won't forget it. I've found these types of things to be some of the best things I come up with.
songwriting also similar to other skills in that some people have it and some people don't. You may be able to improve a bit, but some people are also gifted and some aren't. Work as hard as you can and see what happens, if it just doesn't work out, thats ok, not everyone can do it.
As for the music...

I would start with where your band is as players. Do you know a few basics? For instance, if you don't know what I mean, you may want to study what some basic forms are. I V IV I and such are good, basic forms that are very easy to sing over. Once you have a basic key and know what your singer is capable of singing over, you can go from there.
For instance, if your singer can easily sing over the key of G (G D C G), then come up with riffs that are also in the key of G. If he's better at singing in the key of E (E B A E), then try riffs in the key of E. Of course, don't just mess around with the form I posted above; try other forms.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Mar 9, 2012,
sfedf1's style matches my style; I notice that it's Music -> Melody -> Words.

As a beginner, it's tough to come up with something really cool, but I read this great post that said to avoid a particular chord progression

Here's a video showing a bunch of songs with that progression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdVurJFMDUI
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All of the above tips plus:

Lyrics - avoid cliches at all times ('you're the one I love, you're as pretty as a dove' etc). Only more experienced writers have the skill to use cliches effectively.

Recording - you can record on anything to jot your ideas down. Use a tape recorder, cell phone, PC. Every time you have an idea, record it, doesn't matter if it's bad because you can listen back later.

Chord progressions - look up the most common ones. There is no shame in finding out a good song's chord sequence, borrowing it and then making it your own.
Just try jamming with your band and see if anything creative comes up. If it does then record it and see what lyrics you can come up with. It is trial and error.