In-Ghost
Registered User
Join date: May 2010
79 IQ
#1
Hi,

so my problem is I can't really write much after playing for 3 and a half year. I've come up with some riffs and melodies I like, but I've never been able to finish anything.. (except for one song, but we want to play MeloDeath and this one was pretty Don't Cryish in terms of genre, so not really what I'm aiming for.. Very proud of it though )

I think that maybe when I try writing I overthink it and maybe I'm too self-critical, so anything I play feels very generic and unoriginal and makes me quite frustrated so I switch to technique/improvisation exercises instead. Another thing that frustrates me is that progress here is not easily measurable and I always feel like I've wasted my time.. I know this sounds retarded and that I have to overcome this attitude and that's why I'm asking for your help.

Because for me to get motivated or not is just a question of whether I believe I'm on the right track, doing something meaningful. Once I do, I don't care how long it's going to take, but I have to know I'm learning the right way..

So what d'you think is the best way to learn writing riffs, with all the elements of it (interesting rhytm, frasing, harmonies, song structuring)? I thought learning songs I like would help, but what I learn just feels very inert, like it isn't enhancing my composition skills at all.. And what about composing in my head?

Great many thanks for all help in advance

P.S. I can post some of my work if you wanted to take a critical listen
SwoobGuitar
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
397 IQ
#2
I wrote my 'best' riff, when I just said to myself 'I'm gonna grab my guitar, and the first thing I'll play will become an awesome riff.' So I did.
Then I had my lyrics, and a melody, and I started bringing that together.

So my advice is to write lyrics with a melody, and bringing the lyrics and guitar parts together. Don't start with the whole song, just parts, like verses/bridges/choruses. When you have enough of that material, you could bring the parts together and make a song out of it.
That's not the only way to write, but you can easily measure where you're at, since you can say 'now I've done a verse'.
ItsThatDude
I do things.
Join date: Jun 2007
54 IQ
#3
Listen to lots of music. play lots of music. take lessons. record every good idea you get; back in the day when I didn't have legitimate means of recording, I used my phone's voice memo function. Don't sit down and try to write an entire song start to finish.
I'm a dude, he's a dude, she's a dude, we're all dudes HEY!
Last edited by ItsThatDude at Jan 4, 2013,
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,469 IQ
#4
The riffs on their own might not sound good but once you add the other instruments, it starts to sound much better. Try to get the ideas for your song without touching your guitar. Try different stuff: sing melodies that come to your mind, maybe try to write with another instrument like piano, write drum or bass riff first or write a rhythm idea or chord progression and start building your song over it (use same kind of rhythms/bassline/drum beat/chord progression throughout the song). Write with your friends (that helps a lot).
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Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#5
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Zerath
Tab Contributor
Join date: Aug 2008
1,037 IQ
#6
Another thing to note is that even if you have a hard time writing a full song, sometimes that riff or part needs time to grow. One of my bands song had the verse written 6 months before we came up with a chorus during som improv jamming.
TekGecko
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2010
198 IQ
#7
Quote by ItsThatDude
Listen to lots of music. play lots of music. take lessons. record every good idea you get; back in the day when I didn't have legitimate means of recording, I used my phone's voice memo function. Don't sit down and try to write an entire song start to finish.


I still use my phones voice memo today. If I'm just practicing and have a good idea I get the phone out then record again on my proper gear when I have the time.
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20Tigers
1
Join date: Jun 2008
640 IQ
#8
best way to learn to write is by writing.
A helpful tool is to learn songs you like by ear all the way through.
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HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#9
Quote by 20Tigers
best way to learn to write is by writing.
A helpful tool is to learn songs you like by ear all the way through.


This. You can't write music if you can't think in music. Training your ear trains your mind to think specifically in tones.
z4twenny
UG's resident Psychopath
Join date: Nov 2005
936 IQ
#10
Quote by 20Tigers
best way to learn to write is by writing.
A helpful tool is to learn songs you like by ear all the way through.

So much this