#1
I've started playing a few chords I like, but don't really know how to set out a structured song with a beginning chorus bridge and ending. Do I really have to stick with a proven song structure which most people use and have used in the past, using keys and chord progressions.
Should I study this and listen to songs or can I just make it up as I go along
#2
It's art, you can do anything you want.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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#4
Quote by skilly1

Should I study this and listen to songs or can I just make it up as I go along


Whatever you end up doing, the notion of not studying songs strikes me as sort of crazy. You don't have to do what they do, but you sure want to know how they do what they do, right?
#5
Yeah, that's right, but I think artists I like followed a certain musical structure but also must of made stuff up without following an existing path to make it original
#6
Honestly, song structure is one of the easiest parts of music to study. You don't need any particular skill to notice "oh, hey, that's a verse, that's a chorus, etc."

What you want to do is study music you love until you have a complete intuitive understanding of it. Once you have that subconscious understanding, you'll find that you are able to create in that genre easily, channeling your inner creativity to create unique things that reflect, but don't necessarily mimic, your influences.
#7
Quote by skilly1
Yeah, that's right, but I think artists I like followed a certain musical structure but also must of made stuff up without following an existing path to make it original



The path that most follow is "play what sounds good to you, and what you like" You could try the same thing.

Best,

Sean
#8
You could start by playing something like "intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, verse, chorus, outro". Then experiment with it by leaving some parts away or adding some.

Like "intro, verse, pre-chorus, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, solo, pre-chorus, chorus, outro". Then you could swap bridge and solo around and maybe play solo above last chorus and so on. And maybe play intro again at some point.

Whatever sounds good to you is fine. If you like basic structure, then play it, if you don't, experiment with it. There's a Wikipedia article about "Musical form", you could arrange your riffs using those.
#9
When I write music, the structure kind of writes itself. Just listen to the parts you already have written and decide what should come next. Is it a completely new part or a part that you have already written? It's all about how you feel. But I don't worry about the song structure at first. First I just write one part, then another part that fits the first part and so on.
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#10
skilly1, it's true that there are no 'rules' when comes to structure, but it makes a lot of sense to look at structures to songs that you like. The chances are that they are far from random and more probably have similarities between them. It would be a good idea to get familiar with these forms.

You may want to try out Jimmy Webb's 'Tunesmith' book on songwriting. He covers structure in quite a bit of detail.