#1
Hey all!

I've had this question for quite a while now and I figured I would post it here.

I've been trying to come up with my own instrumental songs for a few years now, but I always end up doing the same mistakes over and over again.

I'm not in any band or have any group of people to jam a couple of ideas with so writing an entire song is kind of a one-man job at the moment. Usually what ends up happening is that I come up with a riff or a melody (sometimes I'm inspired enough to come up with a drum beat that sounds minimally decent with the guitars) and that's it. Any other idea that I may try to chain with the first one always sounds weird and out of place.

This is even more visible when composing lead parts. I always try to remind myself to write a simple enough melody and build some momentum to the chorus, and only afterwards do some embellishments here and there. However, when I succeed in writing verse 1, for example, most likely I still haven't even think on how the chorus would sound like. Once again, the whole thing sounds messy and most probably won't blend in nicely.

In conclusion this whole method of building each block separately and link them all together like lego pieces doesn't seem to be working at all. I'm kind of stuck to this method at the moment though, because I still have a hard time thinking of the whole song all together, whether it is regarding the structure/momentum swings of the song, or regarding the different instruments (i.e., having a general idea right off the bat of what each instrument is doing in a given moment of the song).

Are most of you able to come up with the general skeleton of the whole song right from the beggining? If so, was it something you had to train yourself to do, or was it just the most natural way to compose?
Or better yet: are you able to compose songs by simply writing each block individually and then chain them all together?

Anyway, that's pretty much what's been boggling my mind for quite a while now. Hopefully I'll get some feedback/experiences from some of you talented guitarists out there reading this (:

Thanks for reading!
Cheers
#2
Hi
No one can do it like this I don't know what music exactly you're into but adam d (killswitch engage) once sayed in an interview I have some songs that I couldn't finish misha mansoor says I never know what will happen to a song untill I finish it
here is what you do first write a part that you really like then listen to music of the artists that you like to see what they do in similar music situation for example if they play clean chord progression after that they play solo on it or a riff when they repeat parts etc ...go part part by part dont think about the whole song whatsoever I do alot of instrumental stuff you can listen to my songs for refrence if you want www.soundcloud.com/spityura hope it helps
#3
Quote by spityura
Hi
No one can do it like this I don't know what music exactly you're into but adam d (killswitch engage) once sayed in an interview I have some songs that I couldn't finish misha mansoor says I never know what will happen to a song untill I finish it
here is what you do first write a part that you really like then listen to music of the artists that you like to see what they do in similar music situation for example if they play clean chord progression after that they play solo on it or a riff when they repeat parts etc ...go part part by part dont think about the whole song whatsoever I do alot of instrumental stuff you can listen to my songs for refrence if you want www.soundcloud.com/spityura hope it helps


Hi! Thanks for replying!

I'm usually more into metal and progressive rock music. I sometimes come up with some riffs simillar to those in your tracks (btw, nice work on those tracks! they sound killer )

I'll try and stick with your advice, we'll see how it goes for me. I noticed sometimes that, when I'm feeling inspired, I can somewhat imagine a whole song structure in my head (very general and foggy ideas, though), but when I try to get them recorded they either don't sound how I'd imagine they would, or I already forgot the idea, lol.

Anyway, thanks for the advice! C:
#4
I work alone as well, and typically I come up with a barebones arrangement and flesh them out from there. Sometimes though, I come up with individual sections and figure out to make them fit together.

Working by yourself forces you to wear alot of different hats, so for me it's important to focus on playing one role at a time. When I'm working on lead guitar parts, I'm only thinking about lead guitar. When I'm doing vocals, I'm only doing vocals, etc.

When I'm having trouble piecing different sections together, I try to disconnect from the music and listen as an outside listener to analyze what is and isn't working. A big part of working by yourself is being able to objectively self-edit and be honest with yourself about the quality of the material you're writing.

You need to be able to work section-by-section while also thinking about the big picture. You need to be able to pay attention to the most minute details and also be able to think about the flow of the piece as a whole. Alot of the latter will come from listening to your own work over and over and over again and then relying on your intuition to fix problems. If it feels right, you'll know. If it doesn't, you have to keep working until it does.

Above all, you just have to persevere and be patient. It's not going to happen over night, but if you really want it, you'll get there through the work you put in.

Hope this is helpful, and good luck!
#5
Quote by TV-Casualty
I work alone as well, and typically I come up with a barebones arrangement and flesh them out from there. Sometimes though, I come up with individual sections and figure out to make them fit together.

Working by yourself forces you to wear alot of different hats, so for me it's important to focus on playing one role at a time. When I'm working on lead guitar parts, I'm only thinking about lead guitar. When I'm doing vocals, I'm only doing vocals, etc.

When I'm having trouble piecing different sections together, I try to disconnect from the music and listen as an outside listener to analyze what is and isn't working. A big part of working by yourself is being able to objectively self-edit and be honest with yourself about the quality of the material you're writing.

You need to be able to work section-by-section while also thinking about the big picture. You need to be able to pay attention to the most minute details and also be able to think about the flow of the piece as a whole. Alot of the latter will come from listening to your own work over and over and over again and then relying on your intuition to fix problems. If it feels right, you'll know. If it doesn't, you have to keep working until it does.

Above all, you just have to persevere and be patient. It's not going to happen over night, but if you really want it, you'll get there through the work you put in.

Hope this is helpful, and good luck!


Thanks for your reply! All insight I can get will surely help somehow.

I totally agree with you when you say you have to "work section-by-section while also thinking about the big picture", when working alone. Most of the times I lose my motivation really quickly just because a certain idea I might have isn't exactly leading to nowhere. But I'm starting to realize that maybe sometimes, if I stop forcing ideas, a better and more fluent idea will appear...

Also, I think I've always had a rather narrow spectrum of music that I listen too. Someone told me some time ago that listening to a lot of different things will improve my songwriting in the long run, so I'm also trying to open my mind to new sounds (:

Thanks again for the post!