Since my favorite genre of music is Progressive Rock, is this giving me unrealistic expectations of songwriting as a n00b? Should I start out with making small, singer/songwriter, Neil Young type songs?
Quote by NewDayHappy
Copy this down:

Key of A:

A, Bm, C#m, D, E7, F#m, G#dim

Am, Bdim, C, Dm, E, F

Key of B:

B, C#m, D#m, E, F#7, G#m, A#dim

Bm, C#dim, D, Em, F#, G

Key of C:

C, Dm, Em, F, G7, Am, Bdim

Cm, Ddim, Eb, Fm, G, Ab

Key of D:

D, Em, F#m, G, A7, Bm, C#dim

Dm, Edim, F, Gm, A, Bb

Key of E:

E, F#m, G#m, A, B7, C#m, D#dim

Em, F#dim, G, Am, B, C

Key of F:

F, Gm, Am, A#, C7, Dm, Edim

Fm, Gdim, Ab, Bbm, C, Db

Key of G:

G, Am, Bm, C, D7, Em, F#dim

Gm, Adim, Bb, Cm, D, Eb


Just an idea of some of the chords you can use in each key. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me and I will try to find an answer.

Quote by NewDayHappy
Haha! I remember when I first started, my calluses would tear open and I would super glue them together so I could keep playing.

If you were my student, I'd recommend you learn the Chromatic scale. (A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# and back to A again.)

Now do the major scale in every key, now learn this scale: 1 Major, 2 minor, 3 minor, 4 major, 5 major, 6th minor and 7 diminished. Then you have 6-7 chords you can play in every key.

Next learn how to bar chord, now combined with the Chromatic scale, you can play anywhere over the neck.

Now learn the cage system, which teaches you different chord shapes that you can play all over the neck of the guitar.

Next learn parallel minor, so you can borrow chords outside of the diatonic scale. (The Major scale or also known as Doe, Ray, Me, Fa, So, La, De, Doe or the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.)

While you're going through these lessons, keep learning tabs and cover songs you can play. Eventually you'll come over to the dark side and write your own material. (:

Come up with the chord progressions first, then add the lyrics.
I teach guitar in Brooklyn, and many of my students try to write long, complicated songs right off the bat. I tell them to begin with short, three chord songs.

If you like Progressive Rock, you'll eventually write Progressive Rock songs, but that's a genre you need to grow into!

Let us know how it goes!

Everything these guys are telling you is great.

One thing I cannot stress enough is to keep an open mind and experiment.

I began playing guitar at age 13 (almost 26 now) and learned 4 chords (G, C, D, F) and one scale. I began experimenting and playing whatever sounded cool to me. A lot of the time it was probably nonsense, but I loved it, and that was all that mattered. I used the four chords I learned on acoustic, and was able to learn many covers of the years... but I always experimented and tried new things when playing with distortion on my electric, and it eventually brought me to being able to write somewhat complex songs with intricate guitar work. It's all about what sounds good to you... what is fun to play, and what you see as progression in your playing skill. It does not matter what anyone else thinks of your playing. Guitar is an amazing form of expression and individuality. You do whatever you want with it. Just go nuts man. If you want, you can learn to read guitar tabs and learn some of your favorite progressive rock songs to get an idea of what those guys are doing. It's all in your hands, my friend. Just never forget to have fun with it and try not to get frustrated with it.


Good luck with all your future endeavors, man.

Quote by whitejesus



Nothing even more true than this dude ^

It's not like you can hire anybody to finish a song for you unless it's a collab. Better experiment more.
Last edited by pgm129 at May 7, 2014,
When it comes to the lyrics for progressive rock songs, just think of a theme and stick with it. When it comes to the music, knowing how to right shorter songs, as others have said, is your best bet. Remember a lot of long progressive songs are really just a bunch of shorter songs nicely spliced together (Yes "Close to the Edge", Genesis "Supper's Ready", Rush "2112" for a few classic examples.)
When it comes to Chord Progressions, what the other guys told you is very true.

When it comes to soloing, though, it's very important to know the neck of your guitar, where every note is. It's also very helpful to practice legato and staccato especially on modes. The song I learned how to play legato and staccato on is called Let Your Glory Shine by Lincoln Brewster.

While it is handy to know your modes, legato, and staccato, though, try to abstain from them and only use them conservatively. It's a better idea to know where every note is because then you can play original, neat tones all in the same key with great ease.

Good luck with your journey of writing a song, hope it turns out great!