#1
Ive been trying to write a riff for hours cant write anything that really sticks. I love a catchy riff and thats the kind i wanna write. Riffs like sunshine of your love, sweet child o mine, whole lotta love etc. Really catchy awesome riffs. Does anyone have any tips, i make up this little things but they just dont sound like i want my sound to be i keep trying and just cant make up the kind of riffs i like. So let me know if you have any advice or tips about what i should do to get better!
#2
It's gonna take more than a few hours to get the experience required to write good music.

Keeps writing songs. They'll probably be shit, but if you stick at it long enough, they'll probably get better.

Probably.
#3
The more you write, the better you get. What I suggest you to do (and is what I've been doing) is try creating something every day. Doesn't matter if you don't like or it doesn't sounds like you want it to be, just write something every day. It's better if you record it or use some software like Guitar Pro or Tux Guitar to develop it more with more instruments and so you don't forget it later/can listen to it later and evaluate if it's really that bad or you can make something out of it.
#5
Quote by MapOfYourHead
It's gonna take more than a few hours to get the experience required to write good music.

Keeps writing songs. They'll probably be shit, but if you stick at it long enough, they'll probably get better.

Probably.


+1

Quote by Lersch
It's better if you record it or use some software like Guitar Pro or Tux Guitar to develop it more with more instruments and so you don't forget it later/can listen to it later and evaluate if it's really that bad or you can make something out of it.


Can't recommend notation software enough. I always have a rhythm in mind (guitar/bass/drums/keys/etc.) when I write, so I am always a bit disappointed when I hear my ideas as guitar-only... but that's exactly what you sound like when you practice alone in your room.

Tab software lets you hear the whole composition immediately and without anyone else around to help. You'll know right away if something sounds off. Just take your time and think about what you want to sound like. Focus on every last note if you have to. Keep your guitar (or bass) on your lap when you're at the computer.

FWIW: The sweet child o' mine riff was a string skipping exercise Slash used for practice. The Beatles wrote "Blackbird" the same way - turning a guitar exercise into a song. Why not create your own drills for practice?
#7
Quote by INSULIN
Riffs Ha Ha

How helpful of you...

OT:
I wrote like 50 "garbage riffs" before I wrote one that I liked. Honestly, a lot of it comes down to learning how to write in the style you want. How do you do that? Well, listen to some of the bands in that style (or your favorite bands or whatever), and hear (read: hear and understand) what they're doing.
If you wanna write Hendrix-y chord progressions, study Hendrix songs. If you wanna write Death Metal riffs, study Death Metal bands. If you wanna write Post-Rock songs, study Post-Rock bands. You get the idea.
#8
Also recommend using software, one reason is because the music you "hear" isn't just the lead melody and typically that sounds a bit dull on its own, so it's no surprise that if you just noodle around on your guitar it's rarely gonna sound amazing if you're trying to write a song like that. You'd want to put in the other instruments, at least the general ideas for what you want them to be and how the music "really" sounds. I think it's very important to be writing a lot of your riffs down - because if you come up with a riff you think is cool, it's so damn typical you won't remember it in a few hours nevermind the next day or week. Like a dream, it'll usually be gone unless you write it down and focus on it right away. And once you start working on a riff, don't stop until you've ran out Often, you'll end up with a whole song just from that initial little idea if you just keep going. You actually might not like the riff or song later but it all helps - and get your ideas down either by recording it then and there or notating it. And like said, it doesn't need to be great - there's still so much you can do with it. Experiment.
#9
Quote by fanapathy
And like said, it doesn't need to be great - there's still so much you can do with it. Experiment.

Just gonna add to this point...

A lot of my riffs that I really enjoy started off as rather lackluster. But change a note here, mix up the rhythm there. Whatever it is. Just experiment.
You'd be amazed what a little fooling around and tweaking can do. It can make a "bad riff" good. And a good riff great.
#10
If the riffs don't sound the way you want them to sound like, you need to train your ear. I'm sure you hear awesome riffs in your head but just can't play them on guitar because you can't really think in pitch (ie recognize the sounds you are hearing). Having a good ear makes writing so much easier. Because if you have an idea, you can just grab your guitar and play it the way you hear it. And that way all your ideas will sound the way you want them to sound like.

Hearing good stuff in your head is of course not always easy.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
Add some drums and possibly double-track, and then decide if you like it or not. It's nice to hear it in a bit of context. I find that plain old guitar riff sounds a bit anemic but when you put some other things along with it, it's not so bad as you originally may have thought.
#12
^ Yeah. Even really simple ideas can be made sound awesome by adding more instruments.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Quote by mattousley
Riffs like sunshine of your love, sweet child o mine, whole lotta love etc. Really catchy awesome riffs. Does anyone have any tips,


Well, I'm no expert, but the riffs you've mentioned were all written by musicians who'd been practicing and playing professionally for years and years.
What I recommend is this: don't worry about getting something perfect just yet. Just play for as long as you possibly can, continuously making up new things. If you find a sound or a melody that catches your ear, in this sea of madness and majestic confusion, then go ahead and write that down or record it.

Do that every day or every other day, and try to get out and meet some people to jam with, y'know for funsies and musical progression
#14
Also, remember that the riffs of those famous songs might not be famous if the song itself sucked. The riffs are famous because people liked the songs. They didn't only listen to the riffs. Riff doesn't really make a song. A song can also be good without a catchy riff.

But if you want to write something catchy, you pretty much need to make it simple. Smoke on the Water, Paranoid, Whole Lotta Love, Back in Black, Smells Like Teen Spirit... They are all simple. I also think they are recognizable because they start the song. They are the first thing you hear when you start listening to the song.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115