#1
So, I've been playing guitar for about 3.5 year, but I've never had any real talent (or so i think) in either singing or understanding music. Hopefully I got better at it through these 3.5 years, since then I started listening to alot of music, different styles, etc.

And lately I've been trying to write songs of my own. And I've collected maybe 4-5 of the ones I like and I think are good, I like the lyrics, I like the music. But I noticed that all of those songs are dark and pesimistic, regarding both music and text.

So I tried to write a happy rock song. Like Hello, I love you from The Doors, but whenever I tried to write a riff or a melody, it ended up sounding too cheesy or too poppy. And I red somewhere, that for writing good happy songs, you need actual talent. And I belive that's the thing in my case.

That's one problem, the other one is in lyrics. My native language isn't english, and it's sort of rustic, so you can't really have good phrases for titles. If you do find one, the song will sound like pop. If you don't, it will sound silly. And that's the problem with lyrics. I can't really write anything concrete, that doesn't sound silly and pointless about, or even worth writing about. So I normally stick to abstract, poetic stuff and fragments of memories to create a melancholic feel. So I fail at writing a happy song.

The next problem is solo parts. I can sometimes, without even looking at the fretboard, play a fantastic, melodic, amazing solo. But when it comes to writing it, it loses the feel, I forgot some notes, I get tired of writing, it ends up sounding silly, and again, cheesy.

Generally, when I write songs this is the process: 1. catch, idea, riff, 2. write out the chords and lyrics following it, 3. write out the chorus, try to figure out a melody for it. 4. find a good melody, write a solo. 5. realize that it's a sucky melody and that the lyrics make no sense what so ever. 6. flip out.

The only reason why I haven't given this up yet, is that I'm young, and that I don't have much experience so far, yet. Nothing really interesting ever happens in my life, hence I can't think of anything real to write about.

Can you guys give some tips on how you do it? How do you know if a song is actually good?
#2
If you're bummed out your music will come off sounding that way and trying to force it to sound "happy" might not work very well or at all. The more songs you write the better you will be at songwriting, the more you sing the better you will be at singng, etc. It's a process of learning, experimenting and finding your style. It doesn't come over night. Have fun with it, it's a journey, not a destination.

The best music and lyrics come out when one is a under alot of emotional "weight". Obviously, your not. So you can't write about a specific topic and are stuck with abstract. Go with it! No one other then you knows that your lyrics are about nothing. Chop suey is about nothing. Educate yourself on writing happy lyrics, educate yourself on areas where you are falling short. Learn your craft. The more you do it, the better you weill be at doing it.

As far as your soloing troubles go. If your best solos come spontaneously, record them. Get a recording device ofd some kind. So when your jamming press record and wail away, Then you can tab out note per note one of your fantastic solos.

I know a song of mine is good or finished when everything is in place, everything fits, nothing sounds odd and there's nothing I wanna put in or take out. Difficult to explain exactly but I'm at a point where I can just feel it (I've been playing for 12.5 years). The whole songwriting process usualy comes and goes very fast, I'm not dicking around with it forever. And if I am, it means I'm in a dead end and need to go back to the drawing board. Hope this helps.
Close your eyes and bow your head
I need a little sympathy
Cause fear is strong and love's for everyone
Who isn't me


LAUFER
#4
Hi MSP254

I'm no expert but here's my simple advice
Great advice Brian, It seems like the "problem" is in your mindset, write what you like, you said you enjoyed the music that you have written, like 5 of them, that's not bad at all.

I don't believe that having talent or not can stop me or anybody who believes in one self and work smart .

So believe you have talent

Be confident that somewhere in your unconcious lies an amazing song that's waiting to come out, That's where the best ideas are!

Ask yourself impowering question:

What can I write a song about?
What can I do to write an amazing inspiring chorus?
How can I make this better?
How can I make this sound original?
Why does it sound cheesy? Does it sound just cheesy to me or other people agree to?
What is going on in my life?
What do I wish was happening in my life?
What exacly is not happening in my life?


Having a belief that empowers you even if it's wrong, Its better that believing in something that is true and disempowers you, so work on your mindset, there are ways to do this,

Be careful who you show your music to, you don't want to be told your music sucks by a bully or someone who simply isn't into the same style that you are, don't ask a Metal fan what he thinks about your sweet folk song, It might ruin your confidence, You must protect yourself from harming influences.

You have somehting inside of you that's is called internal criteria of how you believe music should sound, Music that you like fits the criteria. So if you like a song then other with the same criteria will enjoy it also.

A lot of lyrics are really simple I've find out.

I remember the song 'I see fire' from Ed sheeran, It's about a movie (The Hobbit) and It's still pretty good, so you can write songs about a movie or a book (+ all the fans would be dying to hear it! I don't know if it would infringe any copyright)
If nothings going on in your life, or you can write a song about that nothing happens in your life.

Wish you luck and Do not quit because you think you have no talent, even if you haven't the faintest drop of talent, that shouldn't stop you.
#6
Just adding something to the awesome tips already given.
Sometimes when writing a song we want it to be the biggest masterpiece that we ever made right away. We are not willing to fail and failure is a very important step to master the songwriting process. Don't be afraid to create something average or even bad. You'll learn a lot with it and in time you will be able to find your own styles and strategies. Keep in mind the famous "3 fails law":

- Fail quickly
- Fail often
- Fail cheap

Thomas Edison made over 10 000 attempts before he invented the light bulb. I don't think you will need as much to write an awesome song hahaha! But just don't be afraid to fail!
#7
Look at it like this, you have 10 so so songs piled on top of every killer song, if you can make any of those 10 sound good your doing some thing. Like weeding.
Mood plays in to writing a lot, along with life in general ,and if you think about it Hello, I love you was kind of poppy for the time.
All about perception, we are all our own worst critics.
#8
its very easy to write instrumentals to 'happy' songs
its very easy to write silly lyrics to them
but its excruciatingly hard to write meaningful lyrics that stand out from the usual cliches. the best thing to do imo, is to draw on the simplest images from your life and to try to filter them through the usage of comparisons, little hints, metaphors and what not.

also, i think you should not write in english unless english is your mother tongue. i used to write in english, but gradually i realized i can never play with the language creatively unless its my mother tongue. to my surprise, i also discovered that it is harder to write in my mother language than in english precisely because i have to use the language creatively, unlike writing in english where i found myself using 'chunks' of phrases that i picked up over time which are not my own.

also you must READ a lot because you have to write from somewhere, nothing will come out of nothing.

i hope this all makes sense.
#9
Quote by Dan Vasconcelos
Just adding something to the awesome tips already given.
Sometimes when writing a song we want it to be the biggest masterpiece that we ever made right away. We are not willing to fail and failure is a very important step to master the songwriting process. Don't be afraid to create something average or even bad. You'll learn a lot with it and in time you will be able to find your own styles and strategies. Keep in mind the famous "3 fails law":

- Fail quickly
- Fail often
- Fail cheap

Thomas Edison made over 10 000 attempts before he invented the light bulb. I don't think you will need as much to write an awesome song hahaha! But just don't be afraid to fail!


That is just worth gold
#11
Thanks people, these are some great tips. I just wanted to report in on how I'm doing. I generally got more into new bands and new ideas. I've been really working non-stop, having fun along the way. Writing music used to be me sitting on a chair hitting myself on the head with a speaker to try and think of something. I've learned to deal with it, I now get my inspiration from happenings, world events, something that pisses me off or makes me sad. It can be a line, or a chord progression or anything, fragments of songs that come into my mind, and I store them in a notebook.

A few weeks ago I checked that notebook and combined some of them to make new songs. Took good use of the old songs again, and now, yeah, I got some good originals. I think they're good. I've showed them to a friend that has the same interests as I do (music wise) and he says they're amazing. And my "inner criteria" agrees. I'll probably come to hate some of them in the future, but that's because my standars gonna be higher, and I'll write better songs, hopefully.

Thanks again people
#12
A lotta peopl when writing songs usually start with a chorus and base the rest of the around the chorus. So write a kick ass chorus and the rest is easy. Also another thing on melodies - finding good melodies. There's no set formula for a good melody but I find its easier when writing a melody for the lyrics of a chorus when you come up with a catchy line or two that gets stuck in your head and build the melody off of those lyrics and a chord progression to go with it. Another important thing to remember is that melodies are 90% rhythm, and 10% melody. There's only 12 notes, but theres an infinite amount of different rhythms. Oh and one more thing, sometimes good melodies pop up in the morning after you wake up. The drummer to the band descendents, came up with the melody for his song clean sheets (even though you'll never cone clean, you know its true, those sheets are dirty and so are you) when he woke up one morning, singing it in his head.

Anyways that's songwriting at its simplest, you can then experiment with that to come up with your own style. As far as lyrics go, just write something your passionate about politics, love, spiritual, whatever. Make sure its meaningful though or else there's no point.
#13
I don't believe in talent. I think you can do anything you want to if you really want to. You just have to work at it and put effort in and it will happen.
#14
Quote by Magnumopus7001
I don't believe in talent. I think you can do anything you want to if you really want to. You just have to work at it and put effort in and it will happen.


Hah, so true! Then again it seems the exact opposite is true for today. So many popular modern musicians (and not just pop, but rap, rock, and metal too) have incredible musical talent but write stupid songs that aren't original and have very little meaning whatsoever. It's so difficult to find a modern musician/band that's not ripping off anybody and doing something original and good. But yeah back to what you said earlier, you dont need any talent to play good music (although it is pretty nifty if you do have talent). I can think of a bazillion shitty musicians who write good music.
#15
Just keep writing!! More you do it the easier it becomes, and don't force it. If you force it you'll be able to tell in the song.
#16
Personally, I enjoy writing more melancholic music so that's what I stick to. Not to mention it works well in the context of metal.

If you want to write more 'happy' music, mindset is definitely going to change things. Having started my hand at writing music 8 years ago, I definitely still know/remember what you mean by everything sounding cheesy. I think the more you practice at writing, the better you will get, but it's probably a good idea to look at loads of tabs of bands whose music you aspire to. For me at least, that helps me 'absorb' songwriting ideas, and before you know it, it comes naturally.

I used to churn out garbage songs all the time, before I decided I should only continue with a song when the initial idea is good. Same goes for the remainder of the song.

On the other hand, some people are bound to find it easier than others. That's just life, but don't give up without trying! I'm sure you'll soon see signs of improvement in your own writing.
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