#1
Hey.

Been playing piano and guitar for near 10 years and recording for maybe half of that. Just can't figure out why every attempt at making music fails. Even when i decide to just stick with the usual chord progressions that everyone loves it sounds bland. When i try to pull out the more interesting sounding chords and scales it still is missing something. All the harmonies are cohesive and sound like music and what not, but just not compelling music. It always ends up too cheesy, childish sounding or too obvious in a way, as in unsurprising.

Maybe one of the worst parts is that it can take an entire day for me to come up with 1 minute of mediocre music. I don't think i'm lacking in technique or theory knowledge or anything like that.

Can't figure out why. Like maybe i have no soul or something. I don't want to believe i have no talent but man seriously what the heck.
#2
Maybe you are just being too self critical.

But the thing is, if coming up with masterpieces was easy, people would come up with them all the time.

You seem to be talking about chords and scales. But what about just coming up with a melody in your head. Instead of playing anything and worrying about chords and scales, just listen to the sounds in your head. And once you hear something in your head, figure out how to play it. This way you will not be limited by your instrument. If you only come up with ideas by noodling around on your instrument, it's really no wonder that the ideas end up sounding generic, because your fingers will most of the time play things that they are familiar with. Use your ears, not just your fingers.

But maybe the problem is not your melodies, chord progression, whatever. Maybe it's more about song structure, dynamics, contrast, arrangement, stuff like that? Music is not all about scales and chords.

You can always use a "generic" idea in an interesting way. A good song is not about individual ideas on their own, it's about how you combine those ideas.

BTW, do you only write for one instrument or do you arrange it for the whole band? Because a guitar part on its own may be boring, but when you add all the other instruments, it may sound great.


Also, nobody was born to write songs. Songwriting is a skill that you can learn too. "Talent" and "soul" are just excuses.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 21, 2016,
#3
I do use my ears most of the time, but it still sounds standard as so i often need to use less common chord movements to find something special (which fails anyway). I do have serious problems with arranging and adding details, but i think this isn't so much a music problem as it is an intelligence problem that i've had forever.

I've tried to spice up my lame melodies and harmonies with the rest of band but it still ends up sounding goofy. Sometimes it is almost saved by a drum groove, but not quite. I've analysed so much music thinking i must be missing something but turns out mostly everyone is doing some basic stuff, just somehow the notes and phrases they play are better and more cleverly arranged than mine. I've tried to think differently with how i play stuff but there hasn't been much progress. Completely baffled :s
#4
But maybe you just feel that way because you are your own worst critic?

Do you have any demos of songs/ideas that you have written?

Getting frustrated and blaming your lack of "talent"/"soul"/"intelligence" is not going to help.
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
#5
Have you analyzed much of the music that you do find compelling?

And it is always hard to surprise yourself. Focus on making your ideas cohesive and complete, let other people decide if it's good and compelling. You'll get a sense for what works after a while.
Last edited by cdgraves at Dec 21, 2016,
#6
Get into a songwriting group that meets regularly and collaborates. Songwriting is an art and there are definitely methods to the madness. Knowing the theory and harmony are the building blocks but you need to work on the architectural design aspects that attract listeners.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
My current piece has taken me a year just to gather enough data so I can actually write it. So relax. One of my composition teachers told me once that if they could write a bar of music in a day, it is considered a good day.
#8
Quote by Bouncy Nugget
Even when i decide to just stick with the usual chord progressions that everyone loves it sounds bland. When i try to pull out the more interesting sounding chords and scales it still is missing something. All the harmonies are cohesive and sound like music and what not, but just not compelling music.


This stuck out. It seems clear you have the ability, technique, and years of experience playing these instruments to make coherent music...

As cdgraves said, you could try to analyze music you do find compelling. I think there has to be something present that is compelling to you that leads you to believe what you can make is not compelling.

I can relate I don't know you personally, but I will say this: Personally, I've hit times making music where I would consistently try grinding towards some sort of "goal" that I never gave a name to...I feel I can say it was to make "compelling" music, music that made me feel something. Sometimes I might have even come up with something that was at the very least somewhat interesting. However, there were times where the thought of invisible outside opinions made me second guess what was interesting. Sometimes a chord progression or melody hit a brick wall that led nowhere. There were times where I felt like I wasn't capable of making anything worth while.

Eventually, I took breaks. Sometimes just from creating it, and others just from music in general. I found a bit of relief from its absence, or the lack analysis I grew to implement to everything. As time went on, that urge to recreate those feelings came up again. There were also times where life just wasn't at its highest points, and times where life also hit fairly good days that made me feel motivated or expressive.

When I genuinely felt like expressing those feelings is when I felt I made genuine music myself.

I don't mean or intend to get super personal...but I hope that it helps with your frustration.
#9
Well i've never posted anything anywhere before but anyway https://soundcloud.com/user-881518423

Made this profile and uploaded two clips of two different types of music just now. Point out what makes them not have the thing that makes good music. Excuse the mixes and lack of volume on example 2.
#10
Bouncy,

All of the technical elements are there but I don't hear a theme I can relate to. The greatest compositions are much like the greatest novels. They have a common theme that attracts the listener/reader and tells a story. Mozart was brilliant in this area. He captures our imagination early with a principle theme and then explores that theme throughout the piece.

Here is a recital with Violin Concerto in D Major. You can't miss the theme in the first 8 measures.


More on Mozart and his extraordinary talent with theme development:
http://www.learnclassical.com/the-courses/mozart/mozart-3-developing-themes-1/
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Dec 22, 2016,
#11
I've messed around a lot with theme and variation, the only problem being that my best attempts at themes aren't so successful. In fact those examples i shared are my some of my better attempts. I often have trouble breaking away from one theme into a new one to be honest. It always ends up being a sudden change like you may have noticed in Example 1, or rather than introducing a second theme it ends up being a sort of passing ambiance until the original theme comes back like in Example 2.

I just can't wrap my mind around it. I feel like there's some kind of understanding of the way music works that stops me from getting any further.

EDIT: I have analysed the music i find the most compelling and try to use similar chords and techniques but it just doesn't work the same. More often than not when i follow my ears they lead me through chords that essentially make it hard to loop a section and i end up having to force a V7-I somewhere and it just doesn't ever flow right.

Another thing is i'm really bad at keeping everything wrapped in an even package of 4 groupings of what ever time signature. Again this ends with me having to force something less uneven and essentially ruining the idea.

Perhaps one of the biggest problems i have is tempo rubato and not knowing how to record it. 90% of the stuff i come up with turns robotic or rushed once its played to a click,
Last edited by Bouncy Nugget at Dec 22, 2016,
#12
The example 1 has good ideas in it. It just feels like it's going forward too fast. This kind of makes it feel like all of the previous ideas are meaningless. I mean, you introduce an interesting idea, but then just forget about it and move on to a new interesting idea. This makes the first idea sound meaningless and people will forget what they just heard. This is not what you want. Use more repetition. Maybe you are too ambitious and want the music to stay super-interesting all the time. But nothing in that example suggests that you can't write good sounding music. Start with something more simple. Start with one idea and stick with it for a while. If you analyze some well-known songs/compositions, they don't usually progress too fast.

Same thing seems to continue in the example 2. The beginning sounds good, but again, it feels like it's moving forward way too fast. Though it could work for soundtrack music. I mean, if there was a scene where different things were happening and the music changed when something new happened, then it would make total sense. But without a video it sounds like it's progressing too fast. When you introduce a theme, don't just let go of it. Take advantage of the theme. Repeat it note for note if you can't come up with anything else (but you can always do something different arrangement-wise). Also, if you introduce new material after the first theme, maybe come back to the first theme. Make the theme sound important. And you make it sound important by using repetition and by using certain motifs from it later in your composition (for example rhythmic ideas or some short phrases).

I think what might help you is paying attention to song structures. Analyze the structure of different songs.

Also, maybe you want to force yourself to write a simple small piece that follows an AABA structure, and let's say each section lasts 8 bars. You may want to end each A section a bit differently (for example you may not want to end the first A section with a perfect authentic cadence, and if there is going to be a key change, the ending of the second A could anticipate the modulation). Or maybe write a "generic" pop song (it doesn't need to sound generic, but make it follow the basic pop song structure like verse-chorus-verse-chorus-optional bridge-chorus).

Songwriting is about more than coming up with great sounding ideas. You clearly have good ideas. Songwriting is also about organizing those ideas, and I think that's something you need to pay more attention to.
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 Bouncy Nugget
EDIT: I have analysed the music i find the most compelling and try to use similar chords and techniques but it just doesn't work the same. More often than not when i follow my ears they lead me through chords that essentially make it hard to loop a section and i end up having to force a V7-I somewhere and it just doesn't ever flow right.

Another thing is i'm really bad at keeping everything wrapped in an even package of 4 groupings of what ever time signature. Again this ends with me having to force something less uneven and essentially ruining the idea.,


I think if you keep analyzing you'll find that chords are only a small part of what makes music compelling. Form/structure and dynamics are a huge part of it. As you have probably found already, any combination of chords can be equally boring or exciting.

Don't get hung up on ideas of what you're "supposed to" do. Nothing says you have to turn around on a V7. You turn around when the chord progression reaches its natural end point. I'm personally fond of ending major key phrases on bVI or bIII. And if you're having trouble with form, write stuff out ahead of time and count while you play.

And There is nothing wrong with having an organized process, and it's how most people maintain productivity. You can start just by mapping out the song's basic structure, figuring out where you want the high and low points, overall length, and work down from there.

Even among very successful writers hardly anyone can just sit down and shit music. Don't hold yourself to that expectation. Find the method that gets you doing the most.
Last edited by cdgraves at Dec 22, 2016,
#14
Well i don't even know. I suppose i will just have to commit to finishing something even if i think it's crap.

FYI i removed those tracks from soundcloud. I'm not really ready to start revealing my stuff until i feel proud about it.
#16
Maybe spend a few weeks doing an exercise by writing compelling themes only. Keep it fun, light, and playful. Forget chord structure and technique for now and just focus on catchy hooks. These are the things most lacking from modern music right now and if you get good at it you will rule the music world. So many musicians today are focused on technical aspects, challenging time sigs, and tricks like pinch harmonics that they forget the plot.

All time great themes:
-Beethoven's Fifth
-Smoke On The Water, Deep Purple
-Hound Dog, Elvis
-Mozart Piano Concerto #21
- Can't Buy Me Love- Beatles
- Air on the G string, Bach
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Dec 23, 2016,
#17
Bouncy NuggetI believe the secret to compelling art of any form is good use of contrast. Unfortunately the ways in which you could explore the use of contrast could fill a library. However, paying attention to how you use contrast can add depth and make your music more compelling.

I read your question out loud to my daughter. She said that you don't have anything to say. Maybe she's right. Maybe you just don't yet know what it is you want to say as an artist.
Si
#18
Quote by 20Tigers
Maybe you just don't yet know what it is you want to say as an artist.

No, that's not it. I've spent a ridiculous amount of time attempting to compose just any little thing since i posted this thread and i haven't come up with anything. At this point i believe it to be an intelligence problem.
#19
Start telling stories.  Everyone loves a great story.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#20
It's about melody, melody, melody. The finest intricate chord progressions are still just meaningless chords without a strong central melody. I have a friend who creates great sounding recordings but it's always just a series of repeated chords. No lyrics, no melody. He tries to tell me the melody on his stuff is "obvious" and "implied". No it isn't. It's just boring chord patterns that are well recorded like the bed of a song waiting for a singer or a lead melody. Totally forgetable.  
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#21
Quote by Bouncy Nugget
No, that's not it. I've spent a ridiculous amount of time attempting to compose just any little thing since i posted this thread and i haven't come up with anything. At this point i believe it to be an intelligence problem.


It's definitely not about intelligence. You have some good ideas, but your music seems to progress too fast. I think you may be a bit too ambitious about your compositions. Just take one idea and build a simple 32 bar AABA song around it. This is what you should do because your problem is that your ideas have no structure. It sounds like you are not sure where the music is going and you are just adding ideas after ideas. So start with the structure first. Once you can write a simple song that sounds coherent, it is much easier to write more complex stuff. Even songs that sound complex usually have some kind of a structure.

As I already said in my previous post, why your themes may not sound meaningful, memorable, catchy, important, whatever, is because once you have introduced them, you basically immediately throw them away (what I mean is that you don't come back to the theme, but instead introduce a new theme that sounds way different). I you want a theme to sound memorable and meaningful, you need to use repetition.

Actually, why not write a "theme and variations" style piece?

I think Steve Vai's "For the Love of God" is a good example. Structurally it's very simple - it only has two different sections. But it uses dynamics and each repeat of the theme is played a bit differently. And this is what makes the piece work. Adding more thematic material to the piece might have ruined it. It stays interesting because it kind of changes all the time, but it stays coherent because it uses repetition and it's clearly based on one theme. Sure, it's a good theme, but if the song had no repetition, people would have forgotten about it.

Don't be too ambitious. Your theme doesn't need to be mindblowingly awesome. Many composers have written great pieces out of very simple musical ideas (like ascending/descending scales, tonic-dominant-tonic arpeggios, stuff like that). It's not about individual ideas, it's about what you do about them. So just write an idea and start developing it. I think you are being way too self critical. If you are interested in composing, maybe take some composing lessons.


I would also suggest watching Ben Levin's 10 minute composing challenge.

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
#22
Sorry if I'm bumping and this is a case of "The blind leading the blind" but here's my opinion. Sometimes repetition can make a melody/riff stronger (think "Smoke On The Water" or "Iron Man") and more memorable. Another thing is to keep writing riffs because you can never have too much melodic material to work with (don't use more than a few per song though). Also you may want to brush up on your theory and analyze some pieces to sound compelling to you (that can be difficult but is said to be very rewarding). Have a nice day. 

MM has some good advice above.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#23
I have written themes with variations before. The problem is the theme is never good no matter how much work i put into it. Can't figure out why it's so hard for me to do. I've got sufficient technical ability, theoretical knowledge and i've analyzed plenty of scores so i should be able to make something at least. For some reason it just hasn't clicked in my head as to how it's done :s

I feel like there must be some small details i've missed about how to construct music effectively.
Last edited by Bouncy Nugget at Apr 23, 2017,
#24
Quote by Bouncy Nugget
I have written themes with variations before. The problem is the theme is never good no matter how much work i put into it. Can't figure out why it's so hard for me to do. I've got sufficient technical ability, theoretical knowledge and i've analyzed plenty of scores so i should be able to make something at least. For some reason it just hasn't clicked in my head as to how it's done :s

I feel like there must be some small details i've missed about how to construct music effectively.

Again, there is nothing wrong with your themes. It's more about what you do with them. You introduce a theme, then you instantly throw it away by introducing a new theme, changing to a whole different mood and never coming back to the first theme. Start with one theme and repeat it.

Again, I would suggest writing a simple 16 or 32 bar piece with AABA structure. It will most likely not sound like anything special, but it doesn't need to. The main point of it is not to be art. It's just an exercise.

I would worry more about writing coherent sounding music than writing interesting themes. If you can't write coherent sounding songs, it doesn't matter how interesting your themes are because they will be forgotten because of the lack of structure.

Many songs are based on pretty simple musical ideas. What makes them sound interesting is not about the ideas themselves, it's more about what you do with the ideas. Sure, some melodies just sound great even out of context. But many times it's the context of the song that makes all the musical ideas sound great.


Do you have any demos of your "theme and variations" style piece?
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Apr 23, 2017,
#25
What kind of compeller pedal are you using? Maybe you have the wrong settings.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#26
No more demos. Not convinced it can be helped. Talent is real and i don't have it! Either that or i have intellectual limitations which prevent progress in musical processes. Maybe just creative processes in general, now that i think about it.
#27
Quote by Bouncy Nugget
No more demos. Not convinced it can be helped. Talent is real and i don't have it! Either that or i have intellectual limitations which prevent progress in musical processes. Maybe just creative processes in general, now that i think about it.

With that attitude you will never write a good 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
#28
https://soundcloud.com/eatleville
Bouncy Nugget.
here`s a friend of mine,he knows very little about music.
But he keeps it simple & just does it.Maybe he can`t play or sing
but it is at least original.
Maybe you have too much knowledge/ability. You are trying too hard.
relax,keep it very simple,enjoy.
hope this helps.let me know,i`d love to follow your progress.
#29
Quote by Bouncy Nugget
No more demos. Not convinced it can be helped. Talent is real and i don't have it! Either that or i have intellectual limitations which prevent progress in musical processes. Maybe just creative processes in general, now that i think about it.


How can anyone respond to "Why doesn't my music sound compelling?" without hearing the sound of it? Link something.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#30
All music is compelling. Like when I hear ska punk I am compelled to turn it off.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#31
Quote by PlusPaul
How can anyone respond to "Why doesn't my music sound compelling?" without hearing the sound of it? Link something.


He had...but apparently, he's taken them down.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#32
Quote by dannyalcatraz
He had...but apparently, he's taken them down.

Oh, I missed that... so ah, how much compellignatiousness did they present and express?
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#33
PlusPaul

I'm too late to the party, too.

I suspect MaggaraMarine was spot on though, based on that last post.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#34
I haven't been here for a few months, but here is some advice if bouncy is still reading. It doesn't matter if you've played music for 10 years. Writing music is a skill that takes at least 7 years to learn.
#35
Listen to as much music as possible, and learn as many pieces as you can. Most people aren't really "creative" imo. What we do is we take the influences that has osmosed through us over our lifetime, and we re-contextualize and re-interpret those sounds into our own music. The music we write isn't unique because we're unique people by nature, but because our influences are unique to us, no one has exactly the same influences as us and that's what makes our music, which is a vessel for our influences, unique. 

I learnt a great moto from Adam Neely, and that is: Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate.

Imitate: Learn as many pieces from as many different artists from as many different genres as you can. You can't expect to write interesting music when you're pool of inspirations has run dry. As a performer it'll increase your muscle memory to not just go for the same things you always have, and as a composer it'll greatly expand your ideas.

Assimilate: Decipher what makes those pieces great. And I'm not just talking about superfluous things like "what chord progression is used" (these may give you neat little ideas and seeds, but won't automatically make your music better because you put in a fancy chord you heard from somewhere else), but really try to get into the writers head as to how the song was written. 

Innovate: Take what you've learnt from your experience, and re-assemble them in your own way. If you never learnt many pieces or really delved into how they tick, what you're re-assembling will only ever be a different construction of the same materials, you can only arrange a few building blocks in so many different ways. But if your list of material and influences are huge, then the assembly of influences will be unlike any other, and to me, that's what makes for captivating music. Probably my favourite band, Karnivool, have mentioned many times that none of the members in the band share the same tastes in music or influences, and the music they create is a totally unique blend of all these different influences.
Quote by Fat Lard
post of the year, thank you
#36
The guys above have many great ideas and tips. I've got a strategy I use for vaguely original riffs that I'd like to share. You have to get inspired and I use this strategy to induce creativity and inspiration. How often are you going to get a good melody from your dreams or randomly? Probably not very often at all. Don't be afraid of letting your influence creep in (everyone has influences and you shouldn't be ashamed of them) as long as you keep it fairly original.

First you need to pick a theme for your piece (it could be anything from a video game, anime, movie, feeling, artwork, ect). Now pick ten or different different pieces that even vaguely relate to your idea and maybe some of your own music in that list. Next you should listen to the music for at least 20 seconds each and try to pay attention. Then you write down what comes to mind (may want a DAW or your instrument to make sure it's okay) and keep it (even if the riff isn't great, it should be kept for later use). That's how I usually write riffs/melodies of my own and this technique has worked well enough for me at least. You don't have to and shouldn't rip off any of the pieces but keep them in mind.
Adam Neeley has some great videos but another Youtuber with a lot of theory and knowledge is Rick Beato. The post above has some good points.  Anyway I hope this helps a little (I'm not great at this and am still learning myself) and hope you keep it up. Have a good day everyone.

Edit: I believe that chords aren't music on their own nor do they stand on their own (which is why nobody wants to hear me play the chords without singing, they want a song or melody). You've got to have a good rhythm and harmonize well. Melodies and rhythm are the most important part of the song. Songs are like eggs, no one cares about the quality of the eggs/chords (they care more about the whole). Many songs have simple chord progressions (like the cliche I-VI-V-IV variations or the blues changes, I-V-IV)  that appear everywhere but are still memorable.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
Last edited by RonaldPoe at May 8, 2017,
#38
Quote by GoldenGuitar
I haven't been here for a few months, but here is some advice if bouncy is still reading. It doesn't matter if you've played music for 10 years. Writing music is a skill that takes at least 7 years to learn.


Disagree with the 7 years part but agree that writing is a very different skill from playing that takes time (just not at least 7 years) to develop at least semi-independently of technical ability.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#39
I've found that different people write different songs at different rates. Having something you want to write about is one (major) thing. Getting lyrics right is another, and getting the right melody and sound to go with them are quite another, and a lot of these things happen in a collaborative way. 

Jackson Browne wrote some great stuff, but frequently used a brutal approach, revising and revising and revising things over a long period of time. He was having a helluva time writing a song that later turned out to be Take It Easy. His neighbor, Glenn Frey, casually suggested the line, "It's a girl my lord in a flat bed ford slowing down to take a look at me" that summed up most of what the song was about. What made the song a hit, of course, was the perfect combination of Glenn Frey singing it with Randy Meisner and then Don Henley adding harmonies. Jackson Browne himself recorded it on an album and it never charted. 

I've found that I suck at starting songs. Just...suck. 

But I'm a great editor -- If I've got something to work with and allow to percolate in my back brain, I'm great at offering options and ideas and changes that will actually work pretty well. And I can write hysterical alternate lyrics for good songs, ruining them completely.