OK, our band have now done a few easy covers (teen spirit, song 2, buck rogers) that kind of thing. Now we're looking at writing somes stuff.

What's the best way to go about this? We're looking at keeping it simple with a intro, verse, chorus kinda structure.

Any good guides on the interweb?

Also when writing riffs is it best to just play around and look for them or use scales and base them round that?

here's a rough guide that should work for you...

1. When you guys decide to write your own stuff, make sure you all agree not to take it personally if your riff doesn't get picked. You also need to agree to compromise ALL THE TIME or it's never going to work for you. Remember that there are endless possibilities in music, so don't break up your band by fighting over one or two little riffs.

2. Now that you've got that out of the way, just play! Whoever has an idea, play it, explain it a bit if necessary, and see if anyone comes up with something to go with it.

If you're new to music theory and writing music, I suggest that the guitars and bass take a look at some basic stuff, like pentatonic scales, playing in key, power chord theory, and of course, start practicing with a metronome. I can't stress enough how much faster you improve when you play with a metronome. You can download them online, just google it.

3. Once you have a riff or two that go together, just play them back and forth, over and over, with the whole band. Make sure everyone gets used to the feel and tempo of the tune. It may seem boring, but just do it for like 15 minutes and you'll all be very familiar with it.

4. While you guys are playing it, let your singer think of vocal ideas, and try a few out randomly while you play. Don't stop or change up, just let him sing and see what he can come up with. Once he has a good idea for a section, just play that section over and over while he works on it. Go on like this until you have some vocals.

5. Now that you have two parts and some vocals, it's easy to make up little bridges, solos, intros, etc... just follow that basic music theory and you'll see it's easier than it looks. BUT... don't forget that sometimes a great riff just pops right out, and you can't even explain the theory behind it at first. If this happens, GO WITH IT!!! The first rule in music is if it sounds good, it IS good.

6. Bear in mind that your first few songs aren't going to be great. You have to write bad songs to learn how to write good songs. Just go with it, and enjoy your tunes.
Last edited by frigginjerk at Jun 4, 2006,
writing songs is about originality, therefore be original
just mess around and find something that sounds really good, be it a chord progression or riff. i always keep my guitar on me while i watch tv or anything and just play, ive started many many songs like this.
you dont have to use scales, but they are a good guide sometimes.

EDIT: ^he explained it very very well