#1
Hey, I've been playing violin and piano before I started playing guitar (and more recently bass as well) so I know a little bit about theory and I had a question. When I'm just jamming I make up a lot of cool little riffs but then I don't what else to do, for example I could make up a little melodic verse riff and then I don't know what to do for a chorus. Usually I use some sort of scale or at least part of a scale and I was wondering if theres some sort of method, like common chord proggesions of the sort, or different chords that go well with each other. Recently I made a cool riff on bass that centers around the C major scale, and then plays the same pattern on an F major and then D, and I wanted to make a guitar counterpart to it and eentually make a little song. Any help is appreciated thanks.
#2
well, I don't know anything about theory, but here are some ideas:

- Change notes of the riff. (Enter Sandman by Metallica)
- Play the riff on lower or higher frets. (Heartbreaker by Led Zeppelin)
- Convert the notes on the riff to chords (powerchords should sound good). (Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes)
- About the bass, play the same thing several octaves above.
Last edited by l0ft at Aug 1, 2006,
#3
What I try to do is just write tons of riffs using the same scale. More often than not, by the end of by writing, I have at least one or two things that fit together.

But that's just me.
#4
Quote by l0ft
well, I don't know anything about theory, but here are some ideas:

- Change notes of the riff. (Enter Sandman by Metallica)
- Play the riff on lower or higher frets. (Heartbreaker by Led Zeppelin)
- Convert the notes on the riff to chords (powerchords should sound good). (Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes)
- About the bass, play the same thing several octaves above.


Ok, when you say change notes on the riff, you mean play the same riff but with different notes? i.e., different scale or something?

I tried converting riffs to powerchords, and sometimes it works out sometimes it dosn't. How do I convert notes on the higher part of the scale, like on the g or b strings, into chords? Thanks for the help btw.
#5
for chords to go behind the melody, read this. since you know piano and violin and scales, i assume you can understand those concepts of key and such. try to come up with a simple progression that fits well under the melody. I IV V is a simple progression, but finding one that fits with the notes you already have is a better idea.

for another part to the song, dont just try to redo what you already have, try something in the same key but different. say you have a melody in C major that sounds good over a simple ii V I progression. well, then for the chorus try something like V VI V I or another simple progression that will flow well from the verse and has a similiar feel, but is different enough to set it apart. you will kinda have to work at it at first, but when you get experience it becomes a bit easier. really the best advice is to just play around with things that sound good until you find something that works well. if its all in the same key, great, if not, dont let it stop you.
#6
Thanks that helps a lot, but I have a question. Sorry if this is a new thing to ask but what do those romans numerals mean? Like IV, V, VII? I see it used alot when discussing chords but have no idea what it means.
#7
Quote by Ifoughtthelaw42
Thanks that helps a lot, but I have a question. Sorry if this is a new thing to ask but what do those romans numerals mean? Like IV, V, VII? I see it used alot when discussing chords but have no idea what it means.


I think you're talking about scale degrees, you mean the numbers under the scale like

C D E F G A B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

so like
1(I) would be C
3(III) would be E
5(V)would be G

Edit:as always my numbers don't line up with my notes any tips on how to get that to look right?
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#8
Its nice to have a slow chord bit, just to break things up. Play around with some that sound good, and don't just stick to power chords. Also remember to not use the same structure/formula in every song ;-)
#9
Quote by ifeastonbums
I think you're talking about scale degrees, you mean the numbers under the scale like

C D E F G A B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

so like
1(I) would be C
3(III) would be E
5(V)would be G

Edit:as always my numbers don't line up with my notes any tips on how to get that to look right?


well the numbers (1 2 3etc...) usually refers to each note, while the roman numerals refer to the chords of a scale.

Numerals in capitals indicate a major chord, while numerals in lower case indicates a minor chord

so IV would mean the fourth note of the scale as a major chord, so in the scale C major it would the chord F Major
and iii would mean the third note as a minor chord, so in the scale C major it would be E minor