Hi, i'm new to the forums and I have a few questions about songwriting.
I have been trying to write songs for a while but I have had trouble. I'm 'self-taught' and I don't know anyone who knows guitar well.

1)How can I write chords progressions (good progressions, not boring ones)? How do I know which are consonnant and which are dissonnant, the ones that will work togheter in terms of intervals (for example Root - Perfect 4th - Major Second : A chord then D then B or I - IV - II)?

2)How can I use scales to write songs? I've learned modes but they don't sound right over my music. Which modes and scales goes with which music style (especially for classic rock, hard rock, metal, modern hardcore, emo, punk, pop-rock, because these are the styles I play)?

3) Why should I learn all 5 positions of each scales instead of learning a box, is it because boxes sound more bland, boring?

4) How can I memorize entirely the scale diagramm so I can play it on the whole neck?

5) Why does some artists play notes out of the scales? How do they know if those notes will sound good?

6) What scales can be combined togheter?

That's a lot of questions, I know. Thanks for your help.
Last edited by Singsinmybird at Aug 6, 2006,
Well, I'm not one of the scale geeks yet, but as for your first and fifth questions it's really up to "what sounds good." Obviously that's a bit broad. My best advice is to not be afraid to use I, IV, V, and iv chords (if they're good enough for bobby dylan, they're good enough for me!) but if you want to spice things up add some more notes to those chords. A GMaj7->D6 has a completely different "feel" than a G->D. And if you can combine a few of those extensions you'll basically have very little trouble coming up with a melody that's not quite standard fare.

I do think that a major 2nd chord can sound really good in places, or a III7th (in the key of C, an E7) or what have you.

The best way to understand good progressions and stuff is to listen to music and try to observe where they use certain chords. Like, "oh, he's doing a call and response kind of melody, so he builds tension by using a ii chord, then later resolves it with the tonic." If you know WHY they're doing it, it's much more important than knowing THAT they're doing it.
1. Dont be locked into only playing chord progressions that is 'in key'. Often playing chords out of the scale sounds good. You should always follow what sounds good to you, not what would be theoretic (sp?) correct. If you want something to look at with chords, go find the 'Circle of Fifths', where you can take a random chord, and the chords surrounding it will be in key.

2. Again, don't let scales and theory dictate your playing. For modes, I think that Phrygian is considered metal as well as Aeolian. For wierder stuff try and use the Superlocrian.

3. You should not just learn the 5 positions. What you should learn is where all the notes on the neck are, know them by heart. Then you can take any given scale or chord, look at how it's built and play that chord or scale on the entire neck.

4. Again, you should not memorize diagrams, but the notes. When you know your notes by heart, you only have to know the intervals of the scale to play all scales on the entire neck.

5. Those artists, first of, knows all the notes on the neck. Next, they hear the chord progression as well as the lead they want to play in their head before they play it. Next, these guys have trained their ears so much that they can hear the intervals in their head and translate it to their guitar in a splitsecond. This takes years of practice and a very keen ear.

6. I'm not sure of what you mean, but if your'e thinking like connecting a B major scale with F# dorian scale, then I would say, whatever sounds good to you. That's the most important thing about playing music. You're not playing to please the theory books, your playing for your own enjoyment and to express yourself. It all depends on you.

Haha, if only there were a set formula to writing good music, just experiment, there isn't really any good info on this subject, study different periods of music and see what they did, then experiment with what you think sounds good, maybe not ethically appropriate, just good.
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