Hey guys.
I'm new to the forum and I generally came on here to ask for some help. My friend and I are starting an Emo/Acoustic band. we've tried playing some covers and we seem to like our sound. Now the thing is, we really don't know too much about writing songs. I asked a few friends about chord progressions and stuff like that. But I don't really understand it too much. I like playing chords high up on the fret board, but I don't know which fret combinations to try. I was wondering if you guys could give me your experiences in songwriting. It would help me tons!


P.S. If this is in the wrong forum, can someone nicely point me in the right direction because I haven't a clue where to ask this.
Well you know the way music works? Like A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G# and so on?

Well figure out what your favorite bands often play, and see the distance between the chords (Like say the chords you like in a song are Am-F-C-G) So try changing the chords around to different rythems, and try changing keys (Use a Capo for simplicity). So you could play C-G-Am to a faster rythem. Or Try playing Bm-G-D-A (Same chords just both raised two half steps, the same effect as playing Am-F-C-G Chords with a Capo on the Second Fret)
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Yeah I understand musical theory to the smallest extent. I can read music, know chords etc. But I just can't make it...

Like in the cover we did for Pretty Pretty by the Early November, the main chord was:

Like what base chord is that if it is? I'm pretty sure its just a power chord, but I mean how did they find that combination? You know?

I'm always afraid I'm copying someone. I never think my chords sound original. Like one that I found just playing around was:

I don't know what goes with that or what chord that might be! I'm just a little bit clueless on the guitar side of musical theory, but I'm intermediate level in musical theory. Chords and stuff, I don't understand however.

[EDIT] Is there also like a sheet of simple chord progressions or alternative chord positions? [/EDIT]
Last edited by BolshevikPower at Sep 29, 2006,
im no expert im the complete opposite 2 u i no not much about theory but have been writin songs 4 about 2 years all i do is make up random chord sequences no link between the chords atall people think every bit of music has 2 be perfect and theoretical but some of the greatest bands ever were complete shed heads but stil made great music n dont b scared of rippin some1 off it wont sound original until you start 2 make ur own sound but im no expert thats jus wat i think n it does me alryt thers a shed heads point of view 4 ya
Dont learn too much theory. Some say it stifles creativity (eg John Lennon and Paul McCartney). But its up to you man.

Think of a chord sequence in your head then find the chords on guitar.
a cool idea which iv used quite often play a few chords in a sequence for example d a e then 2 work out the lyrics it helps 2 no how ther gonna be sung once ther in thier so get thec hrods play them ova n dont actually sing ouit lyrics jus 2 words over and over sort of ina ryhtm 2 help you figure out how it will be sung this helps with the writin part anyway n i agree with lemmon not 2 much theory
Still. Is there anything like a sheet anywhere about alt. fingerings for chords. I think that might help me lots. If there isn't one, somebody should make them!
Quote by BolshevikPower
Still. Is there anything like a sheet anywhere about alt. fingerings for chords. I think that might help me lots. If there isn't one, somebody should make them!

Welcome to the forum!

I started writing songs with chord scales. You can find the chord scales here, at the bottom of the page:


Anyway, a lot of very popular songs have been based on the I-IV-V progression. If you know your Roman numerals, you would know that this is the First, Fourth, and Fifth. That means that you use the first, fourth, and fifth chords in the chord scale.

So, if you want to write a song in the key of C, an upbeat, nice, happy key, you'd look at the "Key of C," then count the first chord, fourth chord, and fifth chord. That would mean you would play C, F, and G. Catchy, huh?

Try making up your own patterns, just stay in the same key, and you will probably not hit any bad chords. Good luck, PM me if you need more help.
ok, like, go to this lesson here, and go to the triads or chord construction, you'll learn what you need there, including if you do, you'll learn how to find what chords are what. and if you don't know yet, learn how to write music in a certain key. if you know that, you should know what to do, if you find the key, find the chords in that key and stuff and you can form the chords as far up as you want. :] that's what i do.
Thanks. I'll try both of those links and see what happens? Any suggestions for not so happy keys? =P