Can I get some help please...Ive just started writing songs and not getting very far they sound very bland. They lack riffs and perhaps rhythm..and now and again they sound like a cold play song which hurts...

Everyone's always telling me to learn scales and i know them vaguely but dont see exactly how they'll help me write better songs.

Can someone please spell it out for me or offer some words of wisdom please
Maybe take some songs you like and analyze how they are written and whatnot, plus really do learn theory, and many scales and WHY they work, and then practice practice practice

good luck?

Just listen to songs that inspire you. For me it's All Along the Watchtower by Hendrix, The Ocean by Led Zep, and Fade To Black by metallica. or metallica's 2 instrumentals (call of ktulu and orion). Preferably orion because of the weird time sig. Or you could look at paintings, my favorite painting for inspiration is saturn eating his son. Or you could go on a walk. Those are all good for inspiring you to write interesting riffs and make good songs.

Don't try to force songs out. Just play other songs until you feel a good riff coming or something. And go with the flow. Famous musicians write songs that come from the heart, not the brain. So let your brain relax and take a chill pill, phil. haha wow i feel like a douche for saying that.
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hm...I do all this.

But sometimes think Im missing the actual point about the relationships between riffs, melodies and chord progressions etc.

My melodies always come from the notes within the chords I play. But the songs I've looked at draw their notes from outside the chords altogether...and I dont know how they know to do that. And how they can sing over a riff that doesnt reflect the actual melodic progression???????
Whats wrong with Coldplay bud??? Those guys are brilliant musicians.

But learn scales Seriously though, you should. You can build songs on them. Also, work out some good chord progressions.
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justin, that was easily the most inspiring, helpful piece of advice anyone has ever given me in regards to my musical pursuits.

Screaming Help
Show us what you got now. Also, what bands do you want to sound like (what kind of songs do you like?)

EDIT: I promise I won't laugh.
ha, i whish i could sound liek coldplay
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Sorry guys. Didnt mean to diss anybody's taste if you do in fact like cold play. I wanna make songs like Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Pumkins and Tool to name a few.

I cant show you anything yet cuz im unable to access my material at the moment. They're mainly some very simple chord progressions with me mumbling a very basic melody over the top of them...

Would like to expand those melodies and sing over riffs instead of simple strummed chords.

Thanks again for all your comments it is much appreciated.
learn tons of songs from the bands you want to sound like. it may help you get an idea of their riff construction
learn how keys are put together

the key of a song is the...KEY to writing music
I wanna make songs like Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Pumkins and Tool to name a few.

Study the guitar parts of all those bands. Seriously, go to school and print out as much tab and just read it. Even without your guitar. You should see certain techniques or types of riffs being repeated, then listen out for them in the song. Now start playing those riffs in different keys, maybe adding in an extra note or taking one off.

I also recommend to find out about the guitar players of bands you like. Really get into them and study the bands that they are influenced by too.

For example, I like Frusciante but Id say I have studied quite alot about his style so now Im moving on to the bands he has stated to be inspired by and then I'll probably look at the bands that inspired those bands.

As you can see, by doing this - your guitar playing will become an interesting blend of different genres and eras of rock.

Don't be afraid to look to the past for inspiration - for example most of the Indie Bands coming out now (like Bloc Party) all sound like Gang of Four and similar post-punk bands of the late 70s/80s (to me anyway). Gang of Four were influenced by bands like The Ramones, the Ramones were influenced by bands like The Who, The Beatles.

So as you can see, The Ramones took the pop styles of The Who and The Beatles and stripped it down to create aggressive yet catchy punk music. Gang of Four took the Ramones stripped down aggressive rhythm playing and added some funk flavours to it. And modern Indie bands took Gang of Four's sound and probably spent their time styling their hair..but thats another issue


So yeh, STUDY music. Dont just blindly learn songs and reproduce them. Dont become a CD player. Learn the techniques used to make those sounds and make sounds of your own with them.
It would be like somebody saying, "I don't want to use words to talk, I want to just go by feel, I want to rub my penis all over them. I don't want to talk" - John Frusciante's view on people who don't want to learn music theory
Listen to a lot of music you don't usually listen to. Totally blow you rmind.
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