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#1
I am really confused at the moment. I have just got to a point in my playing where I want to write. I have come up with loads of riffs, but they all dissapoint me. And when I actually have a riff I sort of like, I don't know how to continue on into the song, everything just sounds wrong. Also, how do you work out what the second guitar plays?

Sorry if I sound really noob like, but I have absolutely no music theory knowledge
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#2
get some friends to jam with (i hear) that helps. as for riffing, i have that problem too. once in awhile i get gold, and then nothing for a long time... just keep up the good work i guess...
#3
Yeah it really helps playing with a band.
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Quote by lil-matee
what is a solo?
#4
Learn your theory hard, if you wanna make music, thats the only way (Well atleast the best way).

When you'll have good theory anything will just fall in place.
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race toward an early grave.


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#6
hmmm thanks for the help guys, i'll try some of your advice
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#7
thing 1: learn songs of other musicians that you enjoy, learning what you enjoy listening to can not only inspire you but help you see what others do that you enjoy and learn how they do this.

thing 2: as mentioned before, learn theory, learn as much as you can, if possible take lessons from accredited teachers and make sure the people you learn your theory from know what they're talking about. no offense to any specific people, but on UG only about 10% of the people in the musicians forum really have a good idea as to whats going on so be careful about who you're listening to as well.
#10
Quote by z4twenny
thing 1: learn songs of other musicians that you enjoy, learning what you enjoy listening to can not only inspire you but help you see what others do that you enjoy and learn how they do this.


What did you think I have been doing for the past 2 years?


I guess I should take theory, but I'm really not sure because theory all seems dead boring and I want a theory lesson that is based around guitar
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#11
^Well, if you aren't comitted and passionate about music, don't learn the theory.

If you do want to learn.....

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=503032

Start at the top and go for it. While theory is a general music theory (IE, it applies to all western music), there are guitar-centered examples in those lessons.
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#12
of course I'm commited, I just looked at that, and I scroll though thinking, uhhhh. I don't see how this is gonna teach me to write songs
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#13
Quote by tabber666
of course I'm commited, I just looked at that, and I scroll though thinking, uhhhh. I don't see how this is gonna teach me to write songs


Sorry, what do I know? I don't mean to be biting, but you aren't listening simply because the work is something you don't want to do.

Just think of it like learning grammar rules, syntax, spelling, and all that other stuff in English. Sure, you can go around doing your best trying to write a story without knowing all those things, but I guarantee you 99.99% of the time someone who knows all of those rules and ideas will write a better story than you. They can articulate, and know how to do so without much guesswork.

Same thing goes for music.
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#14
I read through that, it seems I know more than I thought, I know the theory behind how to write a song, I guess I just don't like anything I write
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#15
Quote by tabber666
I read through that, it seems I know more than I thought, I know the theory behind how to write a song, I guess I just don't like anything I write



-Ah, so if I was to modulate to a different key signature, what is the chord I would want to use to do so?

-Name this chord


e-2
b-0
g-2
d-1
a-2
e-x



and what would it resolve to?

Give me a formula for finding the major scale

What interval is an E to a C? What if you inverted it?

What could I use a diminished chord for?

What degree of the major scale does the relative minor base its's root off of?

 we are in the key of G, please harmonize this in 9ths


e----------------------
b---------------------
G-------------4----5
D--------2------------
A--3--------------
E----------------



What is an authentic cadence? Give me an example of another cadence.
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#16
^omg..... LOL yeah, some of those aren't exactly beginner theory questions, but if you want them answered i'll be glad to
#17
Quote by z4twenny
^omg..... LOL yeah, some of those aren't exactly beginner theory questions, but if you want them answered i'll be glad to


No no, I just want to see if this guy knows his stuff or not. It's for his benefit.
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#18
Quote by tabber666
What did you think I have been doing for the past 2 years?


ok well, maybe i should've been more specific. don't just learn it, analyze the music you enjoy. thats what i did long before i started learning music theory, i analyzed what grouping of notes were being used and why it sounded the way it did.


Quote by tabber666
I guess I should take theory, but I'm really not sure because theory all seems dead boring and I want a theory lesson that is based around guitar


well there are surely books for guitar based theory. however to get the most out of theory i recommend just general music theory. if you don't want to learn it, then don't as nightwind said. but remember, if you want something different, you gotta do something different. the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting different results.
#19
Quote by z4twenny
ok well, maybe i should've been more specific. don't just learn it, analyze the music you enjoy. thats what i did long before i started learning music theory, i analyzed what grouping of notes were being used and why it sounded the way it did.


well there are surely books for guitar based theory. however to get the most out of theory i recommend just general music theory. if you don't want to learn it, then don't as nightwind said. but remember, if you want something different, you gotta do something different. the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting different results.



......Or is it doing different things and getting the same results?
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#20
^ yeah that can contribute to loss of sanity as well!

for the threadstarter i hear people ask a ton of questions in this forum "should i do this" or "is this really necessary?" or "why do i have to do this?" and my response is always this...

if you don't want to do it, then don't. but remember it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
#21
if they offer a theory program in your school, DO take it. I'm sure this is getting redundant but once you know theory everything just falls into place. it is literally like a lightbulb going off in your head. you will start to analyze pieces and thoroughly understand why everthing happens the way it does. but also, the beautiful thing about theory is that there is no one way to do everthing. of course there are rules but these rules allow for endless possibilities
#23
Quote by nightwind
-Ah, so if I was to modulate to a different key signature, what is the chord I would want to use to do so?

-Name this chord


e-2
b-0
g-2
d-1
a-2
e-x



and what would it resolve to?

Give me a formula for finding the major scale

What interval is an E to a C? What if you inverted it?

What could I use a diminished chord for?

What degree of the major scale does the relative minor base its's root off of?

 we are in the key of G, please harmonize this in 9ths


e----------------------
b---------------------
G-------------4----5
D--------2------------
A--3--------------
E----------------



What is an authentic cadence? Give me an example of another cadence.


Ok, I obviously don't know that much, but I mean I understand the basics

I can't answer most of them questions, only a few


The formula to find the major scale is whole step, whole step,half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step (WWHWWWH)

Deceptive Cadence


Ok, I don't know what your trying to prove, all I said was I know more than I thought I did (meaning not very much)
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#24
I havn't really got time to take music theory right now, I have a part-time job and a music technology course to be getting on with. But I have taken your advice and might look into it in the future. I can't really use books, I find them difficult to learn from, I prefer to be told and shown and be able to ask questions if I don't understand something
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#25
Quote by tabber666
Ok, I obviously don't know that much, but I mean I understand the basics

I can't answer most of them questions, only a few


The formula to find the major scale is whole step, whole step,half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step (WWHWWWH)

Deceptive Cadence


Ok, I don't know what your trying to prove, all I said was I know more than I thought I did (meaning not very much)
See, here's the thing.


Music theory doesn't immediately help your songwriting.

It's not really, the more theory you know, the better your songwriting will progressively become.

Rather, progress comes in little clicks - in little epiphanies. None of the basic stuff (learning how scales work, learning what major/minor/augmented/diminished chords are) will help you. This is just the preliminary stuff that'll enable you to understand more sophisticated concepts that will eventually help you.

For me, for example, music theory didn't really seem to have much applicable effect until I learned why certain chords are played in certain keys, and how to include non-harmonic tones without making the music sound too dissonant. Also, the whole understanding of consonant intervals in four-voice compositions also gave me a much clearer perspective of how to harmonize, other than just using perfect fifths and octaves all the time.

So, you say you don't really have enough time. Well, put the guitar down for a while and focus on the universal aspects of music - not just the "guitar" element. Learning the whole spectrum of how music works really will make you a better guitarist; but even more than that, it'll make you a better musician.
#26
Quote by nightwind
-Ah, so if I was to modulate to a different key signature, what is the chord I would want to use to do so?

-Name this chord


e-2
b-0
g-2
d-1
a-2
e-x



and what would it resolve to?

Give me a formula for finding the major scale

What interval is an E to a C? What if you inverted it?

What could I use a diminished chord for?

What degree of the major scale does the relative minor base its's root off of?

 we are in the key of G, please harmonize this in 9ths


e----------------------
b---------------------
G-------------4----5
D--------2------------
A--3--------------
E----------------



What is an authentic cadence? Give me an example of another cadence.



Ok, im going to try but dont flame me cuz i no im probably wrong, just correct my mistakes


1) B Minor?
2)WWHWWWH and its interval it 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
3)dont understand
4)anything really, all i know is its the 7th chord of the major scale or something
5)6
6)
e----------------------
b---------------------
G-----------------2
D-------------4------
A--5-----2--------
E----------------
7) no idea


sooo, what is my score?
#27
Quote by demiphoenix
get some friends to jam with (i hear) that helps. as for riffing, i have that problem too. once in awhile i get gold, and then nothing for a long time... just keep up the good work i guess...



same here every once in a while i'll come up with something really good
#28
here i'd like to throw my 2 cents in and see how close i get (i'm not perfect with names, the ideas behind them though i totally get)

Quote by nightwind
-Ah, so if I was to modulate to a different key signature, what is the chord I would want to use to do so?


depends on the key i was going from and to, chances are i would personally use either

a. a chord shared by common keys, if there is not a full tone chord shared then i would
b. use a 7th chord that could be shared by both keys

Quote by nightwind
-
-Name this chord


e-2
b-0
g-2
d-1
a-2
e-x




i would call this a B7add13

Quote by nightwind

and what would it resolve to?


depends on the cadence its used in, i would prolly resolve it to a plain ol E minor or an Em add 10

Quote by nightwind

Give me a formula for finding the major scale


WWHWWWH

or plain ol I II III IV V VI VII

Quote by nightwind

What interval is an E to a C? What if you inverted it?


E to C is a Minor VI apart
C to E is a Major III apart

Quote by nightwind

What could I use a diminished chord for?


well without knowing specifically what you're looking for i would say contrast or dissonance, thats what i use them for mainly.

Quote by nightwind

What degree of the major scale does the relative minor base its's root off of?


the VI degree

Quote by nightwind

 we are in the key of G, please harmonize this in 9ths


e----------------------
b---------------------
G-------------4----5
D--------2------------
A--3--------------
E----------------




i would do something like


e---------8-10-----
B-----7-------------
G--7----------------
D-------------------
A-------------------
E-------------------


for the purposes of timbre i would use this voicing as to lessen the dissonance

Quote by nightwind

What is an authentic cadence? Give me an example of another cadence.



i believe authentic cadence is is a V-I

another one is an imperfect cadence which is anything ending on a V regardless of the chord that came before it.

if i'm wrong do feel free to correct me (as i said my theorys not perfect, especially with chord names)
#29
Quote by z4twenny
another one is an imperfect cadence which is anything ending on a V regardless of the chord that came before it.

if i'm wrong do feel free to correct me (as i said my theorys not perfect, especially with chord names)
Erm, I'm pretty sure a phrase that ends on V is a deceptive cadence


And, either way, I don't think Nightwind actually meant for all you guys to try and answer the questions


That was more for the threadstarter


Edit: Also, an imperfect cadence is still an authentic cadence. Rather, there are perfect authentic cadences and imperfect authentic cadences - both are authentic
#30
^ i was just trying to think of anything other than a V-I resolve is all. and yes you're right, it was for the thread starter, i'm just curious as to whether or not im right more than anything. cadences i don't remember much of, usually when i end a song i've already got it figured out musically what i think sounds good so although cadences are good rules of thumb i don't always follow'em (as with all music theory)
#31
1. not too sure. really haven't dealt with modulation in school yet, but the V or V7 of the new key would do nicely
2. B7. would resolve to E or Emin (or C#min or C in a deceptive cadence )
3. WWHWWWH
4. m6. M3 inverted
5. use a dim chord to get to a I/i or the V chord. Also as a secondary leading tone chord.
6. M6
7.
e--------2--- 8---10--
b--3-------------------
G-------------4----5--
D--------2------------
A--3------------------
E---------------------
(you could move those lower voices down to lower strings if you can't make the streeeeeeeeeeeeetch)
8. I don't think this question was worded correctly as there are not 2 set chords used in every authentic cadence (think L.T. imperfect authentic cadence as apposed to PAC). In general though any V or viiº to a I or i)
#32
z4twenny, I'm not checking everything in your post, but B7add13? It's just a B7

Most other things look good, there are uses for diminished chords (mostly as V substitutes) but I'll let nightwind explain the way he wants to...

Quote by yawn
Erm, I'm pretty sure a phrase that ends on V is a deceptive cadence


The deceptive is V-vi in major or V-VI in minor. Notice that the sixth chords of major and minor each contain two notes from the tonic.

It's deceptive because you expect the tonic, and you get a chord with two notes from the tonic, but it is not the type of chord you expect. In major, you instead get a minor chord, and in minor you get a major chord.

There are probably better ways of explaining why this works, and if I haven't done this justice hopefully someone will correct me. But, it's a very cool thing to try on your own: do a little progression in a key, then work your way up to V, and instead of hitting the tonic do a deceptive cadence. I liked it when I learned about it.
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
Last edited by psychodelia at Feb 20, 2007,
#34
Quote by psychodelia
The deceptive is V-vi in major or V-VI in minor. Notice that the sixth chords of major and minor each contain two notes from the tonic.
*doh*


Whenever I think of a deceptive cadence, I think of it as a cadence that ends in the V, and the next chord is a vi/VI.

I got to get out of that mindset
#35
saying I dont want to learn theroy it takes to much time and doesn't help, is just another way of saying im lazy. As for your riffs what helps is if your very patient. When I want to write a song I do one of the following just start jamming until I get something I like and then play that riff over and over and over until something new comes and it normally does, or I have a poster of the circle of 5ths on my wall that I put a little spinner on and whenever I dont want to jam I spin the spinner and whatever key it lands on is the key of the song I write.
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#36
Quote by Sound_Garden_X
saying I dont want to learn theroy it takes to much time and doesn't help, is just another way of saying im lazy.



The absolute truth. It quite simply IS. 10 minutes a day and you will learn more than you think you can. Ahh well, the threadstarter doesn't seem interested..


Hey, whoa, lots of responses to my little quiz! I didn't have the effort to look through all the answers, as I wasn't expecting that sort of thing. Maybe I will post another sort of thing so people can take part? Just random tidbits of knowledge, it could be fun.
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#37
Quiz of the Week!


And we can let Cor do one. And no one will get anything right!
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
#38
Quote by psychodelia
Quiz of the Week!


And we can let Cor do one. And no one will get anything right!


i dunno about all that, i was right on a quite a few of 'em

and wrong on several as well

but its all good, thats why im here, to learn!!!
#39
Quote by nightwind
No no, I just want to see if this guy knows his stuff or not. It's for his benefit.


That does have some pretty advanced stuff. You don't know to know all of that to write songs. But like you said, it wouldn't hurt one bit.

Thread starter, learn theory.
#40
Quote by tabber666
of course I'm commited, I just looked at that, and I scroll though thinking, uhhhh. I don't see how this is gonna teach me to write songs


When you think of a cool riff... you will actually know HOW to put it into a song and what else you can do with things in that key that the riff is in.
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