#1
And when I went to write the intro riff, I thought to myself, "Well damn, that was amazing! Probably the best riff I've ever wri-... wait a minute?" I play it again. I can't believe my ears: I just wrote the intro riff to Crazy Train. It should've been obvious that it'd end up this way, as my chord roots were F#, G#, A, and E. It's even funnier because yesterday I was telling my friend I forgot how to play Crazy Train, she laughed, told me she forgot too. Tonight? I'm telling her how I just wrote Crazy Train and didn't realize it until after I had done it.

I may be overreacting, but I'm about ready to throw my beautiful guitar out the window. I have been trying desperately for several months now to write a song. I can't write a song. I know thousands of songs, and yet, when I go to write one myself, it seems the very concept of songs goes completely out the window, and I'm left writing dull chord progressions and half-assed melodies. When I finally do get something pleasant to my ears, it's someone else's song.

What I'm really asking is: What exactly is involved in making a song? What is the process? Do I sit down and choose from a list of chord progressions, create an intro, and then play power chords over and over while screaming something into the microphone? What went through the minds of the members of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin when they pieced together their music? What about Jerry Cantrell? How did he write his songs?

I am sick and tired of coming up with riffs and not knowing how to piece together a song. I have no desire to be stuck playing covers for the rest of my life, as I am not one to play covers. One or two here and there, but not an entire set list worth of covers! I originally took pride in the fact that I was a creative songwriter, but now I'm ready to give up music because everything I write lacks "song".

Someone stop me from throwing away 2 years of practice and study. What, and it can be an opinion, do you think makes a song, and how can I go about creating one?

Thanks a lot and I'm sorry if this seems whiny and hard to understand.
#2
All the greats wrote great songs...after writing about a million crappy ones. It's just like everything else, it takes practice. A good thing to do is write a song, no matter how bad you think it sounds when you're done. Then listen and think what could be better about it, maybe tweak a note in the melody, or change a chord in the verse, you know just simple stuff like that. After some changes you'll probably find you wrote a great song that's all your own. good luck.
#3
Keep at it dude, I get the same thing, come up with somehting nice and then realize its already a song. Its what happens these days, everythings been written so it's practically impossible to be fresh and original.
Just jam with friends and record stuff that works.
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#6
Or try Crazy Train with a different time signature and change a couple of notes. Really opens up your mind fiddling songs. Also if im lost for a riff ill play a piano for a while and usually ill have some pretty good ideas after that. Got any different instruments?

Also a lot of songs are based on already done songs. Listen to lots of music and pickup something, a Bassline a Flourish on a chord, and try and figure it out on the guitar
#7
With the exception of jaypooner, thank you everyone for the helpful advice. I've spent the past couple hours tweaking this song and, hey, it may not be the greatest thing since Stairway to Heaven, but it's something.

My style is a mixture of alternative and metal elements, and the songs I write can be very creepy sounding to the point where I start wondering if it can be a song. This one is less dissonant than my previous works and I think I'm getting closer to the style I am attempting to play.

Anyway, thanks again.

Quote by RedFez64
Or try Crazy Train with a different time signature and change a couple of notes. Really opens up your mind fiddling songs. Also if im lost for a riff ill play a piano for a while and usually ill have some pretty good ideas after that. Got any different instruments?

Also a lot of songs are based on already done songs. Listen to lots of music and pickup something, a Bassline a Flourish on a chord, and try and figure it out on the guitar


I have a bass guitar, but I don't really have a bassist's mindset. My bass lines end up being root notes or walks. Nothing exciting. But it's good advice, for sure. Thanks Red.
#8
I secretly wish i played bass occassionally. Lots of Fuzz and play some simple heavy riffs. Nick a Tom Morello riff for the right idea. Thats what id be trying to play on bass.
#9
I'm not much of a songwriter, I come up with something now and then, not often and and usually not all that good, but when I do it's always when I'm just sitting there doodling on guitar not thinking about it, letting my mind wander, not trying to play anything in particular, and there it is, it's simply there. But I've never written a song by "trying to" write a song...by intent. It's always been playing along and...BOINK..there it is..

I can't come up with lyrics to save my life, the few I've actually managed were absolute drivel and went straight to the trash, but music comes through now and then. I can't really explain how, I don't sit down to play with the idea that I'm going to write a song, I'm just playing and letting my mind wander, letting my fingers go where they want to and somewhere along the line I find myself playing something interesting that I think I can turn into a song. So I start to try different chords with it, see where it goes. It happens pretty regularly when I play a different instrument, like piano, so I agree with whoever suggested that above, try a different instrument whenever possible.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#11
Quote by jaypooner
smoking a doobie always works.


I knew a guy that played real traditional blues, pretty standard, but he was a beast none the less....well anyway he would take shrooms and record himself playing, and it would be just really weird, far out stuff. I'm not saying do shrooms though, and I don't know if smoking a joint would work that well, I used to get stoned all the time, and when I'd play it sounded cool to me, but after I came down I'd realize that it sounded like ****.