As said i have a few questions on theory.... whenever i try and make a song, my friend here's it and he said all this terminology which he put it into human terms... "your songs don't make sense". What does this mean? How do i get a song to make sense? What am i doing wrong...?
well, hmm..hard to explain, but maybe what he means is that they arent following any theory or any basic accepted chord progressions. This means; which chords are used, what type of chord they can be, and in which order, as well as maybe even something as simple as the 4/4 beat (assuming youre playing rock).

Try looking at the "circle of fifths" which gives you a good idea of what chords you can use together that will sound good etc. A classic is the chords Am, G, F, C, Dm. I don't know how good you are, but work around these chords, in different orders etc. You can also try throwing in a Bm or something like that.

theres loads of music theory available on UG just have a look around and see what you can.

good luck,


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Mr. JimBo R. Insane
Ok. Not a bad question at all. Lets start off easy. The chords in the reply to your message will sound good together because they are the harmonized C major scale.

I know you are thinking "What does that mean?!!" So here is a basic building block of music theory that everyone needs to learn at some point in their musical life. BTW sooner is better if you want to be a great player or musician.

Major Scale Progressions

Major Scale (Do Re Me Fa So La Te Do)

Major Scale Formula (whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step)

C Major Scale (C D E F G A B C)

Ok so now that we have the notes of the C major scale we can harmonize the chords out of the scale. ( I am just going to harmonize the triads to save time)

We can build 7 chords from the Major Scale, one chord for each note.
Simply start with one note than use every other note in the scale as shown below. This gives us the One, Three, and Five tones of the chord.

I = C (C, E, G)
ii = D minor (D, F, A)
iii = E minor (E, G, B)
IV = F (F, A, C)
V = G (G, B, D)
vi = A minor (A, C, E)
vii = B dim (B, D, F)

The Major or minor tonality of the chord is based on the interval (number of half steps) between the first tone and the third tone.

For Example C Major

C Major (C is the Root, E is the Third, and G is the Fifth.)
There are 4 half steps between C and E ( C C# D D# E) Four 1/2 steps is a Major Third.

For Example D minor

D minor (D is the Root, F is the Third, and A is the Fifth.)
There are 3 half steps between D and F ( D D# E F) Three 1/2 steps is a minor Third.

This formula works for every Major Scale and is the building block for every other scale.

Common progressions of Major tonality will use the I, IV, V chords to resolve to or on. You can also move to the minor chords and resolve back to the Major chords and your song will have that "happy" majorish feel.

Try a progression starting on the A minor chord and moving around the other chords and then end back on A minor. No you have a progression in A natural minor.

Hope this help some. Feel free to ask more.

- Src
Last edited by SrcCode at Jan 30, 2008,
Well, they provided you some pretty nice theoretical answers, but maybe your friend is just a douche.

I'm calling second opinion in here. And don't worry, nobody writes excellent songs in the beginning.
Quote by Johnljones7443
my neew year reslosutions are not too drikn as much lol.

happy new yeeae guyas.
most likely he means the chords your using aren't following a certain key, or your not following a scale that fits your chords. or both.
i suggest you look up some basic theory lessons like playing in key on ultimate guitar to wrap your brain around.

You can learn a few chords without learning theory, sure, but you won't get very far after that. And remember, you can never learn enough of it.

I know this is the "Theory Section" so people don't like to hear it but keep in mind a chord progression doesn't always have to fit theory to sound great. I've heard some progressions before that make absolutely no sense and are completely genious. So in the future when you know lots of theory dont be afraid to break some rules once in a while.
He probably means your chord progressions don't match a certain key, or your solos or something, which doesn't technically matter as long as it sounds good, but it frequently doesn't.
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yeah... what that guy said. Anyway, The things I have noticed when writing with a band, or by myself, have made me realize that people often try to WRITE the song with all this complexity built in. However, I think it best to write the song very simply, to the point that you have it sounding good without anything too fancy. Then as you continue to play what you have written, experiment with different things, and ADD them in later. Pretty much what I'm saying is, start off simple, and add the flashiness later.
i think your friend an idiot **** him your music doesn't have to be thoeroretically "correct" i mean if it sounds good then do it.

there are so many off the wall scales that go with anyhting i wouldn't worry about it. he seems ignorant in music theory and the actual creative process combined to me
song stuck in my head today

but maybe what he means is that they arent following any theory or any basic accepted chord progressions.

You can't "follow" theory. Theory is descriptive. He means exactly what he said: The song doesn't make sense. It's not unified or coherent. It just sounds like bits and pieces put together.
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Quote by Archeo Avis
You can't "follow" theory. Theory is descriptive. He means exactly what he said: The song doesn't make sense. It's not unified or coherent. It just sounds like bits and pieces put together.

ahh i c. i understand aswell now

this man is very smart there's a couple on here that i am happy they help us out
song stuck in my head today