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#1
i want to start writing songs on my own, need to know where to start out in theory and branch out... half of you are going to say, "oh you dont need theory if your good enough just make the song however it comes out" but thats stupid when people say that, theres music theory for a reason. can anyone help me...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8DS3zw3Y0I
sorry for that vid its the only example i could find really quick, but basicly what im wanting to learn is

if i pick a certain cords lets say

drop d
d - 8
a - 8
e - 8

i would want to be able to add onto it and add like a lead part to it, as in the video you can get what i mean.. and build off stuff like that

- --

so if none of that stuff up there made any sense let me try and sum it up.

1. if i make some cool riff, i want to know what im playing and be able to add a lead to it . that sounds and matches the key in it?

2. know how to play 1 chord in diff ways to make a diff sound. ( like, how people can change some songs into acoustic songs)

HOPE that is better, ya. ty any questions just ask, but mainly i just want to learn how to make a song like the video posted, not same genre or sounding, but like the whole Lead and rythym thing going on. so like any song really. ha
#2
learn major and minor scales, then you can apply them, find out what key thats in, and then make up a lead part using the notes of the corresponding scale
#3
learn scales and what chords fit into the scales and learn how to work them out, learn chord inversions. what level of player are you?
Quote by .arkness:.
I did it in the church confession booth. i jizzed all over the mesh in an attempt to hit the priest.
#5
Quote by rhysm
learn scales and what chords fit into the scales and learn how to work them out, learn chord inversions. what level of player are you?


well been playing for like 5 years, can play pretty much any tab, like i know how to play. i just am tired of playing other peoples stuff and want to start making my own, cause i have alot of ideas for songs, just get stuff after i make the riff or w/e
#6
Quote by blair30
Taking that chord as an example-

Learn the A# minor scale.

Play that chord then hit some notes from that scale.

Simple


So, all I have to do is learn scales then. But what about diff chords, cause im sure that chord i put up there can be play diff ways
#7
oh you dont need theory, if your good enough just make the song however it comes out.
#8
1. learn the major chord series in any key. lets use C for example because its the easiest:
I. C
ii. Dm
iii. Em
IV. F
V. G7
vi. Am
vii.Bdim

2. create a combination of these chords that sounds good to your ears (a good place to start: I, IV, V)

3.once youve got a rhythm track, you will be able to solo over it using C major

this is just to get the ball rolling
#9
thanks albino strat, ill google c major scale to find how it is on the frets and record my self and play it over those chords

I. C
ii. Dm
iii. Em
IV. F
V. G7
vi. Am
vii.Bdim
#11
Quote by burrrandon
So, all I have to do is learn scales then. But what about diff chords, cause im sure that chord i put up there can be play diff ways


Basically it depends what key your playing in.

For example, if your playing the key of A minor, a chord sequence could be:

Am - Em - Dm

Throughout this chord prgression you could play licks using the A minor scale, or A minor pentatonic, or C major (the relative major) etc A good idea though, would be not to just play random notes from the scale, but relate the note to the current chord being played.
eg. during the Em chord, focusing on hitting those E notes.
#12
Basically it depends what key your playing in.

For example, if your playing the key of A minor, a chord sequence could be:

Am - Em - Dm

Throughout this chord prgression you could play licks using the A minor scale, or A minor pentatonic, or C major (the relative major) etc A good idea though, would be not to just play random notes from the scale, but relate the note to the current chord being played.
eg. during the Em chord, focusing on hitting those E notes.


true true, ty.

how can you find out what chord sequence to use for each one? what you said above is that just your personal pref? or is there like a main chord seq, but you can pretty much do w/e
#13
Quote by burrrandon
true true, ty.

how can you find out what chord sequence to use for each one? what you said above is that just your personal pref? or is there like a main chord seq, but you can pretty much do w/e



There is not any particular chord sequence you have to use, my example is just a very popular one:

I - IV - V

I - is the root note in this case Am
IV - the fourth in the key of A minor - Dm
V - the fifth in the key of A minor - Em

I mixed these chords up a little to create a variation of the basic sequence.

There are many other popular chord sequences you could try, for example:

I - ii - IV - V

In the key of A minor, this sequence would be:

Am - B - Dm - Em

And you can mix it up however you want to create different variations.
#15
http://www.cyberfret.com/theory/how-chord-progressions-work/index.php

is a pretty good article about chord progressions in a certain key. Like, what chords -lead- to what chords, etc. You can make one up by just fooling around, or whatever; as long as it sounds good.

Playing a solo/lead line over that, is pretty easy; if you have an Em D C progression (C major scale), hit E/G/B when the Em chord is playing, D/F#/A when the D chord is playing, and C/E/G when the C major is playing. Between those, add passing notes from the C major scale.

Hope that helps.
#16
First you need how to make a chord:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/guide_to_chord_formation.html

Then how to make a chord progression:
http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/chord-scale.html

Now that you got some basis of the rhythm part, lets cover the lead part:
http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/relative-minor.html
http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/pentatonic.html

I think those lesson cover very well the most basic stuff to make a song.
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Steve Vai

Gear:
Kramer Striker FR422SM
Roland Microcube
Digitech Bad Monkey
Dunlop Tortex 1.14mm picks


MY VIDEOS
#17
okay, the linkes that "El Cumanés" posted are really helping, and I even made up the G Chord by using 1st, 3rd and 5th... but im still stuck on one thing, on other chords im not sure where im supposed to start to make a chords cause i know how a D Major chord looks, but besides me knowing that lets say I didnt how do i know what string to start on to have D as my root, or just for any chord really.

on - http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/guide_to_chord_formation.html
You want to find out what notes are in a D major chord.

Your starting note or root note is D (the 1st)

To get the 3rd of the major scale count up 4 semitones - F#

To get the 5th count up 7 semitones - A

So the notes are : D F# and A


- - -

example -
if im trying to make the C Major Chord theres a C on E on the 8th fret, aswell as one on A on the 3rd fret, I get how to use the 1st 3rd and 5th, im just confused on what strings i should use, is there a way to find out?
#20
Quote by burrrandon
okay, the linkes that "El Cumanés" posted are really helping, and I even made up the G Chord by using 1st, 3rd and 5th... but im still stuck on one thing, on other chords im not sure where im supposed to start to make a chords cause i know how a D Major chord looks, but besides me knowing that lets say I didnt how do i know what string to start on to have D as my root, or just for any chord really.

on - http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/guide_to_chord_formation.html


- - -

example -
if im trying to make the C Major Chord theres a C on E on the 8th fret, aswell as one on A on the 3rd fret, I get how to use the 1st 3rd and 5th, im just confused on what strings i should use, is there a way to find out?


Any string, the important is that you're using those notes. Check out this lesson:
http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/triads.html
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Steve Vai

Gear:
Kramer Striker FR422SM
Roland Microcube
Digitech Bad Monkey
Dunlop Tortex 1.14mm picks


MY VIDEOS
#21
Quote by Jericho114
oh you dont need theory, if your good enough just make the song however it comes out.

Oh good lord...
#22
You're approaching songwriting in the wrong way. You apply theory to songwriting, but you don't sit down and just "pick out" all the things you want in your song and then write it. You use knowledge of theory to give you the ability to write what you hear in your head easily, without having to plunk around looking for it.
#23
Quote by CowboyUp
You're approaching songwriting in the wrong way. You apply theory to songwriting, but you don't sit down and just "pick out" all the things you want in your song and then write it. You use knowledge of theory to give you the ability to write what you hear in your head easily, without having to plunk around looking for it.


okay, well w/e. still what you are saying makes sense, but im just not typing the write stuff on what im meaning, well in prev, im bad at explaining.

n e way

about that chord site, you cant pick any one if you think of it, can you? cause a d major is like

0----
--0--
0----
------
------
------

, but ya, what im saying is like look at the last 3 strings that are left, if someone didnt know how the d major chord looks, how would they know its on the first 3 strings like that by using the method in that site
#25
Quote by burrrandon
okay, well w/e. still what you are saying makes sense, but im just not typing the write stuff on what im meaning, well in prev, im bad at explaining.

n e way

about that chord site, you cant pick any one if you think of it, can you? cause a d major is like

0----
--0--
0----
------
------
------

, but ya, what im saying is like look at the last 3 strings that are left, if someone didnt know how the d major chord looks, how would they know its on the first 3 strings like that by using the method in that site


I don't think of D major as a shape. I think of it as the notes D, F#, and A. They can be played anywhere on the fretboard.
#26
Quote by burrrandon
okay, well w/e. still what you are saying makes sense, but im just not typing the write stuff on what im meaning, well in prev, im bad at explaining.

n e way

about that chord site, you cant pick any one if you think of it, can you? cause a d major is like

0----
--0--
0----
------
------
------

, but ya, what im saying is like look at the last 3 strings that are left, if someone didnt know how the d major chord looks, how would they know its on the first 3 strings like that by using the method in that site


Basically they just found the notes.

a D Major chord is made up of 3 notes, just like all normal major chords.
To make the chord we take the D Major scale and pick out the Root, 3rd and 5th note out of the scale.

So D Major Scale is:

D E F# G A B C# D
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1 3 and 5 are
D F# and A

Now that we know the notes that make up the D major chord, lets look at the fretboard.

e / F/ F#/G
B /C/ C#/D
G /G#/A/ A#
D /D#/E/F
A /A#/B/C
E /F/F#/G

Very sloppy I know but you can read it (I hope)
Next we have to look for the notes D, F#, A
Let's look shall we:
small e string, theres an F#, theres one note already!
B string, D, our root note!
G string, A our last note!!!!

You have a D major, just for kicks though lets go further and make sure there arn't any more notes we missed.

D string....wait a minute D string, D is our root! We can play that note as an open string when playing the other 3 notes to give our D chord a little different sound.
This string is usually played open with the other 3 strings we are all ready holding down.

A string, another A!!! Although, not normally played with the standard D major chord, you certainly can use it in the chord for a different sound.

E string, has F# again, rarely used in this D major chord, but then again, adding it will just change the sound of the chord, it will still be a D major.

That answers your question on how they would know the D Major "shape"

Hope that helps.
#27
Quote by burrrandon
i want to start writing songs on my own, need to know where to start out in theory and branch out... half of you are going to say, "oh you dont need theory if your good enough just make the song however it comes out" but thats stupid when people say that, theres music theory for a reason.


1st of all, you DONT need theory to write a song. Yeah there is music theory for a reason..... that reason is NOT to form a set of rules for musicians to follow when creating there own works of art. so no, its not stupid when people say you dont need theory to write music.... its the truth.

Now if you want to study theory, thats great, you should. It will give you a much better understanding of how music works. keep in mind though, to truly understand it, it takes time (years).... and alot of work. Your not going to get what you need from a few posts in an internet chat room.

For now, since you dont know any theory yet, and want to write. I would suggest using your ears, your mind, your creativity ( the same things your going to use when you do actually understand theory). You can study, and learn more..... but you can still be creative now. Eventually when you get past the fundamentals of theory, and really start getting into it..... then that knowledge will help take you further.

good luck!


Quote by CowboyUp
You use knowledge of theory to give you the ability to write what you hear in your head easily, without having to plunk around looking for it.


I just wanted to say that plunking around looking for it.... is half the fun for me. I would rather search for what I think sounds good, then follow some kind of a manual for whats right and wrong based on what someone else has done previously.

From my perspective: theory gives you a greater understanding of whats been done. This understanding can inspire ideas, and allow you to communicate them to others. But personally I wouldn't "use" it to write at all. I use my own intellect for that..... (which ofcourse includes all musical knowledge whether accumulated through book study, or the hands on experience of playing and listening).
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 7, 2008,
#28
Quote by GuitarMunky
1st of all, you DONT need theory to write a song. Yeah there is music theory for a reason..... that reason is NOT to form a set of rules for musicians to follow when creating there own works of art. so no, its not stupid when people say you dont need theory to write music.... its the truth.

Now if you want to study theory, thats great, you should. It will give you a much better understanding of how music works. keep in mind though, to truly understand it, it takes time (years).... and alot of work. Your not going to get what you need from a few posts in an internet chat room.

For now, since you dont know any theory yet, and want to write. I would suggest using your ears, your mind, your creativity ( the same things your going to use when you do actually understand theory). You can study, and learn more..... but you can still be creative now. Eventually when you get past the fundamentals of theory, and really start getting into it..... then that knowledge will help take you further.

good luck!


I just wanted to say that plunking around looking for it.... is half the fun for me. I would rather search for what I think sounds good, then follow some kind of a manual for whats right and wrong based on what someone else has done previously.

From my perspective: theory gives you a greater understanding of whats been done. This understanding can inspire ideas, and allow you to communicate them to others. But personally I wouldn't "use" it to write at all. I use my own intellect for that..... (which ofcourse includes all musical knowledge whether accumulated through book study, or the hands on experience of playing and listening).



Based on your statement I have come to the conclusion that you know little to no theory. Theory is a way of figuring out why something sounds good and what will sound good with it. It can be used to figure out how to get a song to feel creepy, or to make a song feel happy. It's used so you don't have to guess at playing notes and see if they sound good with the chords your use. You can only benefit from learning theory.

For example, a few days ago I could hear the melody I wanted in my head, but couldn't figure out what to play next on the guitar. I broke down the riffs, figured out the chords, and was able to figure out the next chord based on what I heard in my head and applying my theory to make the chord I needed.

Learning and using theory is a very efficiant way of writing songs. Although I do understand some people will never learn or use theoy but still make great songs. This is possible and I applaud them for it. However not all of us can hear it in our head and go BOOM it's that chord.
#29
Quote by Guitarfreak777
Based on your statement I have come to the conclusion that you know little to no theory.


I have a degree in music. do you?

did you read my post thoroughly, or just enough to come to the false conclusion that I was saying NOT to learn theory?
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 7, 2008,
#30
Quote by GuitarMunky
Dude, I have a degree in music. do you?

did you read my post thoroughly, or just enough to come to the false conclusion that I was saying NOT to learn theory?



I doubt that my friend, you would be using theory if you knew any, but you seem to portray it that you don't know any because of the statement

"I would rather search for what I think sounds good, then follow some kind of a manual for whats right and wrong based on what someone else has done previously."

You said in your previous post. IF you did have a degree in music, you would certainly know some theory and not have a view of theory like you do now.


I didn't mean it to look like you were saying NOT to learn theory.
#31
Quote by Guitarfreak777
I doubt that my friend, you would be using theory if you knew any, but you seem to portray it that you don't know any because of the statement

"I would rather search for what I think sounds good, then follow some kind of a manual for whats right and wrong based on what someone else has done previously."

You said in your previous post. IF you did have a degree in music, you would certainly know some theory and not have a view of theory like you do now.


I didn't mean it to look like you were saying NOT to learn theory.



your assumptions are wrong in all cases.

did you read this part?

" I use my own intellect for that..... (which ofcourse includes all musical knowledge whether accumulated through book study, or the hands on experience of playing and listening)."
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 7, 2008,
#32
Quote by GuitarMunky
your assumptions are wrong in all cases.



I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Please explain.


What does your "own intellect" include?
"musical knowledge whether accumulated through book study"

That sounds an awful lot like musical theory to me. Which you just said you wouldn't use.
#33
Quote by Guitarfreak777
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Please explain.


What does your "own intellect" include?
"musical knowledge whether accumulated through book study"

That sounds an awful lot like musical theory to me. Which you just said you wouldn't use.


I dont use theory to write. I use it to understand.

for writing, I use my intellect, and my creativity. My intellect is made of things I've learned.... things I've experienced. Music theory is one of those things.

Anyway im not sure you understood my point in my 1st post, and I get the feeling that no matter how I put it.... you never will. try spending some time reading it. maybe my assumption about you is wrong and you'll actually get something out of it. If not thats cool 2. Either way, Im not going to argue about it with you.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 7, 2008,
#34
Quote by GuitarMunky
I dont use theory to write. I use my intellect. My intellect is made of things I've learned.... things I've experienced. Music theory is one of those things.

Anyway im not sure you understood my point in my 1st post, and I get the feeling that no matter how I put it.... you never will. try spending some time reading it. maybe youll get something out of it. If not thats cool 2. Im not going to argue about it with you.



You just blatantly contradicted yourself.

You said you would use your own intellect not music theory. But one of the things your learned is music theory, so therefor you are using music theory and that proves your original statement false that you wouldn't use it. So why did you even put that if you use music theory?

If you would have said that you used theory instead of your own "intellect" I might have believed you had a degree in music.


I am not trying to argue with you, but I see that this is either 1 of 2 things.

1. You discovered that in conversing with me you actually do use theory but won't admit it.
2. You tried to back up your origional statement by saying you had a degree in music , but since I contradicted that you changed your original statement. By doing that then you could then possibly have a degree in music.

Either way it seems you are trying to run away because I disproved what you were saying.

*edit* misspelled blatantly
Last edited by Guitarfreak777 at Mar 7, 2008,
#35
Quote by Guitarfreak777
You just blatantly contradicted yourself.

You said you would use your own intellect not music theory. But one of the things your learned is music theory, so therefor you are using music theory and that proves your original statement false that you wouldn't use it. So why did you even put that if you use music theory?

If you would have said that you used theory instead of your own "intellect" I might have believed you had a degree in music.


I am not trying to argue with you, but I see that this is either 1 of 2 things.

1. You discovered that in conversing with me you actually do use theory but won't admit it.
2. You tried to back up your origional statement by saying you had a degree in music , but since I contradicted that you changed your original statement. By doing that then you could then possibly have a degree in music.

Either way it seems you are trying to run away because I disproved what you were saying.

*edit* misspelled blatantly


um ok dude

if thats what you got out of what I said, I dont see any point in arguing it with you. Ill just say that your wrong, and keep the insults to myself.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 7, 2008,
#36
Quote by GuitarMunky
um ok dude

if thats what you got out of what I said, I dont see any point in arguing it with you. Ill just say that your wrong, and keep the insults to myself.


By all means, tell me what you meant for me to get out of what your said. I am curious on what you intended me to know.
#37
Quote by GuitarMunky
I have a degree in music. do you?
I have a PhD in cosmology and theoretical and physics from MIT.


Care to post pictures of your diploma and your driver's license?
#38
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I have a PhD in cosmology and theoretical and physics from MIT.


Care to post pictures of your diploma and your driver's license?


lol no im not going to do that.

congrads on your degrees though.
shred is gaudy music
#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
lol no im not going to do that.

congrads on your degrees though.


Care to answer my previous post?
#40
Quote by Guitarfreak777
Care to answer my previous post?



Ok lets do it this way. go to the 1st post, read it, and then tell what you think my points were. Ill let you know if got it or not.
shred is gaudy music
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