#1
I was wondering is there a formula of writing music for songs or is it just what you have on your mind?

I play some with a friend and he's been playing less than myself, and he comes up with pretty cool riffs. I've been playing a little over a year and can't come up with anything. I have also been taking classes at my college on playing guitar and still nothing. Can someone help me?
#4
I already know some theory. it's just that i get aggrevated because my friend hasn't had any lessons at all, and he doesn't know anything about guitar theory. I do but still can't seem to come up with anything
#7
play with that noisy voice in your head turned OFF, straight from the heart eh?
BE HAPPY

Quote by ajmasterjaydude
so this kid at my school microwaved brussel sprouts for lunch, and when he was about to eat them one of them exploded on his face and burned him. i like turtles


in a thread about malmsteen^
#8
lets see i know mostly all my major chords and about half minors enough to get me by. I know minor penatonic scale, harmonic minor. power chords. i know how to make major, minor, harmonic penatonic scales. I'm not asking for anything insane just some simple riffs that are catchy.
#10
dude you can't think about it. don't analyze what you're doing, just mess around until you find something cool, expand off of that and run with it
#11
Quote by firetheclock
dude you can't think about it. don't analyze what you're doing

That's really a terrible way of going about things, especially if you already know something about theory.
#12
Quote by :-D
That's really a terrible way of going about things, especially if you already know something about theory.

Why? You shouldn't sit down and say: I'm going to write this song in A dorian. Unless you are working on your dorian mode. Play what is comfortable to you and how you want it. Just work your theory in naturally.
#13
Quote by Zander155
Why? You shouldn't sit down and say: I'm going to write this song in A dorian. Unless you are working on your dorian mode. Play what is comfortable to you and how you want it. Just work your theory in naturally.

Why wouldn't you use that kind of musical process? I take that approach to a lot of my writing because then I know exactly how certain things are going to sound. Sure I do some experimenting, but I've usually got something in mind beforehand.

You wouldn't tell somebody to just go ahead and write a book without any kind of planning, so I don't see why you would do the same in this case. Telling him not to think about what he's doing isn't really going to help him.
#14
Quote by :-D
Why wouldn't you use that kind of musical process? I take that approach to a lot of my writing because then I know exactly how certain things are going to sound. Sure I do some experimenting, but I've usually got something in mind beforehand.

You wouldn't tell somebody to just go ahead and write a book without any kind of planning, so I don't see why you would do the same in this case. Telling him not to think about what he's doing isn't really going to help him.

It is good to expand your knowledge by doing this but your entire writing process should not consist of this. It is very robotic sounding to me whenever I hear a song written that way.
#15
Quote by Zander155
It is good to expand your knowledge by doing this but your entire writing process should not consist of this. It is very robotic sounding to me whenever I hear a song written that way.

Your entire writing process shouldn't consist of applying musical knowledge? I still fail to see the logic in that.

And how can you immediately tell the method that was used to write the songs you hear?
#16
Quote by :-D
And how can you immediately tell the method that was used to write the songs you hear?
Because he's using logicus idioticicus, which is Latin for, well, you can figure it out.
#18
To add to everyone else's posts, don't be afraid of using uncommon or unorthodox harmonies and such. For example, using chromatic harmony ect. BUT, make sure you're aware of what you're doing. "You have to know the rules to break them" as Frank Zappa said... I think it was him at least... anyways. Yeah.
#19
Quote by one vision
To add to everyone else's posts, don't be afraid of using uncommon or unorthodox harmonies and such. For example, using chromatic harmony ect. BUT, make sure you're aware of what you're doing. "You have to know the rules to break them" as Frank Zappa said... I think it was him at least... anyways. Yeah.

Yeah music theory is just a theory...
#20
Quote by Ssargentslayer
Yeah music theory is just a theory...
Theory is a collection of ideas of what something will sound like collected over the last 500 years. While you may not always agree with the standard, and even more complex, guidelines, they're generally good ideas.
#24
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Theory is a collection of ideas of what something will sound like collected over the last 500 years. While you may not always agree with the standard, and even more complex, guidelines, they're generally good ideas.

Yes, I agree that they are good guidelines, but you don't HAVE to stick specifically in those "guidelines".
#26
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Of course not, but to discredit them because you want to be a "rebel," "punk," or "badass," as some people do, is foolish.

Foolish, indeed.
#27
You might try loading some drum beats or a free recorder.
This way you can make a backing track , then jam over it

Just surf for a progression or take a progression from
one of your favrite songs, or get a book with progressions.
or reverse or alter the progress a little
Then just jam over it.

If you have a backing track...you'll be able to experiment.
If you record yourself just jamming out and listen to yourself
on play back , you might hear some parts or a simple riff that
you did that sounds cool..but if you just add a couple notes
or alter some notes it might sound better.

once you get the A part...then just write the B part,
then maybe a bridge.

There's little booklets you can get with Apart, Bparts or C parts formula
for a guides. It'll tell you to play A parts so many times then B parts so many times
..stuff like that.

or just listen to some of your favorite songs and notice the A,B, or C parts.
Last edited by Ordinary at May 16, 2008,
#28
i would try to find new influences. maybe you're all tapped out of the stuff you usually listen to or maybe try to play a different genre. experimentation usually works for me.
#29
well i appreciate all of the comments. From what I have read, a person can play whatever the person is feeling without any theory what so ever, but it is always good to know theory to back up or add to your writings.
#31
Quote by night_elf2004
I was wondering is there a formula of writing music for songs or is it just what you have on your mind?

I play some with a friend and he's been playing less than myself, and he comes up with pretty cool riffs. I've been playing a little over a year and can't come up with anything. I have also been taking classes at my college on playing guitar and still nothing. Can someone help me?


There are LOTS of approaches to writing music. I can't tell you what approach you should take, or give you a formula to follow, but here are a few tips that might lead you in the right direction:

1) Listen to ALOT of music
2) learn and play music (yes at 1st that means "other peoples" music)
3) study music (Analyze the music your listening to / playing)
4) get creative
#33
Quote by Ssargentslayer
Yeah music theory is just a theory...


A theory is an explanation for a phenomenon, not a guess. Music theory describes music and explains the relationships between musical concepts. It is a tremendously useful writing tool.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.