#1
Ok, i'm stuck. Really stuck.

I'm new to the whole song writing process as I just been playing Bands Tabs for years. I'm tired of that and started writing my own stuff. I wrote a Riff but now am completely stuck on where to go with it, I know how I'd want it to sound, but it's just not happening.

My Question is where would I go from here? I was thinking write down all the notes I'm playing and try and figure out what Scale I'm in? And by doing that Google "Chord Shapes" and play those notes as Chords in different variations?

I have no clue how people go from writing a song from a riff, any help is much appreciated.

- - -

Can you find a Songs Key in GP5 from the Tab some how, by something thats built in? Just a thought...
#2
Quote by burrrandon
My Question is where would I go from here? I was thinking write down all the notes I'm playing and try and figure out what Scale I'm in? And by doing that Google "Chord Shapes" and play those notes as Chords in different variations?


Do this. Once you know what key you're in, you can fool around with notes that are actually in key and when you stumble across some that you like, stick with it. As times goes on, you'll become more familiar with song structure and be more comfortable with playing in key. It will come easier in time.
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#3
Ok, lets say I find the Key I'm in, How would I go about adding Chords to it, if that makes sense... it's sorta hard to explain. Uhm, Say I was in the Key of C, do I just look up C chords so I can get ones that sound fuller etc... and add those to the song, and maybe play some C octaves in there aswell, I'm probably confusing you big time bro...
#4
Quote by burrrandon
Ok, lets say I find the Key I'm in, How would I go about adding Chords to it, if that makes sense... it's sorta hard to explain. Uhm, Say I was in the Key of C, do I just look up C chords so I can get ones that sound fuller etc... and add those to the song, and maybe play some C octaves in there aswell, I'm probably confusing you big time bro...


scratch that, i thought of a simpler way to put it. HAHA. what do i do when i figure out what key i am in, roughly what should i do from there. thanks
#5
You could just start playing stuff in the same key your riff is in. Youll probably end up making another good riff, you could then use this in another part of your song/peice of music/whatever you want to call it.
#6
ok im pretty sure its in F Major. so now i figured that, i just get all the notes in f major

F G A Bb C D E

and just play those in different ways to the song?
same with octaves?
#7
Quote by burrrandon
ok im pretty sure its in F Major. so now i figured that, i just get all the notes in f major

F G A Bb C D E

and just play those in different ways to the song?
same with octaves?

Ummm, yeah, I think. If you're in F major, you're going to want to play notes that are in F major. If, for example, all the sudden you start throwing in an Eb a million times, the song is going to change to Bb major.

To find the chords in the key (diatonic chords) there's a simple formula:
MmmMMmd

in which M=major, m=minor, and d=diminished.


If you apply that to F major you get:
F major
G minor
A minor
Bb major
C major
D minor
E diminished
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

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#8
Once you've figured out what key you're in, you build the chords around that key.

If you were in C, the notes are

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

Notice that I numbered all the notes. This is because each chord is number in relation to their position in the scale. Now, if you look at the chords in C, you get

1 C major
2 D minor
3 E minor
4 F major
5 G major
6 A minor
7 B diminished
1 C major

These are all fairly simple chords-but be warned about the diminished chord-you probably wont use it much in rock.
Anyway, the 1 chord (c major in this instance) is called the tonic. Think of it as like the central chord of your song, its where all the other chords eventually need to fall back to. Usually a song will end on the tonic.
Then their is the dominant, the 5 chord. This is also a chord that gives a fair bit of resolution, but not as much as the tonic.

The chords in a song exist to supplement the melody. The phrase '3 chord bands' refers to bands who mainly use the 1, 4 and 5 chords. Why? Because it's possible to harmonise anything with these chords.
The notes of the chords are-
1-C major-C E G
4-F major- F A C
5-G major-G B D

You can find everynote in C major in these chords.

Some very common chord progressions to try out are-

1 4 5
1 6 2 5

and so on. 1, 4, and 5 as you may have guessed are very common chords.

If you're writing metal, you probably wont use chords as much as riffs and patterns, but often the riffs suggest certain chords anyway.
If you're writing melodic sort of rock, than some nice chords will suffice.

Experiment with different structure eg Verse-Chorus-Verse-Bridge and just get creative!

And finally, there are some great lessons on theory and songwriting on www.guitarnoise.com
#9
If you've got a rocking riff already then you want to work from there. It might be hard to start sticking diatonic chords in and hoping they will work. You may really need an altered or extended chord or a different chord using that riff note. A hit and miss approach of just looking up diatonic chords and trying them out may end up sounding somehow off and it might be hard to work out why since everything is in key and there are no obvious bum notes in the chords.

Another approach you might want to try is to stay in key and start building chords one interval at a time.
To begin identify the important notes in your riff. Some will fall on stronger beats, be accented through attack or sustain, or will have such a relationship with the root note that they are more important than some of the other notes in the riff.
Once you have identified the notes try adding different intervals to those important notes and see if you get something. Perfect Fifths, Major and Minor Thirds will probably be the most common intervals that you end up choosing. But occassionally something else might fit your vision better. You may even choose some notes that are out of key to build up your chords.

Keep building with new intervals or doubling up on notes you've already decided till you have the full sound you're after. You can figure out what the chord is called later.

Keep trying new things and stick at that riff.

Good Luck
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jul 27, 2008,
#10
Thanks alot for the all the help everyone.

this is going to sound dumb but, this can apply to Drop D right? cause thats what tuning im in. see what im trying to do is disect a easy song from a band so i can get why they did what they did so i can learn from that. here it is

(havent forgot what you guys said above, just stick with me for a sec)

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/b/blessthefall/higinia_ver2_tab.htm

can someone explain what they did, by using the info i was givin up there?

this is where im confused out, i understand what you guys said up there, but just cant put it to a song like this, thanks alot! this is really helping.

#11
cause im sorta confused one if you were to do like
D 8
A 8
E 8

how could you minor it? flatten the D to a 7?
#12
Quote by burrrandon
cause im sorta confused one if you were to do like
D 8
A 8
E 8

how could you minor it? flatten the D to a 7?


That's a C7sus4. It is neither major nor minor. However, doing this...


D --8--
A --6--
E --8--


...will make it a Cmin7. The root (1) is C, the b3 is on the 6th fret of the A string, making it an Eb, and the b7 is on the 8th fret of the D string, making it a Bb.

A minor 7 chord is 1 b3 (5) b7. The 5 is optional, as it adds nothing to the tonality of the actual chord, but rather builds on the root. So there you have 1 b3 b7.

This...


D --8--
A --7--
E --8--


...makes it a C7. C dominant 7. Dominant = major third (3), flat 7th (b7).

8 = Bb, the b7.
7 = E, the 3.
8 = C, the root (1).
#13
^It would be with the tuning he posted. Looking at the tab it's actually in Drop-D.

A minor chord has the intervals: 1, b3, 5. What really defines that it's minor is the "b3" because that's the difference between minor and major.


Anywho, what ya got there is a Bb5 chord. (Notes in what you tabbed: Bb, F, Bb) It has a Bb, the 5th, F, and another Bb.

Since it has no 3rd, you can't make it minor.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

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