#1
So here's the thing:

I'm starting to write songs now. I've played my share of covers (not that many, but still) and I just want to express myself without using other people's words/music. So this brings us to the problem I'm facing. I've finished writting my first song today. I searched online for tonalities and put togheter some chords that with a little a help from a drum riff are now a song. The thing is I love the likes of The Ramones, Sex Pistols or Green Day. Just laying down power chords and saying what you feel. No need for big fancy solos or anything. When I tryed to lay down my own progression of power chords, it sounded like crap.

What I wanted to know is what do I need to write punk songs? Point me in the direction of what I need/should to learn/know in order to sound great just with power chords (for now).

Thank you for taking your time reading and I hope you can help.
#2
What tuning do you play in? I guess just keep messing around with octave chords or power chords and just play quick progressions and write whatever lyrics you like.
#3
Just use I-iii-IV

It cannot fail.
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#4
Easy... Powerchords
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#5
I play in standard E. Maybe I should drop my guitar a half step I don't know. But that's it. The lyrics are good, IMO. I just can't make the music!
#6
Diatonic powerchords are my suggestion. Which basically means pick a key (E), look at the notes in that key (E F# G# A B C# D#) then play powerchords of those notes except for the 7th (D#) so your powerchords are E5 F#5 G#5 A5 B5 C#5. Then it's up to using your ear to find the chord progression you want. But if you want to go outside the key it's fine, of course.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

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#7
Thank you very much Ænimus Prime that's the kind of pointers I needed. If I want to solo, what kind of scales should I use (I know pentatonics but they don't sound very good with my pseudo punk riffs :P)
#8
The major scale is your best bet. For punk soloing I think the focus is on melody rather than speed and improvisation (bear in mind I listen to very little punk). So there's not much else for it than to work it out by ear using the notes in your key (again, if you want to go out of key, no problem)
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#9
Yeah I think that kind of gets better with time. What I didn't know was what kind of chords and scales to use. I have very little knowledge of music theory because I never wanted to get into it. I'm more into the raw feelings that you get from music but I seem to be finding that both need to come togheter. I just don't have the time now to learn music theory though. I don't want to push it, as you have been so helpfull, but can you (or anyone) explain me how does the diatonics work and/or point a website where I can find it explained easily enough and where there are the whole keys?
#10
i like punk and i can safely say, pick 3 or 4 chords. play and repeat. most punk doesn't have more than 5 chords total.
#11
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Diatonic powerchords are my suggestion. Which basically means pick a key (E), look at the notes in that key (E F# G# A B C# D#) then play powerchords of those notes except for the 7th (D#) so your powerchords are E5 F#5 G#5 A5 B5 C#5. Then it's up to using your ear to find the chord progression you want. But if you want to go outside the key it's fine, of course.

To further detail this... for major keys at least

I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, viiø

That way you can now write your diatonic chords in any major key
#12
Quote by paquiquinho
Thank you very much Ænimus Prime that's the kind of pointers I needed. If I want to solo, what kind of scales should I use (I know pentatonics but they don't sound very good with my pseudo punk riffs :P)

Learn majors, dorrians, mixolydians, and phrygians to get yourself started.
#13
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?s=crusade&w=columns

Well written articles for learning some theory. Go through those in order until you know all you want to know
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#14
Thank you very much guys. I think I have enough material to start working on something with my band. I can't thank you all enough.
#15
1) write power chords on little pieces of paper
2) put pieces of paper in hat
3) pull out 3 chords as random, 4 if you feel fancy
4) punk
#16
Learning theory is great fun man. It makes it much easier to articulate your ideas when you have an idea of how different intervals relate to one another. Do you know how many riffs I've come up with in the car on the way home, and then just played them when I got home? It's definitely an advantage to know something about what you're doing.

You don't necessarily need to learn how to do everything at once, either. Take it in steps. You'll find learning music theory to be a very rewarding experience, man.
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#17
Quote by Souls United
Learn majors, dorrians, mixolydians, and phrygians to get yourself started.


For punk?? Nah. Just straight out major, minor, and blues.

CT
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I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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#18
Quote by axemanchris
For punk?? Nah. Just straight out major, minor, and blues.

CT

Those are the ones I use when I write punk.

Well, maybe not usually phrygian, but its still pretty useful to know
#19
No one can tell you how to write a good song. In any genre.

Steve Jones (Pistols) and Johnny Ramone (The Ramones, obviously) both clearly played barre chords and open chords, not power chords. Their riffs were just basic rock riffs for the most part. The Ramones' more melodic music was usually inspired by bubblegum pop from the '60s and earlier.

Green Day's riffs are also usually basic rock riffs. They borrow riffs from The Who and The Kinks sometimes. Their melodies and chord progressions are often syncopated. It's extremely easy to write a song in the style of Green Day.

Don't worry about scales and don't bother with modes. None of those bands had any real knowledge of music theory.

There's more to punk than the Pistols, Ramones, and GD, by the way.
#20
^
Just because you don't need any knowledge of music theory to write something doesn't mean that it's not a good idea to learn it for possible future endeavors.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

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#21
Quote by Page&HammettFan
^
Just because you don't need any knowledge of music theory to write something doesn't mean that it's not a good idea to learn it for possible future endeavors.

I didn't mean he shouldn't learn it. I just meant he shouldn't try to force a song based on a particular scale.
#22
^
Gotcha. I thought you were saying something to the effect of "scales and theory are unimportant!" You know, one of those posts... Sorry.
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#24
Quote by demonofthenight
I've always thougt punk solos imitate the vocal melody? Or have something similar.


Uhhh....Kurt Cobain did that alot, would be surprised if alot of pop punk bands do that too.

Quote by werty22
I didn't mean he shouldn't learn it. I just meant he shouldn't try to force a song based on a particular scale.


Truths, this will happen when you first learn theory + you will try and go out of your way to make things less simple at first (or atleast I did), and then you will realize you're an idiot, and you should just play whatever sounds best (simple, or hard)

Quote by Page&HammettFan
^
Just because you don't need any knowledge of music theory to write something doesn't mean that it's not a good idea to learn it for possible future endeavors.


Truths...I learned music theory over the summer and it has helped me & my band alot.

Quote by werty22

There's more to punk than the Pistols, Ramones, and GD, by the way.


Lies

anyways

TS : What type of punk are you playing?

If you're playing pop punk a 3 chord progression (often with powerchords) is really common, usually not very fast or agressive, just really catchy.

if you're playing a more agressive style of punk (street, hardcore, etc..) once again, a 3 chord progression (often with powerchords) is really common, but it's usually alot faster and more agressive.

When i write songs in my band i tend to use four chords...probably cause when I started to play guitar I listened to alot of Nirvana, it really does work for my style though.

as for solos, the odd time I play something fast (nothing too hard though), but usually I play more melodic solos that sound great.
#25
You can't go wrong with C F G even though it'll sound like a LOT of other songs. Or if you want something ever so slightly less used, A D E
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#26
Quote by Rockstar729
You can't go wrong with C F G even though it'll sound like a LOT of other songs. Or if you want something ever so slightly less used, A D E

I think if anything A D E is more common than C F G. And you could really just say I-IV-V in any key. It's also very common in E, G and D.