#1
I've been playing for a little over one and a half years and i still cant compose right

I just draw blanks. I play alot of heavy metal but the type of music i want to make is mostly acoustic. I cant even think of nice chord progressions. Whenever I do find one, it seems generic and it's been done before.

I want to make songs to play on acoustic but i just suck at it. How?
#3
get some LSD and a video recorder
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#4
Quote by McFoss
start a Metallica cover band.



??

my problem is that i can ONLY play other songs and imitate what's already been made

i cant make up my own material
#5
You cant force it. I get in writing slumps too. Just work on something else - scales, another band's song, whatever, and whenever you get the urge to write, or even just play around, do it. Hopefully you'll get something - a chord progression, riff, whatever, that you'll like, and can build off of. And don't worry about sounding unoriginal or generic. Just play and write what you like - keep working at it and you'll develop your voice.
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#6
Quote by SigzLV
You cant force it. I get in writing slumps too. Just work on something else - scales, another band's song, whatever, and whenever you get the urge to write, or even just play around, do it. Hopefully you'll get something - a chord progression, riff, whatever, that you'll like, and can build off of. And don't worry about sounding unoriginal or generic. Just play and write what you like - keep working at it and you'll develop your voice.


i totally agree. and i want to add for me personally, i write better when im with one or two other people. normally just one. its good to have somebody to bounce ideas off of.
#7
You sound like you've got my problem, I got about 1 and a half years under my belt, and I play mostly metal, and I can't think of any material... Idk, just sit down when you're like half asleep and play random stuff until something sounds good, it kinda works for me
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#8
I dont know if it is just me but i am more creative in the middle of the night. That's when i compose most of my songs. So try that one. It might work, it might not work. But hey, it works for me!
#9
do what i do man, make up your own chords. find a program called guitar pro, learn how to use it and then you will start off. theres nothing better than off chords !!!!
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#10
Its hard to make a chord progression that doesn't sound generiuc, it's how you use it that makes the difference.

Are you looking to make like, solo guitar fingerpicking acoustic things, or acoustic things you can sing to?
#11
My advice: Start writing, and don't worry too much if it sounds "generic", or just plain sucks. Start doing it. Set yourself some kind of goal, like writing one song once a week, or something like that. Then, just do it.

Let's face it, there's no way you're going to start writing masterpieces right off the start. Maybe you'll write 1000 pieces of complete garbage before you get a good one. Who knows. But you need practice and experience. Don't set the bar too high, to start with.

Also, if you don't improvise, I find it an excellent way to get new material. Experimenting with theoretical ideas can be useful too.

I'd say, start with some cliche type chord progressions. Try and come up with a basic melody and rhythm and try and hang it together into a short song. If it sounds lame, so be it. Ask yourself why it sounds lame, and learn from that.

Hey, I can improvise some surprisingly decent things at times, but a great composer, I am not. Mostly passing along advice I've heard time and time again. But get past that "I can't compose" thing. Yes, you can compose. It might be childish and terrible, but the only way to improve that is PRACTICE.

Grep.
#12
^This. grep whats up with your name? it sounds like a memeber of the adams family. Or are you a linux user?
Quote by McFoss
start a Metallica cover band.
Thats a really bad idea, even for James Hetfield

Quote by 3l3phant
get some LSD and a video recorder
Drugs dont help you write and they definantly dont make you more creative, if anything drugs only make you think your writing a masterpeice (your not). People need a clear head to write music (imo, 1 part creative/emotional, 1 part good ear and 1 part logic).
Except, you also need to be relatively relaxed when writing music. Pot (aim for more of a sativa strand, indicia makes you dopey) and alcohol in small amounts can relax you.

Quote by SigzLV
You cant force it.
You can and you should. Writing music is a skill, not an inherit ability. Like all skills you can improve with practise. Force yourself to write music (even if it sucks) and eventually you'll build the experience needed to write original, good (for the majoritiy of society) music.
Also like all skills, there is a theory (and textbooks) behind doing it well. Read up on your theory and than start reading some melody writing books (get them from your local library) and than maybe a little counterpoint. Everything helps.

Quote by Helit
I dont know if it is just me but i am more creative in the middle of the night.
Yeah, I used to think that too. I used to stay up really late at night, sit in the dark and play blues untill my sister came in brandishing weapons. After a while I realised I only thought my music sounded good (it didnt), I relistened to some of the stuff I wrote in guitarpro. Original, but crap.

Quote by Marskell
do what i do man, make up your own chords. find a program called guitar pro, learn how to use it and then you will start off. theres nothing better than off chords !!!!
Chords with logical voice leading? Chords written with free 4 part counterpoint? Jazz chords?

Quote by sam i am
Its hard to make a chord progression that doesn't sound generiuc, it's how you use it that makes the difference.
Completely agree. Alot of guys seem to miss the rhythm behind a guitarist playing chords. If jazz band taught me anything, guitar is in the rhthym section of the band, guitars play rhthym.

So yeah
#13
Quote by demonofthenight
^This. grep whats up with your name? it sounds like a memeber of the adams family. Or are you a linux user?

Yep, Linux user since like... '93, and a Unix developer. That it sounds like a member of the Adams Family makes me appreciate it even more, now.
#14
you need to start off by finishing a song... don't worry if it sounds 'generic'... just finish that sucker... stopping at the first hurdle means you get no practice at dealing with the 2nd, 3rd & 4th hurdles....

it doesn't matter how bad the song is... your 1st few songs are always bad anyway, so work through them as soon as you can

I used to reject chord progressions and melodies because they weren't 'unique' enough... it meant I usually didn't finish ANYTHING.... 'obvious' chord progressions and melodies are often the ones that sell the most records... and melodies HAVE to have some kind of relationship to the chord, or there's no meaning in either...

start with 2/3 chords and sing the FIRST melody that occurs to you... build from there
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#15
Quote by Grep
Yep, Linux user since like... '93, and a Unix developer. That it sounds like a member of the Adams Family makes me appreciate it even more, now.



penguin power!!
#16
Quote by demonofthenight

Except, you also need to be relatively relaxed when writing music. Pot (aim for more of a sativa strand, indicia makes you dopey) and alcohol in small amounts can relax you.

i wouldn't really recommend this. most people can't play when high unfortunately. i've been lucky to say that out of the 50 some odd musicians i've known and gotten incredibly smashed with only about 4 of them could really do something incredible while they were messed up.
#17
a lot of times what i do to come up with riffs is just start fooling around. playing absolute nonsense. then afterwords putting it in scale. ive come up with a few riffs that way. some are pretty catchy. just try it the next time you're dead bored... don't think just play and listen.. you might come up with some great stuff
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#18
Quote by z4twenny
i wouldn't really recommend this. most people can't play when high unfortunately. i've been lucky to say that out of the 50 some odd musicians i've known and gotten incredibly smashed with only about 4 of them could really do something incredible while they were messed up.

I can play even better - I'd say, but it takes some getting used to the substance before you can use it to your advantage.
#20
Don't worry if you're acoustic chord stuff sounds generic. It's because Bob Dylan already used that chord progression, and every other progression you can come up with. Just keep on writing and don't worry about it. It's how you use the chords
#21
I always come up with awesome shit when I'm just messing around with scales and stuff... It will be even easier to come up with stuff once you have your own style down so its like a second nature. You just have to be patient. I've been playing guitar for 6 years, and I haven't even been able to play by ear until last year, I haven't been able to play fast until last year, and I haven't been able to write decent stuff until just a couple months ago.

Also, and i don't think this is relevent, but i wanna help you out lol, if you hear a cool lick in a solo of a song, try to learn it by ear instead of getting on here and getting the tab. If you do this, not only will you know that cool lick you heard, but while you were trying to learn it by ear, you just might come up with a pretty cool sounding lick by yourself.
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#22
Quote by injected
I've been playing for a little over one and a half years and i still cant compose right

I just draw blanks. I play alot of heavy metal but the type of music i want to make is mostly acoustic. I cant even think of nice chord progressions. Whenever I do find one, it seems generic and it's been done before.

I want to make songs to play on acoustic but i just suck at it. How?


How many acoustic-based songs can you play?

What acoustic-based songs do you listen to?

I would suggest that if you can't compose a song in a particular style ( such as acoustic-based), than you simply haven't spent enough time listening to and learning that style.

Experience is usually the biggest factor in a person's ability or lack thereof.


Quote by injected
??

my problem is that i can ONLY play other songs and imitate what's already been made

i cant make up my own material



I'm sure you can make up your own material. You're probably just over judging yourself. just write, and enjoy the process of doing it without any unnecessary judgment.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 4, 2008,
#23
Quote by injected
??

my problem is that i can ONLY play other songs and imitate what's already been made

i cant make up my own material


start listening to classical music. it really does help. think about parts that would sound good on guitar, and don't replicate them exactly, but use the feel of the song to make what you want. it really works.