"What am I gonna do next?" or "What else can I do with what I've got?" or "How do I make my song kick some a-s?"
For the first 10 ideas check out Part 1 of this article with the same title. Here are the next 10:
1. Add or harmonize the same chords in a HIGHER octave.
A little obvious but many of my songs don't have this and just adding some harmony makes a huge difference sometimes. Experimenting with this can be eye opening and very fun to do as well. For example, write a simple progression and record it on your phone or in your DAW and then play the same chords in the octave above, or below if your chords are already in a higher register.
2. Add diatonic chords (chords in the same key) at the same time.
For example, you can play C and Em at the same time or Dm and F. This usually sounds better with one chord in a higher octave than the other one. So if you play C starting on the 3th fret, 5th string, try the Em on the 7th fret or higher. Same with any other combination of chords.
3. Add a second or third solo to your song.
You can start or finish with one or you can simply add it in between your sections. They don't have to be epic, although epic would be nice.
4. Use an open string lick.
You can really add some cool stuff to your song as well as really taking the tempo up on this one. Instead of using the same string's key such as the Bm on the second string, try Bm on another string. Such as the D since the D is the 3rd of Bm.
5. Use a strict legato section, or mixed, or both.
Restrict yourself to only playing legato in a part of the song. This can bring the dynamics down and add a cool contrast if you do it right before a big part. Maybe its just the guitar during this part or a chill bass line without drums. Or it can be over a mind blowing riff at high speed. Either way, you can really take up the speed.
6. Change Meters.
You can add a measure to make your riff fit into a 5/4 measure or longer. You can also go from 4/4 to 6/8. There are many meters to choose from. Here is an example: 7/4 to 5/4. Another one can be 5/4 to 4/4. And another one... 7/4 to 5/8. Keep in mind these are odd meters so they will add an uncommon sound to your song. I really like using this stuff because it adds an unexpected dimension that can sound really cool and out of the norm. See what you can come up with.
7. Change Tempo.
There are many songs that change tempo without us even knowing it was happening. It gives the song a totally different feel and sense of unexpectedness. You can really add some dimension and some unexpected excitement just by changing the speed at which you play a certain part or parts.
8. Write a section where you only use the Pentatonic scale.
For example, restrict yourself to using only that scale for a certain amount of time and then break loose into the other shapes or scales you want to use. This can add CONTRAST to your leads. You can do this with any scale you want.
9. Add some chromatic passing tones into your riff or solo.
This can really sound cool and add a sense of freshness to your music. Some like it and some don't. I think it's a matter of how much you use it. For example: I believe "Flight Of The Bumblebee" is all chromatics and I think it sounds great. There are many great players who also use this tool to add extra COLOR to their music. It can also make your riffs sound pretty sick.
10. Get your band mate to rewrite your section or vice versa.
This can give you a whole other dimension to your idea and can really churn out something cool. Ask him or her what they would do instead of what you did and maybe you can combine it or come up with something much better than if you try to do everything yourself. Working together can really produce some great stuff.
I hope I have given you at least one idea to move your song along. Just show up and don't neglect your songs. The ideas will flow once you are in beast mode.
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About The Author:Mike Socarras is a guitarist, songwriter, lyricist and guitar teacher. He teaches guitar in the Westchester area of Miami, Fl. If you would like to know more about playing guitar you can visit his website for more songwriting information.