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> Trying A Different Approach
steve25
post Sep 8 2009, 09:09 PM
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As I have been trying to write original material for over a year and not really got very far I need to try a different approach. I have a lot of stuff now in the form of tabs and sound files as "ideas". Some of them are really strange effects or noises that I have created and some of them are short riffs or licks and some of them are even short song sections but no further than that. So I can't say it's been a total failure because I have created so many ideas that could eventually be used as songs.

But I know that I can't carry on like this because otherwise I will never create anything. Pretty much every time I pick up the guitar I try and write something. So I think I need to stop trying to write and just learn as much new material as possible and don't even try to write anything for a while (6 months - years maybe). While doing this I can learn lots of new songs and improve on technique and learn some more theory so that hopefully when I come back to write again later on down the line my inspiration will be refuelled and perhaps I can go back to those ideas add to them and eventually create something.

Good idea, bad idea or waste of time? I'd like your opinions please
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bladzerok
post Sep 8 2009, 09:22 PM
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i am in the same problem as you right now. i have lots of idea and can't develop these. but i am not sure that to stop writing riffs is a good idea. composing is a skill, like anything else (i think so) and it needs training. i would rather suggest developping some of those riffs into part of songs, and arrange some part of songs into full songs. you can base off of a real song to help yourself.

and i also think that ear training would be good to help make a connection between your instrument and your head. but i dn't know how to train it (if anyone could help me with that id'be grateful!)

as i said earlier, i am facing the same problem as you do, so i am not sure of the answer either. laugh.gif

hope it helps


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steve25
post Sep 9 2009, 12:39 AM
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I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem. Because I feel like I'm the only person in the world who just can't get to grips with composing and songwriting etc. It's like everyone else can write songs whenever they want for me it's taking me years to build the skills I'm and I'm still not there. I'm beginning to wonder whether it really is as simple as "practice"
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Muris Varajic
post Sep 9 2009, 12:43 AM
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QUOTE (steve25 @ Sep 9 2009, 01:39 AM) *
I'm beginning to wonder whether it really is as simple as "practice"

Well spotted, practice is quite simple task!!

And composing is VERY tough one.
Eventually you'll enter a period in your life
when songs start to aline natually.
I also had many riffs, solos and licks laying around and never made any of it,
it'll be gone with experience. smile.gif


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djohnneay
post Sep 9 2009, 10:55 AM
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I have a map on the computer which is filled completely with parts of licks, chord progressions and things that could be parts of songs. IMO, every guitar player has that same thing (not necessarily on the computer). Songwriting is a process that never ends and you can never have enough experience with it.

If you feel you've got enough of it for a while, it could be a good idea to concentrate on learning songs you like, technical problems you have, and theory, because experience like that is never lost. But I would advise you to keep writing things down when you've got the inspiration so you can use it later on.


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steve25
post Sep 9 2009, 01:12 PM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Sep 9 2009, 12:43 AM) *
Well spotted, practice is quite simple task!!

And composing is VERY tough one.
Eventually you'll enter a period in your life
when songs start to aline natually.
I also had many riffs, solos and licks laying around and never made any of it,
it'll be gone with experience. smile.gif


I know man but it's not as if I haven't been trying as I have been writing stuff down and trying to put stuff into songs for a long time. Also I have licks which are a variety of different styles so it's not like I'm only trying to write a death metal song or a blues song or something I'm being open. I mean I know what sort of style I want to do if I were to ever release an album as a solo project but it doesn't stop me from trying other stuff I think it's good to be open minded right?
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 9 2009, 03:21 PM
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Are you familiar with theory? Most players have problems developing their licks & riffs, because they do not know the theory behind it (what key are you in, what chords are you using, what scales). This enables you to quickly overcome some problems, connect the pieces together more effectively and make a better workflow.

Also I wanna quote Harlan Howard here:

A lot of songs you write are just for exercise -- just pencil sharpeners.


So just keep rocking, it will be alright. Learn the chords, and learn the write music by trial and error.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Sep 9 2009, 03:23 PM


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steve25
post Sep 9 2009, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 9 2009, 03:21 PM) *
Are you familiar with theory? Most players have problems developing their licks & riffs, because they do not know the theory behind it (what key are you in, what chords are you using, what scales). This enables you to quickly overcome some problems, connect the pieces together more effectively and make a better workflow.

Also I wanna quote Harlan Howard here:

A lot of songs you write are just for exercise -- just pencil sharpeners.


So just keep rocking, it will be alright. Learn the chords, and learn the write music by trial and error.


Yes and no. I believe I am fairly alright with theory but I don't have anything that I can test myself with. I also don't really apply theory I just kind of jam out. I am thinking on terms of scales but no chords because not all riffs use chords. So I'm not really sure how to answer that one
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jafomatic
post Sep 9 2009, 03:54 PM
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I wonder if the real big thing that's missing for you is experiencing in structure? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes" or "Sort of" then that is almost certainly the issue:

- everything sounds like an intro
- my songs don't change, they just keep going
- i don't really know where to go after this part I wrote which is (1, 4, 8) bars.

What Ivan says is correct, knowing what else you can accomplish in the same key will help but even beyond that, knowing that you need to cause and resolve tension, knowing that you can change key at ANY time (as long as it sounds good to you) is where you need a little push.

Some common solutions you can try with your existing song parts:

- repeat the same basic song part starting at a new root note of:
...1 string or five frets up in pitch (perfect fourth)
...3 frets up in pitch (minor third)
...2 frets up in pitch (major second)
...3 frets DOWN in pitch (inverted minor third)
- pick new chords from the same key!
- drastically pick some other new progression and find out if it sounds good to you.




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steve25
post Sep 9 2009, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE (jafomatic @ Sep 9 2009, 03:54 PM) *
I wonder if the real big thing that's missing for you is experiencing in structure? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes" or "Sort of" then that is almost certainly the issue:

- everything sounds like an intro
- my songs don't change, they just keep going
- i don't really know where to go after this part I wrote which is (1, 4, 8) bars.

What Ivan says is correct, knowing what else you can accomplish in the same key will help but even beyond that, knowing that you need to cause and resolve tension, knowing that you can change key at ANY time (as long as it sounds good to you) is where you need a little push.

Some common solutions you can try with your existing song parts:

- repeat the same basic song part starting at a new root note of:
...1 string or five frets up in pitch (perfect fourth)
...3 frets up in pitch (minor third)
...2 frets up in pitch (major second)
...3 frets DOWN in pitch (inverted minor third)
- pick new chords from the same key!
- drastically pick some other new progression and find out if it sounds good to you.


- Not everything sounds like an intro however I do find myself trying to write intros more than any other place in a song. So I'll think how I can try and make an intro and try to create that. However I do have some parts that just wouldn't fit an intro.

- I'm not sure I fully understand this. Do you mean the same riff is just repeated over and over?

- Yeah 9 times out of 10 I will come up with an idea and it goes no where at all, just a few bars
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jafomatic
post Sep 9 2009, 04:51 PM
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Yeah, what you're missing is structure and storytelling. Here's a great example (tho by far NOT the only way to do this) that may help you remember some song "parts", how to arrive at them, when to use them etc:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/rhythm-gu...r-arrangements/



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steve25
post Sep 10 2009, 12:33 PM
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I can't view that lesson at the moment I'm hoping to sign up again shortly when I'm sure I have enough. I remember reading ages ago the best way to start is to go and create a simple easy rock song or something. And I avoided this because the style I want to make isn't easy rock song type stuff but more complex things so I figured there is no point. And also I thought that'd be easy and I wouldn't learn much.

Well for the first time last night I decided to try it as if to prove to myself it's easy and I almost have a finished song (well rhythm guitar and lead guitar still need to create drums and bass yet). It was fun I must admit but I'm not sure I really learned anything.
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Muris Varajic
post Sep 10 2009, 12:42 PM
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QUOTE (steve25 @ Sep 9 2009, 02:12 PM) *
I know man but it's not as if I haven't been trying as I have been writing stuff down and trying to put stuff into songs for a long time. Also I have licks which are a variety of different styles so it's not like I'm only trying to write a death metal song or a blues song or something I'm being open. I mean I know what sort of style I want to do if I were to ever release an album as a solo project but it doesn't stop me from trying other stuff I think it's good to be open minded right?

Of course!!

99% of composers are inspired by something or someone,
mainly through learning or playing music from other composers, that's the fact.
Be open minded, learn as much as possible, write all the time,
things will get filtered nicely after a while.


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jafomatic
post Sep 10 2009, 02:24 PM
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QUOTE (steve25 @ Sep 10 2009, 06:33 AM) *
I can't view that lesson at the moment I'm hoping to sign up again shortly when I'm sure I have enough.


Even the main lesson page (that is free to all) contains the song sections and names.

They're not unique to rock, either. It's a place to start.


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