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Musicians - when you write music.

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posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 01:52 PM
I've been playing guitar for about 9 years now, but I've only recently started attempting to sing and write my own music. I can write lyrics that I think are pretty good, I can write guitar riffs, but when it comes to writing a melody for the lyrics I've written, I get stuck. I think part of my problem is that I have a severe lack of understanding when it comes to musical theory. I mean, I can find my way around the neck of the guitar and understand how the notes correlate, I know a little bit about scales and keys, but it doesn't go much further than that. I have tons of lyrics just aching to be turned into music, but every time I sit down and start trying to do so, I wind up getting frustrated and doing something surfing ATS.

Anyway, my question goes out to anyone who writes their own music. What's your method? Do you think of a melody and then write lyrics to it? Do you write down lyrics, and then later go back and edit them to fit a melody? How do you generally pair that with your guitar, and, of course, the dreaded strumming pattern? Is there a particular order that you think works best, or am I on the right track just doing what I'm doing and just in need of more tenacity?


posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 02:09 PM
for me, i usually wite the guitar parts firsts, because i usually change the rythm around alot before i am finally happy with it, plus sometimes its good to add on to something good, to make it better. so guitar first for me, but every now and then i have some really good lyrics and i can put guitar to it.

so either way you do it, your golden, but you really do have to have the want to do it. or you will get side tracked. probably the best thing to do is listen to music, as you are writing music.

try studying a little on musical theory, i had to. i am pretty much self taught, ya know, the kind of guy that always thought scales and names of notes were worthless. man, i was WRONG.

i have been playing for about 12 years, i started writing stuff about 2-3 years ago, about the same time i started paying attention to scales and what not.

for me, i play heavy metal type music, crunchy sounding guitars, but i also have learned alot of chords, so i like a softer variety of music as well. i also play in a band, i mainly play leads, but i write alot of rythm' guitar also.

what kind of music are you writing? do you have knowledge of scales at all? that is a main ingredient in writing music, guitars always follow some sort of scale.

posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 03:20 PM
Scales bro', you can't escape em', If you want to wail, scales are the way. It looks complicated at first but after you realise it's just a matter of superimposing patterns to different positions on the guitar neck, it becomes very easy. I would suggest looking at the pentatonic and blues scales first bro'. They are the scales upon which almost everything else hangs. Hope this helps, good luck!

posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 04:39 PM
Pureevil & Anonymous,

Yeah, I started studying scales a couple of years ago. I only know a few by heart, mostly blues and pentatonic, but I understand the theory behind them and know how to read them, play them, etc. I know all of the basic chords, the minors, and a few of the weird ones. As far as what I listen to, I'd say it's pretty eclectic. I don't generally stick with one genre. Neutral Milk Hotel, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bright Eyes, Against me!, Leonard Cohen, The Misfits, a little metal, some old delta blues stuff like Robert Johnson and Son House...I'm kind of all over the place. I'm very much into originality. Maybe I'm just overly critical of myself. I tend to write stuff, go back, and think "this just doesn't work." Also, I have a really hard time playing and singing at the same time...takes me forever to get a song down to where I can sing and play it comfortably.

[edit on 21-9-2008 by Herman]

posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:36 PM
I'd suggest you use some software as well. Having basic rhythm and some baselines or melodies can enhance your ideas. Only problem is this distracts you from the playing guitar. I switched completeky over to software and only use the guitar for sampling. Just keep it fun. and give your ears a rest every now and then.

posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 06:53 PM
I take the old school approach to writing music. I sit down at my piano and just play and play until I get a pretty good melody working. Then I add all kinds of extras until I have a complete song. Once everything is just right, I record it on my old 4-track and listen to it over and over while writing lyrics. Once all that is done I keep playing it and singing it and tweaking it, until I have a finished product. If I am happy, then I will transpose everything to my guitar.

If you are interested in getting more in depth with music theory, there are a ton of music theory books at your local book store that are relatively cheap. They really do help. Once you get a good grasp on the whole thing, try taking a music theory course at your local community college.

posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 06:59 PM
I did that 20 years ago. It was fun. And if I had the old equipement I would probably do it again. But my puter makes it so much easier. Though I tnd to stray away, especially when creating own sounds. I sit for hours just tweaking thos MIDI dials. Very

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