View Full Version : How do you write a song?

08-15-2005, 11:54 PM
Well, I want to start writing my own music. The thing is I have tons of Riffs and chord progressions that I made up but I don't know how to put it together to make it into a song. Like Im aware you need to have a verse, chrous, bridge, etc. But I don't the dynamics of putting it together. Any of yours advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks

08-16-2005, 07:54 AM
Learn 100 songs and you should have a good idea of what works and what doesn't...seriously...all the secrets are in what's already been written. There are patterns that will emerge once you have a large enough repetoir to draw from. How many songs do you know? because if you're asking this question it's probably not enough.

Then start writting a song every day or two for the rest of your life and you may come up with something.

When J.S. Bach was asked about is musical 'genious' he claimed that "At a very young age I was advised to be industrious and anyone that is as equally industrious will have equal success"

Composition isn't really something that can be taught directly. You may submit something to a composition teacher and they can guide you in a different direction, or 10 different directions at once, but it still just comes down to repitition, repitition, repitition

08-16-2005, 10:10 AM
Work on smaller songs. You don't need verse, chorus, bridge, etc. A verse is good for a start.
When you have a pile of songs one inch thick, you'll start finding ideas that fit together, one may function as the A part, and the other as a B past.
If I need a full song with verse and chorus, and can't wait for the chorus or verse to come up by itself, I often try to get away from the instruments and try singing or humming the part that is ok, and try to find a natural second part. I often take a walk in the montains for that part. Do not meet many people there (my singing is bad) :D So if you're ever montain climbing in Norway, and hear some weirdo singing somewhere, come over and say hello :D

08-16-2005, 07:40 PM
Try a simple chord melody arrangement of a simple familiar melody.I think I saw an article on that in the articles section.Do a few of those and get your feet wet with arranging.

And also back in the early 80's there used to be a joke about hardcore punk "thirty songs in thirty seconds". :D

08-17-2005, 02:50 AM
In addition to above replies, I'd like to add a couple of links which I think related to your questions too. Happy reading! :cool:


08-18-2005, 09:16 AM
I am often having the same problem as you have. I have tons of separate riffs, and stuff, but they're only RIFFS, nothing more. I often wanted to continue one of these riffs to make it a full song. Then I picked up my guitar and started to think hard, how it could be continued. I was doing this for about an hour, and then, when no useful idea came I lost inspiration, and put down my guitar. I later realised that the problem was that I was thinking hard. Funny thing, but for me it doesn't work. Some time later, when I was going somewhere, ans I was in a good mood, my little riff came to my mind, and guess what? An idea of its continuation also came to my mind immediately. Then I had to memorise it, and when I arrived home, I picked up my guitar, and hey, it worked!!!

So my advice is: Don't force it, it will come by itself (at least for me it does)

08-20-2005, 12:08 AM
Writing a song is easy, because you can structure it in anyway that you want. When I write music it change go to places that I never would have gone if i was regidly following a structure, in other words, I just go from one idea to the next, thats with instrumentals. However, when dealing with lyrics you cannot be as adventurous, you have the lyrics to consider. Generally, you will have a verse, chorus. That is very much a given, however, what you decide to do is completely up to you within those two structures. Alot of the time my verse riffs will change anyway, you know why? Because I want it that way, it satisfies my creative drive to do so. You have to learn to trust yourself and to let yourself just go with it, you will blossom imeasureably by doing so. Yngwie (not the best example of musicality lol) admits to just writing many different ideas as he see's fit and they sound very good. Structures are there as a guideline, but they are not the be all end all of song writing. If you stick too closely to structures then you will sound predictable. I think you should learn rhythm instead, then you truely will have the tools for composition, within that knowledge you can do anything, provided your theory is nailed down. This is my advice, I hope it helps you or someone out there, goodluck and god speed!