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can I write a song?
 
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can I write a song?

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(@faceofimpurity)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

some one once said all you need are two chords and the truth (forgive me I can't remember where I heard it.)

Well I've got the two chords (5 actually) and I'm pretty comfortable changing between them. Still slow but that isn't the point. My point is. Knowing only what I know now how do I write chords to go with lyrics and know where to use what chord. Am I getting ahead of myself or is there something I should hear that I don't?

I've heard of people writing songs with limited guitar knowlege and I really think that if I could just have someone say "well in this song this chord is played here because... " it may help me.


   
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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1106
 

Sure, you can write a song. Anybody can. The first one might not be very good to the rest of the world, but you will be very proud of it when you finish it. AND, you will get better the next time you write one.

If you are really interested in this, check this book out. It really helped me:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Songs-Guitar-Guitar-Playing/dp/0879306114/sr=8-1/qid=1165808167/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-1950170-0260012?ie=UTF8&s=books

GOOD LUCK!


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Actually, two chords and a lie will do fine too... :D

Try the songwriting sections of the forum - there's others trying to do the job too, so you'll pick up some ideas. I think that there's also probably some articles on the site here too.

Good luck, and enjoy yourself. Try singing any old words and see what comes out.

Cheers,

Chris

Yes, a couple of articles here:

Click to go to GN songwriting page


   
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(@mr-mudd)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 21
 

I have written songs where I wrote the lyrics first and then the chords, but I always find it easier to write the chords first and lyrics later. Once I have some chords that fit, play them over and over and over and over until i can play them without even thinking about it After that I usually hum along with the chords to feel how my voice will sound while singing and where I should place words and wherw to not place them.(even though there have been many, many times when I made up 3 or 4 cords and immediately words just started coming to me faster than I could write them). Then I begin trying to find words that fit into the chords I am already playing. I persanolly try to fit the syllables with the tempo, but people like Bob Dylan do a very good job of ocasionally cramming words in without much regard to how the syllables fit. I am not a great guitar player myself, but I figure I can say more with words than notes anyways.

Other than that, the emotional state I am in often determines whether or not I can write at any given time. I fuond that when I try to force lyrics they dont always have as much meaning. And we write songs to be meaningful, not to entertain.

I tried reding a "how to write songs" mag article one time and almost vomitted by that borus-chorus hook a 2 minute time limit crap. Shapkespeare never read a book on how to write plays. he read other plays, was influenced by them and created his own style to hell with status-quo.

When I first began writing lyrics I was listening to a lot of John Prine. His songs have a simplistic nature about them and he is easy to understand. that was a good foundation for me to begin with. Pink Floyd/s Dark Side album also has simple yet meaningful lyrics.

It took me a couple of years to got the basics down and now I am training myself in lyrical kung fu by listening to pre-1965 Dylan and a lot of Townes Van Zandt (his live albums are best). If you like mettal, Rage against the machines first album kicks ass.

Never hurts to read poetry either, try some Byron or Keats on for size.

Hope I was able to help,
Ed


   
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(@faceofimpurity)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

Actually, two chords and a lie will do fine too... :D

Try the songwriting sections of the forum - there's others trying to do the job too, so you'll pick up some ideas. I think that there's also probably some articles on the site here too.

Good luck, and enjoy yourself. Try singing any old words and see what comes out.

Cheers,

Chris

Yes, a couple of articles here:

Click to go to GN songwriting page
Thanks... I guess I have a lot more learning to do first.... because that went waaay over my head...chord progression whaaa?
I was just writing lyrics and trying to find a chord to fit when my voice tone changed. Heh... :oops:


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Thanks... I guess I have a lot more learning to do first.... because that went waaay over my head...chord progression whaaa?
I was just writing lyrics and trying to find a chord to fit when my voice tone changed. Heh... :oops:

Your method sounds like a plan to me.. :wink: But if you've got a limited range of chords to choose from you'll probably find it a bit frustrating trying to match a guitar accompaniment to the melody in your voice.

Mr.mudd's method sounds like a much easier way for a first attempt. I'd agree that it's probably a fair bit easier to find some chord changes that work OK together first. Then try adding a melody with your voice - just la,la,la or whatever and see what works and what doesn't. Then work the words out last. The pros can take a lyric and write some music to fit, but they've got a heck of a lot more tools in their kit. :)

Remember, when you write a song you're writing parts for two different instruments (guitar and voice) so it helps a whole lot if you know a bit about chord progressions, melodies, harmony, etc.

It's not essential to know these things from theory books - you can learn by experience and experimentation how it all fits and feels - so keep up your experiments. Just don't get too discouraged if it takes while to get the hang of it. A mix of theory study and experimentation works for me.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

please do be encouraged to write a song. I bet we all did when we were learning. it is a great way to be a better guitar player. lots of reasons; motivation to keep playing, developing a relationship with your instrument.

if you know chords then you have the melody for your song in your hand. each finger is on a different note in that chord. your voice is one of those. when you change your voice-note the chord changes.
there is a known formula that just about every songwriter uses.
chord changes to a set number of beats.
so many beats per sentence(lyric).
how you sing that lyrical line is called the melody.
melodies are based on the notes in the chord you make.
pick the chord slowly instead of strumming.
see if you can find the do re me.
I think it is great you want to start to create.
:)

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

You can always write a song, if you are not as lazy as me, who has been thinking about writing songs since an year.

Two chords will do fine, but a void may be felt.Three major chords with one or two minor will make your song complete.(all open).

Eg. G Em C D. or Am C G. or Am F G C

Hum a melody over the above progressions and you may take up a pad and start writing any words or lines that come to your mind.

With the following open chords - G C D A E Am F Em and if you want Dm also, you can play and write lots of songs.Just remember to vary your strumming or picking. (and the order of the chords.)

Good Luck !


   
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 geoo
(@geoo)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2801
 

Definately you can write a song. With you limited knowledge of chord it might be easier if you put together chords that sound good together and then write lyrics over them. Honesly, its how I write most of mine. If I do it the other way (Lyrics and then find the right chords) I usually cant find the chord I hear in my head.

Good luck and let us know when you have something.

Jim

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
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(@barnabus-rox)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2957
 

2 chords and a lie ? 2 chords and the truth ?

Why not just observe anyone doing something , a child rideing a bike ?

a old man walking in shop ?

There are at least 4 stories to be told there that I can think of ..

Start to think outside the square { the normal }

Take the child , where is he going ... wouldn't it not be great to do that again ? same with the old man ...open the mind up to story telling , it does not have to the truth or a lie just one persons imagination ...

Or is that just me

Here is to you as good as you are
And here is to me as bad as I am
As good as you are and as bad as I am
I'm as good as you are as bad as I am


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

I had (still often have!) a problem sorting out chords for my songs. Personally, I find matching a chord to my own voice quite difficul, and try to match a chord more with what I hear in my head.

Of course, the more chords you know, the easier it'll be to find the one you want. My voice seems to suit best around Bm and C#m, so until I learned how to do those barre's it was hard to get the sound I wanted.

Keep learning chords, and definately keep writing; the more you write, the better you will get. Ask anyone who writes in the SSG, they'll tell you! :)

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@gram99)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 62
 

I find the songs easy ... it's the editing that's hard. simplify, simplify, simplify then repeat as many times as needed. A good jump off point is to ask

who, what, where, why, when and how
that should do it.

"Nothing happens until something moves."

Albert Einstein


   
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(@johnkline)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 12
 

hey if Hootie and the Blowfish can write that big hit "Let her Cry" with G Maj DMaj and Cadd9, and that's it, I think we all can..

my biggest problem is trying to find a chord progression/strumming pattern that doesn't sound like a song I already know, which is next to impossible!

John


   
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