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Songwriting help

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Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

So, I've been playing around with creating (I won't say writing because there's not that much thought going into it) my own little song (I've only been playing about 9 months, so be gentle -- I'm just starting to attempt to learn some theory to all of this). I showed it to my music teacher, and she thinks it's a pretty good start. I've been playing around with it this week, and I've written out below what I have so far. It could be complete nonsense as far as music theory goes -- well, I'm sure it is. My teacher wants me to come up with a bridge, but I'm having a hard time with that. Also, I'm not quite sure that my chorus is different enough to actually be a chorus. It's really just a reversal of the verse pattern more than anything.

Anyways, whatever advice anyone could give me would be fantastic. The song isn't really too straight-forward for me as far as identifying the key and therefore how to select other chords to implement, etc. Thanks in advance! If anyone needs me to explain these chords better, I'd be happy to. Basically, I took the fingering and plugged it into and did a search for the chord name...

First thing's first, I have a chord that I don't know what to call... I'll reference it as ?? for the rest of the post. If anyone can tell me what this is called, I'd appreciate it:

e ---0---
b ---3---
g ---0---
d ---0---
a ---x---
e ---3---

Here are the main chords that I'm playing, just for clarity.

Dsus4(add9) Dadd9 Cadd9 Em7
e ---0--- e ---0--- e ---0--- e ---0---
b ---3--- b ---3--- b ---3--- b ---3---
g ---2--- g ---2--- g ---0--- g ---0---
d ---0--- d ---0--- d ---2--- d ---2---
a ---x--- a ---x--- a ---3--- a ---2---
e ---3--- e ---2--- e ---x--- e ---0---

Dsus4(add9) / / / Dadd9 / / / Dsus4(add9) / / / Dadd9 / / /
Cadd9 / / / Em7 / / / Dadd9 / / / [rest]

Verse (?)
?? / / / Dadd9 / / / Cadd9 / / / Em7 / / /
?? / / / Dadd9 / / / Em7 / / / Cadd9 / / /
?? / / / Dadd 9 / / / Cadd9 / / / Em7 / / /
Dsus2 / / / Aadd11 / / / Asus2 / / / E / / /

Chorus (?)
Em7 / / / Cadd9 / / / ?? / / / Dadd9 / / /
Em7 / / / Cadd9 / / / ?? / / / Dadd9 / / /
Cadd9 / / / Em7 / / / Dadd9 / / /

Verse (?)
Repeat first

Repeat first

No idea....

Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

Just as a quick note, I've been reading and various other columns on here. I just might be a little over my head here....

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2717

There's two boards on this forum dealing with songwriting

Sundays Songwriting Group and
and the Songwriting Club

You might want to post what you've done there . . .
if you want other people's opinions, advice, suggestions, help.


It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264

OK, to take the first question first - the chord you're looking for a name for is either an Em7 without the fifth (B) note...or a G6 chord without the third (B) note. The other chords you're using tend to point to a variation of a I - VIm - IV - V progression in the key of G, so I'd go with the could actually add a finger on the 2nd fret of the A string, and it'd STILL be a G6 or Em7, depending on context - both chords use the same notes.

Your "Dsus4(add9)" chord - that could be a G6/9, although again, in context, I'd be more tempted to call it Dsus2/G, as the G note's in the bass; and your Dadd9 chord is a Dsus2 chord, no matter that the F# note's in the bass - F# is an essential component of the chord anyway. Also, with the Dsus2 chord, it won't hurt to play the open A string instead of muting it; the A note's a component of that chord.

Playing the chords the way you've laid them out, they sound OK to me - although I haven't a clue as to how you're strumming them, there are quite literally an infinite number of ways to play them. I tried a couple of different ways, one slow, one more uptempo; nothing there that said "I don't belong here!"

On the other hand, it's a fairly well used progression - that's not to say you can't make it sound different and fresh, but every time I tried playing it I kept thinking I've heard it before....but that may just be down to me.

As for being in over your head - don't worry about it too much - how are you going to grow if you don't stretch yourself?

Keep working at it!

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)