How do you work?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Songwriting > How do you work?

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/16/01

Posts: 532

How do you do when you make riffs and solos and stuff? (songs, basically)
Like Randy Rhoads, lock yourself up in a studio for
3 days or do you just smoke pipe and play acoustic on
a corn field?
Myself I just play a little casual, and every now and then I think: "hey, that sounded pretty cool.." and then I record it. So now I have like 21 hours of riff/lick thingys
that I try to combine in to whole songs.
Its a tough job. I havent been able to combine any of them.
None of them sound good together (some of them doesnt sound good at all.)
Well thats just me.

#1

How do you do when you make riffs and solos and stuff? (songs, basically)
Like Randy Rhoads, lock yourself up in a studio for
3 days or do you just smoke pipe and play acoustic on
a corn field?
Myself I just play a little casual, and every now and then I think: "hey, that sounded pretty cool.." and then I record it. So now I have like 21 hours of riff/lick thingys
that I try to combine in to whole songs.
Its a tough job. I havent been able to combine any of them.
None of them sound good together (some of them doesnt sound good at all.)
Well thats just me.

Big as Elvis, Baby

Joined: 11/29/01

Posts: 899

I just lay out on the porch, twangin my ole geetar, everyonce in awhile I'll reach down and pet my ol hound dawg "Blue", light my corncob pipe, scratch myself, and the next thing you know "SHHHBAMMM", a big ol lick just hops out the geetar. Well not really, since ol Blue ran off, any how it sounds like a common problem, you have a bunch of licks and no where to put them. You have content, but no context, think of songs or chord progressions as a cake, all those licks and riffs as the icing. My approach is to come up with the chords first and then let that suggest a melody and let the licks and riffs grow out of that, I've been where you are, play a cool riff and just can't seem to cram it into anything, keep at it and you'll find an approach that works for you ..........

#2

I just lay out on the porch, twangin my ole geetar, everyonce in awhile I'll reach down and pet my ol hound dawg "Blue", light my corncob pipe, scratch myself, and the next thing you know "SHHHBAMMM", a big ol lick just hops out the geetar. Well not really, since ol Blue ran off, any how it sounds like a common problem, you have a bunch of licks and no where to put them. You have content, but no context, think of songs or chord progressions as a cake, all those licks and riffs as the icing. My approach is to come up with the chords first and then let that suggest a melody and let the licks and riffs grow out of that, I've been where you are, play a cool riff and just can't seem to cram it into anything, keep at it and you'll find an approach that works for you ..........

Moderator

Joined: 09/25/01

Posts: 1887

I usually write a text, or a poem, about something that has touched me.
Then I try to read the text, and the music seems to get out of the words alone. I write it down then, and I tweak the melody a bit to make it sound a little more elaborate and nicer (I put arpeggios or chromatism that usually don't come up in a song with that way of working).
I try to find a chord progression that will fit the melody after all this. And what's cool is that you can fit lots of progressions to the same melody, so my song is pretty much finished by then, since I keep a progression for the verse, and one for every part of the song. I might also tweak the rythm, or harmonize the line, to sound unusual or fresh...
I've written kids song that are being published in France, and I'd say that most of them came up this way. Creation is an amazing thing, since it seems to get out of nowhere.
http://www.lalimace.net

#3

I usually write a text, or a poem, about something that has touched me.
Then I try to read the text, and the music seems to get out of the words alone. I write it down then, and I tweak the melody a bit to make it sound a little more elaborate and nicer (I put arpeggios or chromatism that usually don't come up in a song with that way of working).
I try to find a chord progression that will fit the melody after all this. And what's cool is that you can fit lots of progressions to the same melody, so my song is pretty much finished by then, since I keep a progression for the verse, and one for every part of the song. I might also tweak the rythm, or harmonize the line, to sound unusual or fresh...
I've written kids song that are being published in France, and I'd say that most of them came up this way. Creation is an amazing thing, since it seems to get out of nowhere.
http://www.lalimace.net

Guitar Tricks Moderator

Joined: 03/13/02

Posts: 3826

I usually find a something just messing around then I work with it and see what develops.
Magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator

"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

#4

I usually find a something just messing around then I work with it and see what develops.
Magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator

"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

Registered User

Joined: 12/21/00

Posts: 51

I usually just play along with a cd or the radio(that is if there is anything interesting that's on)and I'll find something and 1st write it down and then record it either on my hand held cassette player or on the computer otherwise I'll totally forget how it went.I'm not good with lyrics so if I have a line I usually write it down in a notebook and hopefully later put something together.
Can we have everything louder than everything else???

#5

I usually just play along with a cd or the radio(that is if there is anything interesting that's on)and I'll find something and 1st write it down and then record it either on my hand held cassette player or on the computer otherwise I'll totally forget how it went.I'm not good with lyrics so if I have a line I usually write it down in a notebook and hopefully later put something together.
Can we have everything louder than everything else???

New Member

Joined: 04/11/02

Posts: 1

Song writting... Sometimes I'm playing guitar and, suddenly... something comes a up, like a cool sounding riff! Wow, this could be a good thing to work on. In my case, it's curious cause I start imagining almost the hole song... So I work on it for some time, it can be minutes, hours, days! In the end you can reach two conclusions. Either it sucks, and you feel like you've wasted your time, or... It could be your next big hit!! Go with your feelings.
JnK

#6

Song writting... Sometimes I'm playing guitar and, suddenly... something comes a up, like a cool sounding riff! Wow, this could be a good thing to work on. In my case, it's curious cause I start imagining almost the hole song... So I work on it for some time, it can be minutes, hours, days! In the end you can reach two conclusions. Either it sucks, and you feel like you've wasted your time, or... It could be your next big hit!! Go with your feelings.
JnK