Acceptance of reality

WhiteShadow

Active member
Not sure how many of you can relate to this, but I just need to vent for a minute.

So, I’ve never been able to write songs. I’ve got good chops on guitar, I’ll give myself that. I’ve got killer technique, so I don’t want to sell myself short. But I’ve tried for so long to write songs, even going so far as to try to just completely rip off other songs, and I still can’t generate anything but complete trash.

I believe it’s a gift you either have or you don’t. Who else here is in the same boat?
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
Not sure how many of you can relate to this, but I just need to vent for a minute.

So, I’ve never been able to write songs. I’ve got good chops on guitar, I’ll give myself that. I’ve got killer technique, so I don’t want to sell myself short. But I’ve tried for so long to write songs, even going so far as to try to just completely rip off other songs, and I still can’t generate anything but complete trash.

I believe it’s a gift you either have or you don’t. Who else here is in the same boat?
I think in all honesty, we are our own worst critics. We write something, and tend to get embarrassed and dump it before it amounts to anything. So, IMO you should finish it or even if you think it's trash, it may not be to others.
Just a thought.
 

Dyllheaven88

Well-known member
I can only write my own riffs my add is too bad to sit down and learn a song front to back … the good part is questionable haha
 

Drew

Member
If you don't have a great gift for putting melodies over chords, it's about impossible to write good vocal songs.

Some people hear chord changes and then original and interesting melodies just flow right out of them.

If you write chord changes, record them and then listen back without a guitar in your hand and then just sing non-sense sounds until you come up with a melody and the timing. You can add lyrics later--but that's a whole other topic...

If you lack this skill, find someone who is good at the part you are not (usually a good singer) and work with them.
 

Chubbs

Well-known member
I was listening to an interview with Billy Duffy recently, he said he never really knew what songs would take off. So what you think is good and what others think is good is two different things. Everyone thinks their stuff sucks, and a lot of the time it does. Especially if your composing everything yourself. A nice jam sesh fixes a lot of creativity issues if you can.
 

Ventura

Well-known member
Not sure how many of you can relate to this, but I just need to vent for a minute.

So, I’ve never been able to write songs. I’ve got good chops on guitar, I’ll give myself that. I’ve got killer technique, so I don’t want to sell myself short. But I’ve tried for so long to write songs, even going so far as to try to just completely rip off other songs, and I still can’t generate anything but complete trash.

I believe it’s a gift you either have or you don’t. Who else here is in the same boat?
I literally keep my iPhone handy on "voice memo" so I can talk-sing melodies on top of chords that are in my head one the fly and get them down before they flutter outta my mind and I forget.

Sounds crazy but I have these foundational sections whirring through my mind - always - with guitar in hand - smack 'em down - record - whatever... Then outta the blue this sick riff or hook comes in and I KNOW I have to get it down cuz it's the key.

A lot of the time I read my lyrics - know the tone I'm trying to convey - figure out where the vocals wanna drift to and from, and from there, start mucking about with the melodies. Tonnes of my shit is all over the map - from Ween and Zappa'esque to straight up dirty thumping grinds (AIC) - when I get stuck?? I noodle or practice different scales/modes in key and and see where the notes go if I experiment.

I can't say I "write good songs" - but I can say I know a damn solid hook-meets-riff when I hear it or think it or play it.

And I also try to avoid being formulaic - which I think 80% of the bands I've grown to love over the years have simply become. They know what sounds great so they keep doing it - I keep listening to it because it's similar to "their other stuff" and therefore it's within my comfort zone of "happy". But is it all excellent song writing?? Likely not - it started with maybe 5-10 great songs (or whatever) and they (whatever bands) just kept growing on those songs with the same ingredients just mixed up.

Bottom line I DO know - most of the best songs I've grown to love, also tend to be the simplest from a birds eye view (if that makes sense - like, stepping back for a moment and truly listening to what's happening in the song...it's often not rocket science, just a fucking groovin heavy foundational bedrock with a sick hook and a sweet few note melody - boom - done).
 

zendra

Active member
think about it this way...

if you stop now., while you're composing shit...what chances are there that you ever learn the craft ?

if you keep going...eventualy you're bound to either get better or cristalize and recognise the suction in place where your talent should be !

you can always give up but at least it will be informed decision !!

maybe you suck so much that it is 'that' whats holding us all on this planet and NOT gravity...then again...maybe you just didn't put enough effort in order to figure out tricks of the trade and to develop those 'muscles' that are needed to go that distance composing...

i was told once (by classicaly trained muso) that after Bach there is nothing new to play anyway...all the sequences we used up....so...

on the other hand, have you heard Beatles in Hamburg ? 10 yrs later....different stuff all toghether...
 

easstudios

Active member
I think recognising what you like and what you don’t like is half of the battle. It means you have taste and can recognise if something is shit.

There’s also a strong possibility you’re being way too hard on yourself - I bet loads of bands and guitarists you like have TONS of riffs that you’d probably discard, but just keep the song moving along. If you really want to write, just write anything and don’t worry too much - you’ll filter the worst ideas subconsciously and ultimately writing anything at all is better than nothing. Once you have something written, you just try and beat the previous one.

I can TOTALLY relate, but I think it’s mostly a mental battle - the only way to improve is to keep doing it. I think some people are born with a talent of being able to get there faster, but I think everyone has the ability to improve. Also, if you haven’t then try writing with other people - often you’ll cover over each others flaws and weaknesses and come up with something that neither would have made on their own.
 

Findthetone1

Well-known member
I’‘m a mediocre player that a late friend once coined me as a tap of endless riffs. I also tend to write a lot of lyrics. But a song front to back without a band? Never done it, but it is my next goal as a player.
 

Tone Junkie

Well-known member
Record cool riffs.

Get a basic drum machine or use a drum rhythm off YouTube-lots out there.

Get together with like minds.

Song composition is almost like learning to play guitar. Takes time an d effort. Sometimes it just comes out other times hard work.

IMO these days people have goldfish attention spans. No Rush 20 minute songs.
Get a hook rhythm and build on that.

Main riff. Bridge change chorus main riff etc.

Put it this way. When you hum the riff and it’s catchy your on to something.

Think simple. Pantera Walk. Big time hook riff.
 

lessarti

Well-known member
I totally get what OP is saying, it can be tough and we are our own worst critics. I personally think I am a great song writer and can make great sounding catchy lead/harmonies that work well for the song. My vocalist tells me all the time that I am the only person he knows that can write good songs without it sounding like trash.
I'm trying not to sound conceited, but you either "have it or you don't", it is almost a nature vs nurture... hard to explain but I always just have these melodies pop into my head, like I have no absolute control over whenit comes, it is literally like I am merely a conduit and universe says "OH hey, we got some cool things to throw your way bro'"
You guys tell ME, take a few spins of my stuff, I know shameless plug but I am seriously offering up my stuff for those curious.

https://soundcloud.com/tim-lessard%2Fpromises
 
Top