View Full Version : Acoustic Guitar Song Writing tips?

09-27-2004, 08:21 AM
When you write a song how do you do it. Do you just find a bunch of chords that sound good together or is there acertain method to writing the song? Which comes first lyrics or chords. Examples you can give me are always good

09-27-2004, 08:49 AM
everyone has their own way. learning some music theory will aid you greatly.
i start out with whatever key i am gonna write the song in.
Example: key of E major
in the key of E major, you can use these chords:
E F#m G#m A B C#m D#dim
you can also use variations of these chords, like m7, maj7, 7, add9, add2, whatever.
this is all music theory.
if you don't know that...yeah, just find chords that go together. then i hum a melody. then i put words in instead of the melody.

09-27-2004, 10:39 AM
its a case of watch and learn with me, i suppose i learn theory from learning songs by other bands, then using what i've learnt to write my own stuff. works for me.

09-27-2004, 09:15 PM
I just play something I've done before and maybe find a new twist on it and I just let it evolve from that. I usually find myself holding back however, especially on lyrics and I don't know why. Don't listen to my advice :lol:

10-27-2004, 09:14 PM
this is a good topic, coz im not a guitarist, but im the lyricist of the band.

10-27-2004, 09:39 PM
this is a good topic, coz im not a guitarist, but im the lyricist of the band.
:lol: same here! The guitarist is effing useless a writing songs! :lol:

10-29-2004, 02:06 AM
:lol: same here! The guitarist is effing useless a writing songs! :lol:

One word for you man: SCHOOL

Try it sometime :thumb:

11-11-2004, 03:56 PM
write from experience

11-12-2004, 06:31 AM
Yes, well i am rhythm guitar and lyricist in the band... the way i write songs is this:

First: Is it a happy or sad song? Happy = Major Key; Sad = Minor Key

Next: What should the key be? in lower metal songs i think E or G are good ideas, in softer songs i prefer C or A,

Next: Do you have lyrics? if you start with the lyrics then try to incorporate those rhythms into the songs...

Before that: Do you have any licks or riffs lying about that are not in use, try those out with your lyrics before attempting to write anythign new

When writing new material: Pick out the chords from the key chosen above and strum them a few times round, try to incorporate the rhythms of the lyrics. Repeat untill you have some ideas

Next: Meet up with your band and jam with it untill it sounds good and the lyrics fit

Next: keep jamming and improving, adding, taking away, when you write down a song for the first time, that doesnt mean it's done, you can never have enough first drafts.

Next: Enjoy your song

11-12-2004, 07:24 AM
^^^^ good post

I have been writing alot acoustically lately, and my method seems to be...

I will come up with a cool chord progression and just start freestyling words and melodies over the progression.

When I find something I like, I try to figure out what key it's in. Some simple progressions could fit several keys, so try to mess with other chord shapes untill something seems to fit, then I try to freestyle something that fits over the next progression.

I might do this process untill I have at least 3 progressions that fit (verse, bridge, chorus). Then I arrange the song and play through it a couple times while still freestyling. I will record this step.

When I am satisfied in melodic structure, I write the lyrics.

I think freestyling over chord progressions will improve your singing and ability to ad lib tremendously...

11-12-2004, 12:20 PM
^^^^ good post


11-12-2004, 12:48 PM


11-12-2004, 02:05 PM
If you are looking for generic, simple acoustic songs to start off, here are some suggestions:

a. Chord progessions - some really simple ones sound good on acoustic guitar. Here are the ones I like best, but there are countless possible variations:


I like those, but again there are tons of chord progessions you can try, those ones are very common.

b. Once you figure out your pattern, play it over and over. Try different strumming patterns (ex: a simple 4/4 DUDU, a nice 6/8 strumming etc.)

c. Keep experimenting, then start singing. If you have lyrics already, sing these to see if they fit with the progession. Otherwise, just sing random words or melodies to see what fits.

d. When you hit upon a phrase/line that you really like, write it down, and continue with this pattern. Eventually you will have a song

Of course, this is just one of a multitude of ways of writing acoustic songs, but this seems simple enough. Hope that helps somewhat :thumb: