View Full Version : Constructing a song

11-23-2004, 07:32 AM
Hey Everybody - Quick Question.

Often I find to be stuck in songwriting along with my band. More or less my question is how do you tie all the stuff together, like verse and chorus, bridge section... How do the chord progressions work together. Heres an example...... If I come up with a riff that sounds good, we usually would base the song around that riff and come up with other sections to acompany that riff, like with another section maybe the same scale but like an octive above the original riff. Does this seem like a bad approach ?

Because I don't understand Theory as well as I would like to, I think thats a major part of the problem. I figure anybody can come up with a few good riffs but how do I get it all to flow together ? Should I be taking lessons specifically on music theory ?

See .......I'm watching Battle for ozzfest yesterday and these cats are writing acoustic songs that all seem to fit together in one day and the singing flows and everything, and I'm sitting here stuck on one thought. Please help, any advise or information is greatly appreciated. Let me know if theres any confusion on anything. :D

The Spliggity Splot
11-23-2004, 08:22 AM
learn scales and see which chords are in the same key

11-23-2004, 01:49 PM
What a great response.

Try to think of how you would want the song to flow form there. Do not immediately go to your guitar. Sit down and think what you want the song to do. Hear it in your head and then try to put it into action on the neck. Do not give up on a song that could have a lot of potential. "A lot of potentially great songs die on the guitar neck."

11-23-2004, 01:53 PM
**** thats so true coldfire. well one way to do it is break down all the individual parts of the song and start imagining everything all the instruments r doing. thats what i do. except i think of guitars and drums more. im a guitar player but i do have like a drummers mind so thats what works for me. try breaking it down and thinking of how u want it to change

11-23-2004, 03:42 PM
Try and stick in a tempo change, but be careful.....some sound good, some sound terrible

Listen to Kyuss for smooth tempo changes :thumb:

11-23-2004, 10:58 PM
I will give it a try for sure. Thanks everybody for the help, advise and quick responses.


The Digital Pimp
11-23-2004, 11:29 PM
Ok here's how my band goes about making songs (this pattern isn't always followed though, sometimes we might have a stroke of genius or something)

1. Main guitar riff/lead part is written, then the chorus
2. Lead singer tries to hum a good tune to the riffs while they're played over and over again (in my experience it is often easier to write lyrics once you have the mood of the music to write to)
3. All the while, I (the drummer) think about a basic beat that would fit the riff, and the bassist does the same for a bass riff, and then start trying to add that to the main riff.
4. We keep looping until we think we've found a decent verse and chorus sound. Lead singer starts scribbling down lyrics from new idead or his other ideas that fit the tune and rhythm of the vocal melody.
5. We make a bridge (somehow...) often it's just a contrasted section, eg loud/soft, slow buildup during a fast song...
6. After practicing the song structure (verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus never fails), we add all the 'fancy bits', like small time signature changes, emphasising different beats, solos, changing the riffs slightly between different verses, slowly adding parts at different times to get a building up effect..

7. Practice like crazy til the song doesnt suck :P

11-24-2004, 12:08 PM
I know there're only specific chords that can go with other chords in the same key, but how do you know which chords fit in each key?

11-24-2004, 12:55 PM
The best thing to do is just experiment, there aint really rules in music....just experiment loads and you'll come up with your own style....about a year ago I couldnt really write songs, I could write riffs and stuff but I couldnt put them together..........its really helped havin a 4-track then moving onto an 8-track as my music becomes more complex

Basically just practise your *** off + experiment

And when you're inspired, lock yourself away and write, cos you'll regret it otherwise

Winter-seed...AKA b&h
11-24-2004, 01:22 PM
find out what notes are in the key you want to play in an then u can use those and variations of thos chords.

11-24-2004, 01:31 PM
The best thing to do is just experiment, there aint really rules in music

Bullspit. There are rules to music. Only by learning them and knowing them can you effectively break them.


This is a major scale in the key of G.

By moving this pattern to different starting notes you change the key of the scale. In a major key there is harmonization. Using the notes in the scale certain triads can be formed. The note at E3 would be the ONE, the note at E5 would be the TWO and so on.

In a major key the ONE, FOUR, FIVE and EIGHT would be major and would be written as I, IV, V and I.
In a major key the TWO, THREE and SIX would be minor and would be written as ii, iii, vi.
The SEVEN would be diminished and would be written as vii*.

If you are a power chord type of dude all the major/minor/diminished talk above is kind of useless.

Certain type of chord progressions have become very pleasing to the Western ear and have become common. Some examples are:
I - V
I - IV
ii - V
I - iii
vi - IV
vii* - I

Many of these progressions can be worked togther. Some common examples are:
I - IV - I - V
ii - V - I
I - IV - ii - V
I - V - vi - IV

Hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

11-27-2004, 05:53 AM
you dont have to know all that

If you just listen to what sounds good, and store it all in your mind, pick up bits and bobs from songs, you can still do it.

12-17-2004, 01:46 AM
hey i have a quick question is a diatonic scale a major scale if not whats the difference?

12-17-2004, 10:33 AM
hey i have a quick question is a diatonic scale a major scale if not whats the difference?
Not only is this is in the completely wrong forum, but you also revived a 3-week old thread in the process! Congrats!