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Shred Academy - Free Guitar Lesson by Fredrik Pihl
Do I Write A Good Song?
do I write the perfect song? How do I put it all together? Well,
that’s a question many musicians ask themselves. In this
column I’ll try to answer that question from my point of
First of all I would like to point out that there are no right
or wrong ways of thinking when you are composing. Writing songs
is a very individual thing. What sounds good for me might not
sound good for you. So the first thing you should do is to listen
carefully on the song you are writing. If it sounds good in your
head, then go for it. Whether people think it’s good or
bad is just opinion, but what matters is that you like what you
guitar players we usually start with a riff or a melody that pops
up in our heads. Then the problem always seems to occur when we
start to build a song from that riff. This is a thing that I struggle
with a lot when writing songs, whether if it is with my band or
my own music. And one thing I have learned is to never force yourself
to come up with something. Let it come naturally or it won’t
sound natural. If you can’t come up with something, give
it some time. Go do something completely different, and then pick
up your guitar again. And maybe then you have the solution.
question I have seen many times is the “Ear vs. theory”
question. “Do I need to know a lot of musical theory to
write my songs”? My answer would be NO. Knowing theory will
help you to communicate with other musicians, and maybe help you
with some things as chord changes etc. You can't write a song
ONLY by theory; usually it won't come out as music. So my experience
is that music theory will help you, but it won’t write the
song for you. So go with your ears and judgement.
Are there any advices on how to approach song writing? Well, as
I mentioned before song writing is very individual. But here are
some things that I have found out during my years of playing.
And who knows, maybe these advice can be helpful for you too…
Never force yourself to write a song. Take the time you need to
make it the way you really want it to be. Writing under stress
is not a good thing… not for me anyway.
Write as much as possible using your head, heart and soul. The
music should begin in your brain and end with your fingers, not
the other way around. Think more, play less!
Use your judgement wisely. For example: If you are writing an
instrumental guitar song, it’s very easy trying to put all
your cool sounding licks in that very song. But some of those
licks may not fit into the music you are doing. I have heard many
guitar players that write their own songs doing this typical mistake.
You should use your judgment, and maybe save some of those cool
licks for later. There will be other times.
If you are stuck in the middle of a song and don’t know
what to play next, try shifting sounds. If you play with distortion,
switch to a clean sound. Maybe that’s what you’re
looking for. If not, put the guitar away…. Go out and enjoy
your life a bit, then try again.
And finally, there are no right or wrong ways when writing a song.
So never think along those lines. Do what your heart tells you
to do… and just do it.