Undecided about my song

Hi! I want to start writing songs. I have a classical guitar which i have been using for 2 years since i started playing (almost 3).
I wrote my lyrics, been very undecided with those too. Changed them a little. Now it’s better, but i have a hard time putting the chords over the melody because everytime i try i change the melody and the chords.
How can i finally decide myself on a melody and the chords.
And it’s also a little frustrating because i can’t really play all over the neck to make the chords sound really cool like john mayer( for ex.) does.
Any advices for overall songwriting would ve very appreciated.
Thanks in advance and sorry for any mistakes (i am not native)

1 Like

Hi @Noobix, it is hard to give advice without hearing what you currently have but a note on John Mayer sounding cool by using all over the neck:

I think the thinking is more productive the other way around - John Mayer does not sound cool because he plays all over the neck. He plays all over the neck because the sound he wants requires him to use all of the neck. There are a lot of guitarists that sound amazing with using a small portion of the neck, and there are others who use all of the neck but sounds pretty bad (like me :))

We usually think about different positions on the guitar not because different positions sound better, but because the guitar’s anatomy makes us think that way. A probably better approach is to think about chords in terms of extensions and inversions. For e.g. playing a D7 chord might sometimes sound cooler than just a D chord. And if this chord is in between an E chord and a G chord, then playing that chord in its second inversion (which means playing an F# as the lowest note) may sound cooler thanks to playing E - F# - G (a nice ascension) rather than E - D - G in the bass. You would then go figure out how to play a D with an F# base on the guitar, which would probably require you to use a part of the neck you do not normally use.

I would suggest trying (or directly writing) your chord progressions on a keyboard/piano rather than a guitar. That way, you do not think about positions but directly think about which notes, and in which order you want them. You can then translate them back to guitar and be surprised how much of the neck you are using.

1 Like

Thank you foe your answer! Should i write the chord progression first or the lyrics?

I do not think any of these options is a “should”. Both are valid methods.

1 Like

Great advice! I recently checked out this lesson: Play Piano In 15 Minutes. There’s no video, but
it goes very nicely with this video about easily finding chords in different keys. I plan to use these ideas myself next time I work on songwriting.

It doesn’t matter if you do the lyrics or the melody first. I’d go with whatever comes to you first. As for your question about how to decide on the actual song, I don’t think anyone can really answer that question without knowing a lot more about you, and even then it would be hard. I’m wondering if you’re overthinking this or if you’re taking the process too seriously. One thing that has helped me get past a “block” is just moving on to something else. What about writing a different song using a fun technique like a lyrics generator? If you have a bit of a tune in your head, hum it into a recorder. If you don’t, listen to some music and try to pick out the parts that you like best. What do you like about it? You, of course, won’t want to copy the exact riffs, but you can certainly find inspiration from your favorite artists! If you can just get going by writing ANY song, it might be easier when you come back to the one you’ve been working on.

Thanks so much guys. I guess i may be overthinking it, yk trying to make it THE BEST song. I am going to try all your advices, thank you!

What (or how much) do you know about music? Do you know the chords in a key? Do you know the major scale? There are no real pre-requisites for song writing, but knowing these things can help when you get stuck. At a minimum I would suggest getting I-IV-V chord progressions under your fingers:

I know the major scales and chorda in a key, how they are formed. I am actually trying to make my song using this. I want it to be in G major and i also want to have an improvisation part using the g major scale.

Try the G major pentatonic to start. Over the D chord either switch to the G minor pentatonic of D major pentatonic. This will eliminate the notes that don’t sound quite right when soloing.
Map the chord tones in the chords you’re using in the song and target them. It sound like a lot but will get the sounds of the chord tones into you ears and become easier the more you do it.

1 Like

I think you are totally over thinking it.

One of my favourite songwriters described how as a beginner songwriter he wrote many many songs. And nearly all of them were rubbish (in his mind). So he just kept writing and trying and writing and trying.

This song you are writing - I say with 100% certainty - will not be the best song you can write.
Unless you never write another in your life.

I also say with certainty that until and unless you finish it, it won’t even be a song that you have written, just some fragments and ideas.

You simply have to work it - play some chords ( G, Am, Bm, C, D Em ) and try singing your words.

If you want more help people here need to at minimum hear what you have … either melody or chord progression or lyric.


Hi Ionita, my best advice is to keep things simple until you get the hang of it. I have only posted one original here and it almost wrote itself. The lyrics came into my head one day and the chords just seemed to follow once I decided on the key. I think I only used 3 chords in the entire song. Original song - This is your time

As Richard has said don’t overthink it. I watched the Tom Pettty documentary wildflowers a while back and he said that the best songs he ever wrote just popped right out of his head in a few minutes. Write and play what’s in your head as if you try to over complicate it then you run the risk of the song not sounding natural. Good luck and look forward to hearing your song!

This reminds me of the first song I have written for a friend’s birthday… Sounds really horrible :smiling_face_with_tear:

Good on you, you are on your way! :guitar: :sunglasses:

That’s not exactly how I put it :laughing: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: