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RGS Live #17 | How to Create a Song on Guitar

Happy New Year and welcome to the first RGS Live of 2019! Today’s lesson is a treasure trove of tips and tools to utilize when creating your own songs on the guitar. Make sure to check out the awesome questions submitted by RGS students and live viewers.

How to Create A Song on Guitar?

  • Two Ways to approach…

    • Create a melody first

    • Create chord progression first

    • Use both

  • How to create a melody on guitar

    • Sing something that sounds good and record

      • iPhone, digital recorder, computer

      • Figure out how to play on guitar

    • Start with guitar

      • Play around until something sounds good

      • Start with a scale

      • Record when you find something you like so you don’t forget it.

  • Use an existing melody as a starting point

    • Copy the melody and alter it

  • How to create a chord progression

    • Start with a common chord pattern

    • Play around until you find something you like

  • Record the progression and play around with the melody

  • Tips:

    • Use Audacity to record both melody and chords

    • Get good at using the record feature on your phone

      • Capture melodies when you hear them in your head on your phone

    • Collect short phrases and combine them

    • Learn to love revising your song

    • Learn basic Song Structure

      • Verse, Chorus, Bridge

    • Ear training is good: practice listening to a short phrase and play it on your guitar.

    • Share with others in a safe place

Be patient and persistent. The more you do it the better you get.

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Questions Asked During the Session:

[55:21] How should you decide what genre of music your song lyrics should go to? And then how do you start putting it to music?

[20:42] Ear training seems so hard in the beginning, is there any easy way to start to identify any note on the fretboard?

[25:28] I have original songs that I play with the chords. How do I find the melody to them? Is there an easy way to do it or do I have to try to use trial-and-error till I find the right notes? It could take forever!

[27:05] How many notes of melody can you duplicate before it is considered plagiarism of another song?

[28:51] How do I get all three fingers to move from one chord to another?

[31:25] I've really got discouraged in learning how to play the guitar. I haven't picked it up for months. I just can't seem to get motivated. When I did practice it seemed I was just spinning my wheels and not progressing. I'd like to start all over again, give me some encouragement to motivate me.

[34:50] Problem with bar chords.

[36:32] Still having trouble keeping on the beat when using strum patterns. Are different strum patterns better for 4/4 time than 6/8 time?

[42:12] If it is possible, Can you please talk about how to play a guitar solo in a jam group.

[45:48] “I am getting older by the day. I want to be able to change chords faster so I can at least play some songs on the guitar. I practice different chord progressions but just doesn't seem to get fast enough to keep in time.” AND “I have tried to play off and on for years but my biggest challenge was the transition from one chord to the next”

[48:10] What would be the next logical scale to learn following the C scale?

[50:42] It is easy for me to write lyrics and incorporate song structure into them. But it is hard for me to write the melody and chords for them. How to overcome this?

[53:19] If one wanted intensive instruction, all at one time, in guitar, keyboard and voice where would you get this on a crash course basis.

[53:34] Should I practice with a friend who keeps turning my volume down, as he doesn't like mistakes.

[56:40] I find the D string is hardest to get ringing out clearly as it seems to land in the finger joint always.

[57:20] How many times do you need to repeat something, like chord changes till muscle memory becomes permanent?

[59:36] Can you speak to how different shapes for the same chord (G) can help you transition from one chord to another. G can be played 3 diff ways, so going from G to C is easier.

[1:02:04] Do you have any experience with flamenco or classical guitar?

[1:04:47] I have picked up things I never knew since I am still learning to play guitar so I thank you & what I remember I will try in practice. Is there anywhere that is free to go for going over stuff?


Audacity Website (free download)

Tomas Michaud music (iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby)

Bar Chord Exercises

For members of Real Guitar Success, I to play bar chords effortlessly I recommend Bar Chord Mastery Bootcamp.

Not a member yet? No problem. See what is possible at Real Guitar Success.

5 Most Useful Guitar Scales

Tomas Michaud YouTube Link

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