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Hooray for power chords... right? Wrong.


Nollykin

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Power chords are awesome. You can learn them quickly, and churn out songs with them in no time at all. Ive been doing this for quite a while. Now, it seems, I'm running in circles.

 

My problem is, that I have now written so many songs with powerchords, I'm running out of things to do with them. I find myself constantly trying to find ways to break away from the 5-8-3-1 power chord system, or variations of the type. I find myself lacking imagination to come up with NEW things.

 

My current problem is a song I'm working on where for the life of me, I can't find a guitar part that A) fits with the vocals I've written (or at least have in my head) or B) is different from the chorus. I seem to be stuck on the same thing - I cant get away from it.

 

I think the problem also lies in that the vocals are very similar to the chorus, so maybe I should change them, too.

 

Perhaps power chords arent the problem.. perhaps I just lack imagination. Hmmm...

 

Any of you guys know what I'm feeling here? Feel like you just keep writing the same song over and over? Anyone know any good ways to break out of the cycle, start writing fresh, new things?

 

Cheers,

 

Nolly

"Money, Bitchez and Cheese!"

 

http://www.playspoon.com/nollykin/files/voxline.gif

 

"I never thought about it, and I never stopped to feel -

But I didn't want you telling me just what to think was real.

 

And as simple as it comes, I only wanted to express-

...But with expression comes regret - and I don't want you hating me."

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Originally posted by Nollykin:

 

Anyone know any good ways to break out of the cycle, start writing fresh, new things?

____________________________

 

Learn lead! :wave:

 

But yeah, I know what you mean. Rhythm is my thing. I stink at lead! But, if you are finding yourself going around in circles, I would suggest learning lead. Or better yet, take some classical lessons.

 

Peace :)

"Treat your wife with honor, respect, and understanding as you live together so that you can pray effectively as husband and wife." 1 Peter 3:7

 

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Hey BiC, long time no see.

 

Yeah - true, that lead does help with variation, however my problem is that having a different lead part over the exact same rythm, or "basic chord structure" of the song, doesn't really change it enough. I want verses completely separate to choruses... I need fresh, new chord patterns. I guess eventually ityll come to me, Im just having problems getting there.

 

Just wondered if anyone had any techniques to find new chord patterns, etc, when in this sort of situation.

"Money, Bitchez and Cheese!"

 

http://www.playspoon.com/nollykin/files/voxline.gif

 

"I never thought about it, and I never stopped to feel -

But I didn't want you telling me just what to think was real.

 

And as simple as it comes, I only wanted to express-

...But with expression comes regret - and I don't want you hating me."

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Welcome back Nolly! Nice to hear from you. :)

 

I think this is a situation where maybe some lessons in chord theory would come in handy.

 

Power chords are fun but they only get you so far. It's no accident that all the nu-metal bands sound the same. Or all the pop-punk bands. It's because they only use power chords and there's only so many combinations of those that you can put together.

 

I would get a book or take some lessons. Or just get a chord dictionary and mess around until you find some things that you like.

"You never can vouch for your own consciousness." - Norman Mailer
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Listen to something completely different for a while or maybe even listening to a different instrument may inspire you.
...touched down in the land of the Delta Blues.....in the middle of the pouring rain....
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chord theory is a good place to start. inversions will unlock some cool ideas. a cool thing you can do is create a motif that repeats and have the bass change the root, or pedal a note on the bass an then change the chord inversions on top.

inversions are too cool.

welcome back Nollykin.

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Hey Nolly, WELCOME back :wave:

 

I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I just ordered a book with power chords in it 'cause I don't know ANY of them.

 

Anybody have a good source for them?

 

Dave

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Hi, Nolly. Haven't seen you here in a while!

 

If you have access to a different instrument (like a keyboard), try writing your song(s) on that. It will force you to approach things differently, and can often unlock ideas that are being held captive by falling into regular, comfortable chords & patterns on the guitar.

 

Another thing that might help: Forget about chords. Play your melody on the guitar. Then play another line to go with it (maybe a bass line, or a harmony part). Then add another and another and another until it sounds like you want it to (obviously, this will work best if you can record the lines onto your computer or something - otherwise it'll get pretty complicated to play all the parts simultaneously).

By doing this, the "chords" will work themselves out, and you can pretty much guarantee that they won't be your typical power-chords.

 

Another option is to just build your own chords. Play a note, then play one with it that you like the sound of, add one more that you like, and you have a chord. Don't worry what it's called, just use it.

 

Anything that makes you think "outside the box" a little, is bound to help you break out of your rut.

 

Good luck, and welcome back!

May all your thoughts be random!

- Neil

www.McFaddenArts.com

www.MikesGarageRocks.com

 

 

 

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This is more about the songwriting aspect of it,

but when i find my verses and choruses are getting boring i normally leave the song on standby for a while, and mess around thinking of something completely different. When i come up with another melody i try and link it in with the first idea and see if it works. If it doesn't, i just remember it anyway if its a good enough tune. You may have to move the two around a few frets but thats basically what i do when i get stuck.I hope it works okay for u, cos it has done for me a few times.

 

Oh, and chord books can be very useful too. gd luck! :thu:

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yea, whoever said chord theory, i agree

 

and, power chords can often be expanded into full chords... just use your ears and the natural harmony and vocal melody of the song

 

i like to do this with like ramones songs and stuff, then play em acoustic

 

peace!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

steppin in a rhythm to a kurtis blow/who needs a beat when your feet just go

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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