are you a riff writer who builds off an initial idea or do you actual have song ideas in your head that you have to figure out on an instrument? are you one of those rare people that actually write the words first?
I will get an idea in my head and then usually have to figure it out on the guitar. I'm a strict chord guy and I basically just picked up guitar so I could be proficient enough to write whatever came to mind. I took a couple years of theory classes and I can play by ear so its never been to hard to figure something out.
I usually get a rhythm in my head and then grab my guitar and try to get a riff from that. Or i listen to the other guitar player in my band and come up with changes or even harmonies off of what he is doing.
I have three methods that work, if not I can't force
it or it sounds stupid and uninspired. The first is
the best, but it depends on the muse I guess - I'll
start off with a melody in my head that turns into a
few lines and then run home and figure it out before I
forget (and I've forgotten way more than I like to
think about). Once I have the melody and progression
down I'll either finish writing the lyrics right away
by playing the song over and over again, or let it
simmer in the back of my head until I come up with
something good. The second way starts with a rythmn,
and the only way to remember it is to make a sentence
of nonsensical words that fit the pattern, sonething
Sometimes that works out okay. THe third is just
sitting down and coming up with riffs, which is always
fun but never usually goes anywhere.
The above reminds of the old saying - the guy who
talks the most does the least...