How to Make a Guitar Theme Song

Knowledge of the guitar and its techniques are necessary to create an effective theme song. The instrument range and idiomatic practices common to the guitar should be evident throughout the song; otherwise, the song will lack specificity to the guitar and be playable on any instrument. Additionally, following guidelines for the creation of the melody makes the creation of your guitar theme much simpler. The process of creating a guitar theme requires creative thought and experimentation.

Step 1 Learn to use your ideas in musical notation instead of using tablature (written-out fingering). Tablature is fine when an entire ensemble is playing and the guitarist needs to improvise chords; however, tablature is not effective for creating rhythms needed for a theme.

Step 2 Study chords specifically used on the guitar, such as the G6 chord that consists of a G, B, D, G, B and E. Learn about other guitar chords that appear commonly in guitar music, you will need these to set chords to your theme.

Step 3 Write a theme by using stepwise motion and experimenting on the guitar to come up with a theme. Some good guidelines are to use mostly stepwise motion and avoid large skips. If you do use a large skip, don’t continue the skip in the same direction, move in the opposite direction after the skip. This will help create a suitable contour.

Step 4 Add chords to the theme by looking at the main beats of the melody. Use a chord that fits two characteristics: Have one note that corresponds to a melody note and at least one tone in common with the previous chord. Common tone progressions allow you to write logical chord progressions without much effort.

Step 5 Create a memorable guitar riff to differentiate your song from other songs. A guitar riff is a short musical idea that is easily recognizable by its rhythm and melody. A riff may contain only two notes as long as it is memorable. Simple riffs usually end up being more memorable than complex ones. A good way to write a riff is to tap out a rhythm first, and once the rhythm is established, add pitch to the rhythm.

Remember that when it comes to memorable themes, complexity is not always better. Warnings


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