Originally Posted by Disco King
At the same time, I feel like part of the reason I want to use some less common scales and extended chords is because I'm not a good enough songwriter to make something unique out of the standard stuff, so I wanna write a song using a Byzantine scale or something because that's an instant ticket to making something sound different. Sometimes I think about how the vast majority of music I like uses the same major scale and triads and pentatonic scale, and how rock music doesn't tend to stray very far from the rudiments of classical theory and blues, and yet the music still sounds unique and interesting to me. If I were a better songwriter, I could probably also do something unique and interesting with the standard toolkit, but I am usually so bored with anything I come up with that I can't even bring myself to finish writing any songs.
Yeah, I think I need to learn the discipline to learn songs all the way through. I'll pick a song I like and want to learn, will learn bits and pieces of them, and will get bored from working on the same song, and then will file it away with the intention of coming back to it later, but will never just finish the job. There are very few songs I have in my "repertoire," so if I were sitting around a campfire holding a guitar, I would probably have nothing to play.
I have hit a total block when it comes to songwriting. I have between 50-100 "ideas" that I have recorded, like little parts of songs, chord progressions. I struggle with the same thing you are describing; my tastes are mostly fairly simple rock and folk music, and when I listen to music that is good to me, I never sit there and think damn this is the same four chords as a thousand other songs and it's a typical pop melody and it's in 4/4 time, how boring." But when I write, these things hound me. It all feels very stale to me. Sometimes I hit something in particular and I "know" it is good, but it rarely happens with whole songs, usually just little pieces. Even when I do manage to do something I believe is compelling on guitar, it's even harder for me to match it with a good vocal melody, which is weird because I'm a better singer... but my melodies sound very very unoriginal and generic.
Do you sing? I would never be able to learn songs through and not get amazingly bored if I couldn't sing to them. That's like the part that connects me to the guitar I feel like. Also, in a campfire type setting or whenever you play for others, I have found that people will react more positively to you if you sing even if you are bad. It feels nice getting praised for doing something as simple as singing and playing a song, and this has always been a big motivator for me.