Playing guitar, I tend to create a whole bunch of different riffs that flow one after the other in the same key. They all sound really good together but then I wonder how I could turn them into a song. I feel I would have to cut out a bunch of my riffs so that I could make a structured song and this is what seems to stop me from turning them into one. Another thing that worries me is that if I were to just turn them all into one long song or a whole album of songs, is that they would start to sound repetitive all being in the same key but they all seem to flow so well together at the same time. What are some options I should consider so that I can utilize all my riffs to their full potential in the creation of songs or albums?

  • (Never stopped Pearl Jam... XD) Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 14:53
  • 1
    1. Songs are much more than a bunch of riffs. 2. Play some in different keys, I'm sure they don't all have to be in the same key.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 15:40
  • I understand but I'm saying they seem to be like an endless string of ever changing riffs, I have many in different keys but the ones that go together are generally in the same key. so if you have say 25 different progressions or melody's that all go together how can you turn that into a structured song, when usually progressions don't change very often in a given song maybe 5 times, or even if I was being progressive 25 is a lot. I know if I were to take 5 of them that wouldn't make up a whole song but it would be the meat of it and I would add accordingly. just confused where to start is all
    – Kman Haze
    Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


You could use all of them in one song. Or you could write one song with each riff. Or somewhere in between.

If you feel you would need to cut some to make a structured song then that is what you should do. You aren't losing them - just keeping them for use in another song.

While it is handy having riffs, remember that songs are much more than a riff, as Tim said, and in my experience, one of the best ways to figure out how to use them is by jamming with likeminded musicians who can respond to riffs or hooks and run with them to develop them with you into songs.

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