17 December 2015
writing from riffs is OK but developing a vocal melody on top can be challenging.
if its a get up and bop track then yes Riff go for it.
But if it's a pop/country/rock intie ect song type song, I start with simple chord structure and put a melody on top, you may need to change the chords around a bit to fit the melody, then comes the words to fit the melody. then back to the chords and mess with the rhythm and riffs, and fills to compliment the vocal melody and add excitement, key look for a hook either in the verse or the chorus and milk it a bit. the hook can be musical or vocal or both. then arrange the sections of the song i.e a mid eight, intro, outro (typically: into, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, mid/lead, verse, chorus outro, get off). arrangement can be anything realy take a few songs you like and note down their arrangement, yep they are all different, I bet, unless they are Status Quo :-))
But if it's a meaningful song, then the words come first then a melody and from the melody you take key notes from the beginning of bars and pop a suitable chord structure (maybe a chord change mid way through the bar). above all the chords should support the melody and not dominate.