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Loop, thefyn, other songwriting dudes: songwriting advice

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  • Loop, thefyn, other songwriting dudes: songwriting advice

    So, I've gotten better at listening to songs and separating out the different parts. Parts I used to assume were guitar are actually drums or base or keyboard, or they ARE guitar but a different track.



    I'm still not great at it but I'm getting better, being a conscious listener.



    Anyway, the question I have for songwriting dudes is this: How do you come up with the guitar parts that aren't the main riff. The back ground stuff or the rhythm stuff?



    I can write (badly) stuff like a main riff or powerchord rhythm stuff, but the secondary stuff.....how the hell do you come up with that? Is it just a matter of listening to a bunch of music and practicing a lot and then you eventually learn to write out what you hear in your head?



    Any advice for a noob (outside of practicing which I always need to do more of).
    Originally Posted by TheEternal


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    Originally Posted by Neilrocks25


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  • #2
    I do a lot of songwriting for my band and drums and bass help a lot for writing verses and stuff
    😉

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    • #3






      Quote Originally Posted by SexWithRobots
      View Post

      I do a lot of songwriting for my band and drums and bass help a lot for writing verses and stuff




      Like...how does it help? How do you get to the point where you can have the drums and bass and you write the verses? Like...do you flesh out the basic chord progression and then when the drums and bass are doing their thing work out the specifics?
      Originally Posted by TheEternal


      Can't you just let Jesus melt your face?









      Originally Posted by Neilrocks25


      life's too short not to eat bee's




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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by Ovid9
        View Post

        Like...how does it help? How do you get to the point where you can have the drums and bass and you write the verses? Like...do you flesh out the basic chord progression and then when the drums and bass are doing their thing work out the specifics?




        Everyone writes differently...But what I do is I come up with a riff, and I hear it in my head how I want it to sound. Once I work that section out, be it the verse or chorus, I write drums and bass to it as I hear it in my head...Then I listen to that several times until I get an idea of where it should go from there.



        If I want the guitars to drop out, I focus on a bass and drum line that can carry the main riff...Doesn't have to be the same riff the guitar plays, but something that matches up well with the rhythm/chords of the songs. At that point I'll decide if I want to add some light guitars over it for effect, or if the bass and drums carry it enough.



        I build my songs up that way...I think the important thing is to hear what you want it to sound like and then construct the song in that manner.



        A good way to do it is to come up with your main riff, and then come up with a chorus/verse riff that's different. Get a few riffs and start building it up.
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        • #5
          I normally record the main riffs, then jam along to figure out the overdubs.



          Now keep in mind you don't HAVE to have any background parts. If you hear your music in terms of power chords only, then just play that. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple.
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          • #6
            Thanks guys, hopefully this thread continues to develop a bit.



            Pretty much what I'm reading is "Learn your guitar better. Learn how to make the sounds you're hearing in your head better."



            A lot of stuff I write is simplistic because my guitar roots are in butchering punk songs when I first picked up guitar. But, there's other stuff in there that I'm just not fluent enough on my guitar to get out. At least not in a remotely timely manner.



            But this is good stuff and gives me lots to think on and work with. Thanks dudes!
            Originally Posted by TheEternal


            Can't you just let Jesus melt your face?









            Originally Posted by Neilrocks25


            life's too short not to eat bee's




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            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by Ovid9
              View Post

              Thanks guys, hopefully this thread continues to develop a bit.



              Pretty much what I'm reading is "Learn your guitar better. Learn how to make the sounds you're hearing in your head better."



              A lot of stuff I write is simplistic because my guitar roots are in butchering punk songs when I first picked up guitar. But, there's other stuff in there that I'm just not fluent enough on my guitar to get out. At least not in a remotely timely manner.



              But this is good stuff and gives me lots to think on and work with. Thanks dudes!




              You'd be surprised man...Real surprised. If you hear something in your head that you don't think you could play...Get your guitar out and play it really freaking slow. Figure out the notes, then the timing, and then just see if it will work for you!



              As Billy said, if your songs just consist of power chords, who's to say you need anything else? With roots in Punk, I think that would be perfectly acceptable. Now if you said you were going for some Pink Floyd stuff, and all you heard in your head was power chords, I'd question what Pink Floyd you'd been listening to
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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by KCTigerChief
                View Post

                You'd be surprised man...Real surprised. If you hear something in your head that you don't think you could play...Get your guitar out and play it really freaking slow. Figure out the notes, then the timing, and then just see if it will work for you!



                As Billy said, if your songs just consist of power chords, who's to say you need anything else? With roots in Punk, I think that would be perfectly acceptable. Now if you said you were going for some Pink Floyd stuff, and all you heard in your head was power chords, I'd question what Pink Floyd you'd been listening to




                Actually pink floyd is one of the bands that really has helped me appreciate the textures in music. In high school I said some absolutely idiotic things about Pink Floyd (hey, I'm sure we all said idiotic things about music stuff in high school). I honestly cannot fathom being able to write music that amazingly full.



                The play it slow thing is good. Of course, I play everything slow, but I know what you're saying.
                Originally Posted by TheEternal


                Can't you just let Jesus melt your face?









                Originally Posted by Neilrocks25


                life's too short not to eat bee's




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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by Ovid9
                  View Post

                  Actually pink floyd is one of the bands that really has helped me appreciate the textures in music. In high school I said some absolutely idiotic things about Pink Floyd (hey, I'm sure we all said idiotic things about music stuff in high school). I honestly cannot fathom being able to write music that amazingly full.



                  The play it slow thing is good. Of course, I play everything slow, but I know what you're saying.




                  I would love to see how many actual tracks are in a Pink Floyd session...**************** is amazing. It's also very good stuff to listen to for songwriting in my opinion
                  My project: http://www.myspace.com/humanconspiracymusic

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                  • #10
                    are you jamming with a drummer or by yourself?

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                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by RaceU4her
                      View Post

                      are you jamming with a drummer or by yourself?




                      Currently just playing with myself. Er, by myself. Hopefully have a bassit & other guitarist to jam with next month.



                      Drummers are scarce around here. Ok, drummers that don't want to play deathcore and actually have a space to practice their drums in are rare around here.



                      Seriously, I got 3 emails from "drummers" saying "If you have a place for me to set up my drums cause they're currently in storage..." er...what are you practicing on now? They're probably fine, but no, sorry, I DON'T have a place for you to set up your drums I have a tiny 8x10 corner of my basement full of my crap.
                      Originally Posted by TheEternal


                      Can't you just let Jesus melt your face?









                      Originally Posted by Neilrocks25


                      life's too short not to eat bee's




                      Good Transactions

                      Peavey Bravo 112, Acoustic Control Corp 150 (x2), Peavey VTM120, Mesa Metal Grille Halfback 2x12, Tubeworks vert 2x12, Peavey 1810
                      Godin SD24, Squier Standard Strat, Ibanez "Millenium" Destroyer, Agile 3100, Squier Classic Vibe Tele, Peavey Reactor

                      Fix Congress First

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                      • #12
                        I hear the music in my head and then try to write it down as best I can. Usually I don't succeed but it comes out close. Bass, drums and vocals I leave to the others to figure out, usually they come up with something more interesting I ever could.
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                        • #13
                          I like to start with lyrics and a melody, sung along to simple chords on an acoustic. I'll record that, then use it as the basis of the arrangement. At that stage I'll have ideas for solo sections and riffs etc but not fleshed out in any real way. I also play drums so i usually know what i want them to do. At some point early on, usually once the drums and extra vocL harmonies are recorded, I'll mute the acoustic so it's basically just the vocal melody and drums, along with maybe a riff recorded here and there that I think is integral to the song.



                          After that, I just start improvising the rest. I like working this way because you end up doing stuff that works and supports the vocal melody, it makes you think in terms of harmonies, counterpoint, complimenting textures etc rather than starting with block chords and building up from there. It also lets you see that sometimes it's ok to be very sparse.



                          I guess it's a bit like painting, the vocal usually wants to be at the front so start with that then fill in the rest behind it rather than the other way round.
                          Originally Posted by telephant


                          Tone is really half the argument. We both know ultimately it means nothing. Write a song. Write. A ****************ing. Song.



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                          • #14
                            Drum machine or drum software. Prepare to give up the guitar for a few weeks to get into it, then you won't need a drummer to create drum tracks for yourself. You can use them to show a drummer what you have in mind when you find one.



                            I have an old Roland R-70 drum machine that I use for creating drum parts. It's a bit tedious and I'm sure there are easier ways to do it, but it allows "Step Recording" so that I don't have to become a drummer, I can just write patterns and it recreates them. I program patterns as main rythyms and then create fills based on those to sub in for variety. String the patterns together to create songs. Push play or record it and there's your drum part.
                            Originally Posted by KCTigerChief


                            Rock hardness called that one









                            Originally Posted by guitarbilly74


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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by Rock Hardness
                              View Post

                              Drum machine or drum software.




                              This. Grab a Boss DR 880 or an Alesis SR 18. You can also program bass lines with these machines.



                              One way to write songs with programmed drums is to jam along with a preset pattern and keep trying different riffs until one fits the pattern. Then repeat the process with other patterns. Then string the patterns together to make a little song. If things don't match, move the patterns and riffs around. Repeat this process until you have something you like.



                              Eventually you will come up with riffs that don't fit the patterns and at that point you will have to get into actually programming drums to fit your riffs. That comes a bit later once you get really comfortable with the drum machine or software.
                              Originally Posted by diddlybo


                              Just last week I went to the local GC with my 18 inch cock to buy several guitars and amps. On the way out I punched a hole clean thru the body of a MIM Tele, which caused the entire store to give me a standing ovation.









                              Originally Posted by ShaneV2


                              I play gay through the amp- it involves plugging into the amp's output jack. Sometimes you end up blowing a tranny though.

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