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MetalMuxxer
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:13 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Somewhere in Time
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:33 pm 
 

Hi everyone.

Well, I've recently started a band with some guys, first the band was a friend and I, my friend in guitars and I as the vocalist, after one month we go many other guys, one dude that I already know (we played in a cover band together), another guy that I already know, a bassist (I hate that guy), and two other guys.

We have a rare line-up and we play under aliases usually (just as a joke):

-Helado de Fruta: Vocals, Lyrics, Keyboards (ocasionally)
-Colo: Guitars, Drums, Songwriting
-Galletita Glaseada: Guitars, Bass (ocasionally)
-Espinaca: Guitars
-Bife: Guitars
-Nazi: Keyboards
-El Bajista: Bass (this guy actually doesn't have a name, so we call him "the bassist")

We don't have drums, usually Colo plays them when we are practicing, anyway, we can get a drummer if we end up playing live, but that isn't our main objective now.

We already wrote a song, a generic punk/alternative rock song, but we actually want to play metal, so yesterday we started to write a metal song, Colo wrote some riffs and I took care of the keyboards.

Anyway, I feel we are really slow when we are writing songs, the first soong took like two weeks (we only can reunite saturdays), and now this one is kinda slow too, and I feel like if it were empty, it is a power metal style song, and I just want some tips that could help us improve our songwriting and all the stuff.

I usually write lyrics after we finish a part (once we finish the chorus, I write the lyrics for the chorus) and we don't write tabs, only the chords, and usually the guitars do the exact same thing, so I need some tips so we can improve our music.

Any tip would be very appreciated, thanks.
_________________
When you don't know ANYTHING about metal.
hlegend wrote:
Metal bands don't do love songs.
MawBTS wrote:
Start an autistic metal band.

It could be interesting. Songs about trains and minecraft. Maybe have a rare pepe as your mascot.

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IntoNevermore
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:31 pm
Posts: 1067
Location: Venezuela
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:40 am 
 

If you are not that merged as a band and you are not getting results by jammin. You should consider the posibility of one of you being the main composer, learning to use software like guitar pro or tux guitar, get some tabs done and then share them with the rest of the band so they can learn the songs before you get to band practice. It worked for me.
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awheio
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 434
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:12 pm 
 

I have spent relatively little time in bands, and when I was, I only added vocals to songs they'd already written, so... But I have a fair amount of experience writing songs on my own.

What you've described sounds like a really ineffective way of going about things. There is no overriding purpose to the songs, and things are just cobbled together along the way, or so it sounds. Unless you really don't think the lyrics are important to you, I think it's crazy to write in such a part-by-part fashion. You need some unity, and you need to alternate between the forest and the trees.

I would suggest, for one, TALKING extensively about what kind of music you want to make -- what role particular instruments will play, etc. To be fair, I've never successfully done this, but I don't think I'd even try writing music with people who couldn't do this.

And... I don't know -- you're missing a lot of subtlety by writing in such a cobbled way, I suspect... The suggestion of using guitar pro makes a LOT of sense to me, but of course people wrote great music before guitar pro, and plenty of people just don't want to bother with the program at all. But you need some way of having the song in front of you, such as on paper, so that you can say, ah this part needs to be beefed up, this transition is garbage, this vocal note should be sustained longer, these harmonies need tweaking... Without the details all basically before you, you can only really write in a crass way -- which is fine for punk, but power metal rewards greater care.

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MetalMuxxer
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:13 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Somewhere in Time
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:26 am 
 

awheio wrote:
I have spent relatively little time in bands, and when I was, I only added vocals to songs they'd already written, so... But I have a fair amount of experience writing songs on my own.

What you've described sounds like a really ineffective way of going about things. There is no overriding purpose to the songs, and things are just cobbled together along the way, or so it sounds. Unless you really don't think the lyrics are important to you, I think it's crazy to write in such a part-by-part fashion. You need some unity, and you need to alternate between the forest and the trees.

I would suggest, for one, TALKING extensively about what kind of music you want to make -- what role particular instruments will play, etc. To be fair, I've never successfully done this, but I don't think I'd even try writing music with people who couldn't do this.

And... I don't know -- you're missing a lot of subtlety by writing in such a cobbled way, I suspect... The suggestion of using guitar pro makes a LOT of sense to me, but of course people wrote great music before guitar pro, and plenty of people just don't want to bother with the program at all. But you need some way of having the song in front of you, such as on paper, so that you can say, ah this part needs to be beefed up, this transition is garbage, this vocal note should be sustained longer, these harmonies need tweaking... Without the details all basically before you, you can only really write in a crass way -- which is fine for punk, but power metal rewards greater care.


Those are some good tips, thanks.

Our lead guitarist doesn't want to use Guitar Pro because he think it's for noobs. Another of our guitarrists is kinda dumb and can't difference between a riff and a scale...

Now we are taking a thrash/heavy style, also, our guitarist doesn't care about solos or tabs, he just write the chords in a paper, he doesn't write the tabs for the song, nor for the solo, for nothing actually. I think he should change, because if something happens and we lose the paper with the chords or something, he may forget the song, and that would mean starting all over again.
_________________
When you don't know ANYTHING about metal.
hlegend wrote:
Metal bands don't do love songs.
MawBTS wrote:
Start an autistic metal band.

It could be interesting. Songs about trains and minecraft. Maybe have a rare pepe as your mascot.

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wednesdaysixx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:09 pm
Posts: 60
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:36 pm 
 

I would say, if you're serious about writing songs as individuals for the group or as a group for the whole, then I think everyone needs to really work out what their role is and what everyone else does. Not just "I play guitar, he plays bass, he also plays guitar" but thinking more about the functions of each part of it. "He plays the root notes of the chords on the bass whilst he plays the power chords and she plays the lead over that" or something along those lines? Not writing things down or recording them in any form is fine so long as everyone remembers everything or practices daily, but otherwise you want to be writing stuff or recording it to jog your memory. You don't have to all learn notation or even tabs, any kind of notes that help you remember what to play would be helpful and good.
I feel like I may just be rewording what has been said above but nevertheless, I think these are good tips.
Maybe try grabbing an instrument, keys, guitar, whatever it may be, and just noodle. Improvise around riffs you know or around scales or arpeggios or just what you think might be a cool shape, and just keep going until something catches your ear, repeat it and then experiment with that, figure out what would be good after that, work out how much you can play it until it becomes boring and you have to go somewhere else, ask yourself where in a song you think it'd fit. Just come up with ideas on your own, maybe just write lyrics yourself and work out in your head what kind of thing you'd want under it or around it, then when you've got your ideas approach someone else in the group, or the group as a whole and see what ideas they've got of their own and get reactions and feedback on each other's ideas.
The only other thing I can suggest, is just someone start playing something and everyone jam and improvise in a room together, so you get an idea of how everyone plays, what everyone naturally does etc etc. Then after a lot of that, you should feel more confident in what your natural sound is and what everyone's role is, then maybe go from there.

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awheio
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 434
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:13 am 
 

MetalMuxxer wrote:
awheio wrote:
I have spent relatively little time in bands, and when I was, I only added vocals to songs they'd already written, so... But I have a fair amount of experience writing songs on my own.

What you've described sounds like a really ineffective way of going about things. There is no overriding purpose to the songs, and things are just cobbled together along the way, or so it sounds. Unless you really don't think the lyrics are important to you, I think it's crazy to write in such a part-by-part fashion. You need some unity, and you need to alternate between the forest and the trees.

I would suggest, for one, TALKING extensively about what kind of music you want to make -- what role particular instruments will play, etc. To be fair, I've never successfully done this, but I don't think I'd even try writing music with people who couldn't do this.

And... I don't know -- you're missing a lot of subtlety by writing in such a cobbled way, I suspect... The suggestion of using guitar pro makes a LOT of sense to me, but of course people wrote great music before guitar pro, and plenty of people just don't want to bother with the program at all. But you need some way of having the song in front of you, such as on paper, so that you can say, ah this part needs to be beefed up, this transition is garbage, this vocal note should be sustained longer, these harmonies need tweaking... Without the details all basically before you, you can only really write in a crass way -- which is fine for punk, but power metal rewards greater care.


Those are some good tips, thanks.

Our lead guitarist doesn't want to use Guitar Pro because he think it's for noobs. Another of our guitarrists is kinda dumb and can't difference between a riff and a scale...

Now we are taking a thrash/heavy style, also, our guitarist doesn't care about solos or tabs, he just write the chords in a paper, he doesn't write the tabs for the song, nor for the solo, for nothing actually. I think he should change, because if something happens and we lose the paper with the chords or something, he may forget the song, and that would mean starting all over again.


People who have opinions like that are often very resistant to change, but... While I admit that Guitar Pro is kind of an easy way out, I think that keeping some kind of record of how things are supposed to be played is essential, unless you just want to be a kind of "jam band". This can be trading little demo recordings, or writing things out on traditional staff notation (which you can also do in GP).

It's a little out of my depth, but in my experience, talking about "chords" in metal is not always that informative. If you're just doing very simple riffs, chugging this power chord then that one, fine -- but for many, many interesting things, a "chord" is almost a fiction forced onto a riff, and one that hides a lot of information about what is actually going on. (Like, while the riff may all play around in the key of E minor, even starting on E, it might include the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th -- but if the bassist just sees "E minor" or something more complicated, he won't know where the notes fall, so if he tries to play anything but an E note, he might create unintended dissonance. Yes, this could in theory be fixed by practicing together a lot until you know just when and how everything is happening -- but why? It just seems grossly inefficient, and creativity is very likely to be limited by the pressure of having to figure out your part while the guitarist is there to play the riff for you. Personally, I often like to play the same riff over and over for days until I figure out what harmony etc. I want.)

And standard notation surely didn't come from "noobs". Jamming was probably largely popularized by "noobs" who couldn't read standard notation. But again, I understand if it's hopeless to try to convince the guitarist.

And again, yeah, I repeat the above comment on having a conversation about how the different instruments should relate to one another. Seems super important to me, and I feel absolutely blind without that kind of direction.

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