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Ball Cupper
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:51 pm
Posts: 107
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:19 pm 
 

I've been trying to make music for quite a while now, and I've always came up against the same problem every time - I'm shite at vocals. Oh no! Rather than make the whole thing worse by trying, I thought it'd be interesting (and challenging) to work out the best ways of creating interesting instrumental metal.

Now, I would have thought the process of writing purely instrumental music would be more involved than "write song, don't do vocals" but what do I know? Do any of you lot make purely instrumental metal - anyone got any tips for us? Stuff like song structure, technique, production, anything like that? If it helps, I'm currently doing some black / heavy / doom metal with very rough production and lots of grit.

One problem that I think would come up is variation - the human voice can spice up a song quite nicely, so what can be done instead to make each song not-boring?

Any help that anyone can share will be greatly appreciated!

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 11678
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:32 pm 
 

You really have more of a uphill battle cause you now have to create something that's extremely dynamic and always moving. Basically proving to your audience that vocals would detract from what you are trying to convey musically. I personally don't find there is much musically that couldn't have sounded better with some vocals over it. while i like instrumental groups I have never thought 'wow this is something that's so complex/interesting that if someone was doing anything over it vocally I would never have caught all those other interesting bits'

so if you plan on doing something more traditionally one sound or another that usually has vocals over it be prepared to be bombarded with questions of why you forgot the vocals on it.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: In the Open Sea
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:16 pm 
 

Mr. Cupper, would you say you're shite at vocals across the board, or is there a sound you're going for that you aren't cut out for? Personally, I am downright pants at black metal vox. Sound like a strangled try-hard. Shameful.

Good vocalists are important, but they aren't EVERYTHING. Terry Jones from Pagan Altar isn't the best, but he does well enough, and it works. You can take classes, too. You might just need some training. Unless you're tone deaf as a magnet and sing like a horse. In that case, forge the new genre of barn metal. Or go the Frank Zappa route and compose like a mad man while people who can actually sing do so.

SLK sounds right, too. It's going to be an uphill climb on the Instrumental Trail. But no one said metal was supposed to be easy. ;) I say compose for a line-up with a vocalist and work with a band.

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Ball Cupper
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:51 pm
Posts: 107
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:53 pm 
 

Great advice, thanks! It's always good to share ideas :)

I can see how it would be difficult to fill in for a lack of vocals. As much as I'd like to work with a full band / vocalist, I am a massive bitch about my music so that'd have to be a last resort. I'll admit, I've got a microphone and seemingly limitless amounts of booze at the moment so I could give vocals another crack I guess. Get a bit of dutch courage behind me. I might actually overcome the whole "oh god what if people hear me" thing!

That said, would people rather listen to music with bad vocals, or no vocals at all? Is it acceptable to cover up my lack of talent by distorting the shit out of everything? How did that Nazgul vocalist sound like an owl and still be interesting???

One song that I've been listening to is Vlad Tepes' Raven's Hike and I'm impressed with how that song deals with the instrumental side of things. It's got a nice sense of movement and melody that wouldn't be as effective if it had vocals. Maybe I'm confusing making an instrumental song with an instrumental band, but I think that an album or EP could work.

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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 450
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:02 pm 
 

Try listening to some instrumental bands with a similar sound to what you're thinking of, maybe learning some of their songs, or at least working out the structures and how they construct things. I'd recommend Jackal-Headed Guard of the Dead.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 11678
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:12 pm 
 

I know quite a few guys in bands that pretty much cover up their lack of vocal ability with distortion and compression but it works in their favor on the record. It all depends really on what you are going for and what your music is.

I usually find that I can listen to most all vocals, unless you are really shitty at singing- like actual clean singing. Or whatever the fuck that guy in Entwined was trying to do on that Dancing Under Glass album. it sounded like a dying horse being molested by haggard nuns.
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http://speedritualrecords.storenvy.com/ Check out my music here

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inayas
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:08 am
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:16 am 
 

There are online details of instrumental music bands that includes the all data of famous and successful musicians. You can know about full discography.

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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:02 am 
 

Also think of what vocals add to songs. In powermetal, for example, you often have plain boring chord riffs where the vocals provide most dynamics and melody.
For instrumental metal, you could add at least one layer (but probably more) to replace your missing 'instrument'. Maybe another (lead) guitar for harmonies, a synth; and if it fits your doom style: a piano, violin, or even something exotic.

And in either case, your songs should have spot-on progressions and melodies. You need to have the attention captured.
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