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Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:02 pm
Posts: 19
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:29 am 

Hey all,

I have been trying to transcribe the guitar and bass parts of the song "Red-Skinned Scapegoat" of Cryptopsy's self-titled album. So far I've only been able to work out maybe two of the riffs, including the melodic riff during the middle of the song. Do any of you have tips, tricks, software or anything to assist in transcribing heavily distorted guitar riffs over machine gun drumming?

Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:41 am
Posts: 372
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:58 am 

Slowing down with software is sometimes helpful. I think mostly it's just a matter of practice though.


Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:52 pm
Posts: 472
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:41 pm 

You can slow down any song with Audacity or any program like that, I forget exactly how so this post isn't really helpful at all, but I think you just select the part you want to slow down and you can apply an effect from Audacity to slow it down. I did this to try and learn some DsO on drums but it makes it choppy, it would work much better for guitar.
Marag wrote:
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Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:06 am
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:49 pm 

+1 on slowing things down.

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST: Make sure you get the right tuning, either by working it out (usually difficult) or by other means. Most bands stick to one tuning for the majority of their work. You can look up other tabs for the bands songs, watch covers on youtube etc or maybe the band themselves have commented on it in an interview. If you don't get the tuning right, you are going to struggle and eventually have to transpose everything you previously did.

2. If there is more than one guitar and they are panned left and right, listen with only one earphone in or unplug one of the speakers. This can help to clarify when the interaction of the two guitar parts suggests something more complex is happening.

3. Working out the bass part can often be a good start, even if only because most songs are deceptively harmonically simple (regardless of how simple or not they are to actually execute). So if the bass is playing around A C F G and it sounds sad then it's probably in A minor and you'll expect them to be mostly using A B C D E F G.

4. Lastly, you need patience if you want to do a proper job. When transcribing you often find melodic and rhythmic nuances you never heard before and it can be difficult to adjust when you already think you know the song very well.
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 3131
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:40 pm 

I never transcribe anything, most people I know don't either. Mainly for the reason that people like EVH or Paul Gilbert give, that you should train your ears and muscle memory by learning songs by ear and practicing them til you remember them all. Not playing it exactly correct also allows for some interpretation, which also helps improvisational skills.

Apologies for not being exactly on topic, but most of the cover songs I learn are all just by ear and then memorised by lots of practice.

As for tips on how to ear out complicated parts, I would also say it's a matter of practice. Start with easy songs, move on to difficult ones. When I was starting out, even Black Sabbath songs gave me trouble. Learning Into The Grave was a bit of a bitch for me considering the tone is so massive and distorted but lots of repeated listens and knowing what kinda chords they like to use(as the previous poster mentioned) helped.
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OSHIEGO (SGP), death/thrash.


Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:03 pm
Posts: 508
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:43 am 

I use a program called the 'amazing slow downer' that does what it implies it does, minus the choppiness etc I found I got with audacity. It can also pitch shift a song and has an equalizer and a few other things, so it's a bit easier to decrease the volume of some instruments and to emphasize others (especially helpful for transcribing bass, I found). Something like that definitely helps.

Transcribing's a useful skill to have, and I think it's quite fun to deconstruct songs you like and figure out how they're put together, but if you're wanting to learn the songs you're transcribing and improve as a musician somefella has the right idea. I have perfect pitch (absolute pitch, whatever it's called) so I skip the part where I have to spend a lot of time figuring out what the notes are. I can't help you much with that part of it, sorry. Learning some music theory would help with that, I'm sure.
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