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Old 06-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
ChAAPY
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Composition and Performance

Who feels like reading? lol.

First of all, I am not a composition major. I've studied a little bit at school (18th, 19th, and 20th century classical guitar/piano, jazz arrangements, and Bach chorales), but my major is guitar performance. I don't mean for this to discredit what I have to say, but I think it's important to point out because I don't want to come across as a know-it-all. I already had my doubts about doing this because I'm nobody special, but I know some of you would love to talk about this stuff and maybe it will help someone. I'm not sure if this is going to be strictly about metal, but I think since it's what we have the most in common with, it's a safe and logical place to start. Also, if anyone has any questions about theory I'd be glad to help, but I don't consider it to be a prerequisite. I would like to talk a little bit about it because it can certainly help open new doors and ideas you might not have otherwise thought of, but just know that unless that knowledge is applied, it's virtually useless in the creative process. After all, theory is an afterthought.

Okay, here's how I'd like to see this play out.

There are an infinite amount of questions regarding the composition/performance process. It would be impossible and impractical to go through all of them because like life, composing and performing is largely about making decisions, an almost endless amount in fact. But how do you go about making those decisions? That's kind of the essence of what I'd like to see this thread be about, to help shed some light on that process for those who struggle with it to the point where they don't even write anything down because they are not confident enough with their own material. Instead of doing in-depth columns on a particular subject, I'd like everyone to contribute something. Whether it's a recording of a song, a MIDI file, a descriptive process of how you and/or others write, how you conceived a musical idea you're proud of, a GP file you need help with, your experience as a musician, etc. anything that is constructive basically. Ask yourself what do you want to see being discussed here and then post it. I realize not everyone composes. Maybe some of you enjoying playing other people's music. You shouldn't think any less of yourself for doing so but I would like to encourage you to at least try. Composers are generally expected to performer, so why aren't performers expected to compose? Composing will make you a better performer, trust me. So please feel free to discuss why you do so and what you enjoy about it. Share your experiences. For right now I'm going to talk about composing. Before any examples are posted, I'd like to share some basic problems and experiences I've personally encountered over the years that I think are quite common.

"Why do we write music?" It seems like an easy question to answer. "Because I love it and it's what I enjoying doing." But why? You can chose from a variety of different mediums to express yourself, so why music? In the beginning, for me it was all about the guitars. Nowadays it's because I truly think it is the universal language. When I was 14 or 15, I played sports as a kid, played video games (FF7 for life motherfuckers), was in cub scouts, etc. but nothing interested me as much as music did when I first discovered it. When I first started out I would write whatever I thought sounded cool. I didn't know any theory or anything about music really. My intuition took over immediately and it makes sense in hindsight. "Shit, this riff is siiick", "Oh man, that sounds heavy as fuck", etc. But that's where all my focus was, on the goddamn guitar riffs. Why? Because I'm a guitarist! We tend to think about ourselves more than we should, especially in metal where the focal point is the guitars. But the ultimate goal here isn't about how many of our best riffs we can fit into a song (this is illogical anyway because by definition there can only be one "best") and it shouldn't be. It's about the song imo, the entire package if you will.

Nowadays I don't write anything unless I feel I have something to say. We probably all have a lot to say, so where do we start? I think you have to look for inspiration, you cannot always wait for it to come to you. It's absurd how much is already out there for us. For me, certain activities such as reading, walking, or just thinking can bring life to this process. However, the beginning is always the worst for me. For the longest time it feels like there is nothing and then all of a sudden the ideas start to flow. I generally don't sit down and write unless I know I have a couple of hours to myself because I have to be in my beta-state in order to take this process seriously. Sometimes it starts with a rhythm, a new chord voicing, a new scale/mode, drum beat, etc. but most of the time I sit down by myself with my guitar and start to fiddle around, improvising and moving my hands to find certain ideas or melodies that stick out to me. But where this process differs from my early days of just jamming till I found something cool is that I have a better idea and understanding of what it is I'm looking for before I even begin to play. This is where knowing theory can be beneficial, because I understand the connotations certain concepts bring me. But this is largely subjective and up to the composer to decide. Basically I try and search for musical ideas that best represent the emotional state I'm in or looking to express. Trust your ear, it will help guide you through this process, but remain honest with yourself.

Another common problem I had was trying to fit too many ideas into a single song, sometimes with little to no concern whether or not the ideas were too contrasting. I see a lot of people on other forums describing their music as "progressive" because they wrote 15 different riffs in 15 different styles with multiple meter and tempo changes, claiming that the song structure (or lack of) is "audacious". There's a reason why certain forms are still prevalent in much of today's music, because they work! Some of us strive for return after contrast because that return is what brings the emotional punch we're after. So there is no need to always put all of your ideas into one piece of music. What I generally do now is sketch out a form first. I think this is probably the most important aspect in all of music the more I study it. Think about all your favorite songs and what they would sound like if everything was arranged differently. I often find myself rolling my eyes when I read comments like, "where are the riffs?" What good are all of those great riffs and sections if they aren't put together in a meaningful experience? So I care about form as much as I care about my riffs/drums/fills/melody/etc. probably even more now that I think about. If you find yourself working in a linear way, don't be afraid to save one of those ideas for another song if it's not gelling well with your other ideas. Sometimes you have to go through C in order to get from A to B. And don't judge yourself right away. If you find yourself struggling to come up with an end to a musical phrase, or how to connect it to the next, write out 4-5 variations, take a break for a day and then come back to it. You ear will have an easier time judging which one fits, if any. There's nothing wrong with this process and it's not abnormal to obsess over every note, but be smart and practical about it. Chopin was notorious for this and some of you might be amazed at how many revisions Marlon has gone through when writing material for Abhorrent. Don't be afraid to keep it simple either, some of the best music out there is incredibly simplistic on paper, but also intelligent by design. Realize that one phrase/riff is actually four. Your original idea (prime), that idea played in reverse (retrograde), prime with its intervals inverted (inversion - an ascending half-step because a descending half-step), and finally, the inversion in reverse (retrograde inversion). This is just one example you can use to your advantage if you are having trouble writing variations to help give your piece some of unity and variety. But beware, some versions, such as retrograde inversion can be difficult to hear in relation to your original idea. You might want that though, or maybe you want to transpose one of those concepts to start on a different note. Maybe use augmentation (note values increase. A 2:1 ration for quarter note results in a half note) or diminution (note value decreases. A 2:1 ratio results in an 8th note becoming a 16th note) etc. Other ratios are possible but again, the possibilities are endless. Just thinking about some of this stuff will help bring awareness to new ideas and concepts that will really help your guide your mind through some of the creative process.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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That's enough for now, but if you are new to this the best advice I could give was what was given to me. Avoid talking down your ideas to yourself. You need to shut that little guy off in your head because your intuitive side can't always be in control. All that time you spend worrying about whether or not your stuff is good enough is nothing but a waste of time. Some people chose to use drugs to help suppress their intellectual side if it's getting in the way of their creativity. Personally, I think it's effect on music is grossly overstated. I won't advocate or condone doing it, but I've done it multiple times in the past and can say that while it might have worked then, its long term effects aren't worth it anymore. You'll find yourself having to get high in order to write something you enjoy and that's not the road you want to go down. They can augment your insecurities and, in some cases, even lead to death (insert dead famous rock musician's name here).

My apologies if this is a little incoherent, I'm sort of typing as I think, so please feel free to contribute whatever is on your mind.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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Shit, that riff WAS sick, wasn't it?
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ChAAPY View Post
Composers are generally expected to performer, so why aren't performers expected to compose?
That's something I always thought about. Personally, I have an infinite amount of respect for guitarists who are able to shred and compose really good songs. There are tons of guitarists out there who did nothing but practice 15 hours a day and can play anything that is in front of them, but when it comes to writing, they just can't do it. If all I did was play other people's stuff or wasn't able to write music, I definitely wouldn't enjoy playing guitar / being a guitarist as much as I do now. Not to say that guitarists who just play other people's material aren't to be respected, obviously, I just think they're in two totally different ball parks. You can practice for days and become Shredmaster Flex, but to write a "perfect" song I think is a lot more challenging.

I was always more into writing riffs than practicing leads or runs, or any of that. I always found the guitar as more of an avenue to express something (musically) than a tool to run exercises. Within the first month of my playing, when I was able to actually pick correctly, I was writing riffs and trying to write songs.

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Nowadays I don't write anything unless I feel I have something to say. We probably all have a lot to say, so where do we start? I think you have to look for inspiration, you cannot always wait for it to come to you.
Just picking up the guitar inspires, though I know you practice rigorously every day, so maybe it's different for you. Especially with someone such as yourself, who knows a ton of theory and knows "if I want something to sound like this, I need to use these notes, this tempo, this rhythm", etc. You've written some really, really sick stuff and I always wondered why you never did anything with any of it.

Not to mention that I know a few people who always complain about not being able to write riffs, but they never pick up their guitar and just expect to be sitting around and one to pop in their head. Put in the fucking time, there is no alternative.

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Another common problem I had was trying to fit too many ideas into a single song
I used to have this issue, what I found to help was some outside insight; and by outside I mean someone else you're either writing the stuff with, or who knows a bit about what you're trying to do. Lyle helped out a lot with this and what I would typically find, is I'd write a track, when I thought it was "mostly finished", we'd sit down together and start trimming the fat off. In every instance it made the song better, imo. Got the right ideas out, it wasn't convoluted and there wasn't ever a section where we were "unsure" if we liked it or not, if we ever found one like that, it was immediately cut from the song.

Last edited by modern death; 06-10-2012 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #5
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I think I can see where you're coming from, I have a basic knowledge of theory from taking 2 years of theory and musicianship, studying jazz guitar, applied performance classes, and playing in my local college's big band. I also play in a band that everyone here hates called Bedlam of Cacophony and started playing guitar in a band called Cryptic Gallbladder Splatter(end shameless self promotion). Music Theory opens a lot of doors but can really abstract a lot of what makes music musical; your knowledgebase increases, but you become scarily aware of how little you actually know about music. I think music is really a lifelong process (if you want it to be) and can be "spiritual" to this extent. I kind of feel I don't have a reason to do it other than I really love it, it's not a real logical compulsion. As far as my compositional process, it keeps changing, I would liken it to constant experimentation. Sometimes I will think about music in tonal, chromatic, and/or strictly rhythmic terms, it really depends; from jazz, I tend to think of everything in terms of chord-scale relationships and four part harmony; from set theory, I'll look at intervals or groups of notes and build relationships and play the fuck out of them; and from composers like Elliott Carter (can't stand his music, but his ideas are genius), I'll look at rhythm as a means of stratification meaning different values can go into and out of each other via tempo/metric modulations. The possibilities are really endless with music. I am in the process of recording some of my shit, once I have that done, I will share it here. Hope that was some form of feedback you were looking for...
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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There are tons of guitarists out there who did nothing but practice 15 hours a day and can play anything that is in front of them, but when it comes to writing, they just can't do it. If all I did was play other people's stuff or wasn't able to write music, I definitely wouldn't enjoy playing guitar / being a guitarist as much as I do now. You can practice for days and become Shredmaster Flex, but to write a "perfect" song I think is a lot more challenging.

I was always more into writing riffs than practicing leads or runs, or any of that. I always found the guitar as more of an avenue to express something (musically) than a tool to run exercises. Within the first month of my playing, when I was able to actually pick correctly, I was writing riffs and trying to write songs.
This... x1000
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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I know where you're coming from with the problem of having too many ideas. I've learned that it's actually much hard to write a 3 and a half minute song that gets it point across rather than a 15 minute song. I guess to some level it's personal preference but I used to just write music that flowed and never or rarely repeated sections to following stricter song structures and I believe the songs of the later are much better. You have to be not afraid to ditch some ideas for the sake of the longevity of the song or it interrupting the song's structure and causing the song to go too far off in a different direction. Don't feel like you have to include every single riff you write for that song. You have to think, is this section really contributing to this song, or is it just filler until the next chorus, bridge, etc. Cursive's The Ugly Organ is a good example of what I'm talking about. Most of the songs are in or around 3 minutes and there is zero filler, every song gets its point across but stops just short enough to where you want to listen to it again. I think that's the most important thing I've learned over the years I've written music.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:52 PM   #8
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skillz.

I agree with you about it being a life-long process. Just made me think again why I do this. Cheers.

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That's something I always thought about. Personally, I have an infinite amount of respect for guitarists who are able to shred and compose really good songs. There are tons of guitarists out there who did nothing but practice 15 hours a day and can play anything that is in front of them, but when it comes to writing, they just can't do it. If all I did was play other people's stuff or wasn't able to write music, I definitely wouldn't enjoy playing guitar / being a guitarist as much as I do now. Not to say that guitarists who just play other people's material aren't to be respected, obviously, I just think they're in two totally different ball parks. You can practice for days and become Shredmaster Flex, but to write a "perfect" song I think is a lot more challenging.
Some people just don't feel the drive or the need to write. Think of how much beautiful music is already out there already for a classical guitarist to choose from. Probably not what you're referring to because it's not the same as playing a cover, but there is a ton of great "old" (and new) music which most people have no clue of. It deserves to be heard imo and I have a lot of respect for those keeping it alive. I just wish there was more of an effort to bridge that cultural gap. Bach wrote pop music ffs. I still don't think there is ever enough so we need more composers and I agree, those who write and perform are the ones I look up to the most. But I kind of understand those who don't a lot better now. At least for classical and jazz guitar. When I started playing the music of Leo Brouwer and Villa-Lobos, my life changed. I tried to compose solo classical guitar music shortly after and I fell into the same hole I talked about in the last paragraph of my original post. I can't explain it that well, but something about the amount of difficulty, the bar being set so high for that idiom, it really feels impossible to reach. So I went back to electric for writing and while I do feel liberated from doing it, it still feels like something is missing. Wieland, I need your help, lol.

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I was always more into writing riffs than practicing leads or runs, or any of that. I always found the guitar as more of an avenue to express something (musically) than a tool to run exercises. Within the first month of my playing, when I was able to actually pick correctly, I was writing riffs and trying to write songs.
I was the same way. A friend of my dad showed me a C major scale and I wasn't having it, I wanted to write my own material from the beginning. I think a lot of the exercises are good for when you feel drained from the creative process. But that never really happens to you, so that's good. Or does it? You recently made a thread asking specifically for exercises, so how do you feel about it now? I hate to pull a flayed, but you might not know that I have a copy of the Absvrdist debut and it sure doesn't sound like you're having difficulty writing! There's already another one written isn't there? Yes, yes, I bet there is.

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Just picking up the guitar inspires, though I know you practice rigorously every day, so maybe it's different for you. Especially with someone such as yourself, who knows a ton of theory and knows "if I want something to sound like this, I need to use these notes, this tempo, this rhythm", etc. You've written some really, really sick stuff and I always wondered why you never did anything with any of it.
Thanks, I appreciate that. It's complicated, but I essentially had to stop and learn classical guitar because I started so late. But I did it, I'm in a University on scholarship and I'm back to writing again. What really prevented me from doing anything is I had some terrible EMI noise in my DI tracks because of shitty power at my place for well over a year that made all the tracks I recorded unusable. Stupid mistake not checking for that, but I'm moving back to SA before the semester starts where that won't be an issue. I was actually at Mike's a couple of days ago with Lyle and brought my whole setup over and he helped me figure it out. Waiting on a pair of headphones and I've finally got the green light for demos. Woot!

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I used to have this issue, what I found to help was some outside insight; and by outside I mean someone else you're either writing the stuff with, or who knows a bit about what you're trying to do. Lyle helped out a lot with this and what I would typically find, is I'd write a track, when I thought it was "mostly finished", we'd sit down together and start trimming the fat off. In every instance it made the song better, imo. Got the right ideas out, it wasn't convoluted and there wasn't ever a section where we were "unsure" if we liked it or not, if we ever found one like that, it was immediately cut from the song.
This is good advice. I'll definitely throw some stuff your way once it's near complete.

Last edited by ChAAPY; 06-10-2012 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #9
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I tried real hard for a while, realized I could never be good enough to satisfy myself, then stopped trying. That's probably all I have to contribute.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:14 PM   #10
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Some people just don't feel the drive or the need to write. Think of how much beautiful music is already out there already for a classical guitarist to choose from. Probably not what you're referring to because it's not the same as playing a cover, but there is a ton of great "old" (and new) music which most people have no clue of. It deserves to be heard imo and I have a lot of respect for those keeping it alive. I just wish there was more of an effort to bridge that cultural gap. Bach wrote pop music ffs. I still don't think there is ever enough so we need more composers and I agree, those who write and perform are the ones I look up to the most. But I kind of understand those who don't a lot better now. At least for classical and jazz guitar. When I started playing the music of Leo Brouwer and Villa-Lobos, my life changed. I tried to compose solo classical guitar music shortly after and I fell into the same hole I talked about in the last paragraph of my original post. I can't explain it that well, but something about the amount of difficulty, the bar being set so high for that idiom, it really feels impossible to reach.
oh I can understand that, it can definitely be overwhelming when your category of musicians you're trying to write in teh same genre as have some musical geniuses, almost unparalleled in their field. It's daunting but at the same time makes you that much more motivated to write; either that or defeats you enough to make you put your instrument down, haha.



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I think a lot of the exercises are good for when you feel drained from the creative process.
It took me a long time to finally understand that. When I pick up the guitar and don't feel anything coming out of it, I can still look at some runs / exercises and make some use out of the time I'm spending playing.

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I hate to pull a flayed, but you might not know that I have a copy of the Absvrdist debut and it sure doesn't sound like you're having difficulty writing! There's already another one written isn't there? Yes, yes, I bet there is.
Haha, nah I didn't know that, what do you think? Honestly, writing that Absvrdist stuff was so refreshing and it was written really fast. Not "fast" like it was rushed or anything, but fast as in every time I picked up the guitar I'd be writing more riffs towards the completion of the album, rarely did I ever "stagnate". It was really good to write something different than what I had previously been writing; and that's another thing, writing different genre's of music has helped me out a lot I think. Having 3 or 4 different projects I write for consistently keeps me from getting "bored" and puts my mind and my riffing to work.

and like yourself, I'm by no means a "know at all" and some of these things might even be a bad habit, I just found out that they work for me.



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Thanks, I appreciate that. It's complicated, but I essentially had to stop and learn classical guitar because I started so late. But I did it, I'm in a University on scholarship and I'm back to writing again. What really prevented me from doing anything is I had some terrible EMI noise in my DI tracks because of shitty power at my place for well over a year that made all the tracks I recorded unusable. Stupid mistake not checking for that, but I'm moving back to SA* before the semester starts where that won't be an issue. I was actually at Mike's a couple of days ago with Lyle and brought my whole setup over and he helped me figure it out. Waiting on a pair of headphones and I've finally got the green light for demos. Woot!
Coming over and recording those covers was some of the most fun I've had, man. Sucks to hear that about your tracks.

*that's awesome, we should definitely get together.


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I was actually at Mike's a couple of days ago with Lyle and brought my whole setup over and he helped me figure it out. Waiting on a pair of headphones and I've finally got the green light for demos. Woot!
Sick!
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #11
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I tried real hard for a while, realized I could never be good enough to satisfy myself, then stopped trying. That's probably all I have to contribute.
try again? I felt the same way for classical guitar and I'm going to give it another shot by the years end.

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oh I can understand that, it can definitely be overwhelming when your category of musicians you're trying to write in teh same genre as have some musical geniuses, almost unparalleled in their field. It's daunting but at the same time makes you that much more motivated to write; either that or defeats you enough to make you put your instrument down, haha.
Yeah, it's weird. I'm certainly no Luc Lemay but it doesn't stop me from writing metal. Wtf.

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Haha, nah I didn't know that, what do you think? Honestly, writing that Absvrdist stuff was so refreshing and it was written really fast. Not "fast" like it was rushed or anything, but fast as in every time I picked up the guitar I'd be writing more riffs towards the completion of the album, rarely did I ever "stagnate". It was really good to write something different than what I had previously been writing; and that's another thing, writing different genre's of music has helped me out a lot I think. Having 3 or 4 different projects I write for consistently keeps me from getting "bored" and puts my mind and my riffing to work.
I love it! Seriously, I want to play for you guys. Mike burned me a copy last week since he's really proud of the work he did on it. Love how the vocals are a bit lower in the mix and the gtrs are up front melting my face off. Can't believe how good of a job you guys did with the vocals considering that's not your forte, or Lyle's either. Did you guys practice them prior to recording or was it a "let's do eet now" approach at the last minute? The penultimate track (instrumental, don't know the names) really caught my attention the first time through. That's one of my favorite songs you've written. Straight up Lemay FWtH @ 0:51. The whole cd is a really well written nice balance of grind, death, and blackish riffage. It sounds like you've started to really comOnly thing that had me confused at first is I can't help but feel some of the lyrics aren't really, well lyrics. I could have swore there was one track I'm almost positive you guys are just yelling random shit. Maybe not, can't remember right now. I like that though, haha.

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Coming over and recording those covers was some of the most fun I've had, man. Sucks to hear that about your tracks.

*that's awesome, we should definitely get together.
Me too. "Inoculated Life" intro take 232. I've actually been in the town for the last week trying to sort out some personal issues, but if your number is still the same I'll hit you up this week if you want.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:19 AM   #12
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I have some questions for discussion.

What do you guys consider a good composition?
How can this be taken into general objectivity?
Is a good composition simple/elaborate?
Does it break rules or stick to them?
Is it contextually appropriate or innovative?
Are certain genres more prone to having good compositions? Yes/No and why?
Is it a good one because it's well received by large masses of people or just a few critical sectors? Why?
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #13
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try again?
This.

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abtvrdist
Thanks man, we definitely had lyrics for every song, problem was they were written before-hand, so we kind of mix and matched some shit. I'm sure there are more than a few sections where Lyle's not really saying anything, hahaha. We jam at Mike's now, early in the day. Same number, text me.

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"Inoculated Life" intro take 232.
Precisely. I love recording.

Would be cool if people uploaded some GP's of stuff they're either having issues with or would like to show, since no one looks at the Musicians forum (not sure why it's still there tbh) I know a lot of people aren't keen on midi but GP is really such a phenomenal tool.

edit: I've always wanted to see Mr. Snowsill's riffs, I know he's got some laying around in some files.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:12 AM   #14
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I think one of the hardest things, for any musician, is to figure out how to translate what's going on in your head through your instrument. You see crazy guitarists like Guthrie Govan scatting along to their improvised lines, note-for-note, and it's scary how on point they are. Guys like that have come such a long way on their instrument--it's like a direct output of whatever melodies/ideas come to mind. I'm nowhere near comfortable enough with a guitar in order to translate what I hear.

That being said, whenever I try to step outside of what I think I hear and experiment with the guitar itself, that can often spark new ideas, things unimaginable to my previous aural perspective. Same goes with learning things you wouldn't normally learn.

I used to try to write music, but I was strictly trying to recreate what I heard in my head, which was always frustrating. Nowadays (rarely), whenever I try to mess around with an idea, I try to go against my "inner melodies" and use them in a non-direct way. That usually brings a completely different follow up idea that has evolved out of what was originally thought of. I hope that makes sense haha

Don't know how much of this is helpful, I barely write any music.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:42 AM   #15
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for some reason when im writing i just always have ideas for the next riff, or what will transition to what and before i know it the song is 10 minutes+
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:07 AM   #16
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I tried real hard for a while, realized I could never be good enough to satisfy myself, then stopped trying. That's probably all I have to contribute.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:03 PM   #17
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Very nice thread. I took two semesters of theory and a smattering of performance classes when I decided that I wanted to really dedicate myself to music; I considered going back to school full-time, trying to get into conservatory and the like, but I realized quickly that my passion wasn't enough for that route - I just needed to know enough that I could start to augment my ability to express myself in a metal context and learn more from there. It's only in the last year or so that I've been taking concrete steps to really go out there and perform with bands, after a couple of brief flirtations when I was younger, but it's obvious that it fills an essential, personal need.

Really getting into a flow when writing is still a challenge - my doubts continue play a much stronger role than the affirming ideas themselves - but putting some distance between myself and a composition and trying to look at it from different perspectives has helped. I find that, given that I spent so much time writing during my longer-than-average collegiate career, I find it easy to relate songwriting to essay writing, and I have the same tendency to revise and rewrite obsessively as I go, but my confidence with notes is not naturally the same as it is with words, so it greatly belabors the process at times. Add to that the commonly expressed complication of trying to fit too many ideas into a single song, and I run myself a bit ragged with this stuff at times.

Despite all of the language that's available in the theory of music, so much remains totally individual, idiomatic and inexpressable. Nonetheless, I appreciate these sorts of forays into trying to communicate that which stirs us to create it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:15 PM   #18
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i was a music major in college for like 1 semester. i took a theory class and a piano class and didn't get the required grades to keep going, but i also realized i preferred to learn with my private guitar instructor.

i don't really write music, but when i usually do it's by accident and usually some sort of chord progression or melody. most of what i do in regards to guitar is working on technique, my jazz guitar lessons and theory in general. if it were up to me i'd be playing more metal and learning more songs by ear, but i'll probably do that once i've really got jazz as my foundation.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #19
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I too have the problem of trying to put too many ideas into one song, but good thing I have fatalerror to tell me where my fatal errors are, and to tell me I'm crazy.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:44 AM   #20
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I tried real hard for a while, realized I could never be good enough to satisfy myself, then stopped trying. That's probably all I have to contribute.
And for ye who say 'try again': It just isn't high enough on my priorities list anymore.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #21
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This thread has been awesome to read through. Thanks chaapy for creating it and everyone thats contributed!

I tend to struggle a lot when it comes to the creative process. I get way too hard on myself and never really know where to start which gets very frustrating at times. Then again my knowledge of theory is non existant and it is definitely among the many things id like to learn/work on. Either way i need to be more positive and confident when it comes to my ability as a musician, especially when it comes to writing. Im more in a position currently where i get the most out of learning other peoples material instead of trying to create my own.

Id love to see/learn what you guys have all come up with! Me and a buddy of mine are currently in the middle of a song and ill upload it as soon as i get it on gp. It'd be great to hear what you guys think.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:40 PM   #22
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And for ye who say 'try again': It just isn't high enough on my priorities list anymore.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:01 AM   #23
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thats why ive stopped writing shit and am moving more into producing and mixing. i hate everything i make. also the fact that its impossible to form a band
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:29 AM   #24
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also the fact that its impossible to form a band
shit is so fucking annoying. i feel like if you don't live in the right place, you're fucked.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:42 AM   #25
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shit is so fucking annoying. i feel like if you don't live in the right place, you're fucked.
it's one thing to find people who want to play something other than scene metalcore, and then finding people who are actually reliable and not complete flakes. fuck that
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:53 AM   #26
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shit is so fucking annoying. i feel like if you don't live in the right place, you're fucked.
Agreed x999999
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:03 AM   #27
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also the fact that its impossible to form a band
that's why i'd rather follow in my guitar instuctor's footsteps and be a session guitarist. he's been in bands, but he's always been a hired hand. it's easier to rely on yourself than having to worry about numerous other people.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:13 AM   #28
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that's why i'd rather follow in my guitar instuctor's footsteps and be a session guitarist. he's been in bands, but he's always been a hired hand. it's easier to rely on yourself than having to worry about numerous other people.
This.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:41 AM   #29
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that's why i'd rather follow in my guitar instuctor's footsteps and be a session guitarist. he's been in bands, but he's always been a hired hand. it's easier to rely on yourself than having to worry about numerous other people.

That is a good route to support yourself, and is a pretty good option if you shred like a mother fucker, highest bidder getting to use your skill-set. Being a session musician would be awesome, in the sense that you're still getting paid to play music. I'd never be satisfied playing other people's music and completely forgoing my own, though.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/93nrdz

Something I've been working on recently.

Last edited by modern death; 06-13-2012 at 02:48 AM..
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:28 AM   #30
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i like this thread. it has made me think about riffs I write and letting them sit for a couple days.
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