Riff writing... all of my stuff sounds too repetitive.


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TonyIommi2557
07-07-2009, 02:14 AM
If anybody's been following anything I've been posting the last couple days, here's another example...

It just seems as though everything I write is completely unoriginal, and generic. Does anybody have any general advice to follow in order to make my riff writing more creative?

zeemonkey
07-07-2009, 02:28 AM
try a new and foreign tuning. I find that trying new configurations will make play differently and so it allows me so force myself to spice things up.

The Pickle Man
07-07-2009, 02:37 AM
I think you're being too hard on yourself. That didn't sound generic to my ears at all, there were a lot of interesting phrases being used.

Also, you can't judge yourself on the stand along quality of the riff. It only becomes music once it is accompanied. To really know what your riff sounds like it needs to be wrapped up with bass and drums and whatever else you might see fit to accompany it.

-Flooow
07-07-2009, 08:35 AM
Well according to what someone already said, you just need to give your stuff time to develop. The best riff will just totally florish when you add some rhythm like drum and bass to it.

I did that to your song , with some re-arrangements.
I hope you don't mind.

I don't think that sounds generic at all now ;)

kylendm
07-07-2009, 09:14 AM
Yeah you definitely are being to hard on yourself. When you added drums it sounded great. All you needed to do was add more to it. It's not generic, it's just music and if you like it then screw everyone else and enjoy what you like to play.

Take it easy man and just add more riffs to your music and some structure like, Verse, Chorus, Bride, Intro, Outro. All those things are what can help make a song sound complete.

Good luck to your further writing i like a lot of it :peace:

TonyIommi2557
07-07-2009, 11:58 AM
Well according to what someone already said, you just need to give your stuff time to develop. The best riff will just totally florish when you add some rhythm like drum and bass to it.

I did that to your song , with some re-arrangements.
I hope you don't mind.

I don't think that sounds generic at all now ;)

Dude, that's actually pretty awesome! Much thanks!

See, I don't know how to program drums at all, I literally don't know much about drums. 'Tis why everything I post is drum-less.

-Flooow
07-07-2009, 12:52 PM
Dude thats not the point. I hardly know music theory but every now and then I can put out a quite acceptable piece of music.
Still I think they are too weak to post becuase .. let's say some party drew their inspiration from someone different. ;)

doing average drums is quite ok in guitar pro ^^
glad u like it =)

icronic
07-07-2009, 01:25 PM
Dude, that's actually pretty awesome! Much thanks!

See, I don't know how to program drums at all, I literally don't know much about drums. 'Tis why everything I post is drum-less.

Neither did I when I started writing my stuff in guitar pro, but it's not nearly as tough as you imagine.

All you really need to know is that a basic beat has the kick on beat 1 and the snare on beat 3, while the hi-hat plays quarter notes or eighth notes. Or in some cases, the Kick will come in on 1 and 3 while the snare comes in on 2 and 4. (The second example would apply if your song was written at a tempo of 105, and the notes were 16th notes instead of 8th notes. )

Once you get that basic beat down you can start experimenting with adding more kick and snare in there.

Anyway, I made a quick and dirty example. The first 8 bars are your basic standard beat, and the second bar is an evolved version of the same thing.

Flooow's example was probably better than mine, but I think mine will give you a good place to start from.

Also, it doesn't hurt to borrow ideas, and look at as many peoples drums tracks as you can find.

After a while it'll become a lot more natural. Honestly I don't know a hell of a lot about drums either, but it's become one of my favorite parts of writing songs.

Also... Great riffs. Really great. Didn't sound repetitive or unoriginal to me. Keep in mind that a certain amount of repetition is to be expected. Just turn on your radio, most 4 minute songs only consist of 3 maybe 4 8 bar segments that are just repeated over and over.

Any one instrument by itself is going to kind of sound and feel generic, but once you start adding instruments, and especially melodies your songs will really start to take on a personality of their own.

Also, check out my song Chords (it's linked in my sig) It is practically the definition of repetitive. It's over 5 minutes long yet only has 2 chord progressions throughout the entire song (B A E, and F#m G#m C#m) yet there are a million little things I've added onto it to keep it interesting for most of the song.

TonyIommi2557
07-07-2009, 06:30 PM
Neither did I when I started writing my stuff in guitar pro, but it's not nearly as tough as you imagine.

All you really need to know is that a basic beat has the kick on beat 1 and the snare on beat 3, while the hi-hat plays quarter notes or eighth notes. Or in some cases, the Kick will come in on 1 and 3 while the snare comes in on 2 and 4. (The second example would apply if your song was written at a tempo of 105, and the notes were 16th notes instead of 8th notes. )

Once you get that basic beat down you can start experimenting with adding more kick and snare in there.

Anyway, I made a quick and dirty example. The first 8 bars are your basic standard beat, and the second bar is an evolved version of the same thing.

Flooow's example was probably better than mine, but I think mine will give you a good place to start from.

Also, it doesn't hurt to borrow ideas, and look at as many peoples drums tracks as you can find.

After a while it'll become a lot more natural. Honestly I don't know a hell of a lot about drums either, but it's become one of my favorite parts of writing songs.

Also... Great riffs. Really great. Didn't sound repetitive or unoriginal to me. Keep in mind that a certain amount of repetition is to be expected. Just turn on your radio, most 4 minute songs only consist of 3 maybe 4 8 bar segments that are just repeated over and over.

Any one instrument by itself is going to kind of sound and feel generic, but once you start adding instruments, and especially melodies your songs will really start to take on a personality of their own.

Also, check out my song Chords (it's linked in my sig) It is practically the definition of repetitive. It's over 5 minutes long yet only has 2 chord progressions throughout the entire song (B A E, and F#m G#m C#m) yet there are a million little things I've added onto it to keep it interesting for most of the song.

Dude, this post has helped me a ton, much thanks! I need to ask though, how do I found out what numbers correspond to what drum parts? Looks like there is potential for a large amount of sounds without telling. :(

-Flooow
07-08-2009, 07:21 AM
That is written right when you open a Drum-Line
some pop-up .. well .. pops up. ;D
and there u go .. there are a lot of numbers and next to the numbers there is written
what sound you gonna get
35 e.g. is Acoustic Bass Drum

That's the part where should know a bit about what part of a drumset creates which sound, but then that's it basically.

icronic
07-08-2009, 12:06 PM
That is written right when you open a Drum-Line
some pop-up .. well .. pops up. ;D
and there u go .. there are a lot of numbers and next to the numbers there is written
what sound you gonna get
35 e.g. is Acoustic Bass Drum

That's the part where should know a bit about what part of a drumset creates which sound, but then that's it basically.

Yeah, you can also click the view menu then percussion and it will open that little pop up for you as well. There's also an icon at the top of the screen that will do it.