The process of writing a song with a band- problem


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SeanHart213
03-03-2008, 01:21 AM
I just joined a local deathcore act in my town. I brought technical death metal and progressive/avant garde styles to the table (being that i'm the only guitarist, i have a good control of the song's progressions).

Now here's the problem.

When I write riffs, I NEED to program drums along with that riff. It sounds weird, but its just my thing, much like Muhammed Suicmez explained about his drum programming for "Onset Of Putrifaction", the guitars and drums are almost one.

In technicality, my strongest weapon is timing. So drums are very crucial to the riffs that I write, ya dig?

Now I can't collaberate a riff to a drum pattern with the band's drummer the same way that I can do it with my trusty drum machine. He isn't too hot with theory or learning a pattern when I try to explain it to him. And when he gets frustrated he says "I'm the drummer, I should write the drum parts!"

We tried using Guitar Pro software to program drums. That way he could see what I programmed and learn it by the tab. But again, he complains that they aren't his parts.

I tried to compromise with him by saying "well add your own fills and give the patterns your own feel". But he won't buy that.

So now he has complete control of the drums. I record my guitar riffs with a metronome and he drums to it afterwards. But it takes forever for him to figure out
1. how many times to play each riff
2. the order of riffs in the song
3. time signature changes, tempo changes

The song writing process is about 4 times as long now. And I can't kick him out, I'm the new guy! I really like the band and the songs we've written thus far, and I'm good friends with all of them, but what formulas for writing songs should we experiment with? What do YOU do when you write songs with your band?

dtank
03-03-2008, 01:27 AM
get a better drummer...not just skill wise...but cooperation-wise

Saffron_Inferno
03-03-2008, 01:27 AM
don't ask me about issues with music in a band...mine just broke up

GoDrex
03-03-2008, 01:32 AM
I think since you're new the best thin you can do is, if you're writing a song, say that you wrote the basic drum part as well. if you have it demo'ed then you can play them for the band and see if they like it how you want it. If they do, the drummer will have to give in (I'd think) or he'll have to come up with something better. Either that or compromise a bit and see what the drummer comes up with and give him suggestions for important parts you feel need to be a certain way. It seems to me if you're the primary song writer he should listen to your ideas for the drum parts, but I guess you need to have a way of doing it in a way that doesn't make the guy feel like he's not being creative. I guess you have two choices - you can say hey look I wrote this song and I want the drum parts to be a certain way, with room for him to express himself - or let him come up with the parts on his own and deal with that. You could try both ways and see what the rest of the band thinks.

alekaka
03-03-2008, 01:33 AM
saffron why do you have to be an emo-bit*h and d tank did you actually read?
and to you sean try to get him to write drum beats first. or even get the bassit to write a rythem part that may help

SeanHart213
03-03-2008, 01:39 AM
Thanks GoDrex. Yes, I am the primary songwriter since I play the only treble clef instrument, i have to lay down the ground work. Vocalists have it so easy hahaha
I have been thinking in circles and your reply has really helped clear things up for me to see whats really the deal here. If worst comes to worst, we can find a new drummer. I think that the band would rather kick him out for more room for improvement than find another guitarist and start a new style.

SlackerBabbath
03-03-2008, 06:57 AM
I just joined a local deathcore act in my town. I brought technical death metal and progressive/avant garde styles to the table (being that i'm the only guitarist, i have a good control of the song's progressions).

Now here's the problem.

When I write riffs, I NEED to program drums along with that riff. It sounds weird, but its just my thing, much like Muhammed Suicmez explained about his drum programming for "Onset Of Putrifaction", the guitars and drums are almost one.

In technicality, my strongest weapon is timing. So drums are very crucial to the riffs that I write, ya dig?

Now I can't collaberate a riff to a drum pattern with the band's drummer the same way that I can do it with my trusty drum machine. He isn't too hot with theory or learning a pattern when I try to explain it to him. And when he gets frustrated he says "I'm the drummer, I should write the drum parts!"

We tried using Guitar Pro software to program drums. That way he could see what I programmed and learn it by the tab. But again, he complains that they aren't his parts.

I tried to compromise with him by saying "well add your own fills and give the patterns your own feel". But he won't buy that.

So now he has complete control of the drums. I record my guitar riffs with a metronome and he drums to it afterwards. But it takes forever for him to figure out
1. how many times to play each riff
2. the order of riffs in the song
3. time signature changes, tempo changes

The song writing process is about 4 times as long now. And I can't kick him out, I'm the new guy! I really like the band and the songs we've written thus far, and I'm good friends with all of them, but what formulas for writing songs should we experiment with? What do YOU do when you write songs with your band?

If I were you, any songs you write with the drum machine, record a rough home demo of them with just the drums and guitar on. Then take the recording and play it to your drummer, he'll have a much better idea of what he needs to be doing then, but don't be too strict with what he does with it, as long as it works, give him some freedom to play around with it until he's comfortable with the song.
He's the backbone of your band and once he's settled into the song, then the rest should work out nicely.
As for songwriting with a band, I've done it a few different ways but my favourite is to get everybody together, get the drummer to play the first beat that comes into his head, then get the bassist (or guitarist) to play something over it, followed by the rest of the musicians in the band and finaly the vocalist.
To start with, let the singer just sing gobbledegook, at this stage it doesn't matter what the words are, just that he get's some kinda melody happening.
Play around with the structure of the song, try putting verses and choruses in different orders and add any bridges or solos or even take bits out and see how it works without them. Once you're all fairly happy with it, do a recording. The quality of this recording doesn't matter, it's just there as a reminder of how the tune goes, so you could use a beat up old cassette tape recorder with a built in mic placed in the best spot in the room to pick everything up.
Give everyone a copy to take home and listen to. By the next band practice, everyone will have some fresh ideas of what they'd like to do with it and whoever writes the lyrics, (probably the singer) will have some words written to suit the song.
Play around with it again, trying out everyone's ideas and do another rough recording.
Sometimes, you'll have a complete song that naturaly moves and just feel right within half an hour of your drummer laying the beat down, sometimes it'll take a few sessions and quite a few weeks to get a result.
Occasionaly you'll get a song that just doesn't work that you all feel uncomfortable with, these songs should be dropped, but keep the recordings of them. You never know when a song will come along that you could use sections from the dropped songs to improve it, especially for bridges or any key changes. Call it 'recyling' if you want.
;)

EDIT;
I think since you're new the best thin you can do is, if you're writing a song, say that you wrote the basic drum part as well. if you have it demo'ed then you can play them for the band and see if they like it how you want it. If they do, the drummer will have to give in (I'd think) or he'll have to come up with something better. Either that or compromise a bit and see what the drummer comes up with and give him suggestions for important parts you feel need to be a certain way. It seems to me if you're the primary song writer he should listen to your ideas for the drum parts, but I guess you need to have a way of doing it in a way that doesn't make the guy feel like he's not being creative. I guess you have two choices - you can say hey look I wrote this song and I want the drum parts to be a certain way, with room for him to express himself - or let him come up with the parts on his own and deal with that. You could try both ways and see what the rest of the band thinks.
Just read this, and it's practicaly the same as what I've said.
Great minds think alike eh? ;)

binkythefurious
03-03-2008, 07:00 AM
So now he has complete control of the drums. I record my guitar riffs with a metronome and he drums to it afterwards. But it takes forever for him to figure out
1. how many times to play each riff
2. the order of riffs in the song
3. time signature changes, tempo changes


Would it not be easier to just jam with him or something. From my experience with drummers it would be better for you to play right in front of him so he can just "feed" off what you're doing a bit more.

And then he can make **** up, eventually when he plays something that sounds really close to what you wanted you say "yeah dude, that beat you just made up was awesome!" ;)