Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 04-05-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
evhledzep5150
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Any instrumental rock songwriters here?

I'm talking in regards to Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, etc, those kinds of guitarists...

Are you experienced (no pun intended) with instrumental songwriting? Songwriting in general? How do you write songs? What approach do you take to songwriting? Do you go through a process or simply throw your hands on the guitar and see what you can create?

I myself have attempted songwriting but I have never actually written a full song. I tend to come up with small ideas and throw them away because I feel that they sound too generic or sound too much like another song or guitarist.

Any songwriting tips? Advice for me and anyone else who takes on the challenge of writing music? How can I improve my songwriting skills? Any responses would be very very much appreciated.


Thanks and keep on rockin
evhledzep5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
Sickz
Jazz Musician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
I have written a few myself, but i am nowhere an expert on the subject or anything.

Anyway, there is a couple of things i do when writing in a instrumental style.

1) An idea. Everything has to start somewhere, right? Get an idea of what you are going to write, this can be anything from having an idea of how the whole song should be to being just a 1 measure long melodic line. Basically, improvise/compose/muck about or whatever you do to get an idea going.

2) Form. Take a listen to Joe Satrianis "Always with me, Always with you". If you listen to that song carefully you will notice that it has a very obvious form. i would call it an "ABACA" form. Cause at the start of the song, we have the the A part, that would be the melody of the song. Then the B part comes, that is the part where he switches over to minor. Then what? We are back at the melody section! Then we have the C section, which in this song would be the solo section, then he finishes on the melody again. So basically this song is broken down into 3 parts.

The A part, the B part and the C part. Note that the A part is a little bit different each time, and that is what keeps it interesting. You can make more parts, or fewer parts, but a theme is very common in instrumental rock. Then you have other parts (B in this case) to add contrast, something is different. And then you have a solo section (C in this case).

3) Phrasing. Remember, an instrumental rock song isn't a long guitar solo (most of the time). It's just a song where the "story" is told through a guitar instead of vocals. In my experience thinking of the guitar more as vocals benefits you. Cause then you will be forced to make elegant phrases. A singer isn't going on and on forever. They sing a sentence or two, and then they take a break and then they sing again. Think like a vocalist would. That is my advice.

I hope that was helpful in any way to you, and i hope you make progress.
Take my advice though and study the form of instrumental rock songs you like, can you divide it into sections? (like ABACA) Can you hear them thinking about phrasing?

Other than the advice i've already given you, work on your ears. Music should come from what you hear in your head, and training your ears will help you grasping that idea you might have in there somewhere. So i recommend you do that in any shape or form, be it transcribing tunes, doing intervall ear training exercises on the internet, just do it.

Cheers mate.
__________________
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."

Last edited by Sickz : 04-05-2013 at 05:39 PM.
Sickz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
ibrahimasood
Is cooler than you
 
ibrahimasood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
pretty much what Sickz said



Edit: I did not even read your sig!
__________________
JUST ANOTHER ANNOYING BIG STATUS

Last edited by ibrahimasood : 04-05-2013 at 06:06 PM.
ibrahimasood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
Dimarzio45
Finally Divorced Peggy
 
Dimarzio45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rochester, NY - USA
Thematic Development is a pretty interesting way to write music. It's not always the best approach though.

Either way, take it one verse at a time and remember: Phrasing! If you're not phrasing, your musically speaking with a bunch of jargon. Scott Henderson describes it the best in one of his videos. But, if you're goin' for a Vai style, instrumental song-write, Start basic on the rhythm guitar part and work from there, considering you haven't had much experience with fully writing a song.

Edit: Send me some tracks and I'll throw some drums on there.
Dimarzio45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
supersac
Registered User
 
supersac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
ive written solo acoustic peices if that counts(look at youtube link in sig)

what i do when writing i have an idea be it rhythmic melodic or just something i want to try out like forcing myself to play in a different time signature of in a new tuning or a very simple two note vamp or bassline or something and once i have that i just go on from there just trying to tell the songs story

also as has been told before melody and phrasing are VERY important
__________________
a youtube link?
maybe you should click on it
http://www.youtube.com/user/supersac69


Quote:
Originally Posted by whoomit
You sound like an amazing friend
i sound like one...im secretly a huge dick

my bands soundcloud
http://soundcloud.com/thenativetongues
supersac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
Dimarzio45
Finally Divorced Peggy
 
Dimarzio45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rochester, NY - USA
Wow. What a slow thread. I disapprove of this.
Dimarzio45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
crushingmetal
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Honestly, writing a song is the easiest thing in the world if you actually like music. All you have to do is ask yourself what you like about music. Or more specifically, what you like to hear in a song.

Do I like big fat riffs to kick things off? Hell yes I do, so I'm gonna come up with some big fat riffs! Do I like little lead breaks before going into a verse? Yes I do, so let's think up some tasty lead licks. How about a big major scale chorus with layered guitars? Sure why not! That into riff I had was pretty sweet so let's go back to that for a bit so people don't forget it. Now how about some solos? What are some scales I like, oh yeah, this one, that one, and this other one, actually no how about this one instead. How about some clean guitar to solo over as well? Wonderful!

Now what do I like about my favourite songs? Oh yeah, it's that they feel 'complete' because they have some repetition, so let's bring that chorus back in, and look at that we have a song. Like I said, easiest thing in the world. All you need is ideas, and ideas need creativity and everyone has creativity so you should have no problem.
__________________
PILLARS OF THE MONOLITH

Last edited by crushingmetal : 04-05-2013 at 08:58 PM.
crushingmetal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
evhledzep5150
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
Wow. What a slow thread. I disapprove of this.


Then go to the millions of faster threads available in this forum... this is a thread about a specific genre and millions of responses are not expected. Your seal of approval is not needed.
evhledzep5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #9
Dimarzio45
Finally Divorced Peggy
 
Dimarzio45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rochester, NY - USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by evhledzep5150
Then go to the millions of faster threads available in this forum... this is a thread about a specific genre and millions of responses are not expected. Your seal of approval is not needed.

Sheesh man. Wasn't trying to be a dick about it. I was only saying that it's a shame more people can't help you out. I hope you've been helped.

Last edited by Dimarzio45 : 04-05-2013 at 10:42 PM.
Dimarzio45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 03:36 PM   #10
CarsonStevens
Rocksmith
 
CarsonStevens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
I have some experience writing instrumental rock. I'm no Satriani, but a lot of my stuff tends to wind up in instrumental form. My debut EP is going to be over 50% instrumentals. I'm annoyed at that.

Anyhoo, in addition to what Sickz said, here's my two two cents' worth.

Quote:
Are you experienced (no pun intended) with instrumental songwriting?


I've written at least four instrumentals in varying styles, so yeah. (FTR: They're on my profile. Check out "Jenny Lee", "Callie", "Flowers for Shetal", and "One Night in India".)

Quote:
Songwriting in general?


...Yes? If by "songwriting in general" you mean "Have you written anything with lyrics?", then yes. Instrumentals are slightly different (for me, anyway) in that my melodic phrases tend to be shorter and I vary/repeat my themes a bit more than I would with a lyrical melody, but that's just my style.

Quote:
How do you write songs?


In the case of an instrumental, I tend to start with a melody and then harmonize the arrangement under it.

Quote:
What approach do you take to songwriting? Do you go through a process or simply throw your hands on the guitar and see what you can create?


It depends. "One Night in India" came about because I'd just bought a Ravish Sitar pedal and I was dicking around on it. The melody just took shape, so I wrote it down, refined it, added some variations, and then put some chords under it. "Jenny Lee" came from a focused effort to re-write an old instrumental that I'd done a long time ago that was utterly terrible, relatively speaking. (It was good for a beginner, but I knew it could be better.) I re-did the melody and kept the old rhythms and arpeggios, then fleshed it out with a better bass line and more parts, plus the counterpoint soloing that I had wanted the first time but lacked the skill to write.

Quote:
I myself have attempted songwriting but I have never actually written a full song.


Fix that. Finish a song no matter how bad you think it is. Then, sleep on it. You may like it more the next day. And if you don't, change it. If you can't think of a way to change it, leave it alone until you do. "Jenny Lee" evolved over several years.

Quote:
I tend to come up with small ideas and throw them away because I feel that they sound too generic or sound too much like another song or guitarist.


Stop doing that. You're not the radical revolutionary guitarist you wish you were. Very few people are. Simply by virtue of music being what it is, you're going to sound similar to someone else. However, you're still putting your own spin on things, so you're not a total clone. Besides, people want stuff that sounds like other stuff that they like. If you sound like Slash, Slash fans will like you. If you sound like an industrial machinery accident, well, you'll probably be really original, but no one will want to sit through one of your performances. Except maybe Rammstein fans.

Quote:
Any songwriting tips? Advice for me and anyone else who takes on the challenge of writing music? How can I improve my songwriting skills? Any responses would be very very much appreciated.


Stop second-guessing yourself. You're not growing as a musician because you're choking off everything you come up with lest it not be perfect, which of course, it won't be because you're never actually finishing what you start, and giving it the chance to grow and evolve.

CS

Last edited by CarsonStevens : 04-06-2013 at 03:51 PM.
CarsonStevens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 01:07 PM   #11
daniel.kPL
Registered User
 
daniel.kPL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
I think you should read some literature about music composition, that helps. I write a lot of instrumental songs, and within last two years, when I studied a lot of music theory my songwriting went up. Theory helps when you don't have enough inspiration.
__________________
check out my fanpage for guitar stuff!
http://www.facebook.com/dkguitarlessons
daniel.kPL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 05:08 PM   #12
evhledzep5150
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
Sheesh man. Wasn't trying to be a dick about it. I was only saying that it's a shame more people can't help you out. I hope you've been helped.


Rly sorry man. I misinterpreted that what you said earlier. No hard feelings.
evhledzep5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #13
satchfan9
Registered User
 
satchfan9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
I've written a couple, it's my main thing but I got into really developing technique and left writing aside. I've gotten back to it and I have to say it's beautiful to see a full piece.

My process usually goes:
Idea
It comes to mind by some divine power or I'm thinking of something. I have a notebook with ideas that I could use.
Meditate on it
I think on the subject, maybe search some info. I usually do it in a dark room, so I'm not visually distracted.
Get it out
I pick up the guitar and play what I feel is right for it.
Notate it
I write it so I don't forget any detail. Also could be recorded
Let it breathe then refine it
Exactly what it says.

Sometimes I'm noodling and something comes out, so I use basically the same process.
Sometimes I just pick up the guitar and I have something instantly.

You should also learn some song from them, especially by ear, it helps with the phrasing. I'll suggest Timmons, Petrucci, Poland, Loomis & Loureiro. I could go all day feel free to pm to ask.

Last edited by satchfan9 : 04-07-2013 at 05:57 PM.
satchfan9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #14
Dimarzio45
Finally Divorced Peggy
 
Dimarzio45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rochester, NY - USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by evhledzep5150
Rly sorry man. I misinterpreted that what you said earlier. No hard feelings.

Nah, it's all good.
Dimarzio45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #15
duder#4
METAL UP YOUR ASS!
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: N.M
I've really only made one song that I call "Everlasting dreams." Been trying to record it lately.
WHat I do is start up the drum machine or get a drummer to gimme a rhythm I like or prefer. Then I add some Rhythm sounds to it, loop it then play over it till it sounds like what I want. I do this for the whole song.
__________________
smokin a few joints!
drinkin a few minotaurs!,
Rockin!
duder#4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2013, 07:02 PM   #16
Sean0913
Music Theory Renegade
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimarzio45
Wow. What a slow thread. I disapprove of this.


Cool....people who care and require your approval, will be contacting you via email here. You might want to go watch it, so you can count the number of responses. In 10 days, let us know how many wrote.

Or, you can say something constructive, or learn how to say what you mean and mean what you say, so that you don't come across as judgemental, or someone that feels they are entitled to something, rather than adding to and enriching the group dynamic here.

Best,

Sean
__________________
Guitar Teacher/Mentor

An Online, Theory Based Guitar School

Stuck? I Mentor Guitar Players for Free.

If you are interested in the Academy, I offer a free Skype-based Demo. Just contact me on my profile, and we can work out the times.

Last edited by Sean0913 : 04-10-2013 at 07:05 PM.
Sean0913 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2013, 11:12 PM   #17
:-D
hi
 
:-D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Earth
Quote:
Originally Posted by crushingmetal
Honestly, writing a song is the easiest thing in the world if you actually like music.

what.

the process you described may allow you to write songs easily, but there's a difference between a song and an interesting song

ac/dc probably writes what they like about music and while they've been successful it's hardly the most exciting material out there
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archeo Avis
You just won.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockaholic97
Thanks! I wish everyone on Ultimate Guitar could be more like you!
:-D is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:31 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.