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Old 01-16-2013, 11:38 AM   #21
Hail
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that's soul what lol
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:47 AM   #22
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Meh. Blues spin-off.

Parody or not, I still think his performance was genuine in that recording. There's a Guitar Player interview from 1983 where he talks about how his early inspiration in playing the guitar was Johnny Watson and Guitar Slim, and how they were just "yellin' it at you."

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BM: You've mentioned Johnny Guitar Watson and Gatemouth Brown as major influences.

FZ: I wouldn't say that Gatemouth sounded so blasphemous. Johnny Guitar Watson was an extremely evil-sounding guitar player at the time, but the smuttiest one I heard was Guitar Slim [Eddie Jones]... just pure smut. The thing that I liked about the two solos I heard when I was 16 that really intrigued me Ė the solo on Three Hours Past Midnight and the solo on The Story Of My Life Ė was not just the tone of the instrument but the absolute maniac way that he spewed out these notes in a phrase with little or no regard to the rest of the meter or what was going on, but still being aware of where the beat was. He was just yellin' it at you.

BM: More like a voice, which is how you think about your own solo playing.

FZ: Yeah, I think that's the most direct way to communicate with somebody, using speech rhythms. That really makes a big difference. Because, if you listen to a guy playing nice neat scale patterns and things like that, no matter how skillful he is in making his stuff land on the beat, you always hear it as Music Ė capital "M" music Ė lines, chord changes, and stuff like that. Real studied. But if you want to get beyond music into emotional content, you have to break through that and just talk on your instrument, just make it talk. And if you're gonna make it talk, you have to be aware that there's a different rhythmic attitude you have to adopt in order to do that.


I hear a lot of that in his playing from that era. Just him beating the shit out of the thing, enjoying the noise, and trying to get some emotional message out but not quite being proficient enough to do it, which is something many beginner guitarists can likely relate to. This element is still present in the rest of his guitar playing, but he obviously managed to hone it into the deadly weapon it became.

Last edited by TheHydra : 01-16-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:05 PM   #23
food1010
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Originally Posted by robbit10
Ah! So basically, I would learn to play the melodies that have the most emotional impact on me.. Then play with them, play them in different keys, modify the embellishments, the rhythm, and so on.. And then perhaps use such a modified melody in one of my songs? Instead of trying to come up with a melody out of thin air?
Not at all what I was saying. You still want to come up with your own melodies, but by doing those steps, you'll develop the vocabulary.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail
you try sounding good in a blues parody

like, really, it's not possible. it's physically out of bounds


"Weird Al" Yankovic - "Generic Blues"



Quote:
Originally Posted by robbit10
Ah! So basically, I would learn to play the melodies that have the most emotional impact on me.. Then play with them, play them in different keys, modify the embellishments, the rhythm, and so on.. And then perhaps use such a modified melody in one of my songs? Instead of trying to come up with a melody out of thin air?


While that's not what food was saying, it's not a bad idea... especially if you can't come up with a melody on your own. I wouldn't release a song like that, but that's just me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbit1
As for the part about melodies, yes, you have a point.. Constantly repeating the same melody without any changes to it IS boring. So a solution to that is to simply change the melody slightly each time it returns in the song?


Yes. The key to a good melody is repetition and variation. That book I recommended to you has an entire chapter devoted to it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:24 AM   #25
food1010
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Originally Posted by CarsonStevens
While that's not what food was saying, it's not a bad idea... especially if you can't come up with a melody on your own. I wouldn't release a song like that, but that's just me.
Come to think of it, if you're doing simple diatonic stuff, chances are it's been done before.

However, I don't see this as an excuse to intentionally copy licks. If you write something and then find out, after the fact, that it's almost exactly like another song, it's up to you to choose whether it's unique enough, but I think that if you think "I'll take this idea and change it a bit," then you're just stealing the idea.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:52 AM   #26
robbit10
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Originally Posted by food1010
Not at all what I was saying. You still want to come up with your own melodies, but by doing those steps, you'll develop the vocabulary.

Ah, yes. I think i'll do both - learn tons of melodies, play them in different keys, then write my own melodies. And when I struggle to come up with a melody, borrow the melody from someone else's song but modify it so much that it's unrecognizable compared to the other melody.

Quote:
While that's not what food was saying, it's not a bad idea... especially if you can't come up with a melody on your own. I wouldn't release a song like that, but that's just me.

Indeed.. However, if one would change the melody so drastically that it's unrecognizable compared to the other melody, then it's no problem, right? You're essentially basing your own melody on someone else's melody but modifying it so much that it's completely distinct from the original.

Quote:
However, I don't see this as an excuse to intentionally copy licks. If you write something and then find out, after the fact, that it's almost exactly like another song, it's up to you to choose whether it's unique enough, but I think that if you think "I'll take this idea and change it a bit," then you're just stealing the idea.

This happened to me once. I composed/recorded a song and liked it, then my dad came in and said it was very much like a song he used to hear on the radio.. He even stated it was almost a copy. I threw the song away.

As for "I'll take this idea and change it a bit", is it really stealing if you modify it so much that it has tons of your own ideas in it?
This argument also reminds me of an argument that is frequent on art forums.. Whether you should or should not use photo's as a reference to paint or draw. Without using reference, my drawings were crappy. With reference, though, they were a lot better. I basically took a few photo's - in case of one of my paintings, a photo of a meerkat and a photo of a mage's staff, and used them both to create a painting of a wizard-meerkat.
Perhaps the same approach will work well for me in music? Look up a few melodies, combine them and add a few of my own twists to it, resulting in something new.

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Holy hot damn! That's quite a change, isn't it? That kid playing shitty blues lines in his bedroom became one hell of a player/improviser/composer. All he needed was experience. Extensive amounts of time and effort to hone his skills down into the sharp point they became. There's nothing stopping anyone from doing this.

Yup, that sure is a big difference! This, along with several other things i've watched and read, made me realise that I shouldn't care if my compositions are crap - with every composition I make, I gain experience and get better. I might as well make 10 crap songs, but with every crap song I make, I gain experience.

This video is also very good:

The part I'm talking about is at 05:50

Quote:
If you add a good bass, fix the overly fake drums, fix the mixing a bit, it would sound a lot better.

You're right.. The song IS simple, but with good mixing and better drums, it would sound a lot better. (And without that annoying lead guitar lick)

Quote:
How long have you been playing?

About 7 years, but i've mostly been playing covers and improvising on top of backing tracks or other people playing, or improvising chord progressions that others would then play lead guitar to. No real composing.

Last edited by robbit10 : 01-17-2013 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbit10
Indeed.. However, if one would change the melody so drastically that it's unrecognizable compared to the other melody, then it's no problem, right? You're essentially basing your own melody on someone else's melody but modifying it so much that it's completely distinct from the original.


Absolutely. After all, it's only the same if it uses the same notes, aye? It's up to you how much to change before you consider it "new".

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This happened to me once. I composed/recorded a song and liked it, then my dad came in and said it was very much like a song he used to hear on the radio.. He even stated it was almost a copy. I threw the song away.


I did that once. One of the first songs I wrote unconsciously "borrowed" the rhythm from Zeppelin's "Communications Breakdown". Once I realized that I was bummed. Then I took it to my instructor and he explained to me how it was different; yes, the rhythm was the same, but I was in a different key, using the chords to a different effect, etc. So in his mind, it wasn't the same.

Oh, and Kid Rock - "All Summer Long".

Quote:
This argument also reminds me of an argument that is frequent on art forums.. Whether you should or should not use photo's as a reference to paint or draw.


I'm in game development. Every artist I've ever worked with has used references. Some even paint over photographs. Whatever gets the job done...
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #28
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I did that once. One of the first songs I wrote unconsciously "borrowed" the rhythm from Zeppelin's "Communications Breakdown". Once I realized that I was bummed. Then I took it to my instructor and he explained to me how it was different; yes, the rhythm was the same, but I was in a different key, using the chords to a different effect, etc. So in his mind, it wasn't the same.

Yep, it is different indeed. It would be absurd if a song would be considered a ripoff simply because one used the same chord progression. There are only so many to go around, after all.

As for the song I made then, I no longer have it, but I do remember that it had a melody that was apparently from some song my dad knew - might've heard it on the radio or something.

As for the book suggestion, I seem to have missed that part of your post but i'll look into that book now, thanks! Along with some other music theory books.

Quote:
I'm in game development. Every artist I've ever worked with has used references. Some even paint over photographs. Whatever gets the job done...

While I AM getting a bit off-topic here.. Funny, so am I Well, not professionally. I basically made two games in Unity3D of which one is finished, and one game tech demo in C++ and SFML.
What do you code your games in? And, erm, just in case we derail this thread, let's take it to private messages.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:41 PM   #29
Hail
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it's actually a rule here in MT that you need to derail every thread you post in, lest ye be banned
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #30
robbit10
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Originally Posted by Hail
it's actually a rule here in MT that you need to derail every thread you post in, lest ye be banned

Well, seems this thread is following the "rules" nicely then, eh?
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:35 PM   #31
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food1010, thank you for showing me these videos! This is stuff I definitely needed to hear!
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:18 AM   #32
MaggaraMarine
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Originally Posted by robbit10
Here's something I made about 2 years ago, notice how basic and boring it is:

This also completely didn't express what I wanted it to. I wanted to make something that would boost someone, kinda like Glasgow Kiss or F-zero's theme. Basically the "you can do it" thing.

But what I got was boring, generic, devoid-of-emotion "metal".

Your song sounded like it could be in a video game. Yes, pretty generic by itself but if it was a background track of a video game scene, it would sound OK.

BTW, change the intro chord progression from Em-C-D-Em to Em-C-D-A, it would fit the melody much better. The song had that kind of "battle metal" feeling. The drum intro was kind of cool. As I said, it would fit a fighting scene of some video game well.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:10 PM   #33
food1010
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Your song sounded like it could be in a video game. Yes, pretty generic by itself but if it was a background track of a video game scene, it would sound OK.

BTW, change the intro chord progression from Em-C-D-Em to Em-C-D-A, it would fit the melody much better. The song had that kind of "battle metal" feeling. The drum intro was kind of cool. As I said, it would fit a fighting scene of some video game well.
Honestly the problem is that there is no melody. That lead line is really just filler. It doesn't develop anything.

To reinforce what I said before, you just need to learn how to come up with melodies. You could use that exact same chord progression, come up with a melody, add some rhythmic variation, and you have yourself a song. Maybe not a fantastic song, but more than just some random riffage.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by robbit10
No matter what I play, I am not pleased with the melodies I come up with. They all sound way too pentatonic for my taste and more like something Kalmah would play, than what I want to express. I'm currently using the natural minor scale. I want something that lifts you up, kinda like John Petrucci's Glasgow Kiss or Joe Satriani's stuff. I don't like the sound of the Natural Minor scale for my guitar instrumentals.

I want to learn how to express these kinds of things:
- I want to express bliss, dreaminess, happiness, etherealness, love.. A bit like Joe Satriani's "Flying in a blue dream".

And the Major Scale is too happy, not the ethereal bliss I am talking about.
What scales should I learn to better invoke these emotions in my songs, and what other musical tools should I learn for this?


Flying in a blue dream is Lydian, so you could experiment with that for the ethereal sound. Glasgow Kiss is Mixolydian. As for conveying something dangerous sounding, have you heard "Race with Devil on Spanish Highway" by Al DiMeola? To me, that song conveys that feeling. That uses Phrygian. The harmony of a song plays a big role in the sound too. I like to analyze chord progressions in songs to get an idea of how the mood is created, and look for patterns between songs.

Now, here are some more general suggestions:

Learn/experiment with different scales, try out different chord progressions, try out different types of chord alterations. You can actually use a melody you already have, and reharmonize it in different modes and chord progressions to see what sound fits for you.

Analyze the melody, arrangemet, and harmony of songs you like, to get an idea of how they convey the emotion they do.

You might need to learn more theory to understand some of the things you're trying to do or some of the songs you analyze. Teachers are the best bet of course, and books are good too. "Tonal Harmony" by Kostka and Payne is good for basic theory, "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine is good for the more 20th century tonal music ideas used not only in jazz, but also rock, classical music, and pop. One book that you might find very beneficial is "Jazz Composition: Theory and Practice" by Ted Pease. I also like Tom Kolb's books, "Chord Progressions for Guitar" and "Soloing Strategies for Guitar". He's also got a book on modes, and one on theory, but I haven't read them, so I can't attest to them.

Now, that's enough to give you a proper headache! Perhaps even more important than any of the above is to try to create and develop sounds that are purely from your own imagination. People do this with melodies, sure, but try it with chord progressions too. When I do this, I'll usually write out the roots of the chords I hear in my head first, and then experiment with voicings and chord constructions until I find what I'm looking for. It can help a lot to put stuff into a program that'll play them back, so that you can hear what you wrote easily. Cheers!

p.s. when I said teachers are good, I meant good teachers are good . Unfortunately, there are a lot of teachers out there who are good at teaching your basic rock guitar and blues or pop songwriting, but not much else. If you ask a question about a more complex topic and your teacher tries to convince you that it's unnecessary complicated, or a fringe idea that's not worth learning, then maybe look elsewhere.

Last edited by 白い雲 : 01-19-2013 at 01:55 AM.
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