Well guys this is my first article so i thought id post something on a topic thats not usually touched upon. Basically this article will look at different areas of songs, some misconceptions and some truths of what I hae to say both me and my friend here want out of all the songs we listen to and how id reckon you could give us it ! ;) lets begin...
Ok, if we start at the beginning almost all songs have a set beginning.
Basically usually this is an introduction or a melody (tune) which gets touched on later in the song or is somehow relevant to the coming lyrics, no band that ever got anywhere had a giant shredathon before going into a heartfelt verse or country and western style singalong. Examples of this may be found in almost all genres from heavy metal to ska and punk, remember Guns 'N Roses?, look at Sweet Child 'O Mine, the guitar is practically the backing singer, anybody reading this listen to God Forbid?, theyre nothing like guns and roses but in their introduction they pretty much just introduce the chorus, play the tune for the chorus then start a verse.
Make sure you start at the beginning, trying to start a song without having any foundations set will usually lose the attention of the crowd, you want something which is going to appeal to those your aiming at, if your playing heavy metal then start with something noticeable, examples being harmonised riffs, pinch harmonics in Drop A or somethingjust to turn their heads for that split second you need, If your a blues player, good ideas can be to just burst in with a lively lick to convey what you wish, could be a lively up-beat major scale climb or a gradually sadening minor decent into a song about self-pitty, just the start is what turns the heads, so the first thing you need to do is flaunt your talent and get those lazy people of their back-sides!
After The Intro!
After this spectacular initial display you will want to either:
01. Embed the melodie or 02. Get the audience to feel like theyre part of the show OR 03. Just make em wanna headbang till their heads fall off
But theres not many ways of doing this, asides from essentials like a tight performance and a degree of skill you need that extra something to get all those kids up moshing or to get a whole crowd screaming (or singing ;)) along to one of your latest songs, so you need something memorable, something which either sticks in your head (The kind of performance where you go home humming the tune and keep your parents awake whistling it all night), Something with a rythem you could headbang (or tap your feet to) or something you just notice again, however so early in the song you shouldnt blow away the audience with your 6 string sweeping over 7 scales in 3 seconds for 20 minutes, but rather get more interaction, its a fact bands get bigger and stay bigger longer when the audience has participation, examples being Iron Maiden, Guns 'N Roses, AC/DC, Creedence Clearwater (for all your blues lovers!), and even Slipknot, all these bands had something in common, their fans instantly knew the lyrics and started screaming away at the stage. That gives people a big boost and they enjoy the performance much much more.
Get technical, Show them some of your fretboard wizardry! After showing you can write a good melodie, you have a tight performace, you have the crowd and furthermore youve achieved all you want to, you should show that theres some hidden skills. Remember though keep it relevant! Dont go doing a John Petrucci and running over the fretboard at 150 mpf (per finger!), although he is an amazing guitarist and thought of as one of the best, he never really got far because (among other things) he is a solo guitarist, their songs go on for about 25 minutes and only have sometimes 5 or 6 minutes singing in them, even then its being soloed over, just keep everything relevent, base your melodie on what the singer is either saying, or talking about, or whatever, just stay "mainly in the box", this means stay in key, keep it good and if you have any need to alter scales or swap keys for what ever reason make it natural, remember riffs and the like are almost always "resolved", this means the end actually feels like the end, for example image hearing an awesome solo or fill/bridge whatever, and its going great untill what feels and sounds like half way through, the singer waltzes in with the chorus, the cheek.
It is said that root notes tend to be very good at making a solo sound resolved. Looking at what a guitar is really there for it seems strange to have insanely long solos (Unless its a full solo song) as guitars are just there to back up the vocals and fill in where the vocals cant, the guitar adds a certain feel sometimes where it will bring back flooding memories of past experiances or will convey an emtion you can connect with and empathise with, personally lyrics dont really make me feel much but a good guitar solo can bring me to tears, like Brothers In Arms by Pink Floyd reminds me of a friend i lost a few years ago, it doesnt have to be epic, it doesnt have to be a sell-out but so long as there are people who can listen to your music and either relate to it, head bang to it, or just stand in amazement at your ability its a job well-done =)