#1
Well, I've been browsing for close to an hour for articles giving insight to the songwriting styles of some of my favorite musicians. The only musical analysis that I can find is for ancient classical music. I'm just looking for some songbooks that break down songs and techniques for bands such as Radiohead, The White Stripes, John Frusciante, and Tool.

These artists all seem to write very technically and classically influenced. Should I just start buying songbooks and studying them myself or are there resources out there?

I'd love for some advice and opinions of any of those bands writing styles. Or any band really.
#2
That's because most of the music for those artists is actually very simple. It comes down to being able to form and name chords of the key and then being comfortable with chord progressions and a few odd time signatures.

How much theory are you comfortable with now?
#3
Odd time signatures are something that I really, really wanted to focus on. I wanted to see how Radiohead and Tool used them to get their progressive sound.

I'm comfortable with advanced theory at this point. I can form all chords and inversions. I'm pretty good with counterpoint and voice leading. My songwriting is rough but I think I could follow the songwriting of others completely.

The thing I am most uncomfortable with, and cant find much information on is making and understand the whys and hows of the rhythm instruments.
Last edited by Kaos_00 at Feb 24, 2009,
#4
Well, in that case what you need to do is get a few of their songbooks and study. As goes the whole rhythm and odd time sigs, I might do a lesson on that some time soon, as most lessons online on the subject neglect to teach how to feel the new pulse. Don't hold your breath for it though, most likely you'll just have to knuckle down and listen hard and copy until you're blue in the face.
#5
Thanks for answering with good answers. They just reaffirmed what I thought.

I think I'll start by purchasing songbooks and taking notes on what works and what creates sounds and feelings. (Doing it the long way...) I don't mind that a bit though.

It's all just part of being a budding musician. Now I feel like I just spent an hour looking for shortcuts rather than doing anything productive. I do look forward to an article on time sigs and rhythm. Are there any articles out there right now that cover what I need? I'm looking to add a 'fullness' to my songwriting with the rhythm instruments.
#6
That fullness comes when you have drums and bass, generally.

Seriously, if I could give you one tip regarding the writing of music, it's that it's important to have artistic vision - to hear the whole piece (or enough of a piece) in your head and then follow through and create it.

An easy way to practice this is to imagine something and then, well, create it.
#7
Quote by Freepower
That fullness comes when you have drums and bass, generally.

Seriously, if I could give you one tip regarding the writing of music, it's that it's important to have artistic vision - to hear the whole piece (or enough of a piece) in your head and then follow through and create it.

An easy way to practice this is to imagine something and then, well, create it.



Am I the only one that finds this hard? Not the vision thing, I've got that, but once I start trying to orchestrate the guitar, the vocals and the rhythm section (I know, hardly "orchestration", but fuck off :P ) I lose track of one or the other, just like when I try and sing and play

Is this just a block I have to overcome?
#8
I don't know, it's your head and your music.

Practice'll solve it, anyway. It's definately possible to lose track of things or forget things - sometimes parts of your vision will be missing - eg, often I don't hear basslines to my mental drum grooves and then I have to experiment or leave them out. Practice visualising every part of a track and practice getting fast enough at transcribing it somehow (even a song chart on paper that goes "stomp riff" "jazz section x2" etc) can help it stay in your head.

I'm lucky in that if I have a really good idea I'll just film myself playing it, come back to it in my own time.
#9
working on my artistic vision, as you call it, is something i know i need to work on to improve my own songwriting. do you have any recommendations on how to practice/develop that skill?