#1
Every time I try to compose something, it sounds generic and has no "edge" to it. I love metal, but I also love progressive rock. I don't like soft rock or classic rock too much, so prog rock kind of bridges the gap for me, i dont want to be another generic metal player.

A perfect example of the style I want to play would be Tool. Or The Mars Volta. Or The sound of animals fighting. You get the idea.

Anyways, every time i try to riff and stuff, it always turns out to be a metal riff with lots of palm muting and those typical metal intervals (fret 0 to 1, and fret 0 to 6 for example). I want to make music that is lighter and not so chugchugchug everywhere.

So anyways I'm jamming with my other guitarist whos playing bass. I think of an OK riff but still very metal. We groove and riff it and do some variations. I cannot for the love of me think of any leads to go with it. I tried to look at it musically and all i ended up doing was dancing the pentatonic around the root note! I want to make amazing leads but I don't know how.

I like E tuning, but sometimes it feels limiting. I don't want to use drop tunings because they're a crutch and make playing metal too easy. I'm tuned to C# standard. Drop D isn't low enough and C is too low. Like I said, not dropped, C# standard. I love this tuning. Between the Buried and Me uses it, and although they play almost all metal, many many of their songs and interludes of other songs feature ballad-esque type things with the C# standard tunings to make a very pleasing clean sound/slightly overdriven lead sound. Is this hurting me? I don't want it to.


So tl;dr- I want to compose songs but I keep composing metal generic crap. And I can't write leads to whatever I do happen to make. And is it bad to use C# tuning? It gives me the low notes i want and mellows out my tone a little more so it's not so icepickish with mids, i guess you could say. Makes it less Brian-May ish.
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Congrats dude. I kinda want a BJ too 'cause I like them so much. I'll check your clipz later.

Last edited by injected at Mar 16, 2009,
#2
wat about trying an open tuning? i can`t think of any off the top of my head and also i prefer using sharp tuning`s rather than standard or D or C, i think that using a half step or 1 and half step sound a lot heavier.
#4
I'm in an advanced(for a high school) 20-voice mixed ensemble. That's the only place I've ever gotten music to know music theory. I know what some intervals can do.. general major/minor scales.. but I only know as much as I have actually had to learn.

I don't know if it's good enough to compose with
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Congrats dude. I kinda want a BJ too 'cause I like them so much. I'll check your clipz later.

#5
I'd say listen to loads of music you dig, and start analyzing/transcribing. If you can figure out *why* you like a certain passage or song, then you'll be more likely to be able to replicate that same sort of feeling yourself when composing.

Transcribing/analysis also helps with your ears, you start to notice all sorts of far out ****. You just might blow your own mind. Remember: It's not just about how to play something, you've got to get in the head of the composer, figure out why they played what they played.

That all said, music theory never hurt no one. Just don't get yourself hung up on it, you'll just end up mugging yourself if you get hung up.
#6
Quote by injected
Every time I try to compose something, it sounds generic and has no "edge" to it. I love metal, but I also love progressive rock. I don't like soft rock or classic rock too much, so prog rock kind of bridges the gap for me, i dont want to be another generic metal player.

A perfect example of the style I want to play would be Tool. Or The Mars Volta. Or The sound of animals fighting. You get the idea.

Anyways, every time i try to riff and stuff, it always turns out to be a metal riff with lots of palm muting and those typical metal intervals (fret 0 to 1, and fret 0 to 6 for example). I want to make music that is lighter and not so chugchugchug everywhere.

So anyways I'm jamming with my other guitarist whos playing bass. I think of an OK riff but still very metal. We groove and riff it and do some variations. I cannot for the love of me think of any leads to go with it. I tried to look at it musically and all i ended up doing was dancing the pentatonic around the root note! I want to make amazing leads but I don't know how.

I like E tuning, but sometimes it feels limiting. I don't want to use drop tunings because they're a crutch and make playing metal too easy. I'm tuned to C# standard. Drop D isn't low enough and C is too low. Like I said, not dropped, C# standard. I love this tuning. Between the Buried and Me uses it, and although they play almost all metal, many many of their songs and interludes of other songs feature ballad-esque type things with the C# standard tunings to make a very pleasing clean sound/slightly overdriven lead sound. Is this hurting me? I don't want it to.

So tl;dr- I want to compose songs but I keep composing metal generic crap. And I can't write leads to whatever I do happen to make. And is it bad to use C# tuning? It gives me the low notes i want and mellows out my tone a little more so it's not so icepickish with mids, i guess you could say. Makes it less Brian-May ish.



Wat?


If anything, you should focus on music theory and learning the notes on the fretboard. If not that, then at least how to formulate major/minor scales, their harmonized counterparts, and experiment with leads and such (I know, all of this is part of theory, but I had to be a little more specific).
Also, learn some Tool, Mars Volta, and BTBAM (this one will be tough, as they very techically demanding). You'll get into
#8
pitch class sets??
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Congrats dude. I kinda want a BJ too 'cause I like them so much. I'll check your clipz later.

#9
About the tunings...they're not very important. You can write metal in C#, E, F, Drop A, whatever. But don't let anyone give you the idea that certain tunings are ' too easy', so you shouldn't use them or something. You can do a lot in a drop tuning that you wouldn't be able to do in standard.
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#10
Quote by injected
I don't want to use drop tunings because they're a crutch and make playing metal too easy.
Only if you use them as a crutch. And I don't see 'too easy' as a problem with music. And Tool uses drop D.

Quote by KenjiBeast
1. There ain't nothing wrong with downtuning.
Dang straight. Also, A Perfect Circle uses C# standard.

Quote by KenjiBeast
If you can figure out *why* you like a certain passage or song, then you'll be more likely to be able to replicate that same sort of feeling yourself when composing.

Remember: It's not just about how to play something, you've got to get in the head of the composer, figure out why they played what they played.
Couldn't say it better myself.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#11
I would say take a break, relax, do something else for now, come back at it in a month or so. you're probably burnt out and everything is coming out the same.
#12
First of all, we need to establish something. What is a song? That's subjective, imo a song is the melody a singer sings or the leads a lead guitarist plays or even the bassline (I'm thinking of jazz). Everything else (riffs and chord progressions) is just there to make this one melody sound better.
I can answer what isn't a song with complete certainty. A song isn't a set of riffs. A song isn't a chord progression.

So start simple, write a simple, interesting and catchy melody that's in the same pitch range of your singing voice. Once you get better (and once you've learned your theory), you might be able to write a progression to it. Once you get even better, you might be able to start adding interesting rhthyms or drum beats. Then you might be able to write a bassline or a riff in counterpoint with this melody (learning the subject "counterpoint" does help alot, but many composers get along fine with trial and error and their ear).

You've fallen in the same mistake most guitarists make. They play guitar, so when they listen to a song they'll drool over the guitar parts, they'll think the guitar parts are the parts that make a song good and then they'll only write guitar parts. In reality, most audiences don't care if it's sung, played on guitar or played on an orchestrial instrument. They just want a catchy, singable yet interesting melody.
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#13
That last post is ingenius.

Think of melodies first. That makes so much sense now!
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Congrats dude. I kinda want a BJ too 'cause I like them so much. I'll check your clipz later.

#14
Quote by injected
That last post is ingenius.

Think of melodies first. That makes so much sense now!

It wasn't easy for me...

I though riffs and melodies were the same thing...
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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#15
Quote by SilverDark
It wasn't easy for me...

I though riffs and melodies were the same thing...
Riffs are better described as a form of countermelody. They're too repetive to be interesting, too fast and too low to be catchy and only occasionally do they follow the rules for a sung melody (which makes melodies catchy). On that last point, don't worry too much about not knowing these rules, usually if you hum out your melodies a melody that follows these rules will be easily hummed. If you do know the rules, great for you. If you don't but want to, wait a few weeks and I swear I'll write them up in my blog.

For example, try to hum the opening riff of "daytripper" by the beatles, you'll notice you won't be able to hum it easily and stay in tune. This is because there are too many jumps and the melodic interval between the first note and the second note is an augmented second, which is hard as hell to sing right. Therefore, this is a riff and not a melody.
Don't get me wrong, it's interesting and works well (mostly) with the catchy singing melody, but it's not exactly a melody. It's memorable (no doubt), but it's not really catchy nor is it the main focus of the song.

So ya.
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[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.