#1
Hello. Firstly I’d like to say that I understand everyone gets their own style through inspirations. However, the fellow guitarist in my band takes it too far. Whenever he writes something new, I can always hear the heavy influence in the writing. Take an incident that happened about 9 months ago.... He came up with a riff and immediately I made the connection between it and Suicide Nation by At The Gates.

He’s done this time and time again and I’ve confronted him about it before and told him to try to go out of his comfort zone, if you will, and write something different. His defense was, of course, that I should change my style to because of my heavy Slayer influence.

But I took him up on it and about a week later I came up with an entire song, solo and all, and not only was it far from my style, it has a very non-Slayer solo. Then I told him that if I can do it then so can he. Well, a few days after he calls me and tells me how excited he is to show me his new, out of his comfort zone song. However, when he showed me it, immediately I could tell that he was listening to Spirit Crusher by Death while writing it. The song was sooo similar. It ticked me off so much and continues to… almost 10 months after I originally confront him he continues to write these songs.

What should I do with him? He's extremely dedicated and learns everything I write that day and plays it until it's stamped in his mind. I’ve confronted him about everything on my mind, I’ve completely changed my writing and made it more of my own style, and he still hasn’t changed. But the last thing the rest of the band and I want to do is kick him out or do the majority of the writing… any ideas?
Last edited by DragTheWaters11 at Sep 8, 2009,
#2
I would suggest not letting him write full songs. He seems like someone who's good at taking ideas and refining them so let him do that; then he's still part of the process. Better yet, why doesn't the whole band just collaborate writing songs?
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#3
does it bother you that much, i mean I don't see anything negative going on.
#4
Quote by Thrasher51
I would suggest not letting him write full songs. He seems like someone who's good at taking ideas and refining them so let him do that; then he's still part of the process. Better yet, why doesn't the whole band just collaborate writing songs?



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#5
Quote by Thrasher51
I would suggest not letting him write full songs. He seems like someone who's good at taking ideas and refining them so let him do that; then he's still part of the process. Better yet, why doesn't the whole band just collaborate writing songs?

Well we all are collaborating but we do it in a weird way, I guess. Every member in the band can play guitar and we're all good at it. However, our way of doing it is everyone writes a "song" and we all decide what parts of the "song" we like and if we like them we put them "in the bag", which is a bunch of guitar recordings stored on my external.

And basically when we get down to the more formal ways of writing our music, which we're just getting to we listen to all the riffs and make cuts and changes and arrangements along the way. The thing is... none of his stuff is making the cut because the others and I are seeing all the heavy influences in the riffs and they all pretty much sound like he tried learning the songs by ear and then making adjustments.

@pepsi, I don't see how anyone could have a problem with influences, I mean.. we all have influences in our writing but everything sounds so similar to other songs it's annoying. And me, including many others in the world, completely hate it when bands sound too much like other famous bands... kind of like a crappy cover band.
#6
Quote by DragTheWaters11
@pepsi, I don't see how anyone could have a problem with influences, I mean.. we all have influences in our writing but everything sounds so similar to other songs it's annoying. And me, including many others in the world, completely hate it when bands sound too much like other famous bands... kind of like a crappy cover band.


okay so you're guitarist isnt original at writing. but you said your band dont even acknowledge his writing contributions.. whats the problem then?
#7
Quote by pepsi1187
okay so you're guitarist isnt original at writing. but you said your band dont even acknowledge his writing contributions.. whats the problem then?

We want someone else who's going to contribute. That's the problem. He's not contributing anything but "copies" of other writing.
#8
Quote by DragTheWaters11
We want someone else who's going to contribute. That's the problem. He's not contributing anything but "copies" of other writing.


okay well, is he expendable, is it worth the trouble to replace him. or can you not find someone else to fill his spot?
#9
Quote by pepsi1187
okay well, is he expendable, is it worth the trouble to replace him. or can you not find someone else to fill his spot?

Expendable? That's in the eye of the beholder my friend. He's extremely committed but lacks what we're looking for and even though he's committed, he still wont adjust and try to come up with his own writing.

We can replace him, but will he be as committed in the aspect that he'd learn the music and practice, practice, practice.... I don't know. With the current guy I have that insurance but like I've said before, doesn't seem like I'm gonna get anything out of him.

Which is why I've posted this... We don't want to replace him because it might not be possible to get his qualities in return, but we want someone to help write which he isn't providing. And I'm hoping someone more experienced can assist us in our decision.
Last edited by DragTheWaters11 at Sep 8, 2009,
#10
Quote by DragTheWaters11
Expendable? That's in the eye of the beholder my friend. He's extremely committed but lacks what we're looking for and even though he's committed, he still wont adjust and try to come up with his own writing.

We can replace him, but will he be as committed in the aspect that he'd learn the music and practice, practice, practice.... I don't know. With the current guy I have that insurance but like I've said before, doesn't seem like I'm gonna get anything out of him.

Which is why I've posted this... We don't want to replace him because it might not be possible to get his qualities in return, but we want someone to help write which he isn't providing. And I'm hoping someone more experienced can assist us in our decision.


I'd say let go a bit. It may sound like a certian song to you, but not to an audience. Young Gutarists dont develop a syling for a long time. You'd be hard pressed to get anything out some of the youngin's that dosent have a copycat syling of some kind. And besides, it helps identify you to your fan base. "they sound like Slayer!" That type of thing. Give it time, your styles will develop, there's no worries in copying styles for now.

That being said however, if you guys are that serious (as a band) in your originality, then he should take back-up duties in writing. let the style develop, and see where it takes you.

Hope I can help. Good Luck man.
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#11
Quote by DragTheWaters11
Expendable? That's in the eye of the beholder my friend. He's extremely committed but lacks what we're looking for and even though he's committed, he still wont adjust and try to come up with his own writing.

We can replace him, but will he be as committed in the aspect that he'd learn the music and practice, practice, practice.... I don't know. With the current guy I have that insurance but like I've said before, doesn't seem like I'm gonna get anything out of him.

Which is why I've posted this... We don't want to replace him because it might not be possible to get his qualities in return, but we want someone to help write which he isn't providing. And I'm hoping someone more experienced can assist us in our decision.



look man, do you really need him to help out with writing, or can you guys make do.

I mean, it doesn't sound like your group is suffering because this kid can't write. If you guys are doing fine without his help, then all this kid needs to do is show up and play. If its imperative you need someones help with writing, than drop this guy and find someone that can write. It's that simple. But listen to me, having everyone on the same commitment level is probably the hardest thing to attain. The best attribute a person can have is just showing up and play.
#13
I would just tell him he needs to be more original with his writing. It's OK to take influence but you need to make the song your own.

A good example would be Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue and In the Lead by Crush 40.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Y2g3zOzZM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Q0RfEzxEM

Jun from Crush 40 has stated that KSMH influenced him, and the songs are similar, but the vocals, arrangement and solo are all different, which is something you need to drill into your guitarist. You can take another idea as a starting point and build on it, not just copy the whole song.

Or it could just be that he can't really write anything himself so he relies on copying others. In this case you could help him to write better songs or just take over writing yourself.

And to Jonny Ryan Mac, I see how hiding your sources could work, but I'm sure TS wants to feel his band has their own music, and hasn't just copied others hoping no one notices. And besides, you never know who might be a Death/ATG/Slayer fan and will cop you on your "borrowing" of riffs.
#14
Quote by SilentHeaven109
I would just tell him he needs to be more original with his writing. It's OK to take influence but you need to make the song your own.

A good example would be Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue and In the Lead by Crush 40.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Y2g3zOzZM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Q0RfEzxEM

Jun from Crush 40 has stated that KSMH influenced him, and the songs are similar, but the vocals, arrangement and solo are all different, which is something you need to drill into your guitarist. You can take another idea as a starting point and build on it, not just copy the whole song.

Or it could just be that he can't really write anything himself so he relies on copying others. In this case you could help him to write better songs or just take over writing yourself.

And to Jonny Ryan Mac, I see how hiding your sources could work, but I'm sure TS wants to feel his band has their own music, and hasn't just copied others hoping no one notices. And besides, you never know who might be a Death/ATG/Slayer fan and will cop you on your "borrowing" of riffs.

Alright. Firstly, thanks for the feedback. Secondly, yeah.. I understand your point completely. In the following weeks I'll be a little more persistent with trying to get him into more original writing, or I can possibly even help him with his writing and tell him how I write music and etc.. And as a last resort, if nothing changes we'll have a discussion with him about us taking over the writing.

I think the easiest thing to do, however, instead of maybe pushing him further and further to write better; we can do the writing and he can help with the arrangement and other things..

All I want to do is make this work, however, and not be like some other bands and make any one person have little or no influence on the writing side (Things still work out this way, yes... but I feel things generally work out better when everyone contributes). So if anybody has any other idea of what can be done, it would still be appreciated.
Last edited by DragTheWaters11 at Sep 9, 2009,
#15
Quote by DragTheWaters11
Alright. Firstly, thanks for the feedback. Secondly, yeah.. I understand your point completely. In the following weeks I'll be a little more persistent with trying to get him into more original writing, or I can possibly even help him with his writing and tell him how I write music and etc.. And as a last resort, if nothing changes we'll have a discussion with him about us taking over the writing.

I think the easiest thing to do, however, instead of maybe pushing him further and further to write better; we can do the writing and he can help with the arrangement and other things..

All I want to do is make this work, however, and not be like some other bands and make any one person have little or no influence on the writing side (Things still work out this way, yes... but I feel things generally work out better when everyone contributes. So if anybody has any other idea of what can be done, it would still be appreciated.


You've just /threaded your own thread

It takes time to learn to write songs well, and if you are already at the level where you and the rest of the band can write well, it's better to just get on with it rather than trying to work on everyones ideas just to include them.

Of course, if he really wants to learn to write better, you could be a good friend and help him
As long as he is learning on his own as well, you giving him a few pointers can't hurt at all.
Last edited by SilentHeaven109 at Sep 9, 2009,
#16
Quote by SilentHeaven109
You've just /threaded your own thread

It takes time to learn to write songs well, and if you are already at the level where you and the rest of the band can write well, it's better to just get on with it rather than trying to work on everyones ideas just to include them.

Of course, if he really wants to learn to write better, you could be a good friend and help him
As long as he is learning as well, you giving him a few pointers can't hurt at all.

Yeah, lol. Sometimes posting about something on a forum helps yourself come up with ideas.

But yes, I think he does want to learn how to write better, but finding a way to help him with that's not going to be easy.

Thank you!
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#17
Quote by DragTheWaters11
Yeah, lol. Sometimes posting about something on a forum helps yourself come up with ideas.

But yes, I think he does want to learn how to write better, but finding a way to help him with that's not going to be easy.

Thank you!


Does he know his theory? When I first started writing, I didn't know anything about scales or keys or anything, and everything just sound terrible. However, even after learning the minor scale, I noticed a significant improvement in my writing. Obviously I don't know what level he's at, but if he doesn't know any theory, just help him with the basics and get him to work on it himself.

Another thing I would say is that, again I don't know exactly, but it seems like he has narrow musical taste. One thing that helps to improve anyones writing is just listening to more music.
I write Hard Rock/Melodic Metal, but I listen to Pop, Trip Hop, Death Metal and many other styles, and all of this helps to diversify the material I write, because let's face it, if I only listened to Motley Crue, X Japan and Crush 40, the main influences to my writing, then all of my material would just sound like them.
This goes for everyone everywhere, listen to more music!
#18
in my band (im the singer) i tend to come up with ideas and some lyrics but as i am terrible at guitar i have the guitarists come up with stuff. one of the guitarists struggles to write stuff but as he is extremely talented we don't mind. the drummer has good ideas that generally develop into songs and the other guitarist is our main song writer. i dont know if that would work for you but its just a possibility
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#19
Quote by SilentHeaven109
Does he know his theory? When I first started writing, I didn't know anything about scales or keys or anything, and everything just sound terrible. However, even after learning the minor scale, I noticed a significant improvement in my writing. Obviously I don't know what level he's at, but if he doesn't know any theory, just help him with the basics and get him to work on it himself.

You're right he doesn't really know anything about theory. However, he's actually a good guitar player and knows a lot of material in his musical tastes. That's a good idea, though. I think I'll have to teach him a few scales at the least and see what happens from there.

Quote by SilentHeaven109
Another thing I would say is that, again I don't know exactly, but it seems like he has narrow musical taste. One thing that helps to improve anyones writing is just listening to more music.
I write Hard Rock/Melodic Metal, but I listen to Pop, Trip Hop, Death Metal and many other styles, and all of this helps to diversify the material I write, because let's face it, if I only listened to Motley Crue, X Japan and Crush 40, the main influences to my writing, then all of my material would just sound like them.
This goes for everyone everywhere, listen to more music!


He does have a narrow music taste.. however I always try to introduce him to new music he hasn't heard (Machine Head [Burn My Eyes, The Blackening], Pink Floyd [The Wall, Wish You Were Here], Testament [Practice What You Preach, The Formation Of Damnation) and he ends up dismissing half of it as gay. Which is a quality I really hate.. I mean, come on... what's so wrong with Old and Clenching the Fists of Dissent by Machine Head? What's so wrong with Run Like Hell or Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd? And same with the Testament.

I am out of ideas on how to help him out there honestly.. I guess he's just really retarded? Lol. I mean.. he loves Voice of the Soul or the acoustic in the end of Perennial Quest by Death... why doesn't he like the absolutely fantastic, beautiful clean part in To Live Is To Die by Metallica or even the acoustic parts in Heir Apparent by Opeth?

I really don't know.
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#20
Quote by DragTheWaters11
He does have a narrow music taste.. however I always try to introduce him to new music he hasn't heard (Machine Head [Burn My Eyes, The Blackening], Pink Floyd [The Wall, Wish You Were Here], Testament [Practice What You Preach, The Formation Of Damnation) and he ends up dismissing half of it as gay. Which is a quality I really hate.. I mean, come on... what's so wrong with Old and Clenching the Fists of Dissent by Machine Head? What's so wrong with Run Like Hell or Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd? And same with the Testament.

I am out of ideas on how to help him out there honestly.. I guess he's just really retarded? Lol. I mean.. he loves Voice of the Soul or the acoustic in the end of Perennial Quest by Death... why doesn't he like the absolutely fantastic, beautiful clean part in To Live Is To Die by Metallica or even the acoustic parts in Heir Apparent by Opeth?

I really don't know.


How is he a metal guitarist if he dismisses Testament as gay?

My old guitarist was exactly like this, but with classic rock, he would listen to AC/DC and Queen and dismissed anything I introduced to him as rubbish. You probably won't be able to change his tastes, some people are just set in their ways. Don't worry too much about it
If you really want him to diversify, just keep playing him different music, you never know what people will like. I played my old classic rock elitist guitarist this song and he really enjoyed it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYBOzxB_F9E

To be honest, I'm not suprised his writing isn't very good if he doesn't know ANY theory. I know a lot of people say, "It's all about feeling and creativity," but if he doesn't have any creativity, learning a few scales, or at least knowing what notes he can use within a key will help him tremendously, and you will probably see a massive improvement in his writing if he works at it for a bit.
#21
Quote by Thrasher51
I would suggest not letting him write full songs. He seems like someone who's good at taking ideas and refining them so let him do that; then he's still part of the process. Better yet, why doesn't the whole band just collaborate writing songs?


Wait, let the entire band collaborate when writing a song? How often does that actually work?
#22
Quote by DYin
Wait, let the entire band collaborate when writing a song? How often does that actually work?

It can work, and that's kind of what we are doing. Just we're not writing parts to go along with other parts specifically, we're writing stuff and then putting together what makes sense and what doesn't.
There will be zero tolerance
For the creator of hallowed intentions
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#23
Tell him to listen to his guitar. Don't let him make a song while listening to another song.

He's is only gonna make a song simalar to the song he listening too.
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#24
Quote by vinnie-watt5
Tell him to listen to his guitar. Don't let him make a song while listening to another song.

He's is only gonna make a song simalar to the song he listening too.

Yeah. I'm chilling with him and the bassist this weekend at his house, and Saturday, when we all wake up, we're going to work on music without listening to any music that day.

Just to try something new.
There will be zero tolerance
For the creator of hallowed intentions
There will be zero tolerance
Fate is your deciding God