#1
Hello, Ultimate Guitar!

I was wondering if any of you had any experience with concept albums. Do you have any tips or tricks about writing them that you could possibly bestow upon my person? If so, please tell me them.

Thank you!
"Bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks."
- Dr. Dre
#2
Write a story first (usually sci fi or fantasy but doesnt have to be) then use each song as each chapter. Also listen to a lot of prog band and how if they're singing about something happy the music will be in major or mixolydian mode and if its angry it can be diminished etc, make the music really reflet the emotion, more than you normally wood.
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Ah very good point. Charlie__flynn, you've out smarted me


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#3
Would writing the lyrics be similar to writing a libretto?
"Bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks."
- Dr. Dre
#4
charlie_flynn nailed when he said think of it as a book, with the individual songs as chapters. It takes a lot of work but I can imagine it's extremely rewarding. Listen to Romantic era composers as well to pick up ideas and inspiration (such as the leitmotif)
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#5
I was actually thinking of less of a operatic concept album, but more of just an album with a basic theme, like "Zen Arcade" by Husker Du.
"Bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks."
- Dr. Dre
#6
I'm gonna be working on a concept album (1 of 2 parts) and I'm kind of struggling on the concept of concepts myself. I once concidered writing a book in order to help me out in the music process but that is extremely time consuming and I'm going to have to figure things out another way. One of the biggest problems I see is actually focusing on something in a song and not just covering a large amount of the story (or sum up the entire story) in every song you work on.

As of right now I have about 12-14 different parts I want to cover and focus on. Not chapters in a physical book... just stages in the story thats in my head that I want to be covered. One thing I'm realizing is I need to take those different stages and give them a lot more detail and focus to weed out the vagueness that begets summing up and repetition.
#7
Just think of it as a book :]
Silverstein just done a concept album, about a relationship in texas, and they dont know what they want. and its truely beautifull.

Just read some of the lyrics in that album, and your get tips of some :]
well get the idea more like.

album - A shipwreak in the sand. by - silverstein
#8
Keep in mind, a concept album is a significantly different thing than a rock opera. There does not have to be a concrete narrative, the songs just have to be vaguely related in some way.

Look at Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.. It's considered the original concept album, and one of the greatest of all time, but literally only the title song and the reprise tie the album together in any meaningful way at all. The Beatles themselves have admitted they abandoned the concept a week into writing.. That said, it still plays out as a unified whole and not as a random collection of songs.

Of course, many concept albums take a more concrete approach to the subject, but it's not essential. Music is music, and good music is good music, whether there's a concept or not. Case in point: Yes' concept album "Tales from Topographic Oceans" is considered one of the most pretentious albums of all time while "Who's Next", one of the few Who albums that doesn't have an explicit concept behind it, is probably the best they ever released.
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