#1
So, does anyone have any advice on writing really long (6 minutes or more) songs and still keeping them interesting?
#2
put in a five minute, bat shi- crazy guitar solo?
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#3
Long instrumental interludes. Lyrically, think of alternate ways to say what you want to say, or make it progress; make things happen and change before the end of the song. Make it tell a short story (it doesn't even have to make sense. Some of the best songs don't make sense)
#5
Quote by Seaneh
So, does anyone have any advice on writing really long (6 minutes or more) songs and still keeping them interesting?


dynamics are incredibly important, IMO. The idea of shorter songs with lots of repetition is that it's catchy and it'll keep the listener entertained. If you try and apply this concept in creating a longer song, you run the risk of sounding repetitive and boring the listener, so you have to make sure that you captivate the listener with each individual part and the songs dynamics. In other words, make sure that each part plays perfectly into the next so that the finished product feels more like a story or a "journey" (cheesy) as opposed to just a catchy tune. Try not to repeat too many things too many times - in fact, don't be afraid to not repeat some parts at all. If you have a big epic sounding chorus-like part that you really like, playing it early on and then repeating it later on at the end is really effective and makes for a really climatic ending.

I'm no expert, but those are some of the ways i approach it.
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#6
Quote by psychokiller99
dynamics are incredibly important, IMO. The idea of shorter songs with lots of repetition is that it's catchy and it'll keep the listener entertained. If you try and apply this concept in creating a longer song, you run the risk of sounding repetitive and boring the listener, so you have to make sure that you captivate the listener with each individual part and the songs dynamics. In other words, make sure that each part plays perfectly into the next so that the finished product feels more like a story or a "journey" (cheesy) as opposed to just a catchy tune. Try not to repeat too many things too many times - in fact, don't be afraid to not repeat some parts at all. If you have a big epic sounding chorus-like part that you really like, playing it early on and then repeating it later on at the end is really effective and makes for a really climatic ending.

I'm no expert, but those are some of the ways i approach it.

Woah, that's some good-a*s advice. Thanks, man.
#7
personaly as a listener I hate really long song's I dunno why, but I do. As a result I tend to keep my songs 3 minutes or shorter
#8
Well they say that the 3 minute song with the hooks and the riffs are just what the human brain likes, and it gets bored after 3-3.5 minutes...(they being those socialogists who study this sort of stuff). So. Whaddya do with that with a long song. I agree, work with dynamics. But also work with development. If you listen to a Beethoven piece, like Moonlight Sonata, it sounds like it could get boring, just hearing that bass riff over and over...but it is mesmerizing instead, since it grows and changes, dynamically and musically. Then he comes back to it over and over. Theme and variation. Also, I like the idea about sections. Usually what is productive is louder/masculine sections (the heavier sound, rock sound, metal, whatever) interspersed with the softer/feminine sections (quieter, introspective, possibly acoustic). The male/female is just a descriptive technique, not necessarily that it needs to be macho or girlie, you know? When sectioning work, make sure your transitions between sections are smooth and that the piece continues to grow. A climax in the piece is almost necessary in a longer piece, so you can build up to that climax. A single long jam will start wearing out its welcome if its too long, so you need to actually compose "blocks" of music that the jam can fit into...another thought is to bookend different jams, such as beginning of song, first, second verse and one chorus, bookend keyboard solo, then perhaps guitar solo, different keyboard solo (all solos different lengths, textures, but thematically, musically and lyrically, similar) as back bookend, then last verse, bridge, chorus, etc.
#9
Start with a main section, and find as many ways as you can to alter it; keep the best experiments and weave them together.
Think about changing tempo, time signature, key and note emphasis.
If you have lyrics, use them to join together contrasting sections.. For example the same vocal line over very different riffs. Do this with lead parts too, even if you have to change the key or time signature to make it fit.

There's nothing worse than a long song with distinct sections that do not compliment each other.
There's nothing better than a well constructed epic that flows between different themes effortlessly, returning to the main sections in different forms - then in the climactic ending you unleash them as one consise section that the whole song has been building up to

King Crimson - Starless
Pink Floyd - Echoes

Two good examples off the top of my head
#10
The best advice would be to not force yourself to write a song with a minimum length. Write the song and just let it grow to the length it needs to be. Sometimes that will be 3 minutes, sometimes that will be 10 minutes.

If you try to force a song to last longer than it needs to, it will end up being drawn out and dull. If you just let it flow to it's natural length, it will work.
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#11
Dynamics are important, definitely, along with other variations (ie different instrumentation, key changes, etc). To show just how important, check this song out. Except for about a minute in the middle, it's based on just one riff, and it manages to go more than five minutes without getting boring.
#13
Generally look at progressive metal bands and such and emulate what they do in your own style; have a central motif that you can return to once in a while (maybe with variations?) or have same lyrics but a different chorus backing/melody to go with it. I normally just make slight alterations before jumping into something entirely different.