#1
I've been noticing recently that i've been getting into much softer music such as the light opeth stuff, ballady black label society, lynyrd skynyrd, some neil young and etc...
Now normally i play death metal (Lamb of god, children of bodom, opeth's heavier stuff, BTBAM, mastodon...) i have no problem writing death metal music and it really comes with easy... but i have a tough time writing ballads/soft songs... any tips? and particular scales to use? i kind of want to go for Opeth's "porcelain heart". very fluent and soft.
Many thanks in advance!
#2
I would work through the repertoire of three bands/artists:
1) Gram Parsons
2) The Allman Brothers
3) Lynyrd Skynyrd

Between about 1969 and 1975 they defined the country/southern rock sound that was the alternative to Zep's metal. That's the point where it split off, and if you learn their stuff everything that followed will be in context.
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#3
Step 1: Learn the rules (study music theory)
Step 2: Study the great masters (the bands you mentioned you like)
Step 3: Forget the rules (and begin to write some music)

I also find chocolate helps me

--As far as Opeth stuff, just spend some time studying their music. Watershed has some great stuff, nice choice with Porcelain Heart Study the acoustic chords Opeth use (to be honest I don't always know what's going on, but just try analyzing each note of the chords). They very much like tritones and diminished chords for that dark sound, and definitely play with chromatic stepping in and out of minor/major chords. Their music is quite trance-like, try to mess with the repetition of things and keep it sounding fresh by changing measures here and there (even the slightest bit change, rhythmically or melodically). And pedal-points definitely play a part in their music.

Oh, and something else-- If you are a fan of Opeth's acoustic/chord stuff, listen to some Diablo music, specifically Tristam. Beautiful/atmospheric music. The reason I became a fan of Opeth was actually because their music from Blackwater Park and Damnation reminded me of Diablo music haha. Also I recently started to play a fairly new game called Torchlight, made by some previous Diablo developers. The music is also written by Diablo's composer, Matt Uelmen. Here are some links:

Diablo Tristam - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2evIg-aYw8
Torchlight (town) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcVccWwJM-A&fmt=18
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Jan 4, 2010,