#1
I've kinda hit a minor roadblock in my songs: after the first chorus I can't think of a better way to do things than just ctrl+c, ctrl+v the previous verse(s) and the chorus again till its time for a bridge. When I do this, I feel like it creates a boring repetition that I can't fix. But when I try to listen to songs I love for examples on how to avoid this, turns out they do essentially the same thing! Is my problem just that I'm not writing vocal lines and those will make things sound less repetitve? But even then I listen to songs where the vocal line stays the same (maybe 1 different note), but it all doesn't sound repepitive. Any help here?
#2
Add more percussion in the second verse if there's drums in the song, or make the strumming pattern more detailed.
#3
The lyrics will definetly help it sound not so repetative, but if it's still bothering you, mabey try throwing in a little lead guitar riff here and their?
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#4
Quote by pwrmax
Add more percussion in the second verse if there's drums in the song, or make the strumming pattern more detailed.


Well, the song I'm writing at the moment is a Power Metal song, so there's not much to add to the percussion in the second verse and I have galloping triplets going on in the guitars, so I don't really know what I could add without creating clutter. Maybe go a "less=more" approach the second time around?
#5
Quote by GuerillaGorilla
Maybe go a "less=more" approach the second time around?

I would go the other way around, first verse can be calmer and then build up to the second verse. Maybe less galloping and let chords ring out.
#6
So why not then just stop comparing it to powermetal for a little and switch to something that is diffrent country jazz ect wait a little bit let it sink in the come back to it. I write here and there and when I get stuck thats what I do. Hope it helps
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#7
You can try altering the structures of the sections a bit. Maybe make the second verse longer/shorter. Or if you have a sort of a pre-chorus build up, you can include a new short section between second verse and the pre-chorus. What these do is they give a bit of a surprise for the listener.
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#8
how about trying a different song format entirely?
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#9
Palm mute lol
Or If you're using two guitars and a bass mix them up a little, leave some out, throw them back in, cycle melodies etc
Riff repetition doesn't always have to be monotonous.
lol guitar
#10
drums are important for this.. basic pattern should be the same, but use different cymbal hits when you do, change from hihat to ride cymbal, *never* recycle a fill etc.

Do you like Opeth? It may not be your band or anything, but check out the drumming on the albums of Blackwaterpark & Deliverance, you'll see how slight varieties in the drumming make a huge difference. Some of the better Guitar Pro tabs of those albums are a good place to hear it.

Another thing is melody.. you dont want to change your basic 'theme' or phrase too much, but some difference between parts is good.. switch around a few notes or when going from one note to the other, switch if their going upwards or downwards. (kinda difficult to explain without music notation, but say a part of a phrase goes B4 C4 G3, the next time you play B4 C3 G4 )
#11
Quote by ShadesOfGray
drums are important for this.. basic pattern should be the same, but use different cymbal hits when you do, change from hihat to ride cymbal, *never* recycle a fill etc.

Do you like Opeth? It may not be your band or anything, but check out the drumming on the albums of Blackwaterpark & Deliverance, you'll see how slight varieties in the drumming make a huge difference. Some of the better Guitar Pro tabs of those albums are a good place to hear it.

Another thing is melody.. you dont want to change your basic 'theme' or phrase too much, but some difference between parts is good.. switch around a few notes or when going from one note to the other, switch if their going upwards or downwards. (kinda difficult to explain without music notation, but say a part of a phrase goes B4 C4 G3, the next time you play B4 C3 G4 )


I like Opeth a lot, actually (listening to Blackwater Park right now)! I just had never considered looking at what they do since they're on the more Progressive side of things and don't usally follow the same format as, say, Dio does. But I do hear what you're talking about now and I'll try to incorporate that.
#12
Even something like closed hi hat to open hi hat can make all the difference.
#13
Quote by pwrmax
Even something like closed hi hat to open hi hat can make all the difference.


I do that all the time, haha, it really does make a huge difference for such a simple change. Just focus on things like that, small changes that can have a large effect.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#14
Quote by pwrmax
Even something like closed hi hat to open hi hat can make all the difference.


Yea...that's good, but I know it's more common for that technique to be used for a chorus--due to the volume increase...and bridges are where you throw in a ride cymbal.

But yea, if the melody is repetitive change the rhythm. This is why drummers are musicians too!
#15
Quote by justaramsfan
Yea...that's good, but I know it's more common for that technique to be used for a chorus--due to the volume increase...and bridges are where you throw in a ride cymbal.

But yea, if the melody is repetitive change the rhythm. This is why drummers are musicians too!


I do agree that in rock you often hear open hi-hat used in the louder parts of songs, sometimes it can be used in other ways. Sometimes the hi-hat is open for most of the song, then in the more intense part, the hi-hat is closed. Listen to I Want to Hold Your Hand by the Beatles, in the bridge Ringo plays a closed hi-hat. The rest of the song is open hi-hat, but the feel is not necessarily loud or heavy.

And I am a drummer if you can't tell, thanks for the recognition
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#16
Quote by stasz
I do agree that in rock you often hear open hi-hat used in the louder parts of songs, sometimes it can be used in other ways. Sometimes the hi-hat is open for most of the song, then in the more intense part, the hi-hat is closed. Listen to I Want to Hold Your Hand by the Beatles, in the bridge Ringo plays a closed hi-hat. The rest of the song is open hi-hat, but the feel is not necessarily loud or heavy.

And I am a drummer if you can't tell, thanks for the recognition


ME too! I'm not much of a fan of the Beatles...but I realize there are exceptions the rule, so it doesn't always apply, but in most situations the open HH (loud) is used on the louder climaxes of the song
#17
Quote by justaramsfan
YThis is why drummers are musicians too!

Blasphemy!
#18
Quote by GuerillaGorilla
I like Opeth a lot, actually (listening to Blackwater Park right now)! I just had never considered looking at what they do since they're on the more Progressive side of things and don't usally follow the same format as, say, Dio does. But I do hear what you're talking about now and I'll try to incorporate that.


haha, cool! Always good see other people like them too

But the prog side of things is a good thing to learn from, because even when it's not the style you're looking for, you want to avoid repetition and then you have a band or two who make 8+ minute songs consisting of 2+ minute parts but use these subtle tricks to avoid sounding the same-y all the way throughout the pieces
#19
Quote by GuerillaGorilla
I like Opeth a lot, actually (listening to Blackwater Park right now)! I just had never considered looking at what they do since they're on the more Progressive side of things and don't usally follow the same format as, say, Dio does. But I do hear what you're talking about now and I'll try to incorporate that.

This is the problem right here. You're limiting yourself to what you think power metal is. Remember, power metal is just a genre... hell, it's a very flexible genre. I've seen progressive power metal, symphonic power metal, death metal power metal... it can do anything you want it to do. By listening to other genre's (for composition/form techniques I specifically recommend progressive metal) one opens their mind to things they wouldn't have thought of before.

What I usually do, and I'll give an example as one of my songs, is after the first chorus I usually begin the build up to an epic solo. Granted, I don't have vocal lines so I have to keep the listener engaged by not repeating the same thing too often. I'll maybe throw in half of the verse, but in a different key. Add a bridge. Lots of things (For an example, check my song "And it Begins + Closing the Gap").

But if you want to go back to a verse, I recommend a bridge between the verse and the chorus. Just a couple chords and slowing everything down (or speeding it up if you want) for 4 bars can change A LOT of things, and whatever your last chord is can REALLY affect the second verse. You could use that last chord to pivot off of and get a key change. Or that last chord could slow everything down right before you go into the second verse.

Another thing you could do is change the instrumentation. Add strings, a choir, brass, a keyboard. Anything. I would add all 4 (Ex. My song "Ethereal Reality"). You could change the melody slightly. Make it a little more melismatic (yes... I just used a vocal term to describe my melody ). Add more non-chord tones inbetween notes. Embellish with trills, slides, pick scrapes, pinch harmonics, staccato. Change the time signature of the melody while keeping everything the same, play it with a triplet/half time/double time feel, and whatever that blues rhythm is that I can't remember what it's called (shuffle?).

/shameless song plug
#20
yea man seems like a lot of ppl are saying change something about the drums.... i can remember when i was a kid (and still even some now) hearing the drum tempo change or closed a hi hat or added/removed some kicks... and i thought even the guitars sound changed... if i concentrate on just the guitar pretty hard i can tell it doesn't. but all together it tricked my mind.... other than that i would play with palm mute some(make different notes stand out during each verse) or maybe play an octave lower or higher??