#1
Hello! I'm playing the electric guitar for a band consisting of myself, one drummer, and one keyboardist. We've been told that we sound good, but I'm concerned that my guitar parts are too simplistic.

Our songwriting process consists of vocal melody first, then fitting chords to the melody. But I don't know where to go from there. I want my part to be more than strumming chords for mellow songs or hammering power chords with occasional palm muting for fast songs. I don't have too many problems with soloing, because I have strong theory knowledge concerning scales, but I just want to sound good in the actual verses and chorus.

Does anyone have tips for making guitar parts based on existing chord progressions more unique? I've been playing for years, and I can handle complex fingerwork, etc. I just have issues with writing riffs that aren't part of a solo.
#2
Get used to it unless you plan to write music for the rest of the band as well.

Its hard to write complex parts when the rest of the band is not really up for the job.
Other wise the other guys will just sound like a sub-par backing band comparatively
#3
Quote by Axim Bassist
Get used to it unless you plan to write music for the rest of the band as well.

Its hard to write complex parts when the rest of the band is not really up for the job.
Other wise the other guys will just sound like a sub-par backing band comparatively


Well this is completely incorrect. You can make your own part as hard or easy as you want. It doesn't matter what the other instruments are doing. You could write the hardest song in the world while the other instruments play an A note, or nothing at all.

To write more advanced parts, having a knowledge of keys and scales helps a lot. If you're "ok" with soloing then you should be fine. How about working on repeating riffs for the songs, or little parts which link the chord changes? Analyse some of your favourite guitar parts and see how they are written in the context of the song.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
Thank you! And actually, one reason I'm trying to make my guitar parts more complex is that the keyboardist and drummer are very creative. Also, I've had issues where the guitar part almost seems to compete with the keyboard part... Are there specific tricks for writing guitar when there's piano or organ involved?
#5
If you're trying to write parts for guitar when a keyboard is involved, why not try writing some harmonies if your keyboardist can play them.
#6
Quote by Guitar'sFun
Thank you! And actually, one reason I'm trying to make my guitar parts more complex is that the keyboardist and drummer are very creative. Also, I've had issues where the guitar part almost seems to compete with the keyboard part... Are there specific tricks for writing guitar when there's piano or organ involved?


It's good that you're hearing that the part "clashes" - because it would probably be irritating to the audience as well, not to mention further clashes with the vocal line. The best you can do is work on the parts until you get a sound you are comfortable with. Hopefully you have some recordings of the music at home to work on - if not get some. Then just play around experimenting.

In some cases it can take a very long time to get the "right" part - I remember spending around 2 hours writing a guitar part to a song written on keyboard until I was satisfied.

I should also mention that just because something isn't "complex" doesn't mean that it's not the right part for the song. In the end your guitar part is supposed to further the song, not show off.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#8
I really suggest looking at what other band's in the same situation do, and analyzing their music. Just look up some bands you like that also use keyboard and guitar and analyze the music and have a close look what they're doing.
Would be nice if you had some kind of recording or something of your band so that you can work on your guitar part and immediatly learn how it sounds together with the rest.
I don't think there are much more tips to give, you just try a lot and eventually you'll get better.
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#9
remember to try to fill unused spaces in the groove. that will allow you to add more stuff to your riffs and still sound like it fits. basically, start with just power chords and find all the spots where you can play that either line right up with the rest of the band, or where you can play something when they aren't playing anything. then just substitute some or all of the power chords with riffs.

there's no magic trick to making good riffs, but just remember that you don't need to play an entire chord to get your idea across for a guitar riff... you've got the rest of the band playing the chords, so you can just find cool stuff that complements their music.