#1
Heya guys, not sure what section to put this in so sorry if its trespassing.

Im trying to write a blues song, and Ive got the guitar groove down and stuff but whenever I try to come up with a vocal melody I my phrasing is very guitary (I dont sing so am trying to work it out on guitar) and It basically sounds like a restrained solo. It doesnt help that I am trying to come up with lyrics at the same time and am a real beginner at composing lyrics (I feel much more comfortable with a guitar - Im sure I could write an instrumental no problem)
So have you guys got any tips for coming up with blues lyrics / a vocal melody for blues music? Most of the blues I listen to is semi-spoken so I dunno if I should look for different more melodic blues singers or make the melody only one or two notes (which two? the root and seventh? or root and third? How much should the melody follow the chords?) but concentrate on the lyrics and see what rhythm the words fit into.

Any advice for an inexperienced songwriter composing a blues song is greatly appreciated

Cheers,
Bryce
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Mar 27, 2011,
#2
Most of these questions can be answered by studying real blues music. If you need suggestions for songs, we have a "sticky" thread for that.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#3
If the melody sounds too "guitary", don't figure out the melody on the guitar. Write down some random lyrics and figure out the melody by singing it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#4
I am studying 'real' blues music, but ive only just begun analysing the melody of the vocals, which would be easier I geuss if I were a singer myself. I understand that no two blues singers will sing the same song the same way, was just wondering if anyone knew of any kind of theory (if youll excuse the oxymoron) of vocal parts for blues
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Mar 28, 2011,
#5
The blues really isn't as much about theory as it is feeling. You can study a blues scale but that doesn't mean you can play the blues. So, in some respects the best thing you can do is spend some time really digesting the masters work. I don't think it's necessary to learn it note for note... but get in touch with the expression. The expression leads to the phrasing. Two of my fav's for vocal phrases are Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. There's an encyclopedia of phrasing, melody and expression there. It really comes down to developing your ear.

--m
www.knobtwiddler.net
#6
The blues really isn't as much about theory as it is feeling.


I agree completely. I have been listening to a lot of delta and Chicago blues recently and have been trying to capture the feeling and, to my ears at least, I have good phrasing on guitar - Im finding it more difficult to write something that doesn't sound like a guitar though, and I reckon its mostly because I really dont like the sound of my singing voice so Im relying on my fingers to do the singing - that and Im finding it hard to write lyrics so Im a bit vague about the phrasing of the line. I think Ill concentrate on the lyrics first.

I was just hoping that there was some loose rule of thumb when it comes to writing parts for voice and not guitar, especially in a not particularly melodic genre like blues, but I guess that really just depends on the singer.

Ive recently started using a slide so I hope I will be able to squeeze some vocal melody by using that - a lot of delta blues guys Ive listened to seem to make their voices and the slide the same instrument.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#7
^ get as much experience as you can with the music itself.

when it comes time to write, draw from your experience.
shred is gaudy music
#8
You're not listening to/analyzing enough blues music, if you did, you would be able to write in that style.

/thread