#1
Anyone have any advice? I'm joining a ska band with horns and all, I know the basics, the off beat skank, inversion and barre chords. What I'm wondering is how to write riffs with the idea of horns going over it, and what kind of scales would fit with ska well?
With the idea of skanking tunes like Reel Big Fish and maybe some more ska punk stuff like Less Than Jake too.
#2
basic chord progressions.

as far as horns, just write a riff and use big band arranging rules. harmonize in thirds or sixths. make sure you write in C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab. maybe G. know the ranges of the instruments. write them in the correct clefs and transposed keys (ie if it's in Bb on your guitar, it's G for alto or Bari sax, C for brass or tenor or soprano)

there are no scales you need other than major and minor. take "beer" for example.

Am-F-C-G (if memory serves)

could be a song in any genre. genre is determined more by rhythm, form and instrumentation than scales.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Jul 8, 2011,
#3
not sure how many horns dont know much about ska as its not really one of my favorite genres but i would think its like writing any other instrument just try to find where it fits in the tune and have it do that part

maybe have the horns do a sort of riff that playes with the chord prgression or have them play the melody of the song
or have them do kinda basslike playing tha bass notes of the chords or have them harmonize with the chords
really you can do what ever you want
#5
as far as how to arrange the horns, whatever you want to do. i would say typically horns in ska (or any pop music) are used to fill in the spaces between the melody. it's the same principle of the clarinet in dixieland playing in between melodic phrases as stated by the cornet/trumpet.

dig:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVF8NvDZ_XA

the horns punctuate the chords in the beginning. remember, if you have multiple horns they can play chords. then they do the riff which (i can't tell on my speakers) i think is expounding upon the bassline. they can play in unison but they can also harmonize. i would recommend either writing them via piano or through a program like musescore. i guess you could just do guitar as well, but it gives you kind of limited mobility. not the same viable range. but then again these aren't highly arranged pieces and i would assume most ska is just unison playing, not even harmonized. just write single note riffs on guitar. whatever sounds good to you. and then if you want to add some thirds or sixths go ahead. or ANY interval. whatever sounds good.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Jul 8, 2011,
#6
Quote by primusfan
basic chord progressions.

as far as horns, just write a riff and use big band arranging rules. harmonize in thirds or sixths. make sure you write in C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab. maybe G. know the ranges of the instruments. write them in the correct clefs and transposed keys (ie if it's in Bb on your guitar, it's G for alto or Bari sax, C for brass or tenor or soprano)

there are no scales you need other than major and minor. take "beer" for example.

Am-F-C-G (if memory serves)

could be a song in any genre. genre is determined more by rhythm, form and instrumentation than scales.


Thanks, this is giving me some new ideas. (:
#7
In my opinion, in this genre of music the guitar isn't really the focal point.

If you look at bands like Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and, my personal favourite in this style, Catch 22; the guitar is really just used rhythmically, with the bass and horns offering more in the way of melody.

Have a listen to Catch 22's album Keasbey Nights; not too much for the guitar to do all the time, but more well written, catchy horn melodies than you can shake a stick at

I guarantee if you listen to that album you'll be whistling those melodies all day!

So basically, with regards to the guitar, just try and fit into the songs and most importantly, have fun playing it!



Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8woy5IPHojY&feature=related
Guitars:
Duesenberg Starplayer TV
Fender Jaguar
Indie PRS Copy
Faith Saturn E/Acoustic
Simon & Patrick SP12
Fender Jazz Bass
#8
I personally tend to stick more to "rock-steady", rather than ska... but both are heavy on rhythm. So keeping that in mind, I usually lay down the rythm first. Ie, a driving bassline, and some skank on guitars to frame out the song. After I have that set, I find it much easier to arrage a lead line, "or horn in this case" around the groove.

Rather than the otherway around where you write a lead riff, and then have to struggle trying to fit the groove around the lead.

That's just my personal prefrence, but doing it that way I'm assured to "never loose the groove, trying to find a note ~ Victor Wooten"

As for common scales, usually they have alot of Major and Minor scales... nothing too fancy, its the rhythm that gives it that ethnic "island" feel not nessasarily the notes themself.
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#9
Quote by yogurt_overdose
In my opinion, in this genre of music the guitar isn't really the focal point.

If you look at bands like Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and, my personal favourite in this style, Catch 22; the guitar is really just used rhythmically, with the bass and horns offering more in the way of melody.

Have a listen to Catch 22's album Keasbey Nights; not too much for the guitar to do all the time, but more well written, catchy horn melodies than you can shake a stick at

I guarantee if you listen to that album you'll be whistling those melodies all day!

So basically, with regards to the guitar, just try and fit into the songs and most importantly, have fun playing it!



Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8woy5IPHojY&feature=related


I listen to Streetlight's cover of the album all the time. Thanks!