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#1
Hey so at a band practice once I was told by one of my band members that I should

"Play simpler because the audience gets overwhelmed by more complex music."

I do like math rock so Im sure thats why he said that.

At the time I was slightly put off so I just agreed with him and said thats just like Blink 182 (A band I know he docent like, but I do) because there songs are very simple and lots of people like them. So I started playing to the band a bit more.

On reflection though I think thats really ****ed up.

Im trying to make good music and I don't care who likes it, not trying to make music so that people will like it when we play to drunk douchebags in lame ass rock clubs.

Thats just like doing what everyone els is doing and your not going to move music forward with that mentality. It kinda pisses me off that Im in a band with someone who thinks like that. Not willing to take "risks" in art. I feel like I'm just wasting my time now.

Now every time that band member has an idea Im always weary of where his inspiration is coming from.

What do you guys think of this?
Do you think I should do something about this member?
Do you think making songs for the audience is okay or not?
Who are you playing for?
Last edited by bahburah at Jul 1, 2013,
#2
yes and no, if you really like the way something sounds and it happens to be complicated, then you should keep it how it is case you like it. but at the same time, you shouldn't make music complicated just for the sake of it being complex. nobody really cares if you just did an 8 string sweep tap with your tongue while texting at the same time. if it sounds like sh*t, it sounds like sh*t haha
#3
It all depends on your band's goals. I think you need to have an open discussion with your band members to figure out what that is. If you're just trying to be popular, your methods are going to be different than if you're making music that you actual like. If this guy doesn't see eye-to-eye with you you'll just have to let him go.
#4
In my opinion, the problem with "Math Rock" is exactly the 'math' part - the genre is based on complexity.

So you have two options:
1) Find a fanbase who dig that complexity you have in mathrock
2) Make music because of the sound, not because of the technical difficulties (get the pun?) of playing it.
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#5
Don't worry about what the audience wants to hear. Play for you. Do it long enough, and people will find their way. If what you're playing doesn't make you happy, stop doing it.
#6
On a side note: What is mathcore? I guess I am getting old, I can't grab the concept. I have always dug progressive metal and other complicated stuff. What are some good examples to explore the sub-genre?
#7
If it's what you want to do, then it's fine. That applies to writing complex songs to please yourself, or writing simple songs to please the audience (or any other combination thereof). However, it would be worthwhile to ensure all band members are on the same page.

Personally, I write for myself. Some things I write are more proggy, mixed-meter, weird-sounding stuff, and other things are ridiculously simple, two-chord grooving-type stuff. Sometimes I'm dumbfounded by how simple some things I write really are. But there's nothing wrong with that. All that matters is if I'm into it.
#8
I mainly am playing for myself. but you have to go on a few compromises if you want people to listen to your music. I'm not saying average person who doesnt value music. even people who are into your genre, should feel that you care for them, think about them when writing your music. So you should do your stuff but not come out as a complete egoist.


However taking risks and doing new things is very important, just balance between how long you can go without people paying money to see/hear you and how much money you need to keep doing whatever you're doing.

Now my main two cents are as follows (I think Picasso used to say this):

A good artist is the artist who paints what sells.
A great artist is that who sells what he paints.


hope that is at least tiny bit helpful.
Vendetta V
#9
I always play what i want to play. You will not be happy otherwise, and if doesn't make you happy, what's the point?

I have friends that play more pop oriented that needed a bassplayer, so i jumped in there and got money playing gigs with them. And i love playing with them cause they are all great musicians, but you also have to stay true to yourself. So i play in both a pop band from time to time and work on my own music with another band. I'm happy playing in both, and that's all that matters.
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#10
Pretty much what everyone has already said.
You need to establish what everyone is aiming for in the band. If someone in the band has conflicting interests, this could be a problem down the line when/if you get a few gigs lined up and start to make a name for yourself, or when it comes to recording (unless you can have fuse simple rhythm sections with math rock guitar!).

Settle it now, save the hassle it could cause later on.
#11
I agree with your band member. You mentioned you like Math Rock, but it doesn't sound like you play in a Math Rock band, so, yes, you need to play music that fits your band. I've long since got over the idea of "This is MY music and it's for ME", at the end of the day, unless you are having jam sessions in your practice room constantly, at one point, someone's going to pay to see you, and if you're using your band as a vehicle in which to show off, it makes you look arrogant, and a rubbish performer as you're playing for yourself. I personally think it's you with the problem, I wouldn't want to be in a band with someone that calls our potential fans 'douche-bags', I think it's a very arrogant point of view and one that every musician must grow out of if the thought ever crosses their mind.
#12
Can't really answer the band side of things since I have never been in a band.

but, I play for myself, if people don't like my music, they don't have to listen to it. I just play what comes from my heart or mind at the time I write the song. I also like that in the musicians I listen to.

I do see what the other people are saying about the band agreeing with you. My brother was starting a band, and still trying, but I honestly didn't see how it was going to work out, and just decided to avoid all the drama I could see in the future. Anyways, the drummer was someone I just had heard a lot of bad things about, and he only liked heavy metal, my brother, who wanted to be lead guitarist and vocalist, just sucked at the guitar and is not very good at singing, and pretty much wanted to be a green day cover band.

He also wanted a band of mostly guitarists that had just started learning to play. I really felt like I was the only person who was serious about music, and felt they would hold me back.

Now I am doing solo stuff on youtube for myself, and writing music that I like. I would like to do a duet type thing with another musician at some point though, because I like to play with other good musicians... ok this just went off topic I think.

Anyways, I say, just do what you want. Doesn't matter what other people think.. okay I guess it kind of does in a band.
#13
Hey thanks for the responses. Got a little bit of everything.
I like how people assume I'm a technical player because I say I like math rock.
I can be quite sloppy on guitar at times. I just love the sound of tapping and the interesting rhythmic patterns you can create out of it.

Im also not trying to make really complex songs, thats just how music ends up when I make it.
I do value simple parts in music as well.

There are creative differences in the band so there are problems.
But changing your music so that people who aren't into music can enjoy it is not what Im about.
You might as well just be a cover band in my opinion...
Your already selling yourself out.
You haft to be proud of what you make.

For who asked this is some general math rock, Im not this intense though and lean more to the emo sound of things:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXBDJA4BDJg
#15
Quote by TheNameOfNoone
In my opinion, the problem with "Math Rock" is exactly the 'math' part - the genre is based on complexity.

How is that a problem?

So you have two options:
1) Find a fanbase who dig that complexity you have in mathrock
2) Make music because of the sound, not because of the technical difficulties (get the pun?) of playing it.

Why can't you do both?...
#16
TS it sounds like you were needlessly shredding over everything, dedracting from the songs rather than furthering them. I think its less about playing for the audience, but more about being part of a band, making songs that sound good instead of messy.

You can write parts that develop the songs and are also complex (that isn't mindless shredding). For example listen to the "simple" band Blink 182 and pay attention to the drum beats. Travis Barker is the man.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#17
Yea I do get what your saying AlanHB and ive been trying to play to the band more.
I think that Blink 182 is simple in terms of progression but perfect any other way. But I think thats because they went pop.
#19
Quote by bahburah
Yea I do get what your saying AlanHB and ive been trying to play to the band more.
I think that Blink 182 is simple in terms of progression but perfect any other way. But I think thats because they went pop.


I think they developed pretty naturally but that's besides the point. You can see that a shredder wouldn't fit in with that band, probably make it worse.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#20
Just make whatever music you want to make, **** the hog, and suck the horse. Only time will tell if your mouse is good at the maze. Fly it high, sonny boy!

Raw a.f.,
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#21
fire your drummer.

man sounds like he was just trying to politely tell you to stop wanking all over the song
#22
I wank because theres not much else going on in the songs because there horrible composers.
Can you say Verse/Chores Verse/Chores played the exact same way both times in a row. Thats just bad song writhing. Pop dose the V/C thing a lot but they slightly change things within them so that the song progresses more.

And it was actually the bassist who asked me. (Who docent play too simple himself)
But I think the drummer agrees.
Last edited by bahburah at Jul 3, 2013,
#23
It might be that the songs you write don't have the flow.

Maybe write songs with your band. Or ask them which parts of your songs work and maybe only use them to write new songs. I have heard many song ideas that don't have any flow, they are just random ideas thrown together and the song structure sounds really forced. Maybe that's what your bassist is trying to tell you. Good songs have something catchy in them. You need some repetition to make something catchy. If your band members can't get the grip of your song, of course they say it's not a good song.

And I disagree with this: "Can you say Verse/Chores Verse/Chores played the exact same way both times in a row. Thats just bad song writhing. Pop dose the V/C thing a lot but they slightly change things within them so that the song progresses more."

Sometimes two identical verses and choruses work well. Actually that's how most pop/rock/whatever songs are. Sometimes simplicity is the stuff. When simple stuff works, it sounds great. And of course if you aren't happy with your song and it sounds too simple, you can always improve it by adding some variety to the song structure and using different instruments and stuff.

So I kind of agree with the bassist. You need something catchy in your song so that people want to listen to it. It can be complex but have that "something" in it at the same time. Of course you should always write songs that you like and would like to hear. But you can make them sound more or less appealing to the masses. For example if the song doesn't flow at all, nobody will enjoy listening to it. IMO flow is the most important thing when you write a song.

So I think your bassist isn't saying you should write stuff that everybody else does. He's saying that your songs just need to be more simple. They might sound too messy or something. Too much stuff in one song is just too much.

Maybe talk with your band. What kind of music do they like? What kind of music do they want to make? Do they have any goals? You can always add your influences to your band's songs.

Also you said you don't like your band's songs. Maybe try improving them. What parts you don't like? Talk with your band.
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#24
Quote by bahburah
Your already selling yourself out.


I really wish that any musician who says the phrase 'selling out' would be forced to sit into the naughty corner until they've learned their lesson. Art is not a currency, the fact that penniless amateur musicians have the gall to look down upon musicians much more successful than themselves is ridiculous. I expect to be crucified for this, but if you cannot craft a piece of music that makes a certain audience feel a certain way, I would be loathe to call you a musician, what this whole topic comes down to is that you're writing songs purely from the heart, so when someone says 'That song is awful', it insults you to your very core, so use your mind more. Your heart hears a song that you wrote and says 'that is my song, I am proud', but your mind might hear that same song and think 'Bin it, this is dreadful', and your mind will be the one telling the truth. I don't think you realise that a lot of your favourite bands have crafted their songs for certain purposes and a certain target audience, and you have to realise that they have.

That said, I reckon it'd be best if you left the band, your posts have actually personally attacked your band members, and I think you need to learn a valuable life lesson, go out, look for the band of your dreams, if you find it, great, if you don't, you will probably realise that not playing in a band at all is boring, and join a genre that may not be your first choice for the pure pleasure of playing.
#25
Quote by bahburah
I wank because theres not much else going on in the songs because there horrible composers.
Can you say Verse/Chores Verse/Chores played the exact same way both times in a row.


Most songs have repeated verses and chorus' so I don't know what you're on about there.

And the simpler the rest of the instruments, the more freedom you have to write some flashy repeating riffs. Have you tried writing riffs?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#26
Thanks theses last few posts have been really good ones.
For the record we do wright all of are songs together by jamming them out but I feel like there just satisfied with it way before I am.

This monday I'm going to jam with a new band who is an instrumental math rock/punk band so I think I'll fit into that band a bit more.

This is a single we recorded with the band I'm in now and the V/C is just ridiculous in this song.
https://soundcloud.com/dreamseekingmissiles/bizerker-earthquaker
Last edited by bahburah at Jul 4, 2013,
#27
Honestly, I think that song actually would work well as a Verse Chorus Verse Chorus song, I thought the bridge was completely unnecessary and the song should been about half the length, it just dragged for me past the two and a half minute mark, but that's just me.
#28
I agree its way to long.

I would have shortened it by taking out the whole second V/C and just having a progressive song.
I always think you should shorten the best parts in the song so there more enjoyed when they come around instead of overusing it.

Thanks for your opinion!
#30
If other people aren't enjoying the music i'm making, it makes it alot less enjoyable.

There's a fine line, do your songs sound good? Do people seem to like it?

If so, then math rock it up. If you're scaring the crowd out of the room then it might be time to change your style.
#31
I do call the audience drunk D bags because thats what the vibes are like in rock clubs. The place is designed to sell booze. Seems really fake to me, but I'm getting into a different topic.
#32
Quote by bahburah
I do call the audience drunk D bags because thats what the vibes are like in rock clubs. The place is designed to sell booze. Seems really fake to me, but I'm getting into a different topic.


Well yeah, that's where the main profit is, they won't trust a group of nobodies with instruments to make them a big enough profit to actually keep the night running. In the music business, you're gonna be surrounded by things that are fake, it's the very nature of business and something you have to accept. They'd probably make the same amount blasting Disturbed, Metallica and Pantera on repeat, so be grateful that your band is able to get some kind of exposure in a rock venue. As a musician, your job is to provide your audience with good music and a good time, if your band can't provide that, there are hundreds ready to take your place. If you want to get anywhere with your band, you've got to accept that you're going to have to follow the rules of the business.
#33
I do accept the rules of the business, it's that rock clubs are lame as hell. It seems like a baby sat music show experience for the band and the audience. I'm more of a DIY kinda guy with music. I'd much rather play in someones house or somewhere thats an intimate place. Playing with local bands that set up there show together not through a promoter.
#34
Quote by bahburah
I wank because theres not much else going on in the songs because there horrible composers.
Can you say Verse/Chores Verse/Chores played the exact same way both times in a row. Thats just bad song writhing. Pop dose the V/C thing a lot but they slightly change things within them so that the song progresses more.

And it was actually the bassist who asked me. (Who docent play too simple himself)
But I think the drummer agrees.



You should really get over yourself m8. Being a good 'composer' doesn't mean that you write complex music, and writing complex music doesn't make you a good composer.

If V/C/V/C is the style, consider working in riffs that are rhythmic and interesting so that they aren't boring even when they repeat. Consider writing lyrics that are fun to sing or that are interesting to follow so that the song doesn't drag. Consider pretty much anything other than wanking all over the song.
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#35
The song you posted has one problem.

It's V/C/V/C on paper, but...

Musical/dynamic wise it's more off an almost everlasting LIFT. Mostly due to the singer and band staying in this triplet bridge kind of thing.

ie after a minute or so drop the triplet for a straight feel with minimal playing and the singer have some strong lines. That way the singer becomes more interesting to listen to, even if he sings the same stuff.

The curve goes like "/" for too long and that is boring for the ear/mind. Unless the Drop/resolution is an amazingly strong (perhaps catchy) melody.

With great buildup, an even greater resolution is expected. Don't ever forget that.
-----
Playing V/C/V/C is not purely about the notes, but about the dynamic.
Dynamic curve:
   ___     ___
___    ___  
 V  C   V   C

If you find this boring, you could play a flat Verse then at the 4th bar intense the sound by adding melody/snare build up or w/e of million devices, then have the chorus at a dynamic peak.
Would be like this:
 
     ___     ___
___/    ___/   
 V   C   V   C

This is somewhat a Pre-chorus, but not quite.

If you keep the Verse flat in feel, the chorus becomes more interesting.

You can always add a constant muted 8th note or w/e on each other bar to add a heightened flat part, which creates like a deceptive tease part.
Like so:
      ___      ___
_/_/_/   _/_/_/  
 V    C   V    C


I can talk about this stuff endlessly but I won't.

TLDR;
Change the way you view songwriting.

Dynamic relativity is imo THE differentiating factor, whether it be music or a movie or anhything else that is in motion.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jul 12, 2013,
#36
math has some weird rhythms but it usually comes together very cleanly and can still be catchy

sounds like you're all just bad at your instruments, without anything else to go on
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#37
Quote by xxdarrenxx
The song you posted has one problem.

It's V/C/V/C on paper, but...

Musical/dynamic wise it's more off an almost everlasting LIFT. Mostly due to the singer and band staying in this triplet bridge kind of thing.

ie after a minute or so drop the triplet for a straight feel with minimal playing and the singer have some strong lines. That way the singer becomes more interesting to listen to, even if he sings the same stuff.

The curve goes like "/" for too long and that is boring for the ear/mind. Unless the Drop/resolution is an amazingly strong (perhaps catchy) melody.

With great buildup, an even greater resolution is expected. Don't ever forget that.
-----
Playing V/C/V/C is not purely about the notes, but about the dynamic.
Dynamic curve:
   ___     ___
___ ___
V C V C

If you find this boring, you could play a flat Verse then at the 4th bar intense the sound by adding melody/snare build up or w/e of million devices, then have the chorus at a dynamic peak.
Would be like this:
 
___ ___
___/ ___/
V C V C

This is somewhat a Pre-chorus, but not quite.

If you keep the Verse flat in feel, the chorus becomes more interesting.

You can always add a constant muted 8th note or w/e on each other bar to add a heightened flat part, which creates like a deceptive tease part.
Like so:
      ___      ___
_/_/_/ _/_/_/
V C V C


I can talk about this stuff endlessly but I won't.

TLDR;
Change the way you view songwriting.

Dynamic relativity is imo THE differentiating factor, whether it be music or a movie or anhything else that is in motion.

+1
Nice post.
Si
#38
Quote by xxdarrenxx
The song you posted has one problem.

It's V/C/V/C on paper, but...

Musical/dynamic wise it's more off an almost everlasting LIFT. Mostly due to the singer and band staying in this triplet bridge kind of thing.

ie after a minute or so drop the triplet for a straight feel with minimal playing and the singer have some strong lines. That way the singer becomes more interesting to listen to, even if he sings the same stuff.

The curve goes like "/" for too long and that is boring for the ear/mind. Unless the Drop/resolution is an amazingly strong (perhaps catchy) melody.

With great buildup, an even greater resolution is expected. Don't ever forget that.
-----
Playing V/C/V/C is not purely about the notes, but about the dynamic.
Dynamic curve:
   ___     ___
___ ___
V C V C

If you find this boring, you could play a flat Verse then at the 4th bar intense the sound by adding melody/snare build up or w/e of million devices, then have the chorus at a dynamic peak.
Would be like this:
 
___ ___
___/ ___/
V C V C

This is somewhat a Pre-chorus, but not quite.

If you keep the Verse flat in feel, the chorus becomes more interesting.

You can always add a constant muted 8th note or w/e on each other bar to add a heightened flat part, which creates like a deceptive tease part.
Like so:
      ___      ___
_/_/_/ _/_/_/
V C V C


I can talk about this stuff endlessly but I won't.

TLDR;
Change the way you view songwriting.

Dynamic relativity is imo THE differentiating factor, whether it be music or a movie or anhything else that is in motion.


I don't want to sound arrogant but I know this kinda stuff, and it helps when the bass and drums are in on it too but they have no ears. Another way of doing it is not just playing the same 2 or 4 chords for a part. Similar to the pre chores idea but it all flows (pop music dose it a lot) . Also just letting the bass and drums ride on there own. Putting really nice full bad fills in parts with no vocals.
Or just just have short v/c/v/c so that you don't get bored of them. But I think anyone who instinctively makes a song V/C/V/C because they think thats how songs are suppose to be deserves to be a hired musician for the rest of there life.

Basically I just don't like my drummer and bass player who just play the same things at about 70% energy. I think it's the worst when we are jamming and I set up a build up to change to the next part and it just goes over there head and sounds like shit.
#39
Quote by bahburah
But I think anyone who instinctively makes a song V/C/V/C because they think thats how songs are suppose to be deserves to be a hired musician for the rest of there life.


I don't mean to start a fight, but a majority of pop songwriters who write those song structures constantly are ten times the musician any of us are, and, most likely, will ever be. Form means nothing, a musician who writes a memorable, sellable V/C/V/C structure song will always be better than a musician who writes ten sections of mediocrity and puts a song together out of them. If you want your band to make money and have the widest fanbase (and therefore, the most money) possible, you're gonna have to write some V/C/V/C songs, and, in fact, some of the best songs ever written have that structure.
#40
Yea pros can pull it off though that's the thing. I just think that v/c/v/c just gets stuck in a lot of musicians heads, they go to it almost instinctively.

So you end up with shitty musicians doing v/c/v/c when the parts might not sound so bad if they where only played once and progressively. But the problem is that they can never make any new parts that sound good so they just stick to the parts they have.

This is all because they only listen to pop like music and don't know the difference.
I know this because I was stuck in v/c/v/c when I was starting out, but chose to get away from it and while I can see value in a repeating Chores (never the same verse after it though) v/c/v/c is just pain uncreative in my opinion.
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