#1
I've been in several bands during my teenage years. My most 'successful' band we wrote all songs on guitar pro. I realized it so much easier then writing at practice. We could write a great song then all learn it within a day or 2. Does any body else use this method as opposed to writing in person?
#2
Yeah, writing in person doesn't often yield good results. The problem with writing in practice is that either one person has to spend ages teaching the finished song to everyone else, or everyone has to come up with their own parts, and everyone has input, in both situations, you waste a lot of time, and in the second situation, you can end up with terrible songs because the song isn't focused and everyone has their own ideas.

On top of that, with Guitar Pro, it's easier to have more songs, because there is a recording and sheet music, so you can have a bank of songs that you can learn almost instantly, even if you've not played them for months. It also means that if a member leaves, you can give potential members the tabs, in fact, I will only bother using my ear for band auditions if the band is successful, Guitar Pro makes things so much easier there's no reason not to use it.
#3
The only good riffs I come up with all pop out by themselves when I'm jamming and occasionally just play something awesome without thinking. The same thing never happens when I try write or work it out, it needs to come out in the moment so to speak. Maybe I need more practice with writing or something
#4
Jam writing is good for writing pop/rock songs, if you are writing something more complex it would be a total waste of time, when other band members are waiting 1 hour for you to finish your riff.
#6
Quote by Reages
Jam writing is good for writing pop/rock songs, if you are writing something more complex it would be a total waste of time, when other band members are waiting 1 hour for you to finish your riff.


this has been the case in my experience too. it's just too difficult to write complicated songs with other people, unless maybe all of the involved musicians are top tier improvisers who can play exactly what they're thinking instantly. and even then, the person bringing the song idea would inevitably get frustrated because the song would start going in unanticipated directions, which is not always a good thing.
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#7
I've relied on Guitar Pro for everything I've ever written. It's difficult to get everybody together for a band practice. You don't want to waste that valuable time writing, when you can write on your own time, or teaching other people the songs when you could be e-mailing it to them. Also, it allows you to hear everything at once. I'd have a hard time writing a song with 6 or 7 layers in it if I can only hear what I can play at one time, or if I can only hear what I'm playing plus the layers that I wasted my time recording to play over when I could've just typed it all into Guitar Pro. Also, it allows me to write music that's more complicated than what I can actually handle, which motivates me to get better so that I can actually play the music I wrote. Also, it gives me a record of everything I ever write. I recently finished (or at least added to) multiple songs that I had starting writing 2 years ago, that I most certainly wouldn't remember now if I hadn't typed them in. Hell, I wrote an orchestral piece 6 years ago in Guitar Pro which I looked at yesterday and decided to rewrite and record into a metal song. That song would've been lost forever if I hadn't typed it in. Even if it had been recorded but if I didn't have a Guitar Pro file, I would be wasting time transcribing it by ear before I could even think about rewriting it.
#8
We record every jam we have then go back and transcribe inspired parts. We then go back and jam on these 'inspired parts' record it, transcribe what heard, maybe write some new parts on our own. Other times we'll just take two or three jams that developed independently and make them into one composition. So I guess we use a bit of both. It's an evolutionary process. It's similar to the approach groups like Umphrey's McGee or Phish take, and given the fact that our music is heavily improvised this makes sense for us. Also none of us have Guitar Pro so complex stuff is done on Sibelius.

I would have to agree that trying to learn really complex stuff is a waste of time during practice and should be done outside of the garage (or where ever you play.) However nothing helps the creative juices flow like a good jam session.
#9
My band doesn't use GP, but we do take a similar approach. We will record our guitar ideas and program drum tracks to them as we go. by doing this we've come up with nearly 30 songs in the past year. Not all of them are finished products, but a solid 15 of them are.

It make it much easier to keep track of all those awesome riffs that may normally be forgotten after a small break.
#10
Guitar Pro can make things easier for sure but it's funny that people say 'jam writing' is limiting when it's how a lot of contemporary music has been written for the past 50 years. It's a tool that's definitely made things easier for people to write on their own, but just because jamming can be spazzy or directionless doesn't mean that's a function of jamming, it means there are a lot of musicians who can't effectively communicate with each other either verbally or harmonically, so they make noise instead of listening to each other.

Guitar Pro definitely helps me work on ideas in terms of the bigger picture, but jamming forces you to cut through the bullshit and get to the point with your ideas. You can tell when bands haven't gotten comfortable playing a song as a unit when their songs are bloated with ideas that go nowhere.

Everything has its pros and cons. Guitar Pro isn't even the easiest or most efficient way for guitarists to get their ideas down quickly, it just has an easy frame of reference by using tab.
Last edited by Iommianity at Nov 13, 2013,
#11
We many times come up with new ideas at our band practices but we write the songs at home. We just sometimes get the ideas at band practices. IMO it's hard to make complete songs just by jamming. So yeah, we come up with new riffs/ideas, record them and then finish them at home.

Also, IMO everybody shouldn't write their own parts. A song is not a guitar riff. All instruments play an important part in a song and IMO the songwriter should know what he wants the song to sound like. As a bassist I don't only write bass parts for my songs. I write all parts and of course let the other members add something to it if it sounds better. If everybody came up with their own parts, it could change the sound of the song completely and it could end up sounding like a mess. Well arranged songs have parts that fit together well. We started thinking more about what we want the songs to sound like with our band and they started sounding a lot better. We used to just play the songs and never talked about each other's playing. But now I may tell our guitarist to use more muting or our drummer to play different kind of beat or something like that. Little things make good songs sound perfect.

^ IMO the upside of Guitar Pro or some other software is that you can write all parts with it, not just guitar parts. And you'll hear how it sounds like with full band because it has a playback.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 13, 2013,
#12
There's some genres that really work with GuitarPro and some that don't. Like, I couldn't imagine using GuitarPro for a blues band or stoner rock band, but for a power metal band it makes total sense. My band uses it all the time, it's so handy. I hate writing any other way. For metal anyway.
#13
I do stoner stuff and the jam session works great. I do a bit of metal riffing too, but for that I just jam with the drummer. Means I'm not locked into following a progression or key etc.
#14
Quote by Anarchy66
I've been in several bands during my teenage years. My most 'successful' band we wrote all songs on guitar pro. I realized it so much easier then writing at practice. We could write a great song then all learn it within a day or 2. Does any body else use this method as opposed to writing in person?


In my bands, generally yeah. Someone will come up with an idea, record it and email it or mms it to the rest of the band. Everyone will write their own parts and get it together at practice.

Sometimes the starting idea is just a riff and other times it's a full song. There's a fair bit of arrangement that goes on in my bands too. The songs don't usually end up as they started.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#15
Quote by Reages
Jam writing is good for writing pop/rock songs, if you are writing something more complex it would be a total waste of time, when other band members are waiting 1 hour for you to finish your riff.



We write all our music at jam practices together by jamming it out, and we are a Instrumental/progressive/jazz band (Playing God-playinggodmusic.bandcamp.com). Its all in the musicians you have in the band and how you flow with each other. i have been in bands where one guy ( me or another guitar player) would sit down and write music then give it to all the members to learn, i found that to be good idea, but its limiting to the other members we even went the way of just writing the parts fthat we play and then other members do there own tabbing throught GP. which worked very well also, BUT, then i found 2 musicians that understood music and writing became sooo much easier and more creative when we write songs. Everyone has an influence on the songs and its more feeling based final product. It really all depeneds on the other musicans in your band.
#16
Both are important.

I played riffs which I put down as "generic", but then when doubling it with the bass made the riff present itself totally different.

At other times I played a riff with accents, then the drummer plays half time over it, or accents it syncopated, and it has an entirely different musical expression.

If you jam with people (structurally), you can go through so many different combinations of musical elements it's truly magical at times, the nuances things can have purely because of the atmosphere, or people musical "backing your riff" up.


I'm sure some off you have experienced this as well, no?

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