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#1
Ok, so I was trying to write some stuff and got this problem: A riff that would be a perfect follow-up for the previous part, but I can't use it because it resembles another famous riff.

I tried playing it differently so it wouldn't sound as similar, but then it just doesn't sound good. My theory is that the good riffs are taken. Look at Metallica, their songs were original but it seems that at some point and as time went on they got more and more generic, or sometimes just going for another genre. And that seems to happen with a lot of famous bands.

I could try writing different stuff, other than Thrash, but I feel like that's a terrible idea. I love this sort of music, and trying to create something I like and not being able to because it either seems generic or a rip off is extremely frustrating.

The obvious answer seems to be that to be original you can't follow other people's footsteps, but creating something original like a new genre, or a blend of genres that was never done before, is also incredibly difficult nowadays, I'd say it's almost like trying to think of a new color. There is nothing too shocking, too extreme, too fast, too anything anymore.


What are your thoughts on this/advice?
Last edited by Minicaxotinho at Mar 19, 2014,
#2
I would suggest learning all your favourite riffs by ear. Make a goal of learning a few of your favourite albums worth of riffs in the next few months. Along the way you can take what you are learning and add your own flavour to it. The more and more I learn stuff by ear I find the more likely I will be able to play what I really want because your mind-finger relationship will grow ableing you to access riffs you come up with. It's also a confidence booster to be able to play by ear.
#3
I don't consider music to be written or thought of independently, rather discovered. Authorship is an invalid concept, in the way that it is considered to be.

Do what you wish, while unburdened by such frustration.
#4
Quote by Vanhalaf
I don't consider music to be written or thought of independently, rather discovered. Authorship is an invalid concept, in the way that it is considered to be.

Do what you wish, while unburdened by such frustration.

What?
#5
Quote by Vanhalaf
I don't consider music to be written or thought of independently, rather discovered. Authorship is an invalid concept, in the way that it is considered to be.

Do what you wish, while unburdened by such frustration.


Intresting. What's your stance on copyright laws?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
Quote by AlanHB
Intresting. What's your stance on copyright laws?


I don't know particularly much about them, so I can't approach this topic from a coherent legal analysis.

However, in simple terms, if you are the originator of a composition I do consider it being acceptable, taking into consideration my view, for you to be credited as the one who played a role in the composition coming into being, and you can indeed earn a living on that composition, however I do not consider you to be the owner, in the sense that if anyone is to discover a similar composition he is obliged to pay you.

This can leave plagiarism rampant, I don't consider than an issue however. Potentially hundreds of artists can record the same song, however, the population controls for how the market functions. The version of the song that people like the most will be the one that people will want to purchase, if we're taking into account the monetary system.

I may mention more later, for now I have to go offline. As a note aside, I do understand why copyright originated and how it seems to be necessary within the economic system as it is, it may even be the case that with what I have in mind the current system will be unable to function, however, human laws do not establish truth, nor always reflect what is.


Edit:

As a quick clarification, I'm not overly preoccupied with how I think it SHOULD be. From a legal standpoint, you may be considered a creator and the sole owner and originator of your compositions. From a technical standpoint, I do not find a multitude of factors not of your origin and influence that went into you being able and discovering that arrangement worth ignoring.
Last edited by Vanhalaf at Mar 19, 2014,
#7
hendrix, clapton, santana, bloomfield have all played the same riffs and the all sound different...yet you can hear their style come through in their playing..same in every genre and every instrument...sax, piano etc...even in classical the same pieces are played note for note ... yet different solo artists have their own flavor...glenn gould comes to mind

dont let this stop you from growning...you will make it your own in time
#8
I think that music isn't made in a vacuum. All the artists that you look up to took inspiration or *ahem* stole from the artists that they looked up to.
The good riffs are absolutely not taken... what is "good" anyway?
Keep going, no excuses or rationalizations for mediocrity.
#9
Overkill - Blood Money (1991)
youtube.com/watch?v=mf_6738LZ0k

- Verses -

Pantera - Yesterday Don't Mean Shit (2000)
youtube.com/watch?v=zIhgMIlFuGU

You be the judge....
#10
Quote by TV-Casualty
Keep going, no excuses or rationalizations for mediocrity.
-I like this ^

-tyle12, nice advice.

-But guys, even if they stole stuff from other bands their careers weren't made on that, they had to make original stuff. What can you do in a world that has seen it all? That is probably the most important question.

Is this genre (particularly Thrash, but Metal in general) stagnating? (Or maybe it already has?)
Last edited by Minicaxotinho at Mar 19, 2014,
#12
In 1990 it was officially declared that all the good riffs were taken.

Then in 1991 Tom Morello came along dropping killer riffs from his fingers like Charlie Sheen drops coin in a ***** house.

Then all the good riffs really were taken - except one. Then Jack White figured out the last possible riff with Seven Nation Army.

So I'm sorry to tell you, Yes, all the good riffs really are taken.

//
Good music is good music. Don't get caught up in "genre" just play your guitar and make music that sounds cool. Don't worry if it has or hasn't been done before, just make sure you are expressing what YOU like and have fun doing it.
Si
#13
I actually find it comforting that all the good riffs are taken. I am no longer under any pressure to write good ones, I can get by with average riffs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
Quote by Minicaxotinho
Ok, so I was trying to write some stuff and got this problem: A riff that would be a perfect follow-up for the previous part, but I can't use it because it resembles another famous riff. I tried playing it differently so it wouldn't sound as similar, but then it just doesn't sound good.
[B]I thought you were looking for assurances that playing something similar to someone elses riff was okay (in miniature doses??)[/B]

Overkill - Blood Money (1991) [color="Yellow"]youtube.com/watch?v=mf_6738LZ0k[/COLOR]
- Verses -
Pantera - Yesterday Don't Mean Shit (2000) [color="Yellow"]youtube.com/watch?v=zIhgMIlFuGU[/COLOR]

[B]what???... no comments??[/B]
...but creating something original like a new genre, or a blend of genres that was never done before, is also incredibly difficult nowadays, I'd say it's almost like trying to think of a new color.
It is not that difficult, perhaps you are just lacking creativity ATM???

Deep Purple (the colour) mashed into Grey... oh look a new colour... i'm gonna call this one puree'
Last edited by tonibet72 at Mar 19, 2014,
#16
What about the intro to "Machine Over" by The Haarp Machine? Sorry if you guys aren't into that sort of thing, but it's (imo) definitely worth a listen. I think it's way fresh not so much the rest of the song though.

Edit

At about 1:38

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDjOAU9YjHE
"Could everyone please stop sounding like everyone else that's trying to sound like meshuggah?"

-Emil Werstler

Quote by damian_91
Kurt Cobain, the best guitarist to ever live.

Last edited by brandon2784 at Mar 20, 2014,
#17
For the most part, yes, all the good riffs have been taken. There will be a few out there that pop up now and then, but it's a lot like when a gold mine that has a lot of veins of gold first opens, to like 40 years after it's been largely mined. Is there a chance you might find a nugget out here? Sure, but by and large the chances are that most of the time, you won't, someone beat you to that.

Same with great music and riffs, which I contend peaked by the mid 70's.

Since then to my ears, it has progressively mutated and degenerated aesthetically (yes there are exceptions) .

Best,

Sean
#18
Popular music isn't about riffs anymore my dude. Sure you can have some riffs, or counter melodies, or whatever, but pop music nowadays is a lot more about timbre and harmony than a guitar playing a riff. Hard rock is dead, it's evolved into electronic rock (which I like more so that's not a problem for me).
#19
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Ugh.


Why is this fellows stance taken so? We're all playing in the same sandbox.
#23
I have a hard time coming up with riffs that are original......and yet not djent-y. I want to write riffs to jam the **** out to. I want something fast and aggressive with thrash drums. I want so heavy breakdowns.

I want to write full songs that engage people. But unfortunately, it really does feel like EVERYTHING has been done already that I'm trying to create myself.
#24
Quote by bdof
I have a hard time coming up with riffs that are original......and yet not djent-y. I want to write riffs to jam the **** out to. I want something fast and aggressive with thrash drums. I want so heavy breakdowns.

I want to write full songs that engage people. But unfortunately, it really does feel like EVERYTHING has been done already that I'm trying to create myself.



I feel like this too, so now when I write a riff I try to think of the band/song it sounds most like imo and call it that . Although I've had a few people tell me that my stuff doesn't really sound like anything else. I think it does but am also aware of the fact that it's hard to make something TOTALLY original sounding these days. I do think that in some cases it's ok though. For example, I would be ok if another band had something that sounded almost exactly like Necrophagist's Epitaph because I think that the album is too short and much prefer it to the older one.
"Could everyone please stop sounding like everyone else that's trying to sound like meshuggah?"

-Emil Werstler

Quote by damian_91
Kurt Cobain, the best guitarist to ever live.

#25
Happens all the time, so long as you didn't go out and say: "I'm going to rip so and so artist off." You should be okay. There's only so many chords you can use, you're bound to copy somebody.
#26
If you guys want to create original sounding and good riffs, learn to create aurally logical melodies using unique subdivisions of a beat.
#28
Quote by macashmack
Originality is overrated.

I was only putting forward a suggestion because people were whining.

Edit: I'm not sure if your comment was directed at me or everyone?
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Mar 21, 2014,
#29
Quote by GoldenGuitar
I was only putting forward a suggestion because people were whining.

Edit: I'm not sure if your comment was directed at me or everyone?

Everyone
#30
I don't understand how it's hard to be original? Are you kidding me there's so many styles out there that really haven't even been explored that much or mixed together. It just sounds to me like no one really tries to get out of their comfort zone and experiment with different things..
#31
Quote by Black_devils
I don't understand how it's hard to be original? Are you kidding me there's so many styles out there that really haven't even been explored that much or mixed together. It just sounds to me like no one really tries to get out of their comfort zone and experiment with different things..

+1
#33
TS, the riff may sound similar to you but maybe you are the only one who sees the similarity? I don't really care that much if my riff sounds a bit like some other song. Songs aren't all about riffs. Just write full songs. If it sounds like something else, you don't need to release it. Not every song you write needs to be the next top 10 hit. I write songs for me. If they sound like something else, I don't care. If they sound too much like something else, I don't play them. Just write songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoyEVTN_h9I
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#34
Quote by Elintasokas
Is this one of your "I just wanna rustle some jimmies" comments?

Yes, but now that you know, no. I am serious
How rustled are you?
#35
Threads like this are useless. Use your ear and compose some stuff. Don't worry about whether it's "original". If you don't outright copy your influences ( ::cough:: AX7's last album ::cough:: ), you should come up with somewhat unique stuff.

Also, don't worry a ton about genre. I also have written a few Thrash-based songs, but I don't worry about whether it fits the old school Thrash formula. In the end, the song may not sound Thrash, even though the "base" was Thrash. So what? If it sounds good, it is good. If you try to fit it to a formula, it'll sound bland and generic.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Mar 23, 2014,
#36
Quote by macashmack
Yes, but now that you know, no. I am serious
How rustled are you?

Only slightly. I was more rustled by your "there is only one right way to compose" comment way back when you posted that.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 22, 2014,
#37
I am a neophyte when it comes to music theory. But how can all the good riffs be taken? thats like saying music has an end?

Have all the good movies been made? have all the good paintings been painted?

Good is a subjective topic, nowadays stuff like one direction is generally considered to be "Good"
#38
Quote by danyal92
I am a neophyte when it comes to music theory. But how can all the good riffs be taken? thats like saying music has an end?

Have all the good movies been made? have all the good paintings been painted?

Good is a subjective topic, nowadays stuff like one direction is generally considered to be "Good"

They cannot, and are not all taken. A HUGE part of music follows the same safe patterns and doesn't even want to experiment. I'm there is still a lot to discover timbre wise AND eh... melodically wise?

The same things also are made over and over again yet they still sound different in a different context with different sounds and instruments, etc.

Bottom line: No, we will not run out of music.
#39
Quote by Elintasokas
Only slightly. I was more rustled by your "there is only one right way to compose" comment way back when you posted that.

Yea that was a good one
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