#1
What's up? Here's something I've periodically worked on since a couple of months ago. I'd probably do some more work over it, though. I previously posted an older version of this as an RSE preview in the Original Recordings forum. It originally started right from what is now the 11th bar, but as it was kind of abrupt I tried to add some short introduction with a mellower sound. The introduction's writing begun with the clean electric guitar while I threw in a couple more bars and the organ part yesterday. Another thing is that I tabbed the string section over a 6-string guitar tab, so I'd probably adjust it later to a wider range one.

I wasn't sure about posting it as a tab, but... meh, I guess. Most people liked the RSE preview quite a lot, though an actual recording would be miles better.
Attachments:
GuitarComposition27.gp5
#2
man this is epic.. very catchy and flows great, remind me a bit of trivium's "the crusade"
#3
Thanks, man! I don't know if they're that similar to me, but I most definitely hope to record it sometime so it would really sound-out.
#4
Thanks for replying to my song earlier, much appreciated. So for your piece:

The intro is very melodic and the voicings of the chords all transition very nicely. I really like the accents in the 15/16 riff played by the second guitar and later by violins and the like. Most of the time you also have very good transitions. The outro, unlike many writers did build up and was successful in finishing the song with a bang, which I applaud.

Now the things I don't like may sound really harsh but don't take it too personally. First of all, this isn't really progressing metal in any shape or form. There's only so many times I can hear a phrygian dominant riff with a band claiming they're progressive. The grooves are stock Dream Theater and Symphony X material and I find the solo very disjoint. You start off nicely since the riff is primarily based on staccato accents and syncopation but after the first half it gets really tiring. It would be more interesting if the phrasing became "continuous" as opposed to "discrete". You finally do that at about 135 but by then it's too late.

I used to write Progressive Metal like this but realised I wasn't really doing anything different to these bands (Dream Theater, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation, Opeth, etc), which is not Progressive even in the slightest. I recommend listening to "For the Love of Art and the Making" by Beyond Twilight and anything by Blotted Science to get a feel for what is really "Progressive" by current standards (i.e., bands that are actually doing things musically unique to Metal). I also recommend getting out of Metal in order to write unique Metal. I've been listening to the Final Fantasy Piano Opera CDs and Heitor Villa-Lobos lately but it really is up to you. I hope that helps you out.
#5
Thanks for the extensive crit. I'm not currently at home so I can't check that stuff, but I'll just say that regarding the definition of progressive rock/metal, it is not as strict. While I did listen to Dream Theater quiet often recently, basically all rock that deviates from the basic concept of rock can be regarded as progressive in some way or another, and also a large part of it revolves around production/sound quality and how it's performed and phrased. It's not easily transferable through Guitar Pro and so that final product would obviously sound different. I'll listen to Beyond Twilight at home to see what exactly you are referring to, but I would say that I didn't try to dwell too much into dissonance and atonality, so if it's too neat, well, I still tried to keep an order.

Regarding the staccato part (I assume you're referring to the riff under the solo), well, it's again somewhat related to phrasing so it would probably change about for recording. What didn't you like with the solo itself, if you don't mind expanding? I saw that people in the other post felt it fits well.

Thanks.
#6
Well think of bands like Age of Artemis, Circus Maximus, Pagan's Mind, etc. They're all "Progressive" in a traditional sense, but they aren't doing anything musically different to other bands like Anubis Gate, (old) Dream Theater, etc. That was the whole purpose of Progressive Rock, to take Rock beyond it's current limits in one way or another (tonality, technicality, conceptually, etc). Progressive Metal is no different except that it is obviously more aggressive. There is no arguing the definition. Emulating popular Prog Metal bands != Progressive Metal. Taking bits and pieces and doing something different is.

Regarding your solo, it's good in pieces. As a whole, it is not. When I say discrete think of the intuitive mathematical definition. You can count it, and get an exact measure (i.e., number of people in your local basketball team) whereas continuous means you can measure it (i.e., the height of your basketball players). Now back to musicality, your phrasing is discrete. It sounds good in chunks but doesn't flow from one lick to the next. Every phrase starts at beat one of each bar. In order to have a "flowing" solo, you need to interpolate these sections with some form of fill or transition that unites each section of the solo. That fill or transition should be some form of midway point between the two licks.
#7
Quote by HaydenHohns
Well think of bands like Age of Artemis, Circus Maximus, Pagan's Mind, etc. They're all "Progressive" in a traditional sense, but they aren't doing anything musically different to other bands like Anubis Gate, (old) Dream Theater, etc. That was the whole purpose of Progressive Rock, to take Rock beyond it's current limits in one way or another (tonality, technicality, conceptually, etc). Progressive Metal is no different except that it is obviously more aggressive. There is no arguing the definition. Emulating popular Prog Metal bands != Progressive Metal. Taking bits and pieces and doing something different is.

Regarding your solo, it's good in pieces. As a whole, it is not. When I say discrete think of the intuitive mathematical definition. You can count it, and get an exact measure (i.e., number of people in your local basketball team) whereas continuous means you can measure it (i.e., the height of your basketball players). Now back to musicality, your phrasing is discrete. It sounds good in chunks but doesn't flow from one lick to the next. Every phrase starts at beat one of each bar. In order to have a "flowing" solo, you need to interpolate these sections with some form of fill or transition that unites each section of the solo. That fill or transition should be some form of midway point between the two licks.



Well, again, it's basically your definition of things. In general progressive rock (of the more symphonic kind) tends to accept classical influences much more often than other musical genres. Does the definition of classic music ever change? Not really.

About the solo, well, I guess I understand what you were trying to refer to, but it's kind of the choice of rhythmic pattern I gave it and liking it or not is subjective, and I wouldn't say it lacks flowing to me. The melody is connected in a discernible way through most of it, while only part that kind-of jumped was 130-131. I'm not too fond of the continues 32nd notes kind of of writing so the flow of the solo might feel discrete (as you defined it) to you, but, again, it's subjective as I mainly got other responses.

Also, I listened to Beyond Twilight a bit. Have some great stuff, but actually I felt them to be pretty reminiscent of Dream Theater at times, and also, as I already said, a lot of the "Progressive" musicality comes from production and sonic quality, which is very apparent in their songs. It's achieved through production and mixing, and I don't think I'd say they're now that much "more progressive" than DT or any other "stock band".

Anyway, thanks for the crit.
Last edited by TLGuitar at Jul 19, 2014,
#8
Of course me liking or disliking this piece is subjective, and I have no intention of forcing myself to say that every time I wish to express my opinion.

"Classic" music (I'm assuming you're referring to Western Art Music) does change though. Compare Bach and Bartok, two completely different composers and repertoire.

"For the Love of Art and the Making" is in fact very different to Dream Theater. You have a single 38 minute piece comprised of 43 parts (less than one minute average song time) where it can be rearranged to a new song when shuffled (which is in itself a complete structural revolution in Metal). Furthermore, there are multiple "stories" being discussed with the lyrics and there is a far more Classical approach to writing as opposed to the more Jam-based tendencies in Dream Theater. Also, I never said BT was more progressive than DT. Consider a Metalhead in 1992 who hears "Images and Words" for the first time. That would have been a pretty big deal. But fast forward ten years now. If you wrote an album in the style of "Images and Words" then you wouldn't be doing anything interesting at all. the later DT albums have been a lot like Images and Words but they never receive as much praise as Images and Words (casual and die-hard fans alike).

Also, Production and/or Mixing != Progressive. If a band had the same producer and recording engineers as Dream Theater but wrote in the style of Suicide Silence, that wouldn't necessarily be Progressive. Jacob Hansen has been a Producer/Mixer for Anubis Gate which is Progressive Power Metal. He also played an identical role in "Global Flatline" by Aborted, which is Deathgrind. So Production and/or Mixing does not correspond to genre.

No problem.
#9
Well, you're referring to art music in general. Bach is of the Baroque period (off of the "classical" repertoire as a whole), which has its own common characteristics.

I didn't listen to that album as I took a look at some songs from YouTube which were off of their first album I think, but anyway, as I said in your thread, I don't like this whole microsong concept, and regarding how you defined that album now I'd say it sounds more like novelty music to me.

Poduction/mixing is also appropriate for each genre in a different way. I refer to all the different blemishes that would enrich the final sound of a progressive album that aren't all that detrimental compositionaly. A producer can work for as many different genres of bands he could fit into, and it shouldn't sound the same because of that person.


And... Regarding Images and Words. An album in the style of Images and Words wouldn't be interesting at all now? That's a big statement. Many songs there are awesome, whether they were to be released released back then or now. Though, I would say that their best album in my opinion (and possibly on of the best in the genre) is Awake.
Last edited by TLGuitar at Jul 19, 2014,
#10
Yes, they have common characteristics (hence genres) but they certainly aren't rehashing everyone's ideas.

I disagree again. Black Metal had very humble beginnings with lo-fi production. Compare that (90's Norwegian Black Metal) today with bands like Dark Fortress and Artefact. There is nearly no resemblance at all in terms of Production, Engineering and Mixing. It's all Black Metal though.

True that "Images and Words" and "Awake" are great albums by themselves but there's no point in writing them again since it's already done. An artist should be aiming to step it up a notch. You don't make progress from copying one artist.

I think we just have to agree to disagree.
#11
I like this song for the most part. The Lead Guitar track is relentless though and I find it fatiguing. Parts 1 and 2 go together very well, but after bar 26 I was disappointed by it being another riff with the same basic idea, then bar 43 is a repeat of section 2. There was not enough variation in the song yet to allow for another repetition of it in my opinion. By bar 59 is when I' really start to feel wore down by that Lead Guitar. I thought to myself "Oh god, a new section but that same idea is being used again so I know I'll have to sit through it for at least 8 measures."

I would actually cut out that track from bar 59-90. The other guitar as well as the strings and soloing do a good job themselves while allowing the listener some relief. You might also be able to shorten the section a bit.
I think the riff starting at bar 90 is really good and I like this section a lot, and it would stand out a lot more and have more punch if that lead guitar wasnt driving through the whole song.
Going back to bars 27 - 42, I think what would work better is giving it some sustained chords.
Maybe also instead of having 11-26 mostly repeat again at 43-58, I would make it one repetition and combine the solo and varied rhythm parts.

This is all my opinion though obviously. It feels like you made one decent riff, then made others off of it that only slightly varied, and wanted to use them all in the same song. But sometimes for the sake of making a song better you have to exclude some.