#1
Hi all

Me and my two best mates are starting up a metal band. I'm probably just being pessimistic, but I can't see how I could write a riff that would sound original or end up sounding too much like something Dimebag or Metallica would've written.

Also, I'm trying to decide whether to focus my riffing style on Thrash Metal or Deathcore. Although I could combine the two...
#2
You're not experienced enough to write what you consider to sound unique. There's a reason most metal bands don't consist of only beginner musicians.
I'm also really not a fan of bands who write and play music only in a fixed genre. Bands (not good ones) don't sit down and say "okay, lets write a really awesome deathcore song with really original deathcore riffs".
#3
Most bands tacked with the "metal" genre have the same jive when it comes to riffs. If you want to sound original, 80's metal influences won't allow you to sound but so original.

Try tuning to drop D and playing around in the D minor scale.
#4
Do you have any demo videos?

It's hard to help when I'm not sure how you're currently playing, I could throw a bunch of "umbrella" techniques, but doing that would probably cause me to leave off a lot, and you looking at a list that is only 15-25% usable to you.

If you have it, post a link of an original song of you playing, even if it's JUST you. If you don't have it, I'd suggest recording something really quickly, be it an original or just something similar to how you play, upload that to YouTube and them post it here.

Here's something of mine, I know it's raw, but I mainly upload them so I can remember them haha. It's half improv, so it's not anything spectacular, but I did find some riffs in it that I can use.

Echoes - Original Recording
#5
Quote by supertom1

Me and my two best mates are starting up a metal band. I'm probably just being pessimistic, but I can't see how I could write a riff that would sound original or end up sounding too much like something Dimebag or Metallica would've written.


Well for one you would not be able to write anything that sounds like Pantera or Metallica, cause it is more than the riffs. It is the sound of the whole band, how all instruments play (vocals, drums, bass, guitar), how the songs are arranged, the tone and the attitude. Only Metallica can sound like Metallica, and only Dimebag can sound like Dimebag.

Quote by supertom1

Also, I'm trying to decide whether to focus my riffing style on Thrash Metal or Deathcore. Although I could combine the two...


Don´t focus on limiting yourself. Why say "my style should be Thrash Metal" or "My style should be Deathcore" when you can just take from anything that inspires you and just be you. Write together and see what arises naturally.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#6
Quote by Will Lane
Try tuning to drop D and playing around in the D minor scale.


I already have experimented with tunings, using D standard and Drop C alot, probably even more than E standard. I've also played around with D# Standard and Drop C# and have been analysing C# standard and Drop B in detail. I'll still experiment with Drop D as you said though. I used it alot before I started using extreme downtuning.

Thanks!
#7
Quote by Sickz

Don´t focus on limiting yourself. Why say "my style should be Thrash Metal" or "My style should be Deathcore" when you can just take from anything that inspires you and just be you. Write together and see what arises naturally.


I also like Alternative metal, Funk Metal, Stoner Metal and The Prodigy as well, and want to incorporate those styles too, so yeah, maybe I can be more original that I thought.

Thanks!
#9
Quote by spokerman12
Learn theory
Get better
Discover your artistic self


Problem: SOLVED


Sounds like a plan.
#10
Quote by fragydig529
Do you have any demo videos?


I'm afraid not. Once I do, I'll give you a link so you can listen for yourself.

Quote by fragydig529
It's hard to help when I'm not sure how you're currently playing, I could throw a bunch of "umbrella" techniques, but doing that would probably cause me to leave off a lot, and you looking at a list that is only 15-25% usable to you.


I'm mainly playing around with E, A, G and D blues scales (except I tune down to D Standard and Drop C so technically that's D, G, F and C blues) D natural minor, basic modes(mainly Phrygian, some Locrian) that kinda thing, trying to sound thrash but kinda failing.

Quote by fragydig529
Here's something of mine, I know it's raw, but I mainly upload them so I can remember them haha. It's half improv, so it's not anything spectacular, but I did find some riffs in it that I can use.

Echoes - Original Recording


Yeah, it's definetly a good idea to do that. It sucks when you forget the sound of a good riff in your head. That happened to me while on holiday, without my guitar. Some Deathcore kinda thing. I had an mp3 player on me with recording capability, but didn't want to sing the riff as I wasn't by myself and would've been embarassed if seen.

Thanks!
Last edited by supertom1 at Sep 2, 2014,
#11
The only way to sound original is to blend in other influences that isn't obvious. If you only have your ideal band as an influence for your own band, you will at best sound like a good copy of that band.

Widen your horizon; listen to blues, reggae, country and god knows what - I wouldn't be surprised to find something very inspiring in a genre which I don't feel at home in. If you limit yourself as a musician, chances are you won't get anywhere at all. Explore, and then come back and say that you don't like the guitar on some Bob Marley hits. Or, if it is the other way around, you may have found a new influence that will help to set you apart.

Originality is probably the most misunderstood concept ever. The only thing it is, is that people find new ways to do old things - mostly be mixing two or more non-obvious things together. Take Yngwie Malmsteen for example, he wanted his guitarplaying to sound like a virtuoso violinist. I won't say if he succeeded or not, but the resulting neoclassical metal style is definitely worthy of being called original - his playing is certainly instantly recognizable.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

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Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#12
Forget about sounding unique, there are million guitar players worldwide, and not one of them is completely, one hundred percent unique. There are only so many combinations of notes and rhythms you can make, so instead of trying desperately to make sure you don't sound like your favourite bands, embrace what you love about them, learn it, and make music out of that. Every piece of music is derived from something else, and if a piece of music hasn't been written, it's because it's bloody awful and should never see the light of day, so embrace your influences and make music people who like your influences will like.
#13
You can always do what Jimmy Page did, just remake other peoples songs changing them around as your own and don't tell anyone

My favorite is how they ripped off stairway to heaven from the guy that they were opening up for, hah...

Ok, but seriously, I don't agree with the person that said you cannot write something that sounds like Metallica (oh yah you definitely can, you don't need their drummer and vocals). You can sound like Metallica if you write stuff in the same scales and progressions and play it with a similar technique.

Writing music with a guitar is a lot experimental with pre-existing stuff and using a certain melody you might like, then maybe extend that.

I mean how much stuff was really original other than the guy that made the first musical sound. I don't think SRV asked permission from Hendrix or Albert King when he "borrowed" some riffs (not talking about his remakes, talking about his riffs).
Last edited by coderguy at Sep 8, 2014,
#14
Quote by coderguy

Ok, but seriously, I don't agree with the person that said you cannot write something that sounds like Metallica (oh yah you definitely can, you don't need their drummer and vocals). You can sound like Metallica if you write stuff in the same scales and progressions and play it with a similar technique.



1. I was the person who said that, and i still stand by that. He can't write Metallica because that would mean he had to have the same musical influences as Metallica, lyrical influences as Metallica and come from the same background as Metallica. Music is not just what scales and chords you use, it is how you are as a person and what inspired you. If he can't capture the feeling then he will just sound as a bland knock-off that everybody will hear that he WANTS to sound like Metallica, but they will also hear that it is not Metallica.

2. Scales and progressions is not how to get a specific sound. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera etc use the same scales and similar progression, yet all of them have their distinctive sounds. And play with a similar technique? Many bands but Metallica play with lots of downstrokes, and alternate picking aswell. Technique is merely a way of getting sounds out of your instrument, it is the same in all genres of music, so "similar technique" is a very odd statement.

3. And the SRV thing you mentioned is just what i ment. He took from other great blues players from the past (Hendrix, King) but when you put on a SRV record you don't think "Is this Hendrix or King?", you think "Oh this is SRV!" cause his influences shaped his style and sound, which only he had, hence my comment about influences and Metallica.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#16
Quote by Sickz
1. I was the person who said that, and i still stand by that. He can't write Metallica because that would mean he had to have the same musical influences as Metallica, lyrical influences as Metallica and come from the same background as Metallica. Music is not just what scales and chords you use, it is how you are as a person and what inspired you. If he can't capture the feeling then he will just sound as a bland knock-off that everybody will hear that he WANTS to sound like Metallica, but they will also hear that it is not Metallica.

2. Scales and progressions is not how to get a specific sound. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera etc use the same scales and similar progression, yet all of them have their distinctive sounds. And play with a similar technique? Many bands but Metallica play with lots of downstrokes, and alternate picking aswell. Technique is merely a way of getting sounds out of your instrument, it is the same in all genres of music, so "similar technique" is a very odd statement.

3. And the SRV thing you mentioned is just what i ment. He took from other great blues players from the past (Hendrix, King) but when you put on a SRV record you don't think "Is this Hendrix or King?", you think "Oh this is SRV!" cause his influences shaped his style and sound, which only he had, hence my comment about influences and Metallica.


It's possible for the above to occur exactly like you are saying. I am not disagreeing on that, what I disagree with is you said NEVER can it sound like something else. Well, you can definitely SOMETIMES run across a song by someone that sounds like it was written by one of his musical peers. It does happen.

We agree to disagree then, I've heard some cover bands that sound exactly like a famous guitarist (almost exact technique). I once heard a guy that sounded exactly like Buddy Guy, so close that you could switch the two and you wouldn't know who was playing. I forgot his name, he was some local guy and that was a long time ago. This can happen when a guitarist starts covering certain artists in a cover band, and he goes to duplicate the original as close as possible, and he is so good at it, well he swallows the same influence from their music. so he doesn't need all the other pre-dated performances and influences of the original musician.

His chord familiarity and technique was mimicking the guy so much, he became the guy because he did too many covers.

Even the stuff he wrote, you might think Buddy Guy wrote it. Wish I could remember the name, but it was 20 years ago.
Last edited by coderguy at Sep 9, 2014,