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#1
I was listening to the radio in the car and I heard the weirdest song. It sounded like it was in a strange scale and the instruments sounded like they were played backwards (I know the drums were). The vocals however were relatively normal and I believe it was called "Pepper". Does anyone know what song I'm talking about? Also does anyone know of a band weirder than the ones I listed in this thread?
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=33293440

I'm also curious why chord progressions are so important. Why do people act like their more important than scales?
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#2
1. This is the only "Pepper" Necessary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnwifqARau8

2. I don't find any of those weird. It's just music. Although the Residents are definitely the quirkiest of that list...

3. Because they are. Melody dictates harmony, harmony dictates scale choice.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#4
To EpiExplorer, nice song and Melodic Death Metal (I'm a metalhead and enjoy Death Metal for its artistic values and cool aesthetic) for the win. Atmosphere is very important to me musically and that song does it well.

To Jet, I can't believe you didn't find those weird (even I think Beefheart and The Residents are nuts). I was listing artists commonly considered really bizarre off the back of my head (although some of them like Holdsworth and Zappa are just unique). I'm curious what musicians/bands you'd find weird (don't say me). Also the Duke was a great Jazz composer and had style ...

As for the second question, I was wondering why chord progressions are considered MORE important than scales (there are more scales than conventional chord progressions).
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#5
Why are you obsessed with weirdness? Weird is entirely relative to someone's experiences but you seem to think it's some kind of badge of honour. Some people would find what you posted weird, but it's still entry level weirdness to me. Some of it wasn't even that. But who cares?

And who thinks chord progressions are more important than scales? Who even thinks in that kind of hierarchy? They're both irrelevant anyway.
#6
Exactly. They're just tools. Means to an end.

And there aren't. There's like 6 scales which you can break into subsets.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#7
I agree with JRF; you need to understand that "weird" does not necessarily equal good. And btw, the examples you posted are pretty standard. Nothing weird about them.

You should also study some more about basic harmony theory. Judging by the things you say, your theory knowledge is pretty limited. Then you don't need to ask these questions. You will find all the answers yourself.

But yea, pretty much every major/minor scale melody actually suggests harmony. Even if you don't have a chord progression, the melody will more or less imply it. There are also more textures than just simply chords + melody. If you look at a contrapuntal texture for instance, you can have multiple melodies, but those melodies pretty much form the chords. It's just more involved.

PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THIS MEANS. How does one apply DBZ to blues guitar?
Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 12, 2015,
#8
Elinktasokas, you hit the nail on the head. I'm more interested in how melodies interact to each other and if they compliment each other. Harmony comes in many forms. That's why I'm curious why some people on this sub-forum act like chord progressions are more important than scales. They're both means to an end and there are more important things in music (scales are more important than chord progressions in soloing however) like rhythm, melody and dissonance. I rarely even use chords in my music (one of my reasons is because I'm writing with Musescore and illiterate in sheet music).

The reason I "seem to think it's some kind of badge of honor" is because I like to be unique and unconventional. I think it's boring to sound "normal" and being weird/abnormal takes skill and dedication. I'm still curious what music you three consider weird then (I find this interesting).

Also the Super Buu could apply to guitar. The bluesmen would assimilate any good melody or lick they heard into their own playing (much like Buu would do to his enemies). Guitar soloing also seems to favor this approach in some circles (although variation is required). Also I'm an anime fan and thought that DBZ quote would be more appropriate for a guitar forum than my previous one from Scott Pilgrim (I really enjoy the movie version and the sweet fan-art for an 8th Evil Ex).
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
Last edited by RonaldPoe at Mar 12, 2015,
#9
Quote by RonaldPoe

I think it's boring to sound "normal" and being weird/abnormal takes skill and dedication.

And this is where you go wrong. If you think all "conventional" is easy, you could not be more wrong. If you think it's easy to compose a sophisticated "conventional" orchestral piece that can stand up to the classics, I dare you to try.

Take your remixes for example where you mash a few melodies together. Do you really think that is harder? It might be weird, but anyone could do it in 2 minutes without effort.

I'm not trying to be a douchebag here, but you might want to TRY and compose a so called conventional piece before calling it easy and boring.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 12, 2015,
#10
Robert Alberg is the weirdest musician.

https://youtu.be/lYB1orW_FxA

The music is kind of weird, but it's weirder because of his back story. I always get nervous when I get a package from him in the mail (he sends us CDs once in a while) because there could be ricin in it.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#11
What is normal and what is unconventional? I don't really believe in this at all. I mean there's cliche and there's pastiche, but that's because of overuse or appropriation. Everything was unconventional at one point.
#12
Elinktasokas, my remixes take a lot of dedication, skill, and love to get right. It's not something that can be done in 2 minute (I don't mean because of loading times either) and the choices aren't random (most of the basslines fit a theme I select for the piece and some are just there for flavor). Also you've got to use subtle bass instruments on the extra melodies or it will turn into a cacophony/mess. I also sometimes have trouble finding the right melody and I one part doesn't sound good in the mix, I mostly start over.

Second I have written a diatonic composition and it was ... okay. I don't expect your average conventional orchestral piece to stand up to the classics because most of those composers were better than you and me. I also look up to Yoko Shimomura and use her as a reference while maintaining my own style.

Robert Alburg sounds like a total weirdo (on par with Syd Barrett in strange music and behavior). Unlike Syd, he's very amateurish (sounds kinda like my early music that I've deleted) but is still an outsider musician. Also Hendrix and the Beatles would be strange music if it weren't for all the imitators and mainstream attention (those two are still really good music though).
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#13
Quote by RonaldPoe

Second I have written a diatonic composition and it was ... okay.

You've written ONE diatonic composition? It was not okay, that's for sure. You act as if composing with diatonic material is some kind of a joke and anyone can make a good piece without effort.

I admit that my first attempt at composing music (diatonically or not) was a pathetic attempt by any decent standards and I'm pretty sure that so was yours.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 13, 2015,
#14
When you get down to it, composing is really a decision making process. How many decisions are you making per remix Ronald? The amount of decisions show how much you're engaging with the material.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Mar 13, 2015,
#15
I'm so baffled by you I can't even. Part of me is thinking that you're on a journey and it's really stupid but you've just got to figure stuff out for yourself. Another part of me is thinking that you're so ignorant and insulated from everything that you'll never actually learn anything. Another part of me is thinking your lack of respect for the "conventional" is good. Another part of me is thinking you don't actually know anything about what is conventional and what isn't or even what that means and it's just another aspect of your ignorance. I guess ultimately I don't care and I'm just frustrated by your insistence that other people give a shit about or validate your thoughts.


I'll say this again in a different way because I don't think you got it the first time. Conventional vs unconventional or weird vs normal or whatever doesn't exist. Those are distinctions that are completely based on a person's experiences and perspective. Someone who has only listened to top 40 might listen to [insert band you think is very normal] and think it's totally bizarre. Then again, other people who listen to 20th century art music might listen to [insert band you think is very weird] and think they sound totally normal. How we listen to music and define what is normal is completely individual.
#16
I've lost count how many decisions I make with every remix. I'd say at least 10 with the main melody and drumbeat alone. Then about 20 with the basslines. Then about 10 decisions while mixing the parts (mostly volume, limiter, and treble boost). This is just the basic decisions I make (even with the failed creations) and I make even more with the ones that pass.

I actually have written my own compositions for at least 2 years (the one I did last week was just my first strictly diatonic one). I never said anyone could make a good piece (in fact only a few can). My diatonic piece was okay but not anything great. I also like to improve my composition skills and learn to push the envelope further.

Here's one of my favorite original compositions, "Too Weak" (it's a tribute to Dio Brando from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure).
https://soundcloud.com/dark-ronald-poe/too-weak
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#17
That sounds oddly familiar. Cough Cough UGECMK1 Cough Cough
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#18
Jet, you're right the main melody of "Too Weak" did open up that piece. That one just means quite a bit to me. Anyway I feel like asking questions here because you guys know what you're talking about and seem experienced. If I can eventually impress the theory guys, I should be able to write great themes and get a remix on OCRemix (the elite videogame remix site that I'm trying to get a piece on). I guess what I seek is a mixture of approval and improvement in terms of composition. I was able to impress the girls at Motlow (a college I went to for 2 semesters) but I don't any of them even know what a Lydian is. Now I'm going to a tech-school (web design class) but that's an entirely different story.

I'm also trying to write something that's "whimsical and cartoonish" right now but how would I approach that?
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#19
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I'm so baffled by you I can't even.


I feel this way about TS as well. Everything he posts is very strange and incorrect or inaccurate and I can never quite figure out where exactly he is coming from with his posts. I disagree with much of what is posted here in MT, but I can generally at least have some idea as to why they feel the way they do about things. But with Ronald it's all a mystery.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#20
Quote by theogonia777
I feel this way about TS as well. Everything he posts is very strange and incorrect or inaccurate and I can never quite figure out where exactly he is coming from with his posts. I disagree with much of what is posted here in MT, but I can generally at least have some idea as to why they feel the way they do about things. But with Ronald it's all a mystery.

Right? I can't even formulate a response to him.
#21
Chaos is a beautiful thing, aint it JRF
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#23
Duaneclpdrix, by "only a few can", I meant only a few have the dedication and/or natural talent to do it.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#25
Talent is the result of dedication. Dedication is the result of discipline. Discipline is the result of labor.

The only thing preventing anyone from doing creative work is laziness.

Saying you don't "have a knack" for music is like saying you don't have a knack for math. Which reads as, "I never worked really hard at math."
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#26
Quote by Jet Penguin
Talent is the result of dedication. Dedication is the result of discipline. Discipline is the result of labor.

The only thing preventing anyone from doing creative work is laziness.

Saying you don't "have a knack" for music is like saying you don't have a knack for math. Which reads as, "I never worked really hard at math."


That's not really entirely true since some people have more natural ability than others. Some people are naturally better able to recognize patterns or memorize things and some people have more acute senses than others. Some have naturally quicker or stronger fingers or better endurance.

To say that natural advantages like these aren't a factor is silly. Some people are just naturally better at some things. You can think of it as some people being equipped with better tools than others.

That being said, this only means anything in terms of potential and can be completely negated or marginalized based on effort. So regardless of natural ability, it doesn't mean anything if it is not properly cultivated.

So essentially hard work and practice is more important than natural "ability" (whether it is a physical or mental advantage) for sure, but natural ability certainly shouldn't be discounted entirely. And this is true in anything from music to math to sports to whatever.

There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#27
Of course. My point being that the issue of talent shouldn't be an excuse to do or not do anything.

Everyone should make their own music, regardless of whether or not its "good". whatever good means.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#28
I think that any advantage natural talent gives you are negated in the long run. Once a certain level of competence is achieved, it's all down to taste.

The idea of talent separating the good from the great assumes a perfect world where everybody is functioning optimally. Issues with one's personality, life, mindset, lack of motivation all make talent almost meaningless in the long run imo. A bit of head start doesn't matter in a 10k race.
#29
Totally agree, although I dunno what that has to do with whether or not we like Ron's music

For the record, I don't mind it, I just think you could expand the palette a bit. I feel like if you've heard one RonaldPoe piece you've heard them all.

But then again, that's just my opinion.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#30
Ronald.

When I started trying to make music, I was obsessed with trying to be "original". I had to have weird chords and odd time signatures in everything. What this boiled down to was me not knowing how to write a chord progression and writing down syncopated 4/4 incorrectly.

If I came up with a cool riff, I would get exited until I realized it "just in 4/4". Nothing changed. The riff was the same. But it wasn't 'original'.

This was because I thought chord progressions, time signatures and scales were what made music original or not. I was entirely wrong.

Music is not about notes or chords, it is about how ideas relate to one another.

The ideas are often expressed through the medium of notes and chords, but sometimes it's timbre or something else.

You don't need to re-invent the wheel. You're supposed to take the wheel and go somewhere with it....

Maaaaaaannnnnn.........presumably on a unicycle or something...idk You get the point I hope

I stopped trying to be original and copied/learned about a lot of music. Now I can attempt to be original because I kinda know what I'm doing.
#32
+10000 to Duane.

This makes me want to have a "baby" composition challenge, where we all have to write as if we were small children and throw all the complexity and technique aside.

"Nothing more technically demanding than X. Nothing more harmonically sophisticated than Y."

Could be fun.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#33
Good advice but my problem is that even though I listen to a pretty wide variety of music and learn a lot of theory, nothing changes (I can't seem to expand my palette and/or apply all that theory). I'm currently trying to write an original piece (It's a fan-made KH field theme for a level based on "The Emperor's New Groove") and it's supposed to be cartoonish and whimsical. How would I approach that?
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
Last edited by RonaldPoe at Mar 15, 2015,
#34
^ You don't actually learn theory if you don't understand it. You need to start with the basics. You can't really understand weird concepts before you understand how to build the major scale and how it sounds like.

If you want to write cartoonish music, listen to a lot of similar kind of music and learn to play it. Figure out what's happening. Use your ears.
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
#35
Never mind, I wrote that melody by myself anyway. I couldn't figure out the cartoonish feel so I just went with a mostly diatonic melody and a Latin beat (I found it on the internet). Anyway I actually do know the major scale's theory pretty well (as in intervals, chords constructed, notes in C, D, A, G, and F Major, ect) and a bunch of odd and conventional theory as well. My problem mostly lies in applying that theory. I probably won't share that many more pieces here for a while. Like I said, I learn loads of theory and listen to varieties of music but nothing changes.

Here's "Incan Walk" (a KH-style field theme for a level based on "The Emperor's New Groove").
https://soundcloud.com/dark-ronald-poe/incan-walk
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#36
Quote by RonaldPoe
Never mind, I wrote that melody by myself anyway. I couldn't figure out the cartoonish feel so I just went with a mostly diatonic melody and a Latin beat (I found it on the internet). Anyway I actually do know the major scale's theory pretty well (as in intervals, chords constructed, notes in C, D, A, G, and F Major, ect) and a bunch of odd and conventional theory as well. My problem mostly lies in applying that theory. I probably won't share that many more pieces here for a while. Like I said, I learn loads of theory and listen to varieties of music but nothing changes.

Here's "Incan Walk" (a KH-style field theme for a level based on "The Emperor's New Groove").
https://soundcloud.com/dark-ronald-poe/incan-walk



What is the point of the "accompaniment"? That's just PURE 100% DISSONANCE and at times sounds like a swarm of angry bees more than anything else. Why don't you try harmonizing the melody with something more logical? Like chords that include some of the notes you have in the melody. That could be your first step in applying theory. It sounds like you just have over 9000 different things overlapping on the background.

Your melody starts with C E G. C major chord would be logical for it, because it has the notes C E G in it, etc.

Liked the MIDI cuicas at 0:30, though. Hands down my favorite general MIDI sound.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 18, 2015,
#37
The accompaniment was used primarily for atmosphere and as a signature of mine (I don't think it's THAT dissonant and there's actually only 3 things overlapping). The MIDI cuicas was actually a result of the Latin drum samples for MIDI I was using and it was a happy accident. The reason I didn't put complimenting chords is because of both the software I use (Musescore doesn't have a chord feature and I can't read chords on sheet) and because I like to make it more personal (almost anyone else would add diatonic chords but I prefer atmospheric basslines made from melodies). I'll keep working on my music and maybe I should give your suggestion a try(just keep giving advice).

Also I believe one can make up for lack of natural musical talent by practicing a lot and ear training.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#38
^ To "apply theory" you also need to try what you can do with the concepts you have learned (you'll only learn theory if you use your knowledge in practice) - and you need to listen to other people's music and see what they do with the different concepts. What Elintasokas mentioned (being able to harmonize a melody) is a good example of what applying theory is about. Right now you can't apply theory because you aren't even trying to. You know the concepts in theory but not in practice.

Putting three separate parts randomly together is not applying theory. If you want to learn about that kind of stuff (writing different melodies that work well together), learn about counterpoint. But seriously, I think you need to start with more simple stuff because it's easier to understand. Once you know the basics well, it becomes a lot easier to write more complex sounding stuff, because you actually understand what you are doing.

So listen to your favorite songs. Figure out what's happening in them. That's what theory is for - to explain what's happening in music.


I listened to your song and it was basically just I and V chords (in the melody) + a drum track and random stuff in the background that didn't make any sense. Actually the melody didn't make sense either - it was just random arpeggios played one after another. You may want to have some kind of a rhythmic/melodic motif in it. You want it to feel like it's going somewhere, you want it to have a direction. You want it to have a start and an end. Your songs always lack a clear ending - they just end and that's it. Sometimes a fade out is cool but it doesn't fit everything (and your songs don't even use fade out). You want the listener to know that the song is going to end soon - you don't want it to be too unexpected (well, sometimes that's of course cool too, but think songwriting as writing a book or a film or something. Good movies and books have a clear ending - they don't end in the middle of a scene). And you could also think about the intro of the song. What if the song started with just one instrument and the other instruments joined later? Also, use dynamics. I think this is also one of the reasons why I feel like the song has no direction - there are no dynamics or space. There is no structure either. It's just all instruments playing something at the same time.

Try to make it sound like a coherent piece. Have a start. Have an ending. Have a direction. Have some space in it (use rests and use different instruments for different sections).

Start with a melody (and I mean something that has a direction in it, not just random pitches played at a random rhythm - and yes, even if you are using just three notes, it can still be random). Then maybe try writing a bassline that fits it. Use your ears, don't just randomly choose an existing bassline and play it over the melody. Listen. What bass notes could fit the melody?

If you are after some kind of feel (for example a "pirate" feel), listen to songs that have the feeling you are after and figure out what's happening in them. What kind of melodies, rhythms, harmonies, etc they use?
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 18, 2015,
#39
This. A million times this.

Just because I recite the principles behind advanced theoretical things does not necessarily mean I can apply them in practice.

You can read tons of books on how to drive a car and memorize every page, but until you get behind the wheel and actually do it, you don't know how to drive.

Just write something simple and traditional. Try and apply that theory you know.

What's it going to do, make you worse at music? Just do it.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#40
I made a possible harmonization of the first 4 bars of your melody (then repeated from start again). Btw, it's totally half assed and literally made in 5 mins I put a V7 there even though your melody kind of implies a different chord, I guess, but yeah.... Doesn't sound too off to me.

https://soundcloud.com/multishape/ronald/s-alziH
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 18, 2015,
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