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#1
Hey all, I play in a melodic hardcore band and we realize our old music is pretty stale and repetitive, so I've been writing all our new material for the past year and it's very technical and wanky at times, with a few heavy parts sprinkled in there too. We pull it off well live and people often take note of our creativity, but my dilemma is this: we're going into the studio in about a month and recording these new songs, and I'm afraid that this kind of stuff will fly right over peoples heads. We've put a ton of time and effort into these songs and it's not like it's just chuggy breakdown metalcore nonsense, but I'm worried listeners won't catch on to it. Can metal music be too technical? Give me some insight, writers of music. If you're wondering how we sound, check out Napoleon from the UK and you'll get a good idea.
#2
No.

However, the ethos and spirit of your music can be presented in an ineffective way (one example: technical for the sake of being technical), thus conveying an "artsier than thou" mentality that alienates potential listeners.

If you don't know what I mean by that, one need only look in literally every single thread in this forum.
"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
#3
If you're a melodic hardcore band, your music is probably not that technical, all things considered. Also I don't know why you're asking if metal can be too technical when you aren't playing in a metal band.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#4
^Also that.

Just make the music YOU (yes you) want to make, and then present it just like you would any other genre of music. No need to be 'artsier than thou' or pretentious.

And as someone who does it for a living, trust me: Just relax. It's just music. No need to get worked up about anything.
"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
#5
Don't worry about it too much. It's your style. If people don't like it, they don't like it. I think you need to decide if you are doing the record for yourselves or just to please your potential fans.

If you already have fans, I see no problem with recording the songs the way they are, because you wouldn't have fans if they didn't like your songs.

You need to ask yourself if it's technical for the sake of being technical or if you think it actually sounds good, and you like it that way.


A lot of famous bands always say that they just started writing music and happened to become famous (well, except for Kiss/Gene Simmons who admit that it's all about the money, and aren't even ashamed of it - they always tried to be as commercial as possible). Do you want to write music that you like or music that pleases the masses (of course music that you like can also please the masses, it's not exclusive, but I think it's more about your philosophy - is getting famous more important than playing music that you like)? If appealing to the masses requires playing generic stuff, would you write generic stuff?

But if you are worried about it, get a producer that gives his opinion about your music and has ideas to improve it (if it needs to be improved).
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#6
I don't think you need to worry about this. If you are genuinely presenting and playing the music you (as a band) want to present and play, then it probably won't be an issue. Just do your thing. Write the music you want and play it well.
#8
In my opinion, I think music shouldn't be too technical. Music is the expression of ourselves, and it can help us communicate between each other. If it is too technical, then it will be very boring.
#9
Quote by allenmia
In my opinion, I think music shouldn't be too technical. Music is the expression of ourselves, and it can help us communicate between each other. If it is too technical, then it will be very boring.


you're limiting expression by saying that lol

play whatever you want, OP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNYfM0ovwug

these kids just got signed a few cities from me and they're pretty much 100% wank, not that there's anything wrong with that
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#10
Quote by allenmia
If it is too technical, then it will be very boring.


I bet you think that minimalist music is boring too.
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#11
I don't think music can be too much of anything.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#12
Quote by Baby Joel
I don't think music can be too much of anything.


Don't you think Mozart can be too much suck?
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#13
Taste is a really subjective thing, and I'll own to the fact that I prefer having well-written melodies and harmonies around. Thus, Tool and AAL don't do much for me, although I appreciate their output, and I tend to listen to more conventional stuff (although TesseracT do strike my fancy).

It's better to just write ideas down that match your taste, really. You can't expect to please everybody. But if your ensemble/band doesn't like what you write, be prepared to rationalize your ideas.
#14
Music can neither be too technical nor too simple. You can listen to Charlie Parker blowing through the changes to Anthropology, or listen to Neil Young play a solo consisting of one single note. Both are great, both are wonderful, both are a way of expression.

Always do what is right to you and true to you, and don't compare it to what someone else is doing or what they think about it. Because you are not playing to please them, you are playing to please yourselves.

But yeah, as usual, Jets advice is solid. It's just music, relax and enjoy it.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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#15
^Glad you appreciate it.

I do think you can run into an issue where it's only technical for the sake of being technical. The technical parts should accomplish something other than "hey look how good we are."

A great example being that in most GOOD jazz, the improvised solos aren't about showing how many fast scales you can play. It's about the whole band having improvised communion, and taking the music somewhere, in that improvisatory moment, that it wouldn't have by itself.

That's technical, but not for technical's sake.
"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
#16
Quote by theogonia777
Don't you think Mozart can be too much suck?

exception to the rule
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#17
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Glad you appreciate it.

I do think you can run into an issue where it's only technical for the sake of being technical. The technical parts should accomplish something other than "hey look how good we are."

A great example being that in most GOOD jazz, the improvised solos aren't about showing how many fast scales you can play. It's about the whole band having improvised communion, and taking the music somewhere, in that improvisatory moment, that it wouldn't have by itself.

That's technical, but not for technical's sake.


Indeed. It is also worth noting that some styles are just generally more or less technical than others. Some people take a stab at certain styles, progressive metal, jazz and classical to name a few, for being technical. But it is important to notice that some of those styles are just generally at a certain level, that is just something that goes along with the style. It is not technical for technical's sake, it is just that the style has developed to expect certain skills of the musicians that play it (just like we talked about skill ceilings in another thread).

Same thing as you just mentioned with jazz. Jazz didn't become what it is because of "let's throw in as many different scales, chord extensions and syncopated rhythms as we can into one style". It developed as a very simple style from the blues and with time people expanded on it and opened up new possibilities, but the core was still improvisational conversations between musicians. It just happened to unfold in such a way that jazz became more advanced with time.
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."
#18
Quote by allenmia
In my opinion, I think music shouldn't be too technical. Music is the expression of ourselves, and it can help us communicate between each other. If it is too technical, then it will be very boring.

"Boring" is subjective. I find musical that is "simplistic" boring. I also find some technical music boring. If you allow the technicality to serve the song (and not subvert the song), then "boring" won't even be a concern.
#19
Exactly, look at how a band like Gentle Giant, or the Coltrane quartet or a composer like Barber (I guess I'm in a violin concerto mood today) uses technical passages and how the execution and effect differs wildly from a group like what Hail posted.

Not that Hail's thing isn't cool (in a sense), but it comes across as very "artsier than thou"

Also that guy gets WAY too much mileage out of the whammy bar warble.

ALSO

Sickz, you beautiful man, I PM'd you.
"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
#20
It's only "too much" or "too little" if you're trying to play to someone else's expectations. As long as you are satisfying only your own creative desires, follow your ear and if it wants technical music, then give it a shot.

Time and place for everything, just keep your ears open.
#21
Quote by Jet Penguin
Exactly, look at how a band like Gentle Giant, or the Coltrane quartet or a composer like Barber (I guess I'm in a violin concerto mood today) uses technical passages and how the execution and effect differs wildly from a group like what Hail posted.

Not that Hail's thing isn't cool (in a sense), but it comes across as very "artsier than thou"

Also that guy gets WAY too much mileage out of the whammy bar warble.

ALSO

Sickz, you beautiful man, I PM'd you.


yeah but they're like 21 and touring the US and have 1m+ views on one of their videos so i can't rag on them

i mostly used them as an example cause "melodic hardcore" actually doesn't get very technical theoretically, but rather approaches what polyphia or, say, human abstract do, which is WEEDLY WEEDLY
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#22
Quote by Hail
actually doesn't get very technical theoretically


Yeah but being theoretically complex or not doesn't have any effect on whether or not something is technical.
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#23
Quote by theogonia777
Yeah but being theoretically complex or not doesn't have any effect on whether or not something is technical.


i like to think of it in terms of length and width. going too far in either direction and not the other and you're being counterproductive in terms of covering area, and, if you're making technical music, a lot of the time, pushing new ground is part of the creative process.

if you're playing 4/4 over 4 chords, no matter how quickly you play, you're still playing 4/4 over 4 chords
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#24
Rhythm is part of technique so the ability to actually play non-standard rhythms, including things falling into odd time signatures or tuplet groupings like 5s and 7s, is more on than technical end of things.

That being said, playing in odd time signatures is pretty easy if you know how to count properly. I play a lot of Irish music and slip jigs are all in 9/8. Once you learn how to keep time, it's very easy to play and improvise.
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#25
For me, music can be any level of technically difficulty, and be good. But it can also be fashioned with too much emphasis on speed, or flashy playing, or theory, and not enough on feel and musicality. I would call that sort of music "too technical".

But if people like what you're doing, and you like what you're doing, then do that. I would worry only if I really like the music I'm making, and that's it. If I don't I would rework it, if possible.
#26
Quote by theogonia777
Rhythm is part of technique so the ability to actually play non-standard rhythms, including things falling into odd time signatures or tuplet groupings like 5s and 7s, is more on than technical end of things.

That being said, playing in odd time signatures is pretty easy if you know how to count properly. I play a lot of Irish music and slip jigs are all in 9/8. Once you learn how to keep time, it's very easy to play and improvise.


that doesn't change the fact that 99%+ of (western) music is in 4/4. if you can play 5/4 or 7/4 and make it sound interesting enough to be accessible, i'd call that far more impressive than sweeping up and down the same arpeggio everyone's heard a million times
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#27
Quote by fingrpikingood
For me, music can be any level of technically difficulty, and be good. But it can also be fashioned with too much emphasis on speed, or flashy playing, or theory, and not enough on feel and musicality. I would call that sort of music "too technical".

But if people like what you're doing, and you like what you're doing, then do that. I would worry only if I really like the music I'm making, and that's it. If I don't I would rework it, if possible.


Couldn't have said it better myself.
#28
Quote by BigBumbis
Hey all, I play in a melodic hardcore band and we realize our old music is pretty stale and repetitive, so I've been writing all our new material for the past year and it's very technical and wanky at times, with a few heavy parts sprinkled in there too. We pull it off well live and people often take note of our creativity, but my dilemma is this: we're going into the studio in about a month and recording these new songs, and I'm afraid that this kind of stuff will fly right over peoples heads. We've put a ton of time and effort into these songs and it's not like it's just chuggy breakdown metalcore nonsense, but I'm worried listeners won't catch on to it. Can metal music be too technical? Give me some insight, writers of music. If you're wondering how we sound, check out Napoleon from the UK and you'll get a good idea.
I have lost count of how many times I have listened to an album and deemed one track to be "the best" and not like another particular track (for whatever reasons at the time), only to find with time the opposite to be true, ....you're damned if you do and you're damned if ya don't!
Brian's concert debut with AC/DC was one month before the 'Back In Black' album was released. 'It was the first time we sang Back In Black, because all the songs were finished then,' he said. 'We finished and there was silence. Half of them hadn't heard it yet. I thought 'oh shit they don't like it'. It was the first night. It was a very traumatic night.'
... the rest is history!! ........don't stress it bruther, you'll be sweet!!
#29
Quote by Hail
that doesn't change the fact that 99%+ of (western) music is in 4/4. if you can play 5/4 or 7/4 and make it sound interesting enough to be accessible, i'd call that far more impressive than sweeping up and down the same arpeggio everyone's heard a million times


Just because something is impressive doesn't mean that it is technical.
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#30
Except that in that case they are.

5/4 and 7/4 are more technical for Western musicians because they aren't conventional.
"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
#31
Quote by theogonia777
Just because something is impressive doesn't mean that it is technical.


just because something is technical doesn't mean it's impressive
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#32
Quote by Jet Penguin
Except that in that case they are.

5/4 and 7/4 are more technical for Western musicians because they aren't conventional.


Yeah but just the fact that you are playing in an uncommon time signature doesn't automatically make something difficult. More technical is relative, so if something isn't technical to begin with than relatively more technical doesn't mean that it is objectively technical in the grand scheme of things.

Muggsy Bouges was the shortest player in NBA history at 5'3". Earl Boykins is second at 5'5". Earl is taller than Muggsy, but that doesn't make him tall just because he is taller. On the flip side, Gheorghe Muresan was the tallest player at 7'7". Manure Bol was also 7'7" but was just a hair shorter. Relatively, Manure was shorter, but he was certainly not short just because he was shorter.

In the same way, a 7/4 passage may be more technically difficult than a 4/4 passage, but that doesn't mean that either could be considered technically challenging or not just based on time signature.

Not like it matters though, because if you reread the last few posts, I did indeed say that being able to play fluently in odd time signatures was part of technique, so I'm not sure why you're saying that.
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#34
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good to see this forum never changes


i miss you
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#36
Quote by Banjocal
psyopus say 'no'.


if you're gonna post a shitty tryhard band at least go with like brain drill or tony danza or somebody
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#37
Quote by Hail
if you're gonna post a shitty tryhard band at least go with like brain drill or tony danza or somebody
Well Psyopus have a far better hold on composition and use of technicality within a song structure than anything Brain Drill have ever had (people who say it's just random having no ear for repetition), and their consideration of melody (or rather, lack of) is much more advanced, Arp having a significant background in classical composition and it really showing, especially in clean sections of songs. If anything they're one of the few honest wankfest bands in that Arp and co have a clear idea in their mind when they compose as opposed to the incoherent (and without reason) show-offing that Brain Drill have engaged in, and manage to, bar their third record, produce some interesting stuff The dude is a massive manchild but he knows exactly what he's doing and his music is built on something much higher than simply le tech nickel
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Last edited by Banjocal at Jun 20, 2015,
#38
but it sounds exactly the same as the tony danza crowd

except that yknow i'm actually able to sit and listen to tony danza for a period of time and not get bored
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Last edited by Hail at Jun 20, 2015,
#39
Brain Drill is listenable though.
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