Well, let's start with a confession that this stems from a little self doubt. Basically, I wanted to ask whether having clean vocals follow the rhythm guitar in a folk metal context is a good idea. I write lyrics and play rhythm guitar, so my vocal melody tends to at least follow if not mimic the rhythm guitar, due to me finding it easier to rhyme with every chord change. It's not that I can't do anything else, it's just that this is what comes most naturally, and I need someone's cold and hard opinion whether this would be seen as unprofessional or looked down on in some way.
I find myself doing the same thing and it's hard to break from at times, especially with odd rhythms/timings. As long as it fits the song, I wouldn't worry about it sounding unprofessional. Holding certain notes helps break up the monotony, but I also like to loop the rhythm guitar and play simple lead parts and figure out a vocal melody from that.
Thanks for the suggestion! My difficulty is that whenever I find a melody, I simply just give it over to the violin or the flute, and having two competing melodies at the same time sounds a little bit weird to me. So yeah, the word I was looking for was monotonous. I feel the vocal melody feels monotonous and whenever it doesn't follow the rhythm guitar, it follows the harmonising flute and violin. Would it be better to leave it that way or have dual melodies? Because the way it is right now, I don't think that people will take that for my style, rather I feel they'd think I have none.
You've gotta try and listen to the track over and over and observe the space, and try to land in it. Just sing "ooo" or some nonsense or something, but force it off the rythm of the other stuf. That's what I've had to start doing. Other things to do is to climb up in pitch while the instrumental is going down in pitch, sing lots of words fast when the instrumental moves slowly, or the opposite, etc. Just really consistently try and do whatever the instruments aren't, and then see if you get any decent vocal melody phrases out of that. Once you've got at least some stuff your happy with, then you can loosen up, try and string it together, add some proper words etc.
Thanks, I'll try that today and see if it works.