Hey folks, I just finished this little track. Well, I'm almost finished. That depends on you a little bit. I've never done a track like this; I mostly write/record black metal and death metal; with an atmospheric flair. I have an album almost completed that is probably going to go over the hour mark -- but I thought it needed a few "soft" breaks here and there to break up the pummeling riff/blast-beat-fest that I have going. This one is a little short, but picture it between two 8+ minute/180bpm black metal epics, and I think you'll get the idea where this will fit in an album setting.

This was my first time playing classical guitar. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I'm open to suggestions. I wanted this track to sound sweet, but brooding as well; yet provide a little relief from the above mentioned pummeling. So, in a nutshell, is there anything I need to do to this track to make it even better? Thanks! Here's the link:

EDIT: New version: https://soundcloud.com/kailm-1/twilight-reflection-master-2-3-12-17
EDIT EDIT:  New Newest version:  https://soundcloud.com/kailm-1/twilight-reflection-master  Which do you like better?
Last edited by KailM at Mar 16, 2017,

Hey Kail, been a long time. I actually used to play classical guitar a lot, so I can give you a fair bit of help.

First of all, this did not sound brooding in the slightest. This sounded very serene, reminded me of "Forlorn in Silence" by Lord Belial or "The Vermillion" by Horrendous, which you should listen to if you haven't. If you want something a little darker, I would suggest these:

Second, although a metal artist like Seth certainly can achieve a dark classical sound very competently, I would suggest going to the source itself instead! There is a massive horde of ideas from those periods to pinch from! For your music, which I am familiar with, I think anything from the Russians (Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, etc) or general 20th century classical music (Stravinsky, Bartok, etc) would serve you well. 

If you like the structure of Baroque music, a lot of (Domenico) Scarlatti's pieces have been adapted to classical guitar (check out K213 in D minor), but personally I think you need something a bit more angular and dark. 

You should look into some classical music chord progressions, Anubis Gate know what's up.

Here we have (it's in C minor):

i - VI - iv - V

Here, lower case denotes minor chords and upper denotes a major chord. Then you can start using some more interesting things like tritone substitutions and Neapolitan chords to spice things up.

Although as critical as that is, the piece itself is very nice and pleasing to the ear. It should definitely be a little longer though (about thirty seconds more IMO). I don't feel like this comment section is enough for me to describe what I am trying to convey but there is a lot you could do to spice things up.

I don't think it's fair since my piece is about four and a half minutes, while your piece does not exceed the two minute length but you're welcome to check out my latest piece.

Last edited by HaydenHohns at Mar 11, 2017,
Thank you Hayden!  As always , your critiques mean a lot.  I actually listened to your new track last night Awesome stuff!  I'll give you a review later today.

I agree with you, this needs to be about 30 seconds longer.  I think I've developed a mood, but once it is fully developed, the song is over when I think the listener needs just a little more.  I appreciate the word "serene" you used -- I was definitely going for that; perhaps "brooding" was not quite what I meant.  My album is definitely a concept album, which I won't totally get into yet, but let's just say it is dominated by a dark and grim feel-- yet hope is something I ultimately want to convey.  The song following this one is quite dark and depressive; and my most ambitious yet.  I've been working on it for over 6 months and am nearly finished.

I will definitely check out those artists you listed.  The more I write and record music, the more I want to look into sources outside of metal for inspiration.  Cheer!
No worries, and sounds like a good concept album to me. Send me a PM (here or on Soundcloud) if you need some more recommendations for anything, Anubis Gate write a lot of good music (although its more power/prog, so I wasn't sure if you would like it).

I dont have much to say that could offer more than HaydenHohns has said. I would like to agree that I enjoyed the sound and feel and thought that it would benefit from being longer. And for me the guitar is faded in too quickly at the beginning - a longer slower fade would suit me better.

Out of interest, where did you get the "storm" sound samples from? They dont sound too "old school horror film" cheesey.

Nice work.

^^^Thanks!  I recorded the main chord progression on classical guitar yesterday and tacked that onto the beginning, which added about 40 seconds .  I think I won't add any "leads" via classical guitar to that part -- just the arpeggios and the thunderstorm until the part you heard.  I also added a couple notes of volume swells with my electric guitar that I think really improve the feeling of this song.  I'll try to post it today if I get the chance.

As for the thunderstorm sample, I got that from freesound.org.  It's an amazing site for those sorts of things, and most of the time, people post their samples without any expectation of credit -- just free to use in any way you like.
Here is yet another version of the track.  The arpeggiated main riff on the lower strings was sounding a little boxy and bassy/low-middy so I tried some things with compression and EQ, as well as panned the two tracks hard left and right.  I think now that riff sounds clearer yet retains the warmth I wanted.  Anyway, let me know if you think this version is better.  Thanks!

Hey, I checked out the latest version. Great playing and composing. It is very relaxing and will serve very well as an interlude in a heavy album. I would perhaps have brought the levels of the rain/storm sample down as the piece progresses and agree with others that it seems to end a bit abruptly. Given the mood you build with the music it could go on for as long as you wanted it to! Anyway great stuff overall!

C4C? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1727230