#1
I want my band to sound a bit like Radiohead (hail to the theif and OK Computer) / Pink Floyd... Radiofloyd I call it. But I'm not trying to emulate them or anything, I just want something that sounds so fresh like their music. So when I write my songs I try not to use the typical verse/chorus/verse/bridge that most new bands use, but go for something different. My songs usually have long instrumental pauses with some cool bass line and a nice little solo. And then the song breaks into a verse, and then calms down again.

This style is great because we don't really have a singer, and we don't like embarassing ourselves infront of the mic to often. But what I really want to know is how to put some of that Radiohead sound into my music.

I refuse to use an electronic drum kit, but I will EQ my drums beyond reciognition. And I love putting synth effects into my songs, but I think the reason I'm not happy with my songs is because of the way I write the music. I find it's to generic. I want something different, but no matter what chords I try, or how awkward the drums and bass are, it always ends up sounding like something somebody has already done.

So what I'm asking is what's a good way to make my music stand out from all the new stuff? How does Radiohead do that (besides the effects)?

And just for fun heres a little riff I wrote last night:
e|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---6------4---4------2---2---2----------------------------------------|
D|---6------4---4------2---2---2-----4------6--4-6-----6--4-6-4-6--|
A|4-----2-----2----0-----0---0-------4------6--4-6-----6--4-6-4-6--|
E|------------------------------------2-----4------------4----------------|

I tried to make it sound kinda unique by not actually using the fifth chords, but making a jumpy riff around them like so.
#2
Radiohead excels at arrangement and fusing different musical genres with their music. "Pablo Honey" and "The Bends" were a good and excellent guitar rock albums, respectively. They used the 2 or 3 guitar layered approach very effectively. "Ok Computer" can't be replicated without effects, but is also a work of sweeping grandeur when it comes to arrangments. "Paranoid Android," "Climbing Up the Walls," and "Airbag," for example. Everything after that starts to see the real computer influence - 20th century post-modern electronic music, New Orleans funeral march sounds, house/drum & bass music - all heavily present. Pink Floyd's trick was also in the arrangements, as well. Most of their songs, from a theory standpoint, are very rudimentary. I-ii-IV-V. So I think to get a style that follows in the footsteps of Radiohead/Pink Floyd, you can't be afraid to experiment and throw some different things into the blender.

Edit: Also, I think it's important to write good "parts," something Jonny Greenwood is very good at. Heavily studying counterpoint would be a good place to start.
Hi, I'm Peter
Last edited by Dirk Gently at Jul 3, 2006,
#3
There's a certain style that I've been working on by using an echo effect. I can use it to get all these rhythmic ideas I otherwise would be unable to get. I sometimes combine it with a wah or a slide, for volume changes or bird sounds or whatever.

I also sometimes use a lot of fifths or fourths, playing like root-fifth and then switching positions quickly, seeing what comes out.

EDIT: This isn't a Radiohead style, I'm just giving examples of my thought process for making different music.
Last edited by psychodelia at Jul 3, 2006,
#4
Radiohead doesn't just mash chords together; they usuaully use some sort of modulation, or a descending melody in an awkward key with different time signatures per section. If you learn enough theory it'd be a lot simpler.


It's not all production to their sound... there's a reason why you can say certain acoustic songs sound like Radiohead when they lack electronic synth drums and effect guitars.
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#5
I think I know enough about theory.. it'd be easy for me to make a song with different time signatures, and I know most of the keys.. I guess I need to be more abstract with my music.
#6
Here's another thing that I just thought of... You have to bend around the theory you know or try to toy with convention. A great example that's pretty common in Radiohead's music is to try to get minor key tonality but using a major key, like on the song "Let Down."
Hi, I'm Peter
#7
Quote by Muphin
I think I know enough about theory.. it'd be easy for me to make a song with different time signatures, and I know most of the keys.. I guess I need to be more abstract with my music.


but I don't think you know enough until you're very fluent in modulation.
Quote by casualty01
the RIAA can't shut us down, interpol can't shut us down. the U.S. gov't can't shut us down and CERTAINLY not YOU can shut us down.


BA in Music theory
MusicMan Bongo, SUB -> Orange Terror 1000 stack

Quote by waterproofpie
it's a UtBDan sandwich. Awwww yeah!