#1
I make a lot of riffs off the major scale. I recently moved from drums to guitar in my band, and the new drummer, my best friend, usually criticizes my riffs for being "too happy." The style of music is metalcore BTW. I know his accusations aren't just out of nowhere, but my whole philosophy is that theres nothing wrong with making happier sounding music. Its not like I'm writing friggin nursery rhymes, either: they do have edge. But I'm starting to think hes sort of "selling out" for lack of a better word, because he keeps trying to get our music to sound more and more like the metalcore bands hes started to listen to (hes never been much of a metalcore fan but since hes in a metalcore band now hes sort of studying the music). I have to write what I have to write. I'm not going to write a riff and play it if I'm not feeling it, just because it sounds more like Unearth or All That Remains. I don't really even like those bands.

So I think I veered a bit off topic, but basicly, how much use of the major scale is too much? Has anyone else reading this even used it before (I know you have to use it a little bit, but I mean have you really used it a lot)?
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#2
rarely true major, most of the time i use mixolydian. needed a lot of time to get it to feel right, but just make what feels right. you'll most likely adjust to your influences, or his.
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#3
its cool, just do what you think sounds good, power metal uses major scales alot maybe check that out, also you could try using the minor version of the scale like if you in c major try writing in a minor
#4
I play some pretty hard major scale stuff, and that works.

Listen to "She Is Beautiful" by Andrew WK. That's basic major, and it's pretty agressive too.

You could try some Lydian mode stuff...it's theoretically a major scale, but it has it's own unique "adventurous" vibe...not sure how that would sound for metalcore, but you can always experiment.
#5
Quote by northernsword
its cool, just do what you think sounds good, power metal uses major scales alot maybe check that out, also you could try using the minor version of the scale like if you in c major try writing in a minor

What do you think a minor scale is?
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#6
I personally have, purely by coincidence, written a lot more songs in major keys than minor. Oddly enough, though, many of these songs sound sad...

Anyways, that's not really the answer you're looking for, SO...

You guys have to find a compromise, since you're both in the band. Maybe decide that half the songs on the album will be in major and half the songs on the album will be minor.

Besides, you can get away with writing happy songs in the minor key (it can definitely be done).
#8
^ You can't just convert from a major key to a minor key and expect to keep everything sounding the same except sadder.
#9
im saying if his riff is I-ii-IV-V7-V-vii in b major he could change it to g# minor and play the same intervals and keep the lead part the same, im just giving some ideas
#11
Why do you have to play metalcore music then? Both you or him don't seem 100% into it, don't force yourselves. Just play what you play.

There is no such thing as 'too much major', really. But, you should try and get a feel for overall movement of a piece, try and make it go somewhere. If you slip into a more minor, unsure part, you can really solidify your 'major theme' due to the relativity of the journey.
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#12
why not switch back and forth between a major key and its relative minor, or go jazz and switch to different degrees, ie , lets say your progression is in E minor , well E minor contains a C major, switch over to C major, you'll just be flattening the II from F# to F, i do things like this all the time and it's usually not too difficult to change overall key tonality in this way.
#13
^ Meh, I don't know about switching back and forth between relative majors and minors. Parallel majors and minors, I can understand.
#14
^ Really? I humbly ask you to explain your reasoning.
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#15
^ Well, why switch between relative majors and minors when they don't even have any tonic connection? Sure, they use the same notes - but the key of G major doesn't sound any more like the key of e minor than any other minor key. At least parallel majors and minors share that common tonality of the tonic.
#16
You can get some weird, otherworldly sounds using Lydian, which in general sounds happier than all the other modes.
#17
There's some intelligent suggestions there, but IMO, just stick with it. Power metal bands have shown us that fast heavy metal can sound amazing when happy, so why not give it a shot with metalcore? At least you'll be being original
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#18
Well, imo, this question can be answered very simply -

When you don't like it, it's too much major. When you do, it's just right. Giggity.

The trouble is that you two disagree on that point. Why don't you buy him a copy of The Berzerker's Forever to show that major can sound darker than Samuel L Jackson raiding the lost black hole of the black forest at midnight.

http://www.theberzerker.com/live/Foreverclip/foreverhigh.mov

Those chords too major for your friend?
#19
Quote by Freepower
Why don't you buy him a copy of The Berzerker's Forever to show that major can sound darker than Samuel L Jackson raiding the lost black hole of the black forest at midnight.


#20
Quote by TheUnholy
There's some intelligent suggestions there, but IMO, just stick with it. Power metal bands have shown us that fast heavy metal can sound amazing when happy, so why not give it a shot with metalcore? At least you'll be being original


Yeah like I said I kinda feel like my friend is sort of "selling out." But I know he doesn't entirely want to do that. It just seems almost like most of my major riffs don't musically make any sense to him or something. Like I'll show him one and he won't quite understand why it doesn't sound "right."

Anyways my band is going to be tracking a 10 track album beginning at the end of February and I'm definitely pushing to get my bit of the writing in. I'm also practicing like crazy because I want to put some more technical fill-type licks in our songs. We're a christian band and christian bands pretty much never have any pull for guitarists. I really want to put stuff into the music that will actually make guitarists want to learn it. I'll put the finished product under the scrutiny of UG. I hope it will be worthy lol.
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#21
if its what ur major chords are that are sounding too happy, try throwing in seventh chords, not in unorganized places but a seventh chords in the just the right spot, at the end of a measure or something will make the songs atmosphere exponentially better

but dont change ur sound cuz a bandmate wants to sound like someone else, originality is EVERYTHING
#22
Generally metalcore is written in a minor key, primarily using the natural minor scale:

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

There may be modulations to the relative major for a particular section of a song, but typically there is a minor tonailty to most metalcore songs.
#23
tell your friend to shut his mouth. if you have a chance to break out and make it do what makes you unique. Poison didn't sound like the rest because they were a happier band with cacthy riffs so keep at it cuz you might be at the beginning of starting a new genre
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#24
Quote by yawn
^ Well, why switch between relative majors and minors when they don't even have any tonic connection? Sure, they use the same notes - but the key of G major doesn't sound any more like the key of e minor than any other minor key. At least parallel majors and minors share that common tonality of the tonic.


well first off, tons of musicians do this, switching between a major key and its relative minor, its been done since the inception of music theory. they may not share the tonic key but its no big deal, switching from G major to E minor will go from a happy G major to a mellow/sad E minor type feeling. i'm not big on happy major type stuff, to me though to make something too major type feeling its going to make my stomach turn from the saccharine levels.