#1
Well, I've just recently finished writing two songs that can both be described as either admirably epic and ambitious, or amateurishly incoherent and convoluted.

Both songs consist of a ton of parts - numerous riffs, solos, chord progressions, etc, but - the thing is - although songs like Master of Puppets and Bohemian Rhapsody can get away with being so "dynamic", I was wondering if there might be a general "limit" to just how many parts a song can have.

Now, of course, all the different melodies and chord progressions are in key and of uniform tempo and key signature, so technically they could all fit. But, I'm wondering if having, say, six parts to a song (not including sequencing) would make the song lose its overall identity as one, unified piece.

What are your guys' thoughts regarding this?
#2
If it sounds like you're writing many parts for the sake of writing a 20 minute song, stop.

If it sounds like you're writing many parts for the sake of adding something positive to the song, continue.
#3
it could have as many parts as you want if you can pull it off, and the more parts the harder its going to be to pull off, but if you were good enough it could have as many parts as you can think of
#4
Quote by bangoodcharlote
If it sounds like you're writing many parts for the sake of writing a 20 minute song, stop.

If it sounds like you're writing many parts for the sake of adding something positive to the song, continue.

Oddly enough, because I dislike repetition, these songs are only 5 or 6 minutes long


Hm, I guess if that turns out to be the general consensus then I'll just keep the songs as they are, because all of these parts were put put in only after much thought and consideration, and definitely not haphazardly (holy shit I spelled that right on my first try!). So, yeah.
#5
^basically what he said

Maybe you should take the best parts of both songs and make a part a verse a chorus then maybe a little interlude.. or something, i don't know
#6
Do you like how the song sounds?


Think about that for a while.
#7
Well, it depends on context, I suppose.

Actually, the fact that they're all in key is somewhat worrisome. It could be even stronger if you had movements through several different keys, which eventually resolved back to the original key. That would reinforce the idea of some kind of center for this piece.

Keep in mind that it's not just about the parts in your music. If you put the distorted riffing from Bohemian Rhapsody right next to the vocal intro, they probably wouldn't strike you as things that belong. However, the transitions are very effective (I think a lot of people overlook transitions. Not saying that you are.) and the piece has a shape to it. That is why the similar tempos and keys that you described actually worry me: 10 minutes of similar ideas or feel might be too much, whereas a varied piece could sustain interest.


I still would try it out, though. Since your "pieces" are all of the same key signature and tempo, try overlapping some of your ideas and see how they sound. You could either overlap them exactly as they are written, or simplify one idea to a more basic one, so there is less dissonance. Also, vary the dynamics, and try to shift the mood of your song using the arrangement of your pieces.
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
#8
Quote by psychodelia
Well, it depends on context, I suppose.

Actually, the fact that they're all in key is somewhat worrisome. It could be even stronger if you had movements through several different keys, which eventually resolved back to the original key. That would reinforce the idea of some kind of center for this piece.

Keep in mind that it's not just about the parts in your music. If you put the distorted riffing from Bohemian Rhapsody right next to the vocal intro, they probably wouldn't strike you as things that belong. However, the transitions are very effective (I think a lot of people overlook transitions. Not saying that you are.) and the piece has a shape to it. That is why the similar tempos and keys that you described actually worry me: 10 minutes of similar ideas or feel might be too much, whereas a varied piece could sustain interest.


I still would try it out, though. Since your "pieces" are all of the same key signature and tempo, try overlapping some of your ideas and see how they sound. You could either overlap them exactly as they are written, or simplify one idea to a more basic one, so there is less dissonance. Also, vary the dynamics, and try to shift the mood of your song using the arrangement of your pieces.



Excellent excellent points. The same key thing worried me too. Don't de-value repition, it's extremely effective, and some composers really only need one theme and the variations are just perfect. If it's just sort of riffs and stuff, it probably won't be that good. But if it it's more of a piece of music, with direction and purpose, then I applaud you.
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#9
Well, the whole thing concerning the key is, I feel that, were the different parts of a song to be in different keys, there's (psychologically, at least) no reason why one "part" wouldn't be able to be in any other song. I know that Bohemian Rhapsody modulates between b flat minor and e flat minor so easily, and that the whole piece still sounds unified, but still I guess I'm taking the "easier" way akin to Master of Puppets in which the whole piece is just one key, thus leaving no question that one part of one song could just as easily fit in any other song of the same time signature and tempo.

Also, I should probably note that the songs aren't in the form of, say three movements, one after the other, but rather something like the aforementioned MoP, where each of the "parts" is shorter in duration but they occasionally repeat later on throughout the song.

And, there are variations in dynamics - not in time signature or tempo, but via heavy/loud and soft/quiet variances.

Hm I guess I'll probably just have to wait till I record these to see whether listeners think they sound cohesive enough. I could post the tabs though.
#11
^ Lol, I take forever to make PowerTabs and GuitarPro tabs. I'm a textual kind of guy.
#12
Write a song to get the emotion across to the listener. Length doesn't matter. Even the simplest songs with just a few chords and one melody are brilliant. (Radiohead's Motion Picture Soundtrack?)

So if it sounds like you are just trying to get a long song then you've got a problem.
Quote by Godzilla1969
I love you, Muphin. You have great taste in music.

Quote by Pacifica112J
Muphin > You

The Cooperation
#13
Quote by Muphin
Write a song to get the emotion across to the listener. Length doesn't matter. Even the simplest songs with just a few chords and one melody are brilliant. (Radiohead's Motion Picture Soundtrack?)

So if it sounds like you are just trying to get a long song then you've got a problem.

I'm not trying to make long songs for the sake of having long songs.

I know the remark I'm about to make will probably be looked upon with disdain by most who read it, but I don't just want to write another album of simple, yet memorable songs. Does it work? Sure. I love three-chord songs as much as the next guy. But the thing is - it's been done over and over again, hundreds of thousands of times. Frankly I'm bored of the whole "keep it simple, stupid" perspective. I'm going for something extravagant, something mind-blowing, and perhaps even a little pretentious. I don't want to just be another generic musician who writes the same stuff that's been written countless times before. Rather, I aspire to write an album whose listening experience changes people's perceptions of what rock lyrics must be about and how rock music must be structured. I'd like to write an album that leaves no doubt regarding its musical creativity and quality, one that fans of any genre could at least appreciate, regardless of whether or not it matches their musical tastes. Obviously I don't have the talent to live up to such a feat, but I do want to try.

[/possibly off-topic rant]
#14
That's my goal as well, to be original. I don't call my music rock, even though I'm influenced by a lot of rock music. My conclusion is that in order to create an original sound you can't base your music on guitars. I play pianos and synthesizers more than the guitar because just about every possibility on the guitar has been done before.

Don't get me wrong though, the guitar is an excellent instrument, but I don't think it's suitable as the dominant instrument in a song. A long song with tons of chords and an 'opera-esque' feel doesn't mean it's original. I could write you a 3 minute song using only, say, 4 chords, and if you heard it you would think it's very unique.
Quote by Godzilla1969
I love you, Muphin. You have great taste in music.

Quote by Pacifica112J
Muphin > You

The Cooperation
#15
i know exactly what you mean with all the parts, i have a song or two where i do that. i think that as long as the song stays cohesive and it feels like it goes somewhere, having all those parts works. well it doesnt have to go anywhere if you want to have a stationary feel, but that kind of song usually wouldnt have a bunch of parts. having all those parts can sound great if you move between them well. so i think you should make sure that all your transitions are as good as you can make them.

as for staying in one key, i think its fine if thats what you want to do. as you said, you can have differences in dynamics and feel in the same key so changing key isnt necessary. i think that key changes really make me focus on transitions, which are important. so as long as your song flows well and sounds good, dont worry about how many parts it has.
#16
Quote by Muphin
That's my goal as well, to be original. I don't call my music rock, even though I'm influenced by a lot of rock music. My conclusion is that in order to create an original sound you can't base your music on guitars. I play pianos and synthesizers more than the guitar because just about every possibility on the guitar has been done before.

Don't get me wrong though, the guitar is an excellent instrument, but I don't think it's suitable as the dominant instrument in a song. A long song with tons of chords and an 'opera-esque' feel doesn't mean it's original. I could write you a 3 minute song using only, say, 4 chords, and if you heard it you would think it's very unique.
Yes! That's exactly the mindset with which I've been approaching my songwriting. I've been writing material for several other instruments as well, including - via my digital piano - piano, orchestral strings, and other less used instruments like the sitar and the celesta. Nevertheless, I still call my music rock because, regardless of how "musically diverse" I may try to be, my heart and soul still lies with the guitar, and accordingly my material is admittedly predominantly guitar.
#17
can we here this, operetic rock influenced dynamic peace of work? sounds interesting to me its sounds like someone trying something original and new which alot of musicians are afraid to do these days, ur attitude toward the music rocks but alot of losers on American Idol think they're the same way and they get killed by scowel but there putting there talent on the chopping block, u can only really be sure by playing for an open audience whether or not its too pretentious or really fantastic
#18
^ Sadly I have no recent recordings, mainly due to my lack of any decent recording equipment. For the music I've been writing recently, all I have are text tabs.