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#1
Ok... My name is John, I'm 15 and I'm the leader of a small garage band. There are two other members (another guitarist and a drummer). Bassists are a real rarity around here. Chances are better of getting one of the small 3 or 4 year old kids in your family to think your cool and then influence them to play Bass til they're old enough to play in your band, than actually finding a Bassist who isn't already in a band, or just part time/poser.

So... I been playing for about 7 months (give or take a week).
I originally posted in the new members section since I'm not really new to the forums, but I don't post much, so not many know me. But, that thread got closed down and I was told to post it up here, because this is where it belongs.

Me and my garage band had intentions of getting gigs after writing some songs. Nothing major, and we aren't really holding our breath for paying ones either. So, my dillema is this... As a band, when we sit down and attempt to write music together, nothing flows. At all. Same goes for if I writing some cool sounding riffs and stuff, and then bring it to the table.

I really need some experienced bandleader's/guitarist's/muscian's advice for writing music and how to get it to flow together. I looked at the major scale and modes of it. None of it really makes sense, I grasp the jest of it, the modes seem to be semi-different modes of playing but with far different sounds for the different styles of music. But, that's all I really understand from it, I'm clueless as to how I can actually apply it to my music writing/playing.

Also, as a leader figure, I beleive I'm pretty good at it. I'm a guy with decent standards, I don't like drugs and crap like that and I keep my bandmates clean, I'll get aggressive when the situation calls for it, I keep our playing time from being random jam sessions most of the time (sometimes its good to just jam like an idiot while no one's looking), etc. But as a guitarist... I'm out-matched by the other guy, he's been playing for about a year longer than me, and he's plays rediculously fast (He can play "Raining Blood" by Slayer with little to no mess-ups) and ALL of it is by ear for him... I'm decently fast in my own sense (Fast enough to do most solos, minus anything shredder or speed metal) but... Yeah... I'm kinda frustrated by that too, since I was originally supposed to be the lead guitarist, but I'll probly end up handing it over to this guy.

So, really, anybody with a little advice, PLEASE advise me... Frustration level is at a nice comfortable 160%
#2
i use guitar pro to write. if you come up with a riff, find the chord sequence of ut and you got the verse, then the riff for the chorus, another verse another chiorus, use the verse for the solo backing then an end chorus, thats an easy way to do it whenb you're strting out writing. when you start getting better it'll flow really well
#4
Could you explain what sort of music you play? There's a big difference between writing songs for a punk/grunge band and a metal band.
Quote by rabidguitarist
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#5
Ok, well... How could I find the "chord sequence"? I think I have an idea of what you mean, but I wanna know for sure.


Also, I play in a metal band. Me, personally, as a guitarist, have HEAVY influences 80's Rock, and Metal/Heavy Metal. Bands like Van Halen, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, and AC/DC as well as Slipknot, Disturbed, Mastodon, and some Queens of the Stone Age (not really sure they're metal, but oh well).
Last edited by CraZyB0y at Apr 4, 2008,
#6
Quote by WGsimbaKG
Didn't you post this before?


Read the post and you'll see he says that he did yes.

Concerning your other guitarist, if he's good let him be the lead guitar, likely he knows more about music theory than you right now. Having some competition in a band is a good thing because it pushes you to be better. Plus you don't always have to just play chords and stuff, you could easily write in multiple solos for each of you.
#7
Are you an instrumental band? Do you have a percussionist or drummer? Who sings?
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#8
Start simple, then develop from there. You will be more satisfied getting down a nice and simple song than endless frustraton trying to write complex stuff. As you get better over time you will be able to make it more complex but until you reach that level then yeah.
#9
I found what really works well for writing music together is to have everyone come up with a riff or a beat or something and then just try to get them to all work together. Try different keys, different notes, different tempo, etc.

About handing over the lead position, you could just be like Megadeth. Both of you could be rhythm and lead.
Quote by Geldin
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Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#10
Ultra Quick Guide To Writing A Simple Song:

1) take three/four random chords that sound good together. (we'll say Em G D C)

2) put them over a 4/4 beat (say Em / G / | D / C / )

3) use dynamics (e.g. only have the bass and drums playing for the verse, then have everything crashing in for the chorus)

4) add lyrics

You have a song. Copyright Kurt Cobain
Quote by rabidguitarist
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#11
Chill out. Think about playing some simple covers. Try If you (as a band) are able to do it, and get ready to perform it in front of people. Playing in a band is not "me, bassist, drummer", it doesn't matter, what matter is "are you able to play something together". Ask yourself, are you able to play few songs, to perform it pretty decent, to not to make many mistakes? If so, well then proceed with your own material. But i guess it will be the point, when you won't ask for help in writing stuff

cheers!
My Rig:

+Epiphone AJ100 acoustic
+Fender 60th. Anniversary Stratocaster
+Vox AD30VT
+Vox V847a Wah


look all i wanted was for someone to give me advice on what to do not to slag me off ok

Want advice? Suck yourself off.
#12
Quote by SmashThings
Ultra Quick Guide To Writing A Simple Song:

1) take three/four random chords that sound good together. (we'll say Em G D C)

2) put them over a 4/4 beat (say Em / G / | D / C / )

3) use dynamics (e.g. only have the bass and drums playing for the verse, then have everything crashing in for the chorus)

4) add lyrics

You have a song. Copyright Kurt Cobain


I am proud to say earlier I was being lame on the acoustic just playing a couple of chords, for the hell of it, and I played a progression almost exactly the same as that. Only thing is I chucked in an Am before the C for half a bar. Yeah thought I'd throw in that random useless piece of information.
#13
To colohue: Well, I've heard of songs with multiple solos for different musicians, but I really have no idea how to write it in a way that doesn't sound like total and uttter crap. Also, I'm really greedy about the lead spot. You're probably right, but it won't be easy for me to give up the spot.

To AboveTheBridge: As of right now, we have 2 Guitarists, 1 Drummer and 0 Singers. I would be willing to try and sing, but, it really crashed and burned last time I tried it with the other guys playing.

To Regression: I'm really trying to take my time, man. Any tips in particular you could give for construction of some really basic stuff?
#14
Well, for your first song, you don't have to be writing anything to unique or anything, you just want to establish being able to play together and sound good, so I reccomend just going for a really cliche metal riff, simple 4/4 drum beats, with a few odd fills here and there, and a basic solo using the pentatonic maybe. So bassically just throw a few powerchords which sound good together, and then do the whole approach where you just play the power chord followed by open notes.

Edit: Sorry, poorly explained, for example:

D|------------------------------5-----------3-------------
A|--5-------------3---------------------------------------
E|-----0--0--0------0--0--0-----0--0--0----0--0--0--
Last edited by Regression at Apr 4, 2008,
#15
Ok, I'm a real newbie, but umm.... What's the pentatonic? And, what's a good example of a cliche metal riff?
#16
Quote by Regression
I am proud to say earlier I was being lame on the acoustic just playing a couple of chords, for the hell of it, and I played a progression almost exactly the same as that. Only thing is I chucked in an Am before the C for half a bar. Yeah thought I'd throw in that random useless piece of information.

The chords are from polly
Quote by rabidguitarist
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#17
Quote by CraZyB0y
Ok, I'm a real newbie, but umm.... What's the pentatonic? And, what's a good example of a cliche metal riff?

Sorry you said you can solo?! Woah... seriously forget about writing songs and learn the damn basics! Start out by looking here.
Quote by rabidguitarist
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#18
Quote by CraZyB0y
Ok, I'm a real newbie, but umm.... What's the pentatonic? And, what's a good example of a cliche metal riff?


Look at my previous post, I wrote what is an incredibally cliche metal riff, just palm mute the open E's and crank up the distortion, and you have a very boring riff, but still a riff. The pentatonic (scale) is a scale consisting of 5 notes. An easy way, (but not good) way to remember it is the shape. I will look for something on the net to show you.
#19
I can solo... Just not very well from a creative, non-improv standpoint. I have no trouble with playing solos from reading tabs.
#20
As of right now, I conside you an "acoustic" band then

Modes aren't necessary to write a song as a heads up, there good to have, but not necessary. As a heads up modes are just different parts of the major scale. Like the 2nd mode (Dorian) of the C Major scale is just the C major scale starting on it's 2nd note (D) and ending on it's 9th note (D) rather than 1 from 8 (C's)

For writing songs here's something simple. Let's say your the rythmn guitarist and you bring a 4 chord verse ( E major, B5, Db5, A major). Your lead guitarist can come up with a simple riff over it. Your bassist depending can just play (E, B, Db, and then A) the roots with your or create a groove. It'd be great if you have an idea of what the song is like and what the melody is and bring it in. To know what to play, try and lay a foundation first and then find out what scale the song is using, i.e. play scales or fool around till you find the right scale. Then use the scale to write more parts.

Oy, and if the other guitarist really is better than you, it's important to let him be lead. It'll help your sound and it'll allow you to focus more on songwriting (chords, themes, etc)

Hope that helps,
-ATB
Quote by soccermom
The only epic thing about the bass forum is Pete Wentz penis. Its Epic. Epic penis.
BASS, MT, AND PIT JUNKIE


#21
Quote by CraZyB0y
I can solo... Just not very well from a creative, non-improv standpoint. I have no trouble with playing solos from reading tabs.

Soloing is all about improvising. Being able to play a Slayer solo is no use if someone chucks you a guitar and asks you to improvise over the 12 bar blues. I think you're kidding yourself if you believe you can solo when you don't know the basic pentatonic scales.
Quote by rabidguitarist
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#22
Okay, you might not understand the theory but this should help you understand what the pentatonic is. Do a basic riff like I posted before, and even thought it's not very metal maybe just use a couple of powerchords for a chorus (can you have choruses without a singer), etc. throw some really basic drum beats on top, and chuck in a guitar solo using that scale and voala you have a stupidly basic, sort of metal song. Most people on here probably woulnt consider it metal though because it's not as heavy as Nile. But it'd be about as heavy as some (not all) of the stuff you listen to.
#23
Well, I'm really confused by the modes. I understand what the major scale is supposed to be, just... I don't fully get any of that. Kinda struggling with it. By the way, thanks to all you guys giving me positive replies and helpful info. I know I'm the dude they took a pic of for the pictorial example of "Amateur" in the dictionary, but still, Thanks alot.
#24
Quote by SmashThings
Soloing is all about improvising. Being able to play a Slayer solo is no use if someone chucks you a guitar and asks you to improvise over the 12 bar blues. I think you're kidding yourself if you believe you can solo when you don't know the basic pentatonic scales.


While that is sort of true, people shouldn't adhere strictly to scales. Just do what sounds good, whilst that might not be very easy when trying to improvise you can sit at home and play random notes, and work out by ear what you think sounds good. When you sit down, and decide to create a solo from one specific scale you are limiting the song from its full potential, theory is only a guide, not a rule. If you find what you are writing fits into a certain scale then take advantage of that knowledge and use notes from that scale as they will sound good together, but if not, I find going by ear will help you make the best song you can.
#25
Quote by CraZyB0y
Well, I'm really confused by the modes. I understand what the major scale is supposed to be, just... I don't fully get any of that. Kinda struggling with it. By the way, thanks to all you guys giving me positive replies and helpful info. I know I'm the dude they took a pic of for the pictorial example of "Amateur" in the dictionary, but still, Thanks alot.


Don't worry about modes, they aren't that important yet, are you getting guitar lessons? If not but you could, then do, they will help alot, and you would probably be taught about theory. And no problem, I'm amatuer to, I'm just passing on the very little knowledge I have that will be of relevance to you.
#26
I was taking lessons... Then the schedule got kinda crazy. I haven't got around to setting up weekend lessons yet.
#27
Quote by CraZyB0y
Well, I'm really confused by the modes. I understand what the major scale is supposed to be, just... I don't fully get any of that. Kinda struggling with it. By the way, thanks to all you guys giving me positive replies and helpful info. I know I'm the dude they took a pic of for the pictorial example of "Amateur" in the dictionary, but still, Thanks alot.

Hey don't worry about it. You should forget about learning theory/modes for the timebeing. I suggest you read up on the minor pentatonic (1 scale, five notes = couldn't be easier) then follow that by learning the blues scale (one extra note). I suggest you start off outside your comfort zone by trying to play along to NON-metal bands. Try to improvise a basic solo along to some really simple music (again Nirvana seems like an obvious example) before trying anything more tricky. Bands like Led Zepplin, Deep Purple and Boston are you friends! Don't like classic rock? (don't worry I don't either :p Search out some blues, indie or modern rock. You'll find that a lot of well known bands use the same basic scales over and over again. Just stay clear of metal, prog and jazz. Walk before you run
Quote by rabidguitarist
Please don't ruin this thread. Transvestitism is serious business.
#28
Start taking them again, as soon as possible, you will learn about this sort of stuff and it will make song writing a whole lot easier.
#29
Heheheh, thanks Smash. But.... I like Classic Rock..... =/ Does this mean we can't be friends? ^_^
#30
Quote by Regression
While that is sort of true, people shouldn't adhere strictly to scales. Just do what sounds good, whilst that might not be very easy when trying to improvise you can sit at home and play random notes, and work out by ear what you think sounds good. When you sit down, and decide to create a solo from one specific scale you are limiting the song from its full potential, theory is only a guide, not a rule. If you find what you are writing fits into a certain scale then take advantage of that knowledge and use notes from that scale as they will sound good together, but if not, I find going by ear will help you make the best song you can.

For sure, but you will need at least some basic scales as reference points. That way they become more a subconcious part of your inventory. Ask a jazz musician how he constructs a solo and he won't be able to tell you, but you can be certain it's loosly based on a collection of scales. Like when I'm soloing I'm not thinking about which scale I play in, but I'll probably find I'm doing something in the blues scale with maybe a #9 added in or maybe a major third. Also soloing on chord shapes is another good habit to get into.
Quote by rabidguitarist
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#31
Quote by CraZyB0y
Heheheh, thanks Smash. But.... I like Classic Rock..... =/ Does this mean we can't be friends? ^_^

Oh there's a place in my heart for AC/DC and the suchlike :P

Where would we be without Jimmy Page and Robert Plant?!
Quote by rabidguitarist
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#32
Quote by SmashThings
For sure, but you will need at least some basic scales as reference points. That way they become more a subconcious part of your inventory. Ask a jazz musician how he constructs a solo and he won't be able to tell you, but you can be certain it's loosly based on a collection of scales. Like when I'm soloing I'm not thinking about which scale I play in, but I'll probably find I'm doing something in the blues scale with maybe a #9 added in or maybe a major third. Also soloing on chord shapes is another good habit to get into.


Yeah, dont get me wrong, I think they are very important thing to learn, and I realise that no matter what you are playing, unless it has no melody to it at all you are bound to be using some scale. I'm just saying that you should always put what you feel first, not theory, I can't stand songs which are clearly just theory thrown together, (if you know what I mean). But I complete agree with starting on some more basic stuff, all those genres cross over into metal anyway, so it mightn't seem like it but you are learning very good skills from them.
#33
Hey, what do you guys think of this riff?


G----7-7/-10-10/5-5/5--
D----7-7/-10-10-5-5/5--
A----5-5/-8---8/-3-3/7--


EDIT: The reason I ask is I was planning to try and form a song out of it.
Last edited by CraZyB0y at Apr 4, 2008,
#34
Quote by CraZyB0y
Hey, what do you guys think of this riff?


G----7-7/-10-10/5-5/5--
D----7-7/-10-10-5-5/5--
A----5-5/-8---8/-3-3/7--


EDIT: The reason I ask is I was planning to try and form a song out of it.


Not bad, could work. It's a good idea to start off with.

Edit: Write down and save everything you write, it's good to build up a catalogue of riffs/songs to work with, even if they are substandard when you write them you might think of a way to develop them a year after coming up with the idea.
Last edited by Regression at Apr 4, 2008,
#35
Thanks. Power G is probably the most flexible chord I know. Sounds good almost anywhere.
#37
Quote by CraZyB0y
Thanks. Power G is probably the most flexible chord I know. Sounds good almost anywhere.


Powerchords do not contain a third, as such they are not chords.
#39
Quote by Mudhippy2011
^ A chord is three notes right? Just add the octave and there you go.


Consider the C Major scale

CDEFGABC

The octave is the same note as the root, hence there are still only two notes. I also meant third as in the third note of the scale, not a third note in the chord. The third note of the scale (in this case E) is different for Major and Minor scales with the same root. So C Major would contain

C E G

But C Minor would have a flattened third

C D# G.

A powerchord is not a chord.
#40
Quote by CraZyB0y
Also, I play in a metal band. Me, personally, as a guitarist, have HEAVY influences 80's Rock, and Metal/Heavy Metal. Bands like Van Halen, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, and AC/DC as well as Slipknot, Disturbed, Mastodon, and some Queens of the Stone Age (not really sure they're metal, but oh well).


First problem: You're in a metal band but you don't listen to metal.
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