#1
Hey everyone.

I'm a muscian of only about 1 year, however in that one year i've progressed well in my eyes, and i am currently in a band with some of my freinds. All of us enjoy progressive music a bunch such as Opeth and Porcupine Tree. When it comes to writing clean parts of our own songs we do just fine(obviously nothing great due to our inexpeirence, but its getting better) however when it comes to writing parts with distortion everything becomes a lot harder. When i try to write a metal part all i can come up with is the same old power chord rift that you've heard a million times. My question is, is how do bands like Opeth write brilliantly melodic metal progressions? I've tried using various "metal scales" such as Harmonic Minor however it just ends up sounding like slayer and thats not what were going for
All help would be appreicated because the sooner we learn how to make good metal parts the sooner we will be to making decent songs! Keep in mind i do understand a lot of music theory, although im still in the learning phase of it. Thanks guys.
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#2
It's not like you need to have distortion, nor do the riffs that end up having distortion in the end need to have distortion all over them in their infancy.

Also, distortion is nice, but don't use too much of it. You wanna make sure you can atleast hear the notes in the chords while you're playing them. Don't get too muddy with it.
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#3
Perhaps try not using a scale. Sometimes it's easier to make something up without a scale then put it in a scale.
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#4
One of your problems is believing that certain scales are "metal" and others are not. Progressive draws from a ton of influences, so listen to as many genres as possible (including more progressive groups) and learn some theory as well.
Quote by Mettliccaa
Perhaps try not using a scale. Sometimes it's easier to make something up without a scale then put it in a scale.

What do you mean? Pretty much everything fits into a specific scale.
#5
You need to stop trying to write progressive metal, and start writing something simpler. If you can't write a simple three-minute song that sounds good, you're nowhere near ready to write a 10 minute progressive rock song.
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#6
Quote by :-D
What do you mean? Pretty much everything fits into a specific scale.

I think he means he shouldn't be thinking about what scale he's using so much, and just let it flow out, and then break it down theoretically later on once he has a general idea developed for the song.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

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#7
1. Learn music theory...cold. Be able to correct me on more than just a typo.

2. Write a ton of stuff and write down every riff you have in Powertab of GuitarPro.

3. Write the goofy Slayer and powerchord riffs. You need to write something simple before you go writing 11 minute epics.

Quote by Page&HammettFan
I think he means he shouldn't be thinking about what scale he's using so much, and just let it flow out, and then break it down theoretically later on once he has a general idea developed for the song.

That is, of course, idiotic. You should always keep track of what you're doing. You shouldn't let standard ideas of theory restrict you, but know what you're doing.
#8
^ +1

once you get a good grasp of theory you'll start to see how pieces connect in music and you can go off and write a song that sounds good and never repeats (if thats what you're aiming to do) expect to write some stinkers before you start writing decent songs and don't let it discourage you.

as for writing different sounding things (something other than that generic riff you're referring to) listen to lots of different stuff thats not metal and try to incorporate what you like. personally i like listening to latin, classical, blues and techno stuff and i'll think "what would this artist do if they had a cranked up guitar?" you can get some really interesting stuff like that. i suggest stop thinking of it as "metal" and start thinking of it as music in general.
#9
Quote by bangoodcharlote
1. Learn music theory...cold. Be able to correct me on more than just a typo.
lol, when people do correct you, you call them asshats or something.
#10
Agreed so far. You also have to consider that, if one riff stumps you then progressive is far beyond you at current. One of my favourite progressive songs features twelve riffs, all different, all interlocking and all in scale.

What techniques are you using for non-powerchord riffs. A bit of legato here and vibrato there can make a riff sound fantastic, but overdoing it makes it sound sloppy, especially if, after only one year, your technique has not been practised to a reasonable level.
#11
Quote by demonofthenight
lol, when people do correct you, you call them asshats or something.
Almost all of my mistakes are a result of typos. While incorrect, they do not show a lack of understanding on my part, but merely apathy towards an internet forum (sorry, guys). Most people who try to correct me have no clue what they're talking about, and are therefore asshats.
#12
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Almost all of my mistakes are a result of typos. While incorrect, they do not show a lack of understanding on my part, but merely apathy towards an internet forum (sorry, guys). Most people who try to correct me have no clue what they're talking about, and are therefore asshats.


Eh. thats extremely arrogant to say, even if you really know your stuff.

But I do get where you're coming from.

Anyway, to TS... There is no specific set of rules to writing progressive music. Listen to what everyone else has already said such as learning theory and becoming extremely comfortable with it. I write pretty progressive stuff quite often, but I don't sit down and say 'okay, I'm going to write an 11 minute epic in the key of Ab minor".

Learn your ****, write tons of riffs, record the riffs, think of how you could expand on everything you do.
#14
Quote by bangoodcharlotte
That is, of course, idiotic. You should always keep track of what you're doing. You shouldn't let standard ideas of theory restrict you, but know what you're doing.

I said that that's what I thought he meant, not that I agreed with it.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here


Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
#15
Quote by Page&HammettFan
I said that that's what I thought he meant, not that I agreed with it.
In your defense, I wasn't clear in who I was calling an idiot. To clarify, it wasn't you.
#16
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Almost all of my mistakes are a result of typos. While incorrect, they do not show a lack of understanding on my part, but merely apathy towards an internet forum (sorry, guys). Most people who try to correct me have no clue what they're talking about, and are therefore asshats.


So your typos are apathetic, showing no interest towards an internet forum?
#17
Quote by Avedas
So your typos are apathetic, showing no interest towards an internet forum?


Her post very clearly stated that she was apathetic about posting on an internet forum.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#18
Quote by Archeo Avis
Her post very clearly stated that she was apathetic about posting on an internet forum.


My bad. Damn, she's good though. Look at my attempted correction fail into asshattery!
#19
Okay, I'm not completely apathetic towards the UG, but to expect me to care about spelling and grammar on here to the same degree as a paper for school is silly.
#20
Quote by Gordita Supreme
Eh. thats extremely arrogant to say, even if you really know your stuff.
She is pretty arrogant, but shes right 95% of the time.

I dont write much progressive metal, but isnt it just one musical idea or progression after another with musical links?
#21
I'm right more than 95% of the time, but we don't have to get into a thing over that.

Anyway, Arch and I have to be bitches and dicks because there are people here who spread disinformation and need to be shut up. Sometimes that requires some extreme language, but I don't want people learning a C minor scale as C D D# F G G# A# because some jackass thinks that's right (it isn't).
#22
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I'm right more than 95% of the time, but we don't have to get into a thing over that.

Anyway, Arch and I have to be bitches and dicks because there are people here who spread disinformation and need to be shut up. Sometimes that requires some extreme language, but I don't want people learning a C minor scale as C D D# F G G# A# because some jackass thinks that's right (it isn't).


It's a good thing. Some people deserve their egos.

Whenever I help out and I'm not 100% sure I'm right, I always make a disclaimer.
#23
Quote by jetsrule281
Hey everyone.

I'm a muscian of only about 1 year, however in that one year i've progressed well in my eyes, and i am currently in a band with some of my freinds. All of us enjoy progressive music a bunch such as Opeth and Porcupine Tree. When it comes to writing clean parts of our own songs we do just fine(obviously nothing great due to our inexpeirence, but its getting better) however when it comes to writing parts with distortion everything becomes a lot harder. When i try to write a metal part all i can come up with is the same old power chord rift that you've heard a million times. My question is, is how do bands like Opeth write brilliantly melodic metal progressions? I've tried using various "metal scales" such as Harmonic Minor however it just ends up sounding like slayer and thats not what were going for
All help would be appreicated because the sooner we learn how to make good metal parts the sooner we will be to making decent songs! Keep in mind i do understand a lot of music theory, although im still in the learning phase of it. Thanks guys.


listen to more metal
Quote by greenday1182
i just heard the most amazing solo ever. it's in a song called "holiday" by green day. its even harder than some of blink 182s stuff!! im gonna learn this solo right now! give it a listen, its really good sounding and not too easy.
#24
if it helps, opeth's riffs use a lot of add9 and sus chords. look at tabs for the drapery falls, andfor blackwater park.
#25
Quote by bangoodcharlote
1. Learn music theory...cold. Be able to correct me on more than just a typo.

2. Write a ton of stuff and write down every riff you have in Powertab of GuitarPro.

3. Write the goofy Slayer and powerchord riffs. You need to write something simple before you go writing 11 minute epics.


That is, of course, idiotic. You should always keep track of what you're doing. You shouldn't let standard ideas of theory restrict you, but know what you're doing.



Actually my band write everything whilst standing up and jamming, we don't break it down theoretically until we have the song fully structered and played perfectly.
#26
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I'm right more than 95% of the time, but we don't have to get into a thing over that.

Anyway, Arch and I have to be bitches and dicks because there are people here who spread disinformation and need to be shut up. Sometimes that requires some extreme language, but I don't want people learning a C minor scale as C D D# F G G# A# because some jackass thinks that's right (it isn't).



The restrictions you put on yourself is amazing, i'm surprised you can write original music at all!