Really, when it comes down to it, hows it done?
For about 3 years i'd say, ive been playing bass, this past year I learned guitar and drums aswell, but still when I play with other people its mostly just bass.

In these 3 years I've jammed with a couple people here and there, but never anything to serious. Ive come to notice that everyone ive ever played with has had a differnt way of look at writing music.

I personally like to start with the drums and the bass, get those two working together and after you got all that worked out you come in with the rhythm guitar, and of course staying in key with the bass. Then the lead throws in improvisations over the rhythm guitar, still keeping key..

So heres my question. How does everyone else do it? Is there a right or wrong way to approach this? I want everyones opinion..
my friend and i make riffs and then make drum and bass parts that go with them
As you've said, everyones approach is totally different, when my band makes stuff its generall just out of randomness, like id just improv on the guitar, or mess with effects, and then theyd mould their parts around me, or vice versa for say if my drummer did a piece, or my bassist

Sometimes i can even make music out of like a hum ive had than transposed onto piano or guitar.

For writing lyrics etc, that's mostly left upto me, as i'm also the singer, so i tend to do that aswel, however i do then share my ideas and they are free to edit or suggest editions to the piece We're all very free about it, we've never gone no thats a **** idea! without even trying it, i love it =]
start with the rythm guitar ie. the riffs and the main structure and the build a drum beat around it make the bass follow the guitar and then write the lyrics. unless your a poet and right the lyrics first then do that lol
so, do most bands nowadays make music together with or without music theory?
first comes the guitar and vocals, then bass and drums.
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i write a complete song of guitar riffs then we jam on it and figure out the transitions
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.

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Generally, I write lyrics, then a riff on a guitar, add a harmonised second guitar to the first guitar, and then bass, drums and vox.
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nice discovery, sir.

Last edited by coryklok : Today at 01:10 PM.
The way things work in general in my band is that someone has an idea and writes a song and presents it to the rest of the band. It may just be a riff, or it may be every aspect depending on who it is.

For example: I will normally write rythm and lyrics and have a rough idea of what I'd like the bass, lead and drums to do but I let each person add thier own touch to it. Sometimes, like the song I'm working on now, I have very specific things in mind so I've written the bass and lead for some parts. My other guitarist/vocalist writes in my the same way.

My bass player will often write both guitar parts and the bass but no lyrics.

The drummer however, will normally have almost every aspect of the song written.

The other guitarist, bassist and I will get together and work on things without the drummer sometimes (so we can play quietly and talk easily) and then at practice we can present a song with a rough structure laid out which makes it easy for the drummer to throw beats down.

If you're asking how I personally write songs, it's always guitar -> lyrics. Everytime I try and write riffs/progressions it comes out ****ty.
And maybe we can fly away from here, surf on the debris of a broken scene...
we usualy do it as the rythem section (bass and drums) starts playing and then the guitar builds around that... same way as TS
On rare occasions someone will have an entire song written already and will just 'teach' everyone else how to play it..but that usually doesn't work very well.

One member can bring in a riff or chord progression and play it to the rest of the band, and then everyone else makes suggestions on where the song could go from there. Or sometimes we just play a progression over and over and have the guitar improvise over it, sometimes forming new riffs or licks in the process of doing that.
our process usally starts with a guitar riff followed by drums. from there the riff might get tweaked a bit. the bass part then comes in working with the drums and accenting the guitar. lyrics generally come last our singer likes to get the feel of the song before he lays the lyrics out. once the song is "finished" parts almost always get changed around
Generaly, I've always thought the easy way (for me) was, you get lead guitar first, then rhythem, drums then bass. Then you all start writing the song and add the vocals.

I kinda' got it from Metallica and it works best for me!!!!
I usually make the guitar riff or some sort of melody first and then I make the bass and then drums then there are vocals.Sometime vocals come after the guitar but yeah.I get to do that while all my lazy ass band mates do nothing.But it's ok because it's fun LOL.
usually, i'll hear the song in my head (without any lyrics or vocal melody) and then i'll get it on paper the best i can (it changes each time i replay it in my head), then i will teach all the parts that i dreamed up to the others, then the other guitarist will scratch up some lyrics on the fly and we play and edit and play and edit until we finally have a finished product that we like.
Who decided that pie would be sold on Tuesday but not Wednesday?
rythm guitar then bass and then a lead guitar riff that will make it sound a bit more dissonant.

then i get the vocalist to write lyrics that would fit over the riffs, and the drummer to write his part that will help keep the weird time signatures

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So heres my question. How does everyone else do it? Is there a right or wrong way to approach this? I want everyones opinion..

Same as you really, start with a beat, add the bass, then the guitar, jam it around and add vocals.
Our guitar player and I will work by ourselves at home and try to come up with a 'piece' of an idea ourselves to bring to the table. That way, we get together with something to work on and try to develop. (at this point, we're only concerned about melodic and lyrical ideas - hopefully the two together working together as some sort of hook - the guitar parts will suggest themselves and will come later)

From there, we contribute to each others ideas and try to flesh things out. We make a total scratch demo with a basic four-on-the-floor drum beat, very basic bass and guitar parts, a rough vocal, and post them to the 'band only' section of our site. (if you log in with a band ID, it reveals a whole new menu... rehearsal recordings, contact info, commitment calendar, etc.)

At that point, the song is essentially written. It just needs arranged - both horizontally (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) and vertically (what each player is going to do with their own part, and yet have it work together when we play it as a band.... finding the right groove, etc.)

The other guys download the ideas and come up with some ideas for drum parts and bass parts and anything else they might want to contribute to, and bring those ideas with them to rehearsal. Then we flesh it out as a band to bring it to life.

I have a really tough time trying to force a vocal part over a pre-existing music track. On the other hand, if you have a melody, there are SO many ways of adding music to it, it's just a matter of finding something you like and going with it.

Prior to that, I just wrote songs, recorded them, and eventually found a band willing to play them. I just had to provide them with the demo recordings. Everything was done and ready to go.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Aug 13, 2008,
My band has always been one person had something, and then everyone else just plays along with it. And then as far as song structure goes, that is usually my drummer's job. After the first riff he's always looks like he's just had a spiritual vision "OK! OK! I have an idea, this is what this song is going to be like...we start here and then..." By the end of it, it usually looks like a football playbook, even if it's just verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus.
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