#1
So Me and my band, today actually, started to write our own stuff, but I wonder how do you do it, I mean I've got a couple of riffs, but do I have to make riffs after the drums or do the drummer go after the guitar riffs?
#2
i always find this question funny.
something like drum lines are extremely complex and hard to come up with.
drum stuff should be pretty much improvised, and pretty much never the basis of a song.
#3
I think the first thing would be to determine what Key you want to play in.
The drums would set the time.
Then the chord progression would be decided next.
The lead guitar will try to work with the above info.
Just a guess though.
#4
I agree that drum lines should usually be improvised but they could be the basis of a song. My band starts writing a song by me playing something over a random drum beat that our drummer does and then
"Hey is that already a song?"
"No"
"it is cool let's use it in a song"

A song is born.

So is the question whether to do drums first or guitar first or is the question how to put riffs and everything together?
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#5
Quote by FFFDFEFRFKFFF
I agree that drum lines should usually be improvised but they could be the basis of a song. My band starts writing a song by me playing something over a random drum beat that our drummer does and then
"Hey is that already a song?"
"No"
"it is cool let's use it in a song"

A song is born.

So is the question whether to do drums first or guitar first or is the question how to put riffs and everything together?


both......
#7
Quote by RCalisto
and pretty much never the basis of a song.


I couldn't disagree more, every one of our songs starts with the drummer on an extremely basic beat, then I will just follow his rhythm note for note. He'll add something on every once and a while and he'll tweak it to sound as good as possible, I will follow his rhythm while throwing in embellishments here and there. The advantage of this is that I know exactly what the structure of the song is and what the drummer is doing. I find rhythm and timing to be what most people are lacking these days, sure you can solo in nine different scales and come up with complicated chord progressions, but if you can't follow a simple rhythm and create fluent phrases then you should go back to basics. Take this song for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNjv-9YA3U4

not the most complicated song in the world, the reason it sounds good is because of how well the melody follows the rhythm of the drums.
#8
^ no, the reason it sounds good to YOU.
i don't like that song at all myself.
if you're just gonna always play in that rhythm you're always gonna sound the same. and to my ears crap.
i just hate simple songs.
#9
There's no right or wrong way to write a song, it's completely up to you guys. However, I would very, very, ridiculously highly suggest you NOT write a song from scratch at practice. If you guys are jamming and someone happens to come up with a cool idea and you're feeling inspired by it, that can work, but don't consciously try to write a song without any ideas to work with at practice. I know from experience, this pretty much never works.

If this helps, usually in my experience writing songs with bands, one person (me or someone else) usually comes to practice with a riff or chord progression. Sometimes they'll have the entire song (as in just guitar, bass, or piano) written. Then the drummer will come up with a beat, and we'll jam on it. Then, based on the jam, the whole band assesses the song to see if there are any parts that don't fit or if there are certain things that can be added (which could range to a lad guitar or keyboard part to a verse, chorus, or bridge). Then after jamming on it and making as many revisions as seems fit, then it's more or less done, although it may continue to get tweaked in subtle ways.
#10
Quote by RCalisto
^ no, the reason it sounds good to YOU.
i don't like that song at all myself.
if you're just gonna always play in that rhythm you're always gonna sound the same. and to my ears crap.
i just hate simple songs.


I said it's good to focus on rhythm, I never said you can't change the rhythm. The band Tool has melodies that aren't extremely complicated but they have dynamic rhythms, which makes them stand out. And the song was merely an example of a melody following the rhythm, it just never changed, so you don't like it that doesn't mean it's worthless.
#11
here's the song writing setup i usually do for my regular rock band. for my metal band i tend to go more complex.

minor verse
phrygian or major prechorus
minor chorus with major leads
minor verse
phryigian or major prechorus
minor chorus with major leads
phryigian/major/minor bridge part played differently as in clean or in 3rds whatever
solo
minor chorus

example would be:
Am - verse
E - prechorus
Am - chorus: leads based around CM
Am - verse
E - prechorus
Am - chorus: leads based around CM
solo using chorus chords
CM - bridge
Am - chorus

like 80% of regular rock/pop/emo/altrock whatever do this
#12
^^^ don't forget that not everyone is in a band. and it very much depends on the creativity / mood of the person too. dream theater for example only write in the studio.

^^ i don't like tool either xD

^ talk about closed mindness.
#13
Quote by RCalisto
^^^ don't forget that not everyone is in a band. and it very much depends on the creativity / mood of the person too. dream theater for example only write in the studio.

^^ i don't like tool either xD


who cares if you don't like Tool, you state your opinion as though it's the only way to look at music. Like the whole world of music needs to please you to be right, I probably hate the majority of your music, but that doesn't matter at all, if you enjoy it that's great. You said you hate simple music, and Tool is in no way simple which is why I provided them as an example. Point being, stop tootin your own horn, there is more than one way to see things.
#14
in my band we usually will have a riff of some sort. and just jam on it for 10-30 mins. same thing. everyone tooling around with different things in thbe same tempo/beat. from there things start becoming more prodominent, parts start getting formed. the singer will freestyle(not rap, but sing non-written words) over parts to see how it fis. we'll play the part heavy, soft, fast, slow. just cause one of us comes up with a "cool riff" thats played a certain way, dosnt mean thats how its gonna be when we finalize. actually, i dont think any of them have been. everything is in a constant change. once we get that part down, we'll talk about it. where we feel the song is going. or we jam on something similar. different key, relatively same beat. same key different beat. different all together. then we figure out how we wana mix them. do we need another part? maybe, maybe they flow into each other.

we've got probably 7 or 8 parts that arnt in songs that we have sitting waiting for something to feel right about them. we just wrote one song last week that we have 3 of the parts for for about a month now, but never even thought of putting them together. then we had a cool little jam one night, and everything fell into place.

someone said it earlier, and i agree. dont TRY to start write a song at practice. when one happens, it happens, and it feels great knowing that in a hour, day, week, etc. that its going to be your next song. i'll come in with somehting. hey listen to this ive been ****in around with. we jam on it. change as needed. bingo song part.

only 1 of our 9 songs we currently have were written entirely outside of practice. with changes to structure.

remeber though, compromise with everything. dont be hard headed about how your solo sounds, or how you wana play something. no one in the band will like you. ask questions about how it sounds, and if they are feeling it.

edit: and dont think because they are a drummer or a bassist that their opinions on your guitar playing dont matter and they dont know what they are talking about. respect their opinions if you want yours respected. i know i dont want my drummer hammering away on his double bass pedal, so if he's doin it, i would wana say,hey man try doing the bass drum half time or with more predominant punches instead of a double bass frenzy. and i would want him to try it and see how it sounds. same with the bass. remeber you should all be musicians about it, not your respective instrument players trying to make noise work.
Last edited by chris024 at Sep 3, 2008,
#15
Just try alot of things. I've come to find the best way to figure out songwriting is by just doing it and learning from your experiences.
#16
most of the music we play i've wrote. bass follows then the drum part falls into place. but if you ask me, during jams, anyone can start the rythym. the bass might have a cool lick and we all just come up with stuff.
#17
you get morecreative songs when you make them on your own as opposed to with a band. because usually everyone has to agree what is cool and usually you get something done millions of times because everyone has to come a consensus to what is cool
#18
Quote by psychokoala
you get morecreative songs when you make them on your own as opposed to with a band. because usually everyone has to agree what is cool and usually you get something done millions of times because everyone has to come a consensus to what is cool


i disagree, i think when you have a few minds instead of one working on something you end up with something none of you would have thought of on your own.
#19
Quote by chris024
i disagree, i think when you have a few minds instead of one working on something you end up with something none of you would have thought of on your own.

No, I'd agree with the guy you quoted. When you write as a band it's hard to have a master plan or a vision. I find that writing a 'rough draft' of a song alone and then bringing it to the band for polishing and altering works best.
#20
For me,I usually write songs myself(My band's plays cover songs and I prefer metal) but there are also times when we jam freely. I think it's really useful to write songs together with a band,the drummer plays a certain beat,the guitars and bass play in a key.It's spontaneous and fun.

But if you're writing yourself,what I usually do is just fiddle around with a song/riff.I've somehow managed to turn Master Of Puppets into a symphonic metal song(Still not finished).After I've fiddled with a certain riff,I improvise it using some theory knowledge.
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#21
The way we write is one person comes up with some lyrics and a riff or a set of riffs to cover the whole song, mocks up a draft by recording on the computer using generic looped drums and then hands it out to the group, who start by learning the suggested riffs. After we know what the author has in mind for the song, we work on improvements and additions.