#1
I have a full band and we do mostly all original songs. I do all the song writing from lyrics to guitar parts and here is how our system works. I can write really cool songs, great riffs, powerful hooks, insane parts and it sounds great but I am sloppy. My songs are rarely ever well structured and organized and there are usually problems with them.

This is where Mark comes into play. Mark is the 2nd guitarist in the band. He usually cant write original material but whatever riffs I show him he is able to fix up very well. He is white, so he takes a lot of the overzealous and high energy explosive guitar parts of my songs and tunes em down a bit with his white man reserve. A lot of the problems in my songs is theres to much tension, to much energy, not enough resolve or softness. I play guitar very very hard, very loud, and beat the shit out my instrument. I come up with fantastic, very complex parts but as a whole all my songs are lacking in areas. Mark plays very softly very reserved. Hes capable of smashing out heavy riffs but generally plays with alot of finesse.

So after Mark fixes up alot of my parts we bring that to Fred. Fred is the pianist / vocalist of the band. He's studied music theory his whole life and is an Opera singer and generally knows his shit. Hes able to clean up what we bring him big time. He studies what we wrote in terms of theory and structure and he makes everything well defined. Structure wise. Defined verse, chorus, bridge etc. He really cleans up our shit alot big time.

The only real problem we have in our writting process is this. It takes a REALLY LONG TIME and we are all having a hard time remembering how all the parts are to be played, when to be played etc. The songs we write are generally very complex and long. Like 7-10 minute long songs usually filled with rich and and varying complex riffs.

Another problem im having is this. Im writting a song write now and one of the parts of the song is an E chord played with alternate fast picking a nice basic gallop. I play that with a legato run on the E string and play 3 -5 then on the A 2h3-5 then back to the E with a 7-5-3-2-3 played very fast and flows nicely.

thats basically what it is but I have literally 100 different variations of how I play that with different notes in different orders and different phrasing. I dont know how to decide what to stick with, and I cant show the band each and every variation I have of it even though I want to use like maybe 10 variations of that riff in the song.

I have no idea how to get everyone to get this shit down. We've tried writing it down on paper doesn't work to well. We've tried guitar pro but no one can put the tablature really correctly into the program and its so time consuming. We all really enjoy song writting but I feel like we need a better process or to change something because its been two months now and we arent really gettting enough done.
#2
If Your Buddy Knows So Much About Theory He Should Have No Problem With Guitar Pro. If You Cant Hack It...then Record Your Jam Sessions For Future Reference
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#3
Jam.

This way, all your 3 inputs are coming in at one time, rather than maybe each of you doing it on your own, or taking what someone else has started already.

It's a lot more fun, usually more varied too because of 3 different tastes mixing together.

Only problem is the initial structure will be poor because of the nature of jamming, but once you go over the song a few times it'll come together better and you can decide where things go, and remind yourself of your parts too.

Edit: You have to be honest though, if someone's added something you don't like you should let them know, and likewise with parts you add, be sure your band are actually enjoying it.
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#4
Edit: You have to be honest though, if someone's added something you don't like you should let them know, and likewise with parts you add, be sure your band are actually enjoying it.


Thats good advice I have a hard time knowing sometimes if they actually like the stuff im bringing to them or if they just want to use it cause they cant come up with anything else.

Unfortunately I dont think Jamming is what we need since we started as a jam band. All we ever did was jam and now trying to take it to the next step is difficult. When we are jamming out songs we tried writting its usualy like we stop playing all the sudleties of the song. For example one song the chord progression is F# E A B played 4 times then F# E A D B then chorus. We we jam that we never get to the D part or the chorus. Just keep playing the F# E A B and it gets old. If one of us tries to do the bridge or chorus no one else does it and its all off. I've tried to tell em lets do it right and keep count, 4th time to the bridge but its very difficult.

Are you Herman Li? Nah, just kidding, experiment with different scales, different tunings etc. find one riff you think is really catchy and stick to that, then bring it to your practice so that everyone can hear it, the whole band should have an input in songwriting.


I have musical ADHD so I get very quickly bored of playing simple and repetitive things unless I find it really beautiful or something. I mean half the time when we are jamming that F# song I get tired of playing the rythm the same way, I like to add shuffles or do a tripplet strum or add pulloffs from going from the B back to F# so I guess its partially my fault that we cant get it set in stone. I duno does anyone else have these kinds of problems?
Last edited by tangled at Sep 25, 2008,
#5
I'd say.. Don't use that many riffs in one song then, and let them lower to 3-6 minutes. That way you can remember the parts, and the riffs that you then decide not to use, can be used to created another song that'll last about 3-6 minutes.

Too long songs are often not that good, since, i'm not sure how, but it usually bores the listener after a while.

Eh.. Not that much of an advice, but then again, it's the best i can come up with, hehe.
#6
Record your ideas. That way, when you forget how they go, just press play!

CT
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.
#7
What exactly do you mean when you say writing stuff down on paper doesn't work too well....?
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#8
Quote by axemanchris
Record your ideas. That way, when you forget how they go, just press play!

CT

Agreed.
You don't need anything fancy, just a cheap portable cassette recorder with a built in microphone will do. Try placing it in different places around your practice room until you find a place where it picks up everything the best. The recording quality will be frankly crap, but it will be enough to remind you of what you did.
If you also make copies of definitive versions of songs that you have agreed upon, everyone can then take them home and listen to them and become familiar with them for the next rehearsal.

Another useful thing to do is to put up a blackboard where everyone can see it, with the song structure written on it in big enough letters for everyone to see.

If you write it something like;
Intro
Verse
Chorus
Verse
Chorus
Bridge
Mid 8
Solo
Verse
Chorus
Rpt Chorus
End

(but obviously using your own song structures rather than the simplistic version I've used as an example) then with a quick glance, everyone should know exactly where they are in the song and what is coming next.
#9
How does the way he plays have anything to do with being white. Why is it acceptable for only minorities to make comments like this. If a white guy says anything slightly racist he gets flammed.
#10
. He is white, so he takes a lot of the overzealous and high energy explosive guitar parts of my songs and tunes em down a bit with his white man reserve. QUOTE]
I was refering to this which i find offensive as i would not be aloud to say the same thing in reverse about a non-white.
#11
He's black so he takes a lot of the overzealous and high energy explosive guitar parts of my songs and tunes em up with a bit of his black man vigor.

hrm..... yep. I'd see people taking issue with that.

CT
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.
#12
Another useful thing to do is to put up a blackboard where everyone can see it, with the song structure written on it in big enough letters for everyone to see.


Thats a great idea.

I was refering to this which i find offensive as i would not be aloud to say the same thing in reverse about a non-white.


Haha, im sorry bro I didn't mean to offend its just that I find in music race plays an interesting and very real role. Fred is black, he's style is very soulful and I feel like If i never met him and just heard him playing piano, I could tell he was black or gay. Which he is both.

Im half Hispanic half white and I swear to god, I cant escape the latin sound of my playing. No matter how I hard I try. Ive posted things on the internet and showed it to people who didnt know me and they tell me it sounds "spanishy" I used to get really pissed off cause I hate the way most spanish music sounds and I dislike the majority of the culture in general but it is what it is. I cant sound like a white man. My sound is very full, loud, and passionate marks sound is relatively softer and quiet, it seems like when he is playing he is very careful.

we also have an asian drummer. LOL
#13
Quote by tangled

Haha, im sorry bro I didn't mean to offend its just that I find in music race plays an interesting and very real role. Fred is black, he's style is very soulful and I feel like If i never met him and just heard him playing piano, I could tell he was black or gay. Which he is both.

Im half Hispanic half white and I swear to god, I cant escape the latin sound of my playing. No matter how I hard I try. Ive posted things on the internet and showed it to people who didnt know me and they tell me it sounds "spanishy" I used to get really pissed off cause I hate the way most spanish music sounds and I dislike the majority of the culture in general but it is what it is. I cant sound like a white man. My sound is very full, loud, and passionate marks sound is relatively softer and quiet, it seems like when he is playing he is very careful.

we also have an asian drummer. LOL


That's actualy very interesting and it rings true to me. Personaly I hate racism of any kind and I've been known to give cirtain people on UG a real verbal flogging for having racists views, but anti-racism sometimes goes too far in demanding that we are all seen as exactly the same, when we're obviously not.
It has to be said, people from different cultures bring different influences into the mix, which is a wonderful, vibrant and healthy thing, in everyday society as well as in music.
Without these cultural differences, music would all sound similar and be boring, but with mixing different cultural playing styles, you get something new and fresh from it.

As the French would say, 'vive le difference'

That's how rock 'n' roll came about in the first place, as a cross between the black man's blues and the white man's country and western, and nothing did more to bring the two cultures together and end segregation in America than rock 'n' roll.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Sep 28, 2008,
#14
Quote by tangled

Haha, im sorry bro I didn't mean to offend its just that I find in music race plays an interesting and very real role. Fred is black, he's style is very soulful and I feel like If i never met him and just heard him playing piano, I could tell he was black or gay. Which he is both.

Im half Hispanic half white and I swear to god, I cant escape the latin sound of my playing. No matter how I hard I try. Ive posted things on the internet and showed it to people who didnt know me and they tell me it sounds "spanishy" I used to get really pissed off cause I hate the way most spanish music sounds and I dislike the majority of the culture in general but it is what it is. I cant sound like a white man. My sound is very full, loud, and passionate marks sound is relatively softer and quiet, it seems like when he is playing he is very careful.

we also have an asian drummer. LOL



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