#1
At first when i wrote a song it was just a verse progression and then a chorus progression and then a solo...pretty boring. but now as my skills are improving im writing a lot of riffs and cool fills and progressions and a few melodies. I don't want my songs to be just verse chorus verse chorus. but sometimes i feel like i keep adding parts that it just gets out of control. So how do you know when enough is enough with ur songs.

I jammed with a drummer yesterday and one kid from his band and they really liked my style so im probably going to join the band. We made up this sick riff that we could probably use as verse, and a little chord progression for the chorus. The only problem is that im not the only guitarist, so me or him needs to come up with something for the other guitar to play. So any ideas on what lead guitar should play when there not just soloing

When i write riffs im normally just noodling around, but i feel like this is a really inefficient way to write most of the time. So i was wondering how you come up with riffs, is it just aimlessly or do you think about it and come up with it in your head then play it on guitar. I;m starting to think the second way would be much better but when i do i almost always come up with a riff thats already in a song, or i hum a melody and then i realize its already a song by someone.
#2
its normally me just messin around with something randomly or i write somethin down in class and play it later at home
#3
What genre of music do you play?\

EDIT: You are offline. Well I'll leave you a message.

The fact that you want to break from the Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Solo chorus end format is great. However, you still want to have some sort of order. For those multitudes of licks, riffs and melodies you have, try making multiple interludes in one song. Or suddenly change the mood of the song. Avenged Sevenfold's Sidewinder demostrates both of my points excellently.

Learn your theory as well. It'll open up a whole new world of ideas (scales and intervals especially). Harmonizing lead lines ala The Trooper can bring a new layer to a passage. Just remember, while learning theory, your ear is always the best judge. If it sounds good, keep it.

Good luck with your adventures.

-Austyn6661
Last edited by Austyn6661 at Sep 28, 2008,
#4
but sometimes i feel like i keep adding parts that it just gets out of control. So how do you know when enough is enough with ur songs.
For me, it's usually Intro, verse, chorus, bridge, outro. Look at your favourite songs and analyse their structure/composition, apply what you learn to your own songs in your own way. When a song feels done, it's done, when it doesn't, it's not. You're the best judge of that.

So any ideas on what lead guitar should play when there not just soloing
Just play the same thing as the other guitar, or have one guitar play distorted power chords and the other play clean open/bar chords, or play a melody in counterpoint/harmony with the vocals, or licks in between vocal lines etc.

So i was wondering how you come up with riffs, is it just aimlessly or do you think about it and come up with it in your head then play it on guitar.
Bit of both. Sometimes I'll come across something while just noodling. Other times, I'll be in the shower, or in bed, or walking somewhere and I'll begin to hum a melody/riff/drumbeat then try to remember when I get a guitar/computer. Other times, I'll have a guitar in hand and just work out a melody/riff looking at the fretboard and using theory. Other times, I'll take something from another song and manipulate it into something new. A lot of the time it's a combination of some of these methods.

i almost always come up with a riff thats already in a song, or i hum a melody and then i realize its already a song by someone.
Sorry I can't offer advice here, because it's never been a problem for me
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#5
I know basic theory like my scales and i now what intervals are. What is a counterpart melody, i want to write something for lead guitar to play during the verse while someone's singing. For example No rain by blind melon, how do you come up with that lead part while the guy sings and whats the theory behind it.
#6
counterpart melody is basically another melody that goes with the vocal one, without copying it, or harmonizing with it, but occasional harmonization will accent something well, dont rape me for saying this, and even if you dont like the music, study mcrs guitars, they write a loooot of counterpart melodies and like to harmonize guitars. just a thought though, im sure there are lots of bands in different genres who do it
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#7
lol im not gonna bash u for ur musical tastes ><. well counterpart melody is what i want to learn to write, thats what you would say Travis in Coheed does mostly right? anyway how do i go about learning to write counterpart melody's, theres theory too it right? or is it just like hum sumthing and tweak it to sound good.
#8
is it just like hum sumthing and tweak it to sound good.
That will definately work.

But yes, there is theory to it. Counterpoint is a large field in music theory.
This should give you a good idea of what you want to learn:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterpoint

And this is a free e-book that should help you learn it:
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/16342
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#9
ok thanks ill check those out. If i get a big music theory book like Berklee Press A Modern Method for Guitar - Volumes 1, 2, 3 will i basically learn everything in guitar music theory or close to it? Also will vast knowledge of music theory greatly impact/improve my creative ability. im assuming it will because its like talking with a bigger vocabulary.
#11
At first when i wrote a song it was just a verse progression and then a chorus progression and then a solo...pretty boring. but now as my skills are improving im writing a lot of riffs and cool fills and progressions and a few melodies. I don't want my songs to be just verse chorus verse chorus. but sometimes i feel like i keep adding parts that it just gets out of control. So how do you know when enough is enough with ur songs.


Its unsatisfying to say that alot of songwriting is just a feeling, but it truly is. Listen to the song and criticise the structure. Is there too much? Also, you can try and deviate from the popular structure by maybe going instead of Verse-Chorus-Verse to Verse-Chorus-Solo-Instrumental Section-Verse or something. Be creative!

I jammed with a drummer yesterday and one kid from his band and they really liked my style so im probably going to join the band. We made up this sick riff that we could probably use as verse, and a little chord progression for the chorus. The only problem is that im not the only guitarist, so me or him needs to come up with something for the other guitar to play. So any ideas on what lead guitar should play when there not just soloing


Lead guitar can play melodic lines when not soloing, but dont use it all the time if you dont have to. Aenimus primes ebook is AWESOME for learning how instruments relate to each other. Listen to the Dream Theater song 'The Spirit Carries On', and you'll hear how the lead guitar adds in cool fills in the verse.

When i write riffs im normally just noodling around, but i feel like this is a really inefficient way to write most of the time. So i was wondering how you come up with riffs, is it just aimlessly or do you think about it and come up with it in your head then play it on guitar. I;m starting to think the second way would be much better but when i do i almost always come up with a riff thats already in a song, or i hum a melody and then i realize its already a song by someone.


I have a very systematic approach to creating ideas, it's a system I could explain if you want me too but after experimenting heaps I found a system that works really well for me specifically. Read the thread inconsistent creativity in this forum for info on getting ideas
#12
ok i think ill check up on that forum. In the song No rain( by blind melon) i really like what the lead guitar is doing while the guys is singing. is that an example of a counter melody. ill want to make something like that but make it more rock/metal
#13
Look at opeth's slower and more acoustic/jazzy stuff. Great examples of Counterpoint. In particular, check out the chorus in Death Whispered a Lullaby.
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Carvin Bolt-T -> Line 6 DL-4 -> Danelectro Fish and Chips -> Homemade Fuzz -> Epiphone Valve Junior Combo -> Amplitube and Guitar Rig.
#14
Great advice guys. Except counterpoint might be throwing him off the deep end. T/S, if you're serious about writing music try to learn as much major scale theory as possible. Try the crusade articles in the column section of this website, great articles.

For riffs it's just noodling and humming in the shower for me or I'll come up with some crazy idea like altered dominant riffs.

For singing melodies (remember guys, the audience don't really listen to riffs/progressions, they listen to the singing melody) I know alot of techniques and conventions to keep it singable, catchy and well structered, yet interesting. When I get off my lazy arse I'll write all my techniques down.

Quote by Schecter787878
ok i think ill check up on that forum. In the song No rain( by blind melon) i really like what the lead guitar is doing while the guys is singing. is that an example of a counter melody. ill want to make something like that but make it more rock/metal
No... not really.
Thats just guitar fills. Basically the lead guitarist will play little improvised licks in between the singers phrasing (when the singer takes a breath). Not too complicated so you might want to look into it.
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