Basement player who likes to compose.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Cheap guitar guy, May 15, 2019.

  1. Cheap guitar guy

    Cheap guitar guy Tele-Meister

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    I like to jerk around with writing my own songs. Not a gigging musician. Just love music and playing guitar. I like Blues, Rock, Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal. My question is this. When trying to come up with a song lets say in the Heavy Metal genre. You usually want to come up with a good riff and go from there. At least that is what I have read from some of my favorite bands. I have a hard time doing that. For me it is easier to play out in my head a killer solo and then while going over this solo in my head think of a riff that would compliment it. Any thoughts on this?
     
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  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    i do my own..then go to studio & it works pretty good..i go intro-verse-chorus,,get that structure & then bridge it as needed..those key components matched with words..then you solo where needed..less is more sometimes ..a song is a great thing to build. In studio for 8 songs now.that were all done at home first...they all start with a riff or lyric..play heavier also but doing some rock stuff lately. I live for it..songs come naturally & write about what i see in life
     
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  3. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This used to be my life. Composing is great fun. I wish I had the time to pursue it again. I have most of the instruments I need to compose fun, experimental, music. Clarinet, tenor sax, accordion, harmonicas, autoharp, concertina, fiddle. Electric and acoustic guitars of course. Damn!
     
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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Words
    Chords & Rhythm
    Fills
    Riffs from that, to fit the singing like an echo.

    I think solos killed rock music, difficult to dance to.
     
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  5. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Start with the Drums.
    Sounds strange, but it's true.
     
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  6. Cheap guitar guy

    Cheap guitar guy Tele-Meister

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    Well it's not my life. I run my own business and am trying to recover from losing almost everything I had in the stock market. For me it is an escape from my insane life.
     
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  7. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like the beginnings of a song there


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Cheap guitar guy

    Cheap guitar guy Tele-Meister

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    Yes it may be a good subject for a song. But getting back to the point and not my pathetic life.......
     
  9. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    You’re over thinking it. Let yourself go, and just riff. I keep a guitar in the living room, and sometimes plug into a small interface with my headphones. No amp is just fine, and I find that it works great for me.


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  10. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    That kind of IS the point though. Use what you have as inspiration. Might as well have some good come out of it, right? ;-)

    Not to mention that there isn’t just one best way to write songs. Sometimes a riff may kick it off, sure. Just as often it’s a lyrical phrase or hook. Maybe a chord progression starts another song off. Then another may spontaneously appear in complete form in your head, and all you have to do is capture it before it gets away.


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  11. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Write three good riffs and arrange them.

    And String Tree has a good point. Start with a basic, solid drum beat. Makes it a lot easier to riff.

    - D
     
  12. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Holic

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    I use a looper to let me capture anything and then build up from there. Could start with a bass line, or some chords, or a riff, or rarely a "solo" but I have done it that way too. I can actually do this fairly easily. It doesn't hurt that I keep myself in a comfort zone of reasonably familiar chords. Words? Really difficult for me. It probably relates to how tightly bottled up I am emotionally speaking.

    I had been using a Digitech Jamman Stereo looper but I recently made the switch to an iPad based looper along with a 4-channel audio interface. I've gotten so far as recording two guitar tracks which are in the guitar amp's fx loop and one bass track which is in the bass amp's fx loop so I get an entertaining spatial effect rather than it all coming out the DAW's speakers, but that is not strictly necessary. I can export the loops over to the DAW or just redo the ideas once they become solid enough.

    Even with the old dedicated looper pedal I came up with a few dozen riffs and ideas. I bog down when it comes time to flesh them out but I'm still working on it.

    I start with a guitar riff and have just started putting drum beats to those. I hate starting with drum beats because they never match what I am doing syncopation wise. For the drum parts I got a cheap electronic set and am tracking the parts one or two drums at a time because I can't really play. But I can go boom-boom on the kick and whack on the snare at the right time. For the tune I'm working on right now, a very spare part is just fine. When I finish it later this year I'll be sure to let you all hear it.
     
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  13. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

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    When it comes time to take things seriously and record I almost start with drums. However, what I play is usually based on a progression that's become ingrained as a result of practice sessions over a few weeks. I start tracking with guitar or bass depending on what's working in the moment.

    This, with the drums almost fully "realized"...


    Turned into this:
    https://open.spotify.com/track/6ClZwc95jNtCeCgs2ZAl6G


    I'm pretty happy with the final result.
     
  14. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    Do whatever works for you. I usually start with a riff, but there are no rules to composing.
     
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  15. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    Often I like to have a working title for a song first/early. While composing a tune you are presented with so many arbitrary decision points, I like to have some sort of unifying idea in mind to react to as early as possible.
     
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  16. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

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    I just start small from a riff or a lick sometimes and then build up from their trying all different ideas to get a progression going if i can, and sometimes then i change things around even or come up with things on the fly when not even trying to compose. That i have found sometimes works or can improve existing tunes, of course is all subjective maybe just adding new to old more at times.
     
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  17. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    Usually for me, riffs come first. Then when I have enough riffs and parts to string together a song, I need a beat to record the parts to. Then I add melodic parts and solos as needed.

    I think I start with rhythm guitar riffs because I like to have an idea of where the song starts and where it is going before I decide to add emphasis on anything else.
     
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  18. DekeDog

    DekeDog TDPRI Member

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    I wouldn't presume to consider myself a writer, but many of my guitar sessions start with just experimenting with three to five or six note phrases (riffs) played around varied rhythms. If I find something I like, I go from there. I love improvisation, and a good many of the world's best musical compositions are based around variations on one or two simple melodic/rhythmic themes.

    Another thing I've found is that certain lyrics seem to hold an inherent melody and, obviously, rhythm. Those lyrics also seem to dictate the way the music is phrased.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  19. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. harriswho

    harriswho TDPRI Member

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    There is no right or wrong way of tackling this. I've started with riffs, other times with just an intro, sometimes lyrics first or even a nice drum line.
    Make sure to use a voice recorder. There has been numerous times that I'm driving or walking the supermarket aisle and a very nice riff comes to my head and while I say to myself that I won't forget such a wonderful riff, I usually do forget.
    To sum up, inspiration does not come with pressure, you shouldn't structure and put rails to something so utamed and free as music or art in general.
     
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