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> Munta's Step By Step Songwriting..., Thought I'd Share
muntahunta
post Mar 11 2008, 11:14 AM
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This lesson would have been a video lesson and posted in the "aspiring instructors" bit of the forum if I had a better digital camera.

I have decided to write this songwriting lesson to share my methods of songwriting with all the good people here at GMC.
I am going to be using acoustic guitar to write this song and it's most likely to end up as a soft acoustic song. Nothing Fancy tongue.gif

First thing is, for this lesson I wont be using any advanced theory (probably no basic either).
Also, I will be starting with no ideas, no thoughts on a subject for the song and no name. Im starting from scratch.

The first step that I go for is the music. Alot of people start writing lyrics or think of a song title to inspire them first (and im not saying theres anything wrong with that), but I prefer to write the music first as I think it's easier to write lyrics that match the music.

So, on we go...

Im going to start by writing a basic structure for the song, I WILL change the structure later, but this way I have a guide of what parts of the song I need to write.

Heres my template structure for now...

Intro
Verse
Chorus
Riff
Verse
Chorus
Chorus
Outro

Now I am going to write each part of the song a chord structure.
I'm not going to be using any sus4's or whatever else chords there are... Its going to start out as basic chords (Am, E, D, etc) then evolve...

To write a part, just play some chords with a rythm thats in time, we can always change the rythm later if we want.

Attached File  1.mp3 ( 219.59K ) Number of downloads: 476


in my first try, I liked the Em that I played but wasn't too keen on the rest.
This time im going to double the amount of time I played the Em and play a different chord after it.

Attached File  2.mp3 ( 344.49K ) Number of downloads: 389


In the second try, I really liked the D and C that I played following the Em. the F on the otherhand was a bad choice... back to the drawing board.

Attached File  3.mp3 ( 344.49K ) Number of downloads: 328


I liked the G at the end, however theres still something missing to finish it off, i'm going to play around more until I find something I really like.

Attached File  4.mp3 ( 344.49K ) Number of downloads: 339


Ok, i've managed to get a nice set of chords... Em, D, C, G, A.
I think that part sounds good as a verse, however maybe picking it might sound better as I want the verse to be quieter than the chorus.

Attached File  5.mp3 ( 344.49K ) Number of downloads: 365


For the above I just played around with different picking patterns till i got something that sounded ok.

Now I need to repeat the process to write a new chord progression for the riff/chorus/intro/outro.

...

After playing around for a while I have decided that I am going to keep that chord progression all the way through all of the parts in the structure... however, doing that makes the verse and chorus sound indifferent so I am going to insert a prechorus which will build up to the chorus.

The song structure now stands like this...
(the numbers are the names of the recordings I have uploaded throughout the post.)

Intro
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus
Chorus - 4
Riff
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus
Chorus - 4
Chorus - 4
Outro

The prechorus will need to be "heavier" than the verse... I am going to use the process I used for writing a chord progression to do the same for the prechorus.

Attached File  6.mp3 ( 344.49K ) Number of downloads: 333


Ok, i'm not too sure what I just recorded will fit into the prechorus so I am going to play the verse then the prechorus then the chorus.

Attached File  7.mp3 ( 969.39K ) Number of downloads: 344


I think that works... It adds an eerie feel to the song. notice how the rythm of the chorus changed now that I have added a pre-chorus.

ok, heres where the structure stands at the moment.

Intro
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Riff
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Chorus - 4
Outro

We need an intro (which will probably be used as the riff too).
Lets keep it over the same rythm we used for the verse (the picking)
I'm just going to use the process we've used throughout the post... just play and see what sounds good to your ears!
This time i'm not going to post all the riffs i come up with, im just going to post what I ended up liking.

Attached File  8.mp3 ( 969.39K ) Number of downloads: 310


I'm happy with what i've come up with for the intro. I will probably play that twice through before going into the verse.

I'm going to have the Intro, Riff and Outro all the same... heres the structure.

Intro - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Riff - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Chorus - 4
Outro - 8

after playing all the parts together, by the time it gets to the last chorus it's a little repetative so i'm going to add something near the end... maybe a breakdown, solo or bridge.
I think adding a breakdown and solo between the last 2 chorus' then adding another chorus before the end would be a good idea.

Intro - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Riff - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Breakdown/Solo
Chorus - 4
Chorus - 4
Outro - 8

now we need to write a breakdown... you know what to do tongue.gif.

heres mine...

Attached File  9.mp3 ( 969.39K ) Number of downloads: 342


I think that going into the chorus riff for the solo would be awesome.

Intro - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Riff - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Breakdown/Solo - 9/4
Chorus - 4
Chorus - 4
Outro - 8

now what I do is record the entire song with just the rythm (and little bits of lead like the intro/riff bitt)

That will be done soon, for now i'm off for some food.

------------------------CONTINUED-----------------------

ok, this is the recording of all the rythm parts. its 7 mins long! (dont worry about the quality, its all just a draft for the moment and hasnt been mixed at all yet.)... kinda reminds me of the quieter stuff iced earth do (i died for you, watching over me, when the eagle cries, etc)
notice how i've changed the picking part a little to fit into the song better. i've also added a few hammer-on's/pull-off's here and there. if you follow the structure below you'll notice the parts changing.

Intro - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Riff - 8
Verse - 5
Pre-chorus - 6
Chorus - 4
Breakdown/Solo - 9/4
Chorus - 4
(i've removed a chorus here due to it being so long)
Outro - 8

Attached File  rythm_finished.mp3 ( 6.27MB ) Number of downloads: 299


i know alot of it sounds the same, but thats what the next part is for.
we get to note down which parts were singing over, put a solo in, and add lead parts to make parts sound alot more different.

The first thing that needs changing is the solo/chorus part of the song. it need "beefing up".
theres a few ways i know of doing this... adding harmonized guitar riffs in the background, adding a solo over the last chorus, add some more picking riffs, etc... just beef it up in general.
time to go try it.

Attached File  solochorus.mp3 ( 1.55MB ) Number of downloads: 305


above is the solo/chorus part... ive improvised a solo on acoustic but i plan to do a totally different one with an electric guitar later on.
as you can now hear, the riff in the background gets harmonized by a new guitar every 8 bars. the first 8 in the solo has just the rythm, then the riff comes in, then when the chorus kicks in its being harmonized, then halfway through the chorus an octave of the riff kicks in... thus giving the effect of building up.

its starting to look like a song now. all that needs doing is to make the bridge that little bit heavier by adding another guitar... then were on to writing the solo/lyrics/vocal melody.

heres my attempt at beefing up the bridge... its basically just palm muted guitar (works well with heavier songs, just thought i'd throw it in here as an example... still sounds ok tongue.gif)

Attached File  breakdown.mp3 ( 334.29K ) Number of downloads: 295


sounds a bit heavier yes?

ok, heres the full song so far WITH an improvised electric guitar solo... i think the solo sounds pretty cool.

Attached File  fulltrack_with_solo.mp3 ( 6.27MB ) Number of downloads: 407


now all thats left is the vocals/lyrics... which I find the hardest part so it may take a while for me to get some ideas... basically what im going to do is sing along with the music to get the melody and just adlib till I find something that I really like.

This post has been edited by muntahunta: Mar 11 2008, 04:31 PM


--------------------
Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ Dual EMG 81 Pickups. Size 11 Strings.
Ibanez GRG170DX w/ Scallopd frets 17-24 - w/ Dimebucker and APH-1.
Tanglewood TW28 STR DLX CE INDIANA Acoustic Guitar
NEW: Dean Deceiver w/ EMG 81/EMG 85 Pickups
Effects:
Pod XT Live AND Pod X3 Live
Recording:
Cubase SX3

My Bands Myspace
Act Of Silence

Songs:

Fly From The Inside (Cover)
So Far Away
Down
Break The Cycle
Never Again (Cover)
Crash
Wake Me

More Acoustic Songs:
Chris Kerswell Soundclick Page

Check out Munta's Step By Step Songwriting Lesson
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Andrew Cockburn
post Mar 11 2008, 01:35 PM
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Hey, this looks cool and definitley rates a spot in the aspiring instructor forum!

I will move it for you smile.gif


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muntahunta
post Mar 11 2008, 01:40 PM
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cheers andrew biggrin.gif
i tried to update it as you moved the post and it wouldnt let me edit lol. good job i saved it wink.gif


--------------------
Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ Dual EMG 81 Pickups. Size 11 Strings.
Ibanez GRG170DX w/ Scallopd frets 17-24 - w/ Dimebucker and APH-1.
Tanglewood TW28 STR DLX CE INDIANA Acoustic Guitar
NEW: Dean Deceiver w/ EMG 81/EMG 85 Pickups
Effects:
Pod XT Live AND Pod X3 Live
Recording:
Cubase SX3

My Bands Myspace
Act Of Silence

Songs:

Fly From The Inside (Cover)
So Far Away
Down
Break The Cycle
Never Again (Cover)
Crash
Wake Me

More Acoustic Songs:
Chris Kerswell Soundclick Page

Check out Munta's Step By Step Songwriting Lesson
Go to the top of the page
 
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Andrew Cockburn
post Mar 11 2008, 01:45 PM
Post #4


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Oops, sorry! Hope it is ok ...


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Pod HD Pro, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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muntahunta
post Mar 11 2008, 01:46 PM
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yea its cool tongue.gif
im impressed, its only taken me 2 hours to write all of that biggrin.gif


--------------------
Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ Dual EMG 81 Pickups. Size 11 Strings.
Ibanez GRG170DX w/ Scallopd frets 17-24 - w/ Dimebucker and APH-1.
Tanglewood TW28 STR DLX CE INDIANA Acoustic Guitar
NEW: Dean Deceiver w/ EMG 81/EMG 85 Pickups
Effects:
Pod XT Live AND Pod X3 Live
Recording:
Cubase SX3

My Bands Myspace
Act Of Silence

Songs:

Fly From The Inside (Cover)
So Far Away
Down
Break The Cycle
Never Again (Cover)
Crash
Wake Me

More Acoustic Songs:
Chris Kerswell Soundclick Page

Check out Munta's Step By Step Songwriting Lesson
Go to the top of the page
 
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audiopaal
post Mar 11 2008, 02:22 PM
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QUOTE (muntahunta @ Mar 11 2008, 01:46 PM) *
yea its cool tongue.gif
im impressed, its only taken me 2 hours to write all of that biggrin.gif


I'm impressed as well laugh.gif
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kaznie_NL
post Mar 11 2008, 02:24 PM
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Nice job mate!


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Trond Vold
post Mar 11 2008, 02:31 PM
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Nice job indeed smile.gif
This is a good guide.


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muntahunta
post Mar 11 2008, 04:32 PM
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cheers everyone... the music for this is finished now (just a better mix and maybe some keyboard or stuff to add if i feel fancy tongue.gif
not bad for a days work tongue.gif


--------------------
Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ Dual EMG 81 Pickups. Size 11 Strings.
Ibanez GRG170DX w/ Scallopd frets 17-24 - w/ Dimebucker and APH-1.
Tanglewood TW28 STR DLX CE INDIANA Acoustic Guitar
NEW: Dean Deceiver w/ EMG 81/EMG 85 Pickups
Effects:
Pod XT Live AND Pod X3 Live
Recording:
Cubase SX3

My Bands Myspace
Act Of Silence

Songs:

Fly From The Inside (Cover)
So Far Away
Down
Break The Cycle
Never Again (Cover)
Crash
Wake Me

More Acoustic Songs:
Chris Kerswell Soundclick Page

Check out Munta's Step By Step Songwriting Lesson
Go to the top of the page
 
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MickeM
post Mar 11 2008, 04:37 PM
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great lesson!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 11 2008, 08:11 PM
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Thanks for sharing very cool and useful !:)


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Iluha
post Mar 11 2008, 08:39 PM
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Song writing is the hardest thing to teach, because there's no right way to do it, everyone got their own way to do it, so the best way to learn is to read through guides like this one, showing the evolvment of the song, so what I'm trying is I think you made a really usefull guide to anyone who wants to start write their own music but is afraid to do so!


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muntahunta
post Mar 13 2008, 11:27 PM
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ok, this is song is now open to lyric suggestions (i have some in mind but i'd like to see what you guy's can come up with)

also... as an "interactivity" part of the lesson i think you guy's should record your own lyrics and vocal melodies over this as a backing track.

dont be shy tongue.gif i have noticed alot more people are uploading vocals since singing teachers have been introduced to GMC so lets make them work tongue.gif get uploading your singing biggrin.gif


--------------------
Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ Dual EMG 81 Pickups. Size 11 Strings.
Ibanez GRG170DX w/ Scallopd frets 17-24 - w/ Dimebucker and APH-1.
Tanglewood TW28 STR DLX CE INDIANA Acoustic Guitar
NEW: Dean Deceiver w/ EMG 81/EMG 85 Pickups
Effects:
Pod XT Live AND Pod X3 Live
Recording:
Cubase SX3

My Bands Myspace
Act Of Silence

Songs:

Fly From The Inside (Cover)
So Far Away
Down
Break The Cycle
Never Again (Cover)
Crash
Wake Me

More Acoustic Songs:
Chris Kerswell Soundclick Page

Check out Munta's Step By Step Songwriting Lesson
Go to the top of the page
 
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SamJ
post Mar 16 2008, 06:31 PM
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Cool, great lesson. It's always interesting to find out how other people write songs and what techniques they use.

Thanks. wink.gif
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Hisham Al-Sanea
post May 3 2008, 10:45 PM
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great work muntahunta


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Jad Diab
post May 6 2008, 10:30 AM
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wow that's great ! cool lesson man


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muntahunta
post May 6 2008, 10:43 AM
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thankoo biggrin.gif

still havnt had time to get doing the vocals lol


--------------------
Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ Dual EMG 81 Pickups. Size 11 Strings.
Ibanez GRG170DX w/ Scallopd frets 17-24 - w/ Dimebucker and APH-1.
Tanglewood TW28 STR DLX CE INDIANA Acoustic Guitar
NEW: Dean Deceiver w/ EMG 81/EMG 85 Pickups
Effects:
Pod XT Live AND Pod X3 Live
Recording:
Cubase SX3

My Bands Myspace
Act Of Silence

Songs:

Fly From The Inside (Cover)
So Far Away
Down
Break The Cycle
Never Again (Cover)
Crash
Wake Me

More Acoustic Songs:
Chris Kerswell Soundclick Page

Check out Munta's Step By Step Songwriting Lesson
Go to the top of the page
 
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Vinod Saranga
post May 6 2008, 12:11 PM
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Wow !
Great job Muntahunta  biggrin.gif

Looking forward to vocals


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