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> Aris's Composition & Technique Thread, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 27 2019, 03:27 AM
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Hi Aris, great job here!!

For transcriptions I recommend using Guitar Pro, do you know/use it?

I said that both songs are like brothers (I should have said "sisters") because there are many elements that both share. The structure is similar, tempo, rhythms used, the use of minor keys, the type of progressions.


"What is actually the purpose of figuring out the chord progressions of songs? Am I supposed to somehow memorise the feel of these chord progressions so I can use them in my own songs"

It's the way to understand the songs, and to get which are the chords that you need to use to generate the vibes that you want or like.

A cool way to get more from these analysis is to apply these elements to your own compositions.

For example, you could try ideas like these:

- Take the structure of one song, the key of another one, the tempo of another one, the chord progression of another one, and change a few details.

Combine elements from different songs... and let me know what happens!


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Aris
post Mar 27 2019, 05:44 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

I do use Guitar Pro.

Maybe I should use pen & paper when I draft the transcription & then pass my notes properly into Guitar Pro.

QUOTE
- Take the structure of one song, the key of another one, the tempo of another one, the chord progression of another one, and change a few details.


Great! it's hard for me to see where to start with in Composing and I really need tips like these. I 'll try this the soonest possible.
I Hope it works for me smile.gif

Thanks!!!!

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 27 2019, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Mar 27 2019, 01:44 PM) *
Hi Gabriel,

I do use Guitar Pro.

Maybe I should use pen & paper when I draft the transcription & then pass my notes properly into Guitar Pro.



Great! it's hard for me to see where to start with in Composing and I really need tips like these. I 'll try this the soonest possible.
I Hope it works for me smile.gif

Thanks!!!!



These ideas really work to train your own composing skills. At first you’ll feel like “copying” but it’s part of the training, it’s like learning to improvise over backing tracks. You borrow phrases, make variations and develop your own voice/style.

Another idea... take the chords of one song, the best rhythm of other and the tempo of another one...

The possibilities are endless.


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Aris
post Apr 22 2019, 02:36 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

I tried to apply the suggested tricks and came out with a nice riff (the first riff in the below recording)

Click here!


After the first riff, I tried for some time to find more suitable riffs so that I can make a song out of it. But I 'm stuck because I wanted to preserve the aggression (hardcore-ish feel), but every other riff turns out more melodic. So now I am trying to identify songs in a similar style so I can get some ideas on the next riffs that I should put together.

Below is how I worked to come out with the recorded riffs:

1st riff:
I started by working on riff variations based on the chord progression of one of my favourite songs (Social D. - Cold feelings)
The chord progression of the song is I - I - VI - III (B minor).

Because the rhythm was very simple I thought I would have to change it (Along with the key) so that it is not that similar to the above song. After some experimentation, I ended up slightly changing the chord progression to: I - I - II , VI - VI - II - III in a different rhythm (close to the rhythm of the intro in rise against - behind closed doors) .
The 2nd riff is the same without mutings. That would be the verse in my song.

3rd riff:
This is a riff inspired again by the chorus progression in the song rise against - behind closed doors. It's the same chord progression
vi - vii - I - I iii
but played in a different key and every chord lasts have of the time than what is played by rise against (i.e. 4 measures instead of 16 measures).

4th riff:
The final riff (octaves) is inspired by rise against injection and your lesson for Rise against style.

Eventually, I don't feel that I want to keep riffs 3 & 4 in the song, but it shows how I have tried to apply the below proposed ideas for my own composing.

QUOTE
For example, you could try ideas like these:

- Take the structure of one song, the key of another one, the tempo of another one, the chord progression of another one, and change a few details.

Combine elements from different songs... and let me know what happens!


QUOTE
Another idea... take the chords of one song, the best rhythm of other and the tempo of another one...


Maybe I need to analyze many other songs, so that I have more stuff/ideas to combine in my composing.



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 24 2019, 06:25 PM
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Hi Aris!! Great job here!! This is exactly what you need to do! Please remember that this is an exercise, like practicing legato or tapping so you don't have to push yourself to compose a masterpiece by once! This is part of the training, the more you do it, the better you'll become.

By now I recommend you two things:

1) Polish this idea by adjusting drums, adding bass, improving guitar playing, and making variations.
2) Give this idea a song structure.
3) Add vocal melodies. You can use your voice or any instrument.

4) Analise more music to incorporate more ideas and concepts!



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Aris
post Apr 30 2019, 08:58 PM
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Thanks Gabriel,

I 'll try my best but it may take me a little while until I get back to you with some more ideas
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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 1 2019, 04:51 AM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Apr 30 2019, 04:58 PM) *
Thanks Gabriel,

I 'll try my best but it may take me a little while until I get back to you with some more ideas


Great! Please keep me updated! smile.gif



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Aris
post Jun 24 2019, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 24 2019, 05:25 PM) *
Hi Aris!! Great job here!! This is exactly what you need to do! Please remember that this is an exercise, like practicing legato or tapping so you don't have to push yourself to compose a masterpiece by once! This is part of the training, the more you do it, the better you'll become.

By now I recommend you two things:

1) Polish this idea by adjusting drums, adding bass, improving guitar playing, and making variations.
2) Give this idea a song structure.
3) Add vocal melodies. You can use your voice or any instrument.

4) Analise more music to incorporate more ideas and concepts!


Hi Gabriel,

I 've been looking into noumerous songs and chord progressions for inspiration but I just can't find out how I could evolve this idea differently or add interesting variatinos.

About the song structure, I think I could use the riff for the verse but I haven't found something good enough for the chorus. Maybe I could use some variations of the second riff as a prechorus.

About the vocal melodies , I could add something for the verse but i don't seem to find something as a main theme.

i tried to follow your tips but maybe I don't have a specific song for inspiration. Do you have any remedies for such situations?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 25 2019, 03:32 PM
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Well, I usually work on many songs at the some time so If I get stuck with one, I can try with another idea and then get back to it another day.

Talking about this idea, from what I hear, you are needing to move to any other chord. The whole idea is based on a riff that make everything sound very "root" based. You need to move to another place and make a memorable chorus, or that's what I would do.

And you'll ask... a memorable chorus? how??

Well, it's time to analyze Thrash Metal songs that has memorable choruses and see what's the relation ship between the root and the chords used there.... In some cases the composed uses a short bridge to generate tension and then the chorus starts from the root but moves using a more melodic friendly chord progression:




Here, they also start the chorus on root chord, but the progression starts moving:



the same here, but in this case, the verse is not so stable, it also moves...




Another example:





You can check out many other genres and that's how your compositions will become more original...

This is what I do when I can't continue a tune... Let me know your thoughts!


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Aris
post Jun 25 2019, 09:26 PM
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Thanks a lot Gabriel.
It felt very embarassing for me to come back to you with no new ideas.
It looks promising... The examples should help a lot too. I 'll check the variations and let you know what happens.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 26 2019, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Jun 25 2019, 05:26 PM) *
Thanks a lot Gabriel.
It felt very embarassing for me to come back to you with no new ideas.
It looks promising... The examples should help a lot too. I 'll check the variations and let you know what happens.



Great! Don't feel bad mate, we are practising here. wink.gif


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Aris
post Jul 1 2019, 10:14 PM
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Hi Gabriel,

While I am still experimenting with the above ideas you posted me and some other music that I listen to, I notice that most of the punk rock songs I listen to start the verse and the chorus from the root key of the song and the chord progressions seem to shuffle the notes of the chord progression in the verse but the notes don't vary that much between the two sections.

I was also checking some social distortion songs with good melodies and most of their songs keep the same chord progressions and rhythm throughout the chorus and verse, but the vocal melodies are totally different between the two sections. It's amazing how they generate 2 completely different melody lines on top of the same riff. One for the verse and one being very catchy for the chorus.

I was wondering if there are any strategies for vocal or melody lines to have in mind.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 2 2019, 01:27 PM
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Hi Aris!

That's a great observation mate! smile.gif

I consider that those songs that keep the same progression between verse and chorus are some of the most difficult to compose and arrange. The secret is in vocal melodies and overall arrangement and production. I've been analyzing songs like that all my life, but I want you to get your own conclusions about this.

These are the things that you need to check:

- What changes in instrumentation? What does the drummer, bass player and guitarist change from one part to the other?
- Is there any other instrument that appears? A synth maybe?
- What's the change with vocals? Maybe an extra voice that harmonizes?
- Finally, what happens with the melody and vocal range? What happens with the rhythm of the vocal melody? What happens with silences?



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