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> Rhythm Vs. Lead
Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 28 2010, 10:59 AM
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First come check Lian's new lesson, "Acoustic Irish Air" and then post a reply to todays topic. For many guitarist composing music starts with different parts. Some may start by singing a melody, playing rhythm, or creating that lead solo. Whats more difficult for you to write: the lead or the rhythm? Which do you typically start with?


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Dec 28 2010, 12:02 PM
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I don't really do composing, I just sometimes get ideas or start working on chord progressions etc. My main focus is to learn how to make music, and I don't feel like creating whole pieces of music yet... smile.gif

But on the subject, I'd probably start with the rhythm. Of course if I get an idea for melody I start with that, but even then I'll immediately try to arrange it so that it'll fit to a rhythm I've already come up with. I use the clean sound a lot, so actually I endeavour to combine both - not exactly in a Hendrix-kind of way, but something like that.
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Gitarrero
post Dec 28 2010, 01:28 PM
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I start with a rhythm riff, then try to work on the riff to make a verse and chorus out of it, then I'd program drums and play bass to it. I usually improvise the solo over the verse riff at the very end of the song writing process.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 28 2010, 01:32 PM
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Since I mostly compose music on my bass a always start with rhythm/groove and then develop the progression. Creating catchy vocal melody seems like the most difficult part for me in general.


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Dec 28 2010, 03:46 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Dec 28 2010, 02:32 PM) *
Creating catchy vocal melody seems like the most difficult part for me in general.

Same here. All too many times have I found myself making so complete guitar tracks that there just isn't any room for singing in the song. huh.gif
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K1R
post Dec 28 2010, 05:48 PM
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I start with rhythm and it is more difficult, because when I write rhythm, I write the song, but when I write lead, I just decorate the song.


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Mudbone
post Dec 28 2010, 06:22 PM
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I've just gotten into writing complete songs, but the way I've been doing it so far is to come up with the main riff/hook, then build a song around it.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 28 2010, 06:59 PM
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I usually start singing a melody over a chord progression. That's the best way to go for me. It's weird but the best melodies appear when I do this with my Acoustic guitar and not at the studio... I don't know why but if I want to write a song I go to any part of my house and start singing melodies over a chord progression,,, when I find a melody that I like I go to the studio to produce the demo of the song.


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 28 2010, 09:33 PM
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This is a great question. I'm sure it's different for every player, but I actually hear the lead playing along with the rythm in my head before I pickup the guitar. This started after a few years of writing on the guitar itself. Eventually I found I just didn't need the guitar to write and I could do it while sitting in traffic, or waiting in line, or at work, etc. It really helped my writing and my playing in that I wouldn't put any restrictions on what was playing in my head and then i'd have to figure out how to play it. Sometimes I'd write above my playing level and not realize it until I tried to play.

If you don't write this way, give it a try as a way add to your regular writing. It removes any technical limitations your hands may place on your writing. At first, you may only write rythm parts in your head, eventually you will hear a solo almost play itself over the rythm and then the task becomes making what you hear in your head in to music you can play on your guitar. You may hear tones that don't really exist, or scale patterns you can't match or find, but it's a great creative stretch to take your writing away from playing even if just for a bit.

Todd


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audiopaal
post Dec 29 2010, 08:35 AM
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I usually start with rhythm, unless I made a really cool lead lick that I wanna build on..
It's easier that way in my opinion, starting with rhythm smile.gif

Great lesson btw smile.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 1 2011, 08:33 PM
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It depends what type of composition we are trying to make. For making instrumentals, lead/theme melody is just as good for starters as harmony. Sometimes even a solo can be a good start if it is a good solo. And sometimes a good groove on the drums might be just the inspiration you need.
If composing something commercial that many people will like, it's general practice to stick to simplified harmony using basic rhythm, and focus on a good vocal melody. Singing while playing and recording for an hour can be very effective, and then you can choose the best parts of the whole recording session. You will spot catchy parts in a day or two, and glue those together in a song. When you have this proper foundation, you can basically compose almost any kind of style around it. That can be very interesting practice, to compose 3 very different backings with same harmony and vocals, but another genre of music. Then you can choose what "feels" best. If you are trying to achieve local commercial success, it can always be a good thing to insert some subtle ethnic elements. This can often increase chances for success for the song, then not.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Jan 1 2011, 08:33 PM


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