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> Cael's Composition Workouts, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 8 2014, 03:06 AM
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Hi Ben! This is our thread to explore, train and stimulate our creativity and composing abilities. I think that this thread mustn't be structured so feel free to do random chats, to post miscellaneous videos, photos, thoughts and feelings. We will work on theory stuff but mostly on real music. I think that it would be interesting to analyze some of your favorite music but in a modern way, writing down the most used concepts and ways to arrange.

At the same time, it would be cool to use this thread as a library of ideas, so let's feel free to record and post here riffs, licks, that can be continued by you and me at any moment. In the end, maybe we can have some songs composed together, who knows?

I would like to know a bit more about you and your relation with composition. Feel free to write whatever comes to mind here. smile.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 8 2014, 01:31 PM
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Hey Gabriel!

This was exactly the kind of thread I had in mind! A place for ideas, a library of ideas as you said, and a place to develop some compositional skills and so on.

I used to compose solely in Guitar Pro, but never recorded much, because I used to write just outside of my playing ability thinking I'd push myself to become better that way. So maybe I could play all the stuff, but not at the tempo I wanted it in in the song. From that I can present you these two "songs" in Guitar Pro:

Attached File  Circles.gp5 ( 77.32K ) Number of downloads: 207

Attached File  01___Prologue.gp5 ( 108.85K ) Number of downloads: 218


I have written them using the midi only, so I don't know how they sound with RSE if that is something you might use.

But these two have been written 5 years or more back. And that's the last fully thing I wrote. I want to go away from writing that way though, and instead writing a bit more of something I'm capable of recording and playing. That's probably a much healthier approach, I think.

So I'm thinking about starting a library of ideas (on my computer as well as in this thread), where I have recorded ideas and maybe also the tabs for the ideas.

I have always found it much easier to write drums in Guitar Pro and then edit in Cubase as it's much faster for me that way, and it's easier to figure out tempo, how long the riff from the guitar is and so on.

When it comes to music I like, I'll give you a few examples. I would like to write more in a progressive metal/djent genre like this:





Or especially something like this:



But I also like jazzy/fusion like Chick Corea:



And then I also have a weakness for some underground, intelligent hiphop:



But in general I listen to all music, and I would actually like to incorporate various genres into my songs. One of my biggest problems is that I find it a lot easier to write when I have lyrics, but these days I can't come up with lyrics either laugh.gif

Another thing, which I have mentioned in another thread is that I can come up with a lot of riffs or ideas that I think are nice, but I can never seem to connect them, or I get stuck with the same riff for several minutes.

As for theory, I know quite a bit, I'd say, but I tend to get a bit stuck with it these days, so I get stuck in one key or I feel like I'm writing inside the box, when I really want to write outside the box.

Oh, and I tend to be a bit perfectionistic when it comes to music, and I want that gone! It's a big hindrance!

Here's a bit of a short test of an idea I did a while back:

Attached File  New_test.mp3 ( 937.97K ) Number of downloads: 236



I hope that gave a bit of a picture of where I'm and so on.

This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Apr 8 2014, 01:33 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 8 2014, 05:34 PM
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Ok! This will be very cool! You are a very skilled composer and it seems that you are not noting it yet. Based on your posts, I think that you are lacking some kind of motivation that pushes you to develop the ideas, to finish songs, to start new ones. And that's the main thing that I would like this thread changes.

I listened to your Guitar pro songs and there I can hear a technical Ben, who can create long songs with lots of riffs, musical ideas, smooth connections, weird phrasings, original drum grooves without any problem. This means that you have a clever mind. I find both pieces a bit "empty", they are lacking soul, and I suspect that the reason can be one of these:

- You wrote them with midi, and in the end it's a mathematical process.
- There wasn't a story or idea that made you create that stuff.

I say: what a cool rhythm, that riff is interesting, wou, good change, but I don't feel like listening to a story, I don't get into something deep.

Does this happen to you?

Then, the riff, it's very in the style of.. Periphery, Cloud kicker and all that Djent style, it's a good first step because it sounds professional, but the goal here would be to listen more Ben than his influences in his music. This is not something that suddenly appears, it requires practicing and training, it's a search. And the only way to do this search is composing a lot of stuff.

On this first week, I think that it would be cool if you can write and post here as many riffs and musical parts that you can, and then I will help you to keep the cooler ones... some type of producer job. I recommend you to do something similar to my Creativity Workout I, using photos, or stories to inspired yourself. Get into them, and try to write melodies, musical ideas that you feel. I can share some pics here if it's needed. Just let me know.

At the same time, I think that it would be cool if you take any of those songs and analyze it. Those are really complex songs but you should find the way to write down some info about structure, tonality, scales, chord progressions and arrangements used.







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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 8 2014, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 8 2014, 06:34 PM) *
Ok! This will be very cool! You are a very skilled composer and it seems that you are not noting it yet. Based on your posts, I think that you are lacking some kind of motivation that pushes you to develop the ideas, to finish songs, to start new ones. And that's the main thing that I would like this thread changes.

I listened to your Guitar pro songs and there I can hear a technical Ben, who can create long songs with lots of riffs, musical ideas, smooth connections, weird phrasings, original drum grooves without any problem. This means that you have a clever mind. I find both pieces a bit "empty", they are lacking soul, and I suspect that the reason can be one of these:

- You wrote them with midi, and in the end it's a mathematical process.
- There wasn't a story or idea that made you create that stuff.

I say: what a cool rhythm, that riff is interesting, wou, good change, but I don't feel like listening to a story, I don't get into something deep.

Does this happen to you?

Then, the riff, it's very in the style of.. Periphery, Cloud kicker and all that Djent style, it's a good first step because it sounds professional, but the goal here would be to listen more Ben than his influences in his music. This is not something that suddenly appears, it requires practicing and training, it's a search. And the only way to do this search is composing a lot of stuff.

On this first week, I think that it would be cool if you can write and post here as many riffs and musical parts that you can, and then I will help you to keep the cooler ones... some type of producer job. I recommend you to do something similar to my Creativity Workout I, using photos, or stories to inspired yourself. Get into them, and try to write melodies, musical ideas that you feel. I can share some pics here if it's needed. Just let me know.

At the same time, I think that it would be cool if you take any of those songs and analyze it. Those are really complex songs but you should find the way to write down some info about structure, tonality, scales, chord progressions and arrangements used.


Thanks for the long reply, it's much appreciated! And thanks for the compliments on being a skilled composer, even if I'm not sure I agree - as I can't do it on a regular basis for one thing.

I know what you mean about lacking soul, and you are exactly right, they were written without real inspiration, but more just as something I had to push through to get done, if you know what I mean? So of course they feel empty. I still like some of the ideas in them and I might re-use some of those at some point - we will see. smile.gif

It is a very djenty riff, yes. It's a genre I'd like to write in, but of course with trying to add something new, but you gotta take a first step. And I'm not that familiar with writing djent yet, so it's what it is. I wrote it a while back and I'm not sure I like it a 100% anymore.
I will try and be more Ben!

I think it's a very cool plan for a first week. I will try and record the ideas I have and share them with you. If it's possible I will try and add drums too and other instruments.

I will also try doing the second thing you mentioned about writing info down about song structures, tonality, chords and scales and such.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 8 2014, 08:58 PM
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Excellent! Sounds like a plan. smile.gif

I would like to receive frequent updates, and also to discuss about other topics here so feel free to keep on sharing stuff here.

And once again, yes, you're skilled! Just need practice and motivation. biggrin.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 10 2014, 07:56 PM
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Here's a first idea. The mix is terrible though, of course, but I just wanted to focus on getting something done instead of concentrating on the mix now:

Attached File  Idea_1_for_Gabriel.mp3 ( 1.3MB ) Number of downloads: 233


The riff is in (4/4 + 3/4) x3 then 5/4 + 4/4

This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Apr 10 2014, 07:56 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 10 2014, 09:38 PM
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Wou! this is top quality man! It's a very good intro for a song (or at least for the first part of it). As soon as it finished I imagined some more melodic section, maybe not a melody but you know, those type of parts with a catchy chords cadence and maybe some clean arpeggios or guitar melodies. Drums marking the cuts... something around this chords: Cm - Bb - Db - Db. How does it sound for you?


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 11 2014, 10:51 PM
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Hey Gabriel, I posted this in another thread as well, but I guess you could call it a new idea too:



This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Apr 12 2014, 12:42 AM
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Attached File  8_string_on_7_sound_2.mp3 ( 1.22MB ) Number of downloads: 213
 


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 12 2014, 02:52 AM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Apr 11 2014, 06:51 PM) *
Hey Gabriel, I posted this in another thread as well, but I guess you could call it a new idea too:



Another great introduction and addition to the ideas library. smile.gif

I'm saving this stuff at my computer to check it from time to time. If you continue uploading stuff as quickly, we will be able to start giving shape to the songs soon.

I'm sure that you know him.. do you like his music?





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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 12 2014, 01:24 PM
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I've never heard of him before, but I quite like him!

I'll try and post up some more stuff tonight maybe. smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 12 2014, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Apr 12 2014, 09:24 AM) *
I've never heard of him before, but I quite like him!

I'll try and post up some more stuff tonight maybe. smile.gif



Great! Check his stuff because I think that he has something that your ideas are lacking, more melodic stuff. He keeps sounding modern but adds catchy sections into their song to make instrumental music easier to hear.


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 12 2014, 05:06 PM
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Only thing is with a lot of these players, they have a much wider and better skillset than I do. I find it difficult to actually sometimes play the ideas I have in my head.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 13 2014, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Apr 12 2014, 01:06 PM) *
Only thing is with a lot of these players, they have a much wider and better skillset than I do. I find it difficult to actually sometimes play the ideas I have in my head.



Why? What happens? Does it take too many time to find the notes that you imagine in your fret board?


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 13 2014, 05:38 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 13 2014, 06:36 PM) *
Why? What happens? Does it take too many time to find the notes that you imagine in your fret board?


My head and hands just doesn't coordinate that well at times laugh.gif I might think: "badadada dum dum djentadjenta, da da da dum dum, badadada dadada djentadjenta dum dum" in my head and then it comes out as: "puff puff fluffy puff" on the guitar. laugh.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 13 2014, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Apr 13 2014, 01:38 PM) *
My head and hands just doesn't coordinate that well at times laugh.gif I might think: "badadada dum dum djentadjenta, da da da dum dum, badadada dadada djentadjenta dum dum" in my head and then it comes out as: "puff puff fluffy puff" on the guitar. laugh.gif



Do you think that this can be an ear issue? Do you usually learn solos and songs by ear? Does it take too much work?


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 13 2014, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 13 2014, 06:48 PM) *
Do you think that this can be an ear issue? Do you usually learn solos and songs by ear? Does it take too much work?


I've grown up on tabs, so that's what I mainly use. I can use my ear, but it takes a long time. Also, I may be exaggerating before. If I have an idea in my head I can play it somewhat on guitar, but it's not always completely right.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 14 2014, 04:45 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Apr 13 2014, 01:50 PM) *
I've grown up on tabs, so that's what I mainly use. I can use my ear, but it takes a long time. Also, I may be exaggerating before. If I have an idea in my head I can play it somewhat on guitar, but it's not always completely right.


My suggestion is that you record it, no matter if it's not clear. You can slowly clarify the idea. This is how I think our mind works related to creativity. Creative stuff is there in our unconscious side of the mind, and we have to be able to glimpse it. This happens clearer with music but this can be apply to ideas in general. The deeper we become the more connected to that side of the mind we are, and the clearer the ideas start to show. So don't worry if you are not able to materialize an idea clearer by once, this is something natural. Record the ideas and polish them with time. And this last word: "time" is also very important, we must give time to our mind, and this time should be like a stand by, if we tend to logical treatment of the ideas, the creativity disappears and we end the idea as a technician. Give time to your mind to slowly show the ideas clearer...


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 15 2014, 11:34 PM
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I'll try and record - clear or not.

I've just remembered something that's very close to how I write and which I feel would be a likely first step in terms of how to build a song, both technically, structurally and so on, the sound and feel...:



I know it's not all that melodic, except for the part at 4:50.

They also have somewhat more melodic songs though:



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 16 2014, 02:37 PM
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I can notice a connection between this band and the guitar pro that you shared before. The first song is very technical and starts to have some deepness when the vocals appear, the instrumental parts are more like technique etudes. The second one is more melodic as you said, and has shorter instrumental sections, so it transmits me much more. The first one is more enjoyable to be played while the other to be heard (at least for me, based on my musical taste).

I would like to give you a tricky assignment for this week.

The goal is simple: Compose a song in 1 week.

Some things to have in mind:

- No matter if the different parts don't fit always one after the other, just continue the song until you have it finished. (We have time to make the connections smoother)
- If you decide to write an instrumental, compose it based on a the feeling that you get from a picture, a story of a movie. Keep that feeling and story in mind during the whole process.
- If you are a bit lost, take one of your favorite songs and write down it's structure. This will be the structure that you will use in your song. It will be your structure template.
- Where to start? You can take one of the riffs that you shared here, or start with something completely new.
- Deadline: There are no excuses. The song must be ready here on April 23th.
- I'm not expecting the best song ever, I'm expecting a finished song that then we can produce, edit, etc.
- Use the method that you find easier to write drums and bass, but record real guitars.


Are you in? smile.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 16 2014, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 16 2014, 03:37 PM) *
I can notice a connection between this band and the guitar pro that you shared before. The first song is very technical and starts to have some deepness when the vocals appear, the instrumental parts are more like technique etudes. The second one is more melodic as you said, and has shorter instrumental sections, so it transmits me much more. The first one is more enjoyable to be played while the other to be heard (at least for me, based on my musical taste).

I would like to give you a tricky assignment for this week.

The goal is simple: Compose a song in 1 week.

Some things to have in mind:

- No matter if the different parts don't fit always one after the other, just continue the song until you have it finished. (We have time to make the connections smoother)
- If you decide to write an instrumental, compose it based on a the feeling that you get from a picture, a story of a movie. Keep that feeling and story in mind during the whole process.
- If you are a bit lost, take one of your favorite songs and write down it's structure. This will be the structure that you will use in your song. It will be your structure template.
- Where to start? You can take one of the riffs that you shared here, or start with something completely new.
- Deadline: There are no excuses. The song must be ready here on April 23th.
- I'm not expecting the best song ever, I'm expecting a finished song that then we can produce, edit, etc.
- Use the method that you find easier to write drums and bass, but record real guitars.


Are you in? smile.gif


Sounds like a good plan! But is there any chance we can push the deadline to maybe 25th for this first week and then keep it to the plan after that, so the week after will only be 5 days? I'll be gone from my computer and guitar from later today till Sunday evening and I won't have much time to work on things, but I really like the idea here.

This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Apr 16 2014, 03:43 PM


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