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> Song Writing (riffs)
Nick6373
post Feb 10 2015, 04:24 AM
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Hey GMC, I'm trying to write a song (in the style of Extreme on their Pornograffitti album). My only problem is everything...

I'm just sitting with my guitar trying to come up with a okay riff to start out with. I've never actually tried to write a half-decent riff before so I'm having a lot of trouble doing it.

Anyone have some tips xd?
Thanks!!
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klasaine
post Feb 10 2015, 05:53 AM
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Pick a riff you really dig from the Extreme album.
Learn it perfectly.
Learn it in another key, say 5 frets away.
Play it on a different set of strings.
Change up a few notes.
Maybe change one (or more) of the rhythms.
Start it in the middle.
Play it backwards.

Voila - new riff!
Your riff.

An interviewer once asked Bob Dylan how he wrote songs. Bob Said, "I start off playing something I know. Change it up until it's something I don't know".


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Nick6373
post Feb 10 2015, 05:56 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 10 2015, 04:53 AM) *
Pick a riff you really dig from the Extreme album.
Learn it perfectly.
Learn it in another key, say 5 frets away.
Play it on a different set of strings.
Change up a few notes.
Maybe change one (or more) of the rhythms.
Start it in the middle.
Play it backwards.

Voila - new riff!
Your riff.

An interviewer once asked Bob Dylan how he wrote songs. Bob Said, "I start off playing something I know. Change it up until it's something I don't know".


Wow didn`t even think of that, great idea lol. I`ll be trying that soon.
By the way Have A Talk With God is so cool man, great job. Listening to that was actually my inspiration for writing my own song.
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Kristofer Dahl
post Feb 10 2015, 08:27 AM
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QUOTE (Nick6373 @ Feb 10 2015, 04:24 AM) *
My only problem is everything...


I hear you!!

I have been flirting with this style of rhythm guitar for a while, and my approach is to think of Nuno's riffs as lead licks - but played in the lower register (just like 'normal' riffs).

Do you know some groovy licks that you could try this with?

Let's face it - Nuno is king of groovy/funky metal rhythm guitar! biggrin.gif


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Nick6373
post Feb 10 2015, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Feb 10 2015, 07:27 AM) *
I hear you!!

I have been flirting with this style of rhythm guitar for a while, and my approach is to think of Nuno's riffs as lead licks - but played in the lower register (just like 'normal' riffs).

Do you know some groovy licks that you could try this with?

Let's face it - Nuno is king of groovy/funky metal rhythm guitar! biggrin.gif

Great idea that's another thing I never thought of trying... Lead licks lower down on the guitar. Just thinking about that makes me excited hahaha. Can't wait to get home and try writing something! Well I guess that's kinda how I was approaching it just not consciously which made it much less effective I think.

This post has been edited by Nick6373: Feb 10 2015, 07:35 PM
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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 10 2015, 11:32 PM
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I'd just like to add one more tip/approach suggestion. When I'm stuck like that (it happens often! smile.gif ), I just place my instrument on a stand and try "singing or humming" the riff/lick instead. Basically, I'd try to compose a riff that I like by singing it. You don't need to be a singer or have any special voice skills (heck I suck at singing!) to do this. Just try to "jam away" the riff with your voice. Once you have something you feel good about, recording it with your cell phone in order not to forget it. Next step is to try to find that riff on the guitar. Do it slowly, and you'll get it. Just go note by note to try to figure it out. By going for this approach you are literally deleting the boundaries of comfortable riffs/shapes/patterns you are used to on the guitar. There is also a good chance that the riff composed this way will probably have more interesting rhythm pattern (which is crucial for Extreme style), as we all tend to stick to familiar beat subdivisions and rhythms we practice a lot. I have came up with some lines in the past which I would never compose/play if I used my guitar.


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Nick6373
post Feb 10 2015, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Feb 10 2015, 10:32 PM) *
I'd just like to add one more tip/approach suggestion. When I'm stuck like that (it happens often! smile.gif ), I just place my instrument on a stand and try "singing or humming" the riff/lick instead. Basically, I'd try to compose a riff that I like by singing it. You don't need to be a singer or have any special voice skills (heck I suck at singing!) to do this. Just try to "jam away" the riff with your voice. Once you have something you feel good about, recording it with your cell phone in order not to forget it. Next step is to try to find that riff on the guitar. Do it slowly, and you'll get it. Just go note by note to try to figure it out. By going for this approach you are literally deleting the boundaries of comfortable riffs/shapes/patterns you are used to on the guitar. There is also a good chance that the riff composed this way will probably have more interesting rhythm pattern (which is crucial for Extreme style), as we all tend to stick to familiar beat subdivisions and rhythms we practice a lot. I have came up with some lines in the past which I would never compose/play if I used my guitar.

I'll try that for sure, thanks Bogdan!
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 12 2015, 01:56 PM
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My approach to writing riffs in a specific style is similar to what Klasaine explained. The first thing I do is learn many riffs and progressions of this band. I like learning different songs to get the feel of their music in general other than just one song. If you learn the riff and analyze a bit the theory behind, you'll surely start to find coincidences regarding different elements of music, so I do myself this questions:

- Are all these riff in the same scale? What scales are being used?
- Are different ones? Are they using chromatic notes as passing notes?
- What tempo is being used?
- What time figures? 8th notes? Triplets?
- What about dynamics? Is every note sounding strong?
- What other bands have riffs that sound similar to these ones?

Once I feel I have some "concepts" behind their riffs I start different processes to create riffs and song sections. At this stage, I can go for Klasaine idea, take a riff and start creating variations until I feel that it's different but keeps the essence. You can move it to other part of the fret board, you can keep the rhythm but change the notes, you can change the notes but keep the rhythm, maybe use another scale that you noticed they use in other song but with the same rhythm, and things like that. The possibilities are endless. Even you can try doing this kind of thing but with your voice as Bogdan said. Now that you already analyzed their riffs, you will have melodic info in your mind that can become in riffs in the style of. Other trick can be to jam with the scales over a drum groove similar to their songs. In these case, Extreme has really cool Funk Metal drum grooves. Try to record one and play along with it, you'll get other kind of ideas working over a drum.

These are some of the tricks that I use to compose my "in the style of..." lessons for GMC.


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Caelumamittendum
post Feb 12 2015, 02:17 PM
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Great advice, Gabriel smile.gif


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