Songwriting
Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 11 2020, 02:11 PM
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Today I'd like to share some songwriting experiences as some of you suggested HERE..

Have you heard the song LOOP by Ramen, my band?

I want to share with you some pre demos and details on how we get the final version.

At the beginning of this year, I was very into Rage Against The Machine and I was thinking that it would be great to have a song with that feel but that had a more modern production. That's this riff came to my mind so I've recorded it with my phone:

Attached File  Riff_Demo.mp4 ( 108.11K ) Number of downloads: 29


That riff was simple but very promising. I've decided to give it a full song structure, trying to keep the same riff for most of the parts, or at least for intro, verse and chords, as it happens with many hip hop songs (and also RATM ones).

I've used cubase to program midi, record guitars and base. This is what I've got:

Attached File  Ramen_pre_idea_4.mp3 ( 3.87MB ) Number of downloads: 25


After that, I've worked on some melodies. As I always do, I've sung in a non existing language but that sound close to English.. laugh.gif

Attached File  Ramen_pre_idea_4_con_voz_refe.mp3 ( 3.87MB ) Number of downloads: 23


That was the demo that I've shared with the rest of the band. They loved the tune so we worked on arrangements, lyrics, recorded, produced and this is what we finally got:



Translated version: https://youtu.be/3KCIr1gvMMs


What do you think? Do you have any questions? Do you work your songs in a similar way?

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This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: Aug 11 2020, 02:12 PM


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Caelumamittendum
Aug 11 2020, 03:06 PM
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I see a few different ways of writing these days. Some people record their ideas straight away into Cubase, but I like to write my ideas into Guitar Pro, as you know. That was I can better remember the riffs and have an idea of what is going on. smile.gif

Here is an example of my way of writing:
Attached File  07_Charged_Particles.gp ( 113.33K ) Number of downloads: 14


I generally start out either with an idea on the piano or on guitar, and then I'll try and follow that idea with something else that can match the previous one in some way. Sometimes I sit in my garden with my guitar and come up with riffs, but generally I prefer to be near some way of notating things. That's the best way for me to remember my ideas.

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 11 2020, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 11 2020, 11:06 AM) *
I see a few different ways of writing these days. Some people record their ideas straight away into Cubase, but I like to write my ideas into Guitar Pro, as you know. That was I can better remember the riffs and have an idea of what is going on. smile.gif

Here is an example of my way of writing:
Attached File  07_Charged_Particles.gp ( 113.33K ) Number of downloads: 14


I generally start out either with an idea on the piano or on guitar, and then I'll try and follow that idea with something else that can match the previous one in some way. Sometimes I sit in my garden with my guitar and come up with riffs, but generally I prefer to be near some way of notating things. That's the best way for me to remember my ideas.



That's interesting! I've rarely compose in this way. I'm always with my guitar and cubase open. Even if I can't play the ideas smoothly, I record it in small fragments.

Do you directly compose in Guitar Pro, or you play on guitar and instantly write it?

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 11 2020, 03:21 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 11 2020, 03:17 PM) *
That's interesting! I've rarely compose in this way. I'm always with my guitar and cubase open. Even if I can't play the ideas smoothly, I record it in small fragments.

Do you directly compose in Guitar Pro, or you play on guitar and instantly write it?


I sit with my guitar and come up with the riff 95% of the time, and then I instantly write it in the program - but sometimes maybe I play a riff slower at the moment I compose, but want it faster in recording, so I'll have to practice it more to get it faster. And sometimes I will add ideas while not having my guitar with me though, which I will then need to practice later too smile.gif I try to stay within my limits though, so I don't compose a Petrucci solo without being able to play it laugh.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 11 2020, 04:08 PM
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haha good method! I remember that Chowy Fernandes (GMC instructor who recorded in my studio) composed his lessons in this way.

If you check his lessons I think that you'll notice the guitar pro notation influence.. can you notice it or it's just me?

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Extrem...etal-Riffing-4/
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Greg-Howe-Style-2/

I think that this method always keeps him pushing his limits.

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Steve Gilfield
Aug 11 2020, 04:37 PM
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It reminded me more of a Lenny Kravitz kind of song than RATM smile.gif

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em8JuUW-OOE

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 11 2020, 06:18 PM
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That's so cool Steve! I loved this track when I was a teenager. I remember watching it in a Guns and Roses live in Paris VHS over and over.

I didn't have this song in mind but I must say that it is really in a similar vibe! Now I'm more happy with LOOP. biggrin.gif

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This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: Aug 11 2020, 06:18 PM


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MrVegas
Aug 12 2020, 01:31 AM
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NICE! the final song sounds so good put together! is the lyrics in Portuguese? I wish I understood the lyrics, mainly because im curious because, you said that you sung in a made up language. do you mean you basically hummed the melody of a idea of how lyrics would sound over your recoded music?
I wonder if a lot of lyrics are written like this? hum a melody over your riffs than put words to the hummed melody, seems like a great way to do it. the finished song rocks, good luck with your band and I hope you can play live very soon!

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 12 2020, 01:42 PM
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Thanks mate! Yes, I do exactly what you said. I prefer using some kind of invented English because this language sounds better for rock melodies. Then, we search for Spanish words that keep the same (or similar) phoneme sounds.

I think that many composers write songs in this way, first humming the melody and then the writing lyrics. This works because you first focus on the melodic side and then adapt what you want to say to it. This may not happen on less melodic tunes or styles like Hip Hop, or some folk and maybe punk/hardcore tunes which are more focused on the story than the melody.}

Here you can find a version of LOOP with subtitles in English. Lyrics are in Spanish.

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This post has been edited by Gabriel Leopardi: Aug 12 2020, 01:43 PM


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Phil66
Aug 12 2020, 09:34 PM
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That's very interesting Gab, I've often wondered if it would be an idea if student submitted rhythm ideas or riffs and see what can be built from it, maybe it works be a bit chaotic though biggrin.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 13 2020, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Aug 12 2020, 05:34 PM) *
That's very interesting Gab, I've often wondered if it would be an idea if student submitted rhythm ideas or riffs and see what can be built from it, maybe it works be a bit chaotic though biggrin.gif



I've seen some GMC lessons that were based on ideas shared by students... so why not!

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PosterBoy
Aug 14 2020, 01:33 PM
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It's interesting, I seem to try to cram too many different riffs and parts into one song and it then struggles to be cohesive.
I'll try and simplify thing like in your approach.

Your melody lyric approach is like Keith Richards uses, he works out the vowel sounds for his meoldy and then fits the words that way.

I struggle with lyrics a lot but have never worked on that approach, another thing for me to try i guess.

Great thread and song.

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 14 2020, 02:28 PM
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Thanks Posterboy! The quantity of riffs and material that you need for a song depends on the style. It's it's a progressive metal one, you can have many ones, but it's a modern alternative rock, you don't need a lot of stuff.

This is the first time that I've decided to use the same riff for verse and chorus, and it was a challenge to make it work. The key was in the arrangement and vocal melody.

What method do you use to record and save your riff ideas? Do you have folders? names to identify them?

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 14 2020, 03:00 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 14 2020, 02:28 PM) *
What method do you use to record and save your riff ideas? Do you have folders? names to identify them?


I have the worst way of storing my riff ideas. Sometimes the files are just called "Heavy Riff" or "Riff 2", "riff 3" etc. Or even worse "asasdsasfdfsda" or "sdfrgegre" (random letters). It's no wonder I lose track of it sometimes biggrin.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 14 2020, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 14 2020, 11:00 AM) *
I have the worst way of storing my riff ideas. Sometimes the files are just called "Heavy Riff" or "Riff 2", "riff 3" etc. Or even worse "asasdsasfdfsda" or "sdfrgegre" (random letters). It's no wonder I lose track of it sometimes biggrin.gif



You need to polish this... what about an excel document to categorize ideas? It can save time for the future.

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 14 2020, 03:47 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 14 2020, 03:28 PM) *
You need to polish this... what about an excel document to categorize ideas? It can save time for the future.


You are absolutely right. It's a good idea! How would the Excel document work or be set up? smile.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 14 2020, 04:31 PM
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You can set it as you wish but you could have columns that include:

File Name
Type
Style
Tempo
Feel
Key

My LOOP song riff would be:

File Name: Riff Demo
Type: Riff
Style: Funk Rock
Tempo: 100 bpm
Feel: Groovy
Key: Em
Notes: Reminds me to RATM and Lenny Kravitz.

What about anything like that?

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 14 2020, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 14 2020, 04:31 PM) *
You can set it as you wish but you could have columns that include:

File Name
Type
Style
Tempo
Feel
Key

My LOOP song riff would be:

File Name: Riff Demo
Type: Riff
Style: Funk Rock
Tempo: 100 bpm
Feel: Groovy
Key: Em
Notes: Reminds me to RATM and Lenny Kravitz.

What about anything like that?


That's a very good idea smile.gif I will try and work on setting something like that up.

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 15 2020, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 14 2020, 01:14 PM) *
That's a very good idea smile.gif I will try and work on setting something like that up.


Nice! I'm very curious to know if this really works for you!

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 31 2020, 07:39 PM
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Hey friends! This is a new thread related to this one LINK

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