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leedbreak
post Nov 1 2007, 10:33 AM
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Let say someone says, "Andrew, you have 30 minute to write a rhythm and then put a very nice lead over it that has a nice melody to it. Again you only have 30 minutes" So what Key and scale would you use over what chord progression? And why?

Better hurry you only have 29.4 more minutes.

You don't have to actually do it, I am just curious as to what you would pick, thanks


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 1 2007, 10:49 AM
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QUOTE (leedbreak @ Nov 1 2007, 05:33 AM) *
Let say someone says, "Andrew, you have 30 minute to write a rhythm and then put a very nice lead over it that has a nice melody to it. Again you only have 30 minutes" So what Key and scale would you use over what chord progression? And why?

Better hurry you only have 29.4 more minutes.

You don't have to actually do it, I am just curious as to what you would pick, thanks


Right now? Um, I would pick A Dorian progression, A minor Dorian, and make the progression something simple like:

Am7 D7, repeated endlessley.

Lay the drums down with a funky beat from EZDrummer.

Add an automatic bass from Broomstick Bass in a the right style

(I am hearing this in my head as I write)

Add a keyboard part - maybe hammond organ, but also maybe a slightly stabbing synth part ...

Then I'm done and I can solo endlessley smile.gif

Hmm. I like this - maybe I'll write it at the weekend!

-----

Ok, another answre, since I have 27 minutes left now ...

I am thinking a delicate nylon acoustic backing, with just a shaker, 4 shakes to the bar as percussion. The acoustic is playing in a more than words extreme kind of thing, with a simple chord sequence - Am, Am, Em, Em, Fmaj7, Fmaj7 C, G/B

I am soloing over that on the acoustic too, maybe I build it a little and bring in a full drum kit and move to a full on smooth sustained electric solo.

Nice - thats 2 songs I need to write now - thanks for the inspiration Leedbreak!


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Muris Varajic
post Nov 1 2007, 12:27 PM
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laugh.gif Looking for an album Andrew wink.gif


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Maximus
post Nov 1 2007, 12:52 PM
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That is so cool. I would like to hear what comes of this. I am really interested in learning more about song writing and recording.


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Ryan
post Nov 1 2007, 12:59 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 1 2007, 04:49 AM) *
Right now? Um, I would pick A Dorian progression, A minor Dorian, and make the progression something simple like:

Am7 D7, repeated endlessley.

Lay the drums down with a funky beat from EZDrummer.

Add an automatic bass from Broomstick Bass in a the right style

(I am hearing this in my head as I write)

Add a keyboard part - maybe hammond organ, but also maybe a slightly stabbing synth part ...

Then I'm done and I can solo endlessley smile.gif

Hmm. I like this - maybe I'll write it at the weekend!

-----

Ok, another answre, since I have 27 minutes left now ...

I am thinking a delicate nylon acoustic backing, with just a shaker, 4 shakes to the bar as percussion. The acoustic is playing in a more than words extreme kind of thing, with a simple chord sequence - Am, Am, Em, Em, Fmaj7, Fmaj7 C, G/B

I am soloing over that on the acoustic too, maybe I build it a little and bring in a full drum kit and move to a full on smooth sustained electric solo.

Nice - thats 2 songs I need to write now - thanks for the inspiration Leedbreak!

Wow, thats one thing im lacking. I couldnt do that. It would take me a week to even think of something NOT even close to that. Then I would probably give up on it because I find something else I might be able to work off of.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 1 2007, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (muris @ Nov 1 2007, 07:27 AM) *
laugh.gif Looking for an album Andrew wink.gif


All in time Muris - the problem I have is that I think of a song then have to develop my guitar skills to play it the way I want to - it takes ages!

Another problem is that I get a backing track and just improvise over it for ages and ages, and never make a song out of it. I have 3 or 4 of those at the moment. When I get a little more focus I could put together an album of sorts I suppose, but don't hold your breath!


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Muris Varajic
post Nov 1 2007, 09:03 PM
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No rush tho mate.
But if you ever need a take or two,just hit me wink.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 1 2007, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (muris @ Nov 1 2007, 04:03 PM) *
No rush tho mate.
But if you ever need a take or two,just hit me wink.gif


Thanks Muris - I will take you up on that smile.gif


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leedbreak
post Nov 1 2007, 10:46 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 1 2007, 04:49 AM) *
Nice - thats 2 songs I need to write now - thanks for the inspiration Leedbreak!



Very nice answers, Thanks. I do lack this as well. sad.gif

How I do it. Or get by doing it I should say. dry.gif

Rhythm writing:

This is where I am lost. You gave me the chords to use and I still can’t make it sound that good. It must be the variations of the chord that is throwing me off. My rhythms always start out as basic power chords for crunch and basic nut chords for acoustic. Many times, the original rhythm is replaced by a riff I came up with. Yep running blind 89 percent of the time.

Solo writing:

I can write very good solos but here is how I always have done it.

I just rip stuff off till something sounds good with the rhythm. I then figure out what key the notes I just played are in. I then try to write more of the solo out of that key. If it continues to sound good I keep writing it that key, if not I start over. I have no clue as to why they sound good together I just know they do.

Hey, you are the best candidate in here for making collaborations, I think you should do us one and suggest the keys for us to play in. After all you can up with two backing tracks in like 4 minutes. Oh and if you do, I will go ahead and say I am in. wink.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 1 2007, 11:49 PM
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QUOTE (leedbreak @ Nov 1 2007, 05:46 PM) *
Rhythm writing:

This is where I am lost. You gave me the chords to use and I still can’t make it sound that good. It must be the variations of the chord that is throwing me off. My rhythms always start out as basic power chords for crunch and basic nut chords for acoustic. Many times, the original rhythm is replaced by a riff I came up with. Yep running blind 89 percent of the time.


Well I always think about more than just the chords - there also has to be a notion of the style as well. The first suggestion was an upbeat synth backed medium fast tempo with a funky bass line and lively drum beat with ghosted notes on the snare.

The second was a slowish acoustic number, lots of reverb, simple shaker backing with a build into maybe a sidestick drum rythm in the second verse ...

I am seeing the whole backing not just the chords. This comes in part from years of struggling to put together good sounding songs and finding formulae that work. When you want to do this, try picking a song you like, and work on something similar with slightly different chords but similar combinations of instruments - a lot of combinations have been tried and tested over the years and work well. Its not super original but you will get better results.

Another thing is that for both of these ideas, the chords are very important, power chords won't cut it because they lose a lot of the nuances and force you into a very particular, metal based rock kind of idea. If you want your songs to sound different you need to add different ingredients, and playing with the styling of the chords is a good way of doing that.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 5 2007, 06:12 AM
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Ok, to put my money where my mouth is to some extent smile.gif

This is the beginnings of the Dorien track I described above ... just a small snippet and ignore the lead as it is a little messy smile.gif
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Dorian.mp3 ( 1.06MB ) Number of downloads: 138
 


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Pavel
post Nov 5 2007, 06:19 AM
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Andrew, the solution to your problem of "all-day-improvising-over-a-backing-track" is not to start with a backing track, but actually with guitar melody. After you have the guitar part to play, at least the intro - you can start building backing track. By starting with writing down 7-8 chords in progression you totally limit yourself smile.gif

You're now gonna throw bricks at me and say: "Get lost you theory-n000b!" laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Pavel: Nov 5 2007, 06:20 AM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 5 2007, 06:28 AM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Nov 5 2007, 12:19 AM) *
You're now gonna throw bricks at me and say: "Get lost you theory-n000b!" laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif


Get lost you theory n000b !!!

Kidding! I actually think you are totally correct here - what I need to do is to WRITE a solo rather than arrive at it by improvisation - I get a lot of practice out of the improv as I use all the techniques I have been working on but it is an inefficient and stilted way of writing a song!

So, in your honour Pavel, I promise I will sit down with a pencil and manuscript paper (or at least Guitar Pro) and write my next song without touching a guitar, and thanks for the suggestion smile.gif


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Pavel
post Nov 5 2007, 06:31 AM
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I didn't mean like not touching guitar - but not limiting yourself with a backing track. Just try to take a guitar, and listen to the melody inside your head - than try to repeat it on guitar. Once you have the guitar part down you can easily put together a backing track.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 5 2007, 06:32 AM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Nov 5 2007, 12:31 AM) *
I didn't mean like not touching guitar - but not limiting yourself with a backing track. Just try to take a guitar, and listen to the melody inside your head - than try to repeat it on guitar. Once you have the guitar part down you can easily put together a backing track.


I take your point, but I think I will try and enforce this discipline on myself or I will just end up noodling away and wasting time - at least I want to see how it works out smile.gif


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Bedlam
post Nov 5 2007, 06:50 AM
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This is a very interesting thread. Nice answers Andrew. I'll be interested to hear the finished product!

The track you layed down in no time flat is very nice sounding.
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leedbreak
post Nov 7 2007, 02:03 AM
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Nice little tune there Mr. Theory newbie. laugh.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 7 2007, 02:14 AM
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QUOTE (leedbreak @ Nov 6 2007, 08:03 PM) *
Nice little tune there Mr. Theory newbie. laugh.gif


Thankyou Mr. Break smile.gif


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