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Gabriel Leopardi
Hi Aris! Welcome back to the Army!

This thread is a follow up to this one. As you've asked by PM, we will focus on composition and technique.

Your favorite styles: punk rock, hardcore, grunge, garage - rock & Roll, garage-punk.


At first we will start building a 30' technique routine and analyize a few songs while I give you some basic theory knowledge that is important to start composing.

Could you please share 5 songs that you like a lot?
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

I mostly prefer the faster/louder stuff or at least quiet-loud stuff.
Here are the first songs that come to my mind since most recently I m trying to play or i' d like to play them on the guitar.
These are songs that I like a lot but I haven't been listening to much music lately.

1. the stooges - search & Destroy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPDeTf7qE00

2. wipers - over the edge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ6B96NyaJ4

3. Social Distortion uninvited feelings / & their solos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLyaG5kxe6M

4. the unseen - on the other side/Scream out/waste of time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owBV8m9BsCY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzVe8IgpbSc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzUKRS7jWsg

5. the virus - rats in the city/my life my world
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZEmQnSvcTs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODMSD62fIWI

3. the rabble - reflections
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXBP65QYHSY

6. Agent orange - the last goodbye/everything turns grey (solo!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6x_OWhVVhk

7. Fiddlar - stoked and broke
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaacYYmDqZ0

8. Rise against - the Rise against lesson inlcludes the parts & the songs i like from this band

Also I like a lot the skate punk lesson that you have made, which feels more aggressive than most skate punk stuff. Not sure I can find something like it.

+ some Hardcore music stuff: madball etc

Thanks!
Gabriel Leopardi
Excellent! Let's start!

These are two theory thread that you need to read:

Finding the Key of a Song
Simple Harmonies


Please read both texts and let me know if you have any question about those concepts.

Then, let's take the first song. Write down the structure, and the chords of each part.

Regarding technique. My idea is to give you a 30 minutes technique practice routine. What do you think? Do you have enough time to do it every day?


Aris
Hi Gabriel,

Thanks a lot!

I am starting tonight.
I am fine with the technique practice too smile.gif
Gabriel Leopardi
TECHNIQUE ROUTINE 1:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Warmin...Finger-Fitness/
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Progressive-Punk-Rock/


Let me know what you think!
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

The theory articles are very clear and very enlightening at the same time.
I also like your picks for the technique exercises. Especially the rhythm one is very interesting and challenging.

Below is the structure of the song in my own interpretation:

(intro riff)
(2x verse 1 riff +lead) +
(2x verse1 riff) + (2x verse 2 riff) + prechorus +
(2x verse 1 riff) + (2x verse 2 riff) + prechorus +
(2x chorus riff) + (2x verse 1 riff + solo) +
(2x verse 1 riff) + (2x verse 2 riff)+ prechorus +
(2x chorus riff) + (3x chorus riff with solos and vocals)

I have also written the chords.
For some sections I was not sure of, I have found the tab and noted the correct notes.
Below the correct notes (from tab), I have written the notes by ear (such line starts with an *)
where you can see my wrong guesses.

I am not sure how to figure out the relevant scale as well.\

Let me know if it helps.

intro:
C#5, G5, C#5

verse 1:
C#, B, E, B, A, D, C#, G, C#

verse 2:
C#5 B5 A5 B5 C#5 B5 A5 B5

E-----------------------------------------------------------
B-----------------------------------------------------------
G-6----------------------------4-----------------2---2-------------4--
D-6----6---6------------------4---4---4--------2---2----2---2---4--
A-4----6---6--------2---------2---4---4---0----0---0---2---2---2--
E------4----6--------2-------------2---2---0-------------0---0---2--
C#5 G#5 Bb7sus F#sus |B5 F#5 Esus |Am Em |F#sus

*C#5 |B5 |A5 |B5

prechorus:
F#5 A5 Em AbSus
*F#5 A5 Em B5

chorus:
Absus F#sus Esus B5
*C#5 B5 A5 B5



Gabriel Leopardi
Hi mate, which song are you analysing?
Aris
QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Feb 15 2019, 03:04 PM) *
Hi mate, which song are you analysing?


Sorry forgot to mention. It 's the first one on the list (the stooges - search & Destroy), as you proposed.
Gabriel Leopardi
Hi Aris, thanks!

The song structure is right. The key here is C#m so these are the notes from the scale:




There are some wrong chords in your transcription. For example, the intro is C#5 and F#5, not G. There are some other issues but you most of the chords are right.

From this analysis, we can get the type of structure, the fact that they are using a minor key, and you could incorporate in your vocabulary some of those progressions. The one used for the intro: I - IV, and the one used for the verse: I - VII - VI - VII.

Does this make sense?
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

Yes, it makes sense.

I have a few questions though.

Did you derive the minor tonality from the transcrption or by ear and experience?
I can't tell the minor tonality from the transcrption, since most of the chords are power chords and the minor chords that I see are related to the iii & vi chords, which are also minor in a major progression.

What are the chord progressions for prechorus and chorus?
prechorus:
F#5 A5 Em AbSus

chorus:
Absus F#sus Esus B5

Are we still in the key of C#, In prechorus & chorus?

Also, in the prechorus and chorus I see Absus, Esus & F#sus.
a. Absus, confuses me since I don't find any flat notes in the circle of fifths for C#
b. Absus & Esus, F#sus are all suspended, but both minor and major chord progression theory only have the vii chord suspended.If I m not mistaken, the vii chord in this song would be Bsus. Is theory ment to to be broken here with the rest of the suspended chords?

Should I try to apply the derived chord progressions somehow? Eg. Try to write a tune maybe?

Thanks,
A
Gabriel Leopardi
QUOTE (Aris @ Feb 19 2019, 07:56 PM) *
Did you derive the minor tonality from the transcrption or by ear and experience?
I can't tell the minor tonality from the transcrption, since most of the chords are power chords and the minor chords that I see are related to the iii & vi chords, which are also minor in a major progression.



This type of punk rock songs are tricky to analyse because they are not composed thinking on tonalities, they are done by ear, in many cases by musicians that combine chords that sound good without any theory knowledge. The result is that they end up creating very rich and unexpected chord combinations that include an important use of a concept called "modal interchange" which is based on borrowing chords from parallel tonalities.

I say that this is minor only because the Iggy sings the minor third or C# in the melody. However, they also use C# major all the time. So they are switching from C# minor to C# major, or even C# mixolydian.

As I've explained previously, this is not something planned so it makes no sense to become very strict with the names or concepts here. The idea is to get the idea of the combination of chords and grades that they are using, and getting the feel that they generate.

Even when songs are played with 5th chords, it's very helpful to try the minor or major third over them to define by ear to get more information about the chord progression and possible concepts used.


Does it make sense?



QUOTE (Aris @ Feb 19 2019, 07:56 PM) *
What are the chord progressions for prechorus and chorus?
prechorus:
F#5 A5 Em AbSus

chorus:
Absus F#sus Esus B5



Pre chorus: F#5 A E Ab

chorus: C#5 - B5 - A5 - B5



QUOTE (Aris @ Feb 19 2019, 07:56 PM) *
Should I try to apply the derived chord progressions somehow? Eg. Try to write a tune maybe?


If you are already inspired, yes!! If not, we can get into another song.
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

Yes it makes sense, I see what you mean.
I ll have to try the minor third and major third over the song to see which one fits.

QUOTE
If you are already inspired, yes!! If not, we can get into another song.


Perhaps I could experiment around with those progressions, while We do another song to get more ideas.
Which one do you suggest?

Gabriel Leopardi
QUOTE (Aris @ Feb 22 2019, 07:43 PM) *
Hi Gabriel,

Yes it makes sense, I see what you mean.
I ll have to try the minor third and major third over the song to see which one fits.

Perhaps I could experiment around with those progressions, while We do another song to get more ideas.
Which one do you suggest?



Great! I would go for Rise Against, they have great and interesting songs..
Aris
Ok, I m thinking one of the below or both tongue.gif

Which one do you think would fit the purpose better?

rise against - injection
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiGTVKuAHKA...VvkBvjZHr_YKODJ

rise against - behind closed doors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkPCb-uEjaI...VvkBvjZHr_YKODJ
Gabriel Leopardi
Hi Aris!

Both songs are great and like "brothers" in many senses. It would be interesting to analize both to see what I mean...
Aris
Great,

It crossed my mind too, that maybe I should do both smile.gif

Thanks, I 'll let you know!
Gabriel Leopardi
QUOTE (Aris @ Feb 25 2019, 08:14 AM) *
Great,

It crossed my mind too, that maybe I should do both smile.gif

Thanks, I 'll let you know!



Excellent! smile.gif
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

It took me a while to decompose the songs since I focused more on the progressive punk rock lesson.
It has so many great techniques but my speed has to be less than 90bpm for some parts. So I am trying to isolate those and build my speed up.

About the songs, I transcribed "Rise against - injection" by ear. So I expect to have mistakes in some parts.
The structure and the chords are the following(see also attached pdf from guitar pro).

- intro (Same as chorus)
- verse: Ab
- prechorus: Eb Eb E Gb
- chorus:
B Bb Ab Gb
B Bb Ab Gb
B Bb B Db B Bb Ab Bb Gb Gb Gb Gb

- verse
- prechorus
- chorus
- postchorus: Ab Gb E6sus2 Gb E6sus2 Gb
- bridge: Ab Em Gb Em
- prechorus
- chorus
- outro (Same as chorus)


The next one "Rise Against - behind closed doors" was copied by a tab I found online.

intro
verse
chorus
verse c
chorus
bridge
chorus
outro

verse
B . . . g . . . e . . . g . B .

intro
G . A . B . D .

pre-chorus:
E F G

chorus is same as intro.

I 'll try to find out the chord progressions and let you know.
It feels that the tonality of the songs is minor since the music sounds sad rather than happy, but I ll try to check this based on theory too.

Please Let me know on your comments, if I should do something differently or check more stuff.

Gabriel Leopardi
Hi mate! Great job with the chords and the structure. The best would be to identify the tonality of each song and try to write the grade (in roman numbers) of each chord. It really helps me to understand more what's happening with the chord progressions.

Another thing that I usually do is to give some attention to vocal melodies rhythm and note choices. It's a very important part of songs and band style.

Aris
Hi Gabriel,

I 've written down the chord progressions for rise against:injection & behind closed doors.
I also tab-ed the 2nd song as I had done earlier with the first one. Attached is the tab for this one two.

To figure out the tonalities, I play scales over the songs. I also cross check the transcribed notes against the circle of fifths and go on to find the chord progression.

Please also give me your feedback on the following:
I 'd like to understand why you said that both songs are like brothers.

What is actually the purpose of figuring out the chord progressions of songs? Am I supposed to somehow memorize the feel of these chord progressions so I can use them in my own songs

One last thing. After I have found the chords it takes me huge amount of time to tab them. Do you have any suggestion on software/proper editor where I could quickly draft my transcriptions so I can save some time and focus more on the essence of things? The problem is that when I copy paste my transcriptions from notepad to our thread it looses the spaces and messes out my tab notes.


RA - injection
------------------
G# minor key

intro+verse
B A# G# F#
B A# G# F#
iii ii I vii

B A# B C# | B A# G# A# | F#
iii ii iii I | iii ii I ii | vii

verse:
G#
I

prechorus
D# D# E F#
V V vi I

chorus=same as intro

postchorus:
G# F#
I vii

bridge
G# Em F# Em
I vi vii I


Rise Against - Behind Closed doors
--------------------------------------------
Bb minor key

intro:
Bb | Gb | Eb | Gb |Ab
I | vi | IV | vi |vii

verse:
Bb | Gb | Eb | Gb Ab
I | vi | IV | vi vii

chorus
Gb | Ab | Bb | Bb Gb
vi | vii | I | I iii

Bridge:
Gb Ab | Gb Ab| Bb | Bb Ab
vi vii | vi vii| I | I vii
Gabriel Leopardi
Hi Aris, great job here!!

For transcriptions I recommend using Guitar Pro, do you know/use it?

I said that both songs are like brothers (I should have said "sisters") because there are many elements that both share. The structure is similar, tempo, rhythms used, the use of minor keys, the type of progressions.


"What is actually the purpose of figuring out the chord progressions of songs? Am I supposed to somehow memorise the feel of these chord progressions so I can use them in my own songs"

It's the way to understand the songs, and to get which are the chords that you need to use to generate the vibes that you want or like.

A cool way to get more from these analysis is to apply these elements to your own compositions.

For example, you could try ideas like these:

- Take the structure of one song, the key of another one, the tempo of another one, the chord progression of another one, and change a few details.

Combine elements from different songs... and let me know what happens!
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

I do use Guitar Pro.

Maybe I should use pen & paper when I draft the transcription & then pass my notes properly into Guitar Pro.

QUOTE
- Take the structure of one song, the key of another one, the tempo of another one, the chord progression of another one, and change a few details.


Great! it's hard for me to see where to start with in Composing and I really need tips like these. I 'll try this the soonest possible.
I Hope it works for me smile.gif

Thanks!!!!

Gabriel Leopardi
QUOTE (Aris @ Mar 27 2019, 01:44 PM) *
Hi Gabriel,

I do use Guitar Pro.

Maybe I should use pen & paper when I draft the transcription & then pass my notes properly into Guitar Pro.



Great! it's hard for me to see where to start with in Composing and I really need tips like these. I 'll try this the soonest possible.
I Hope it works for me smile.gif

Thanks!!!!



These ideas really work to train your own composing skills. At first you’ll feel like “copying” but it’s part of the training, it’s like learning to improvise over backing tracks. You borrow phrases, make variations and develop your own voice/style.

Another idea... take the chords of one song, the best rhythm of other and the tempo of another one...

The possibilities are endless.
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

I tried to apply the suggested tricks and came out with a nice riff (the first riff in the below recording)

Click here!


After the first riff, I tried for some time to find more suitable riffs so that I can make a song out of it. But I 'm stuck because I wanted to preserve the aggression (hardcore-ish feel), but every other riff turns out more melodic. So now I am trying to identify songs in a similar style so I can get some ideas on the next riffs that I should put together.

Below is how I worked to come out with the recorded riffs:

1st riff:
I started by working on riff variations based on the chord progression of one of my favourite songs (Social D. - Cold feelings)
The chord progression of the song is I - I - VI - III (B minor).

Because the rhythm was very simple I thought I would have to change it (Along with the key) so that it is not that similar to the above song. After some experimentation, I ended up slightly changing the chord progression to: I - I - II , VI - VI - II - III in a different rhythm (close to the rhythm of the intro in rise against - behind closed doors) .
The 2nd riff is the same without mutings. That would be the verse in my song.

3rd riff:
This is a riff inspired again by the chorus progression in the song rise against - behind closed doors. It's the same chord progression
vi - vii - I - I iii
but played in a different key and every chord lasts have of the time than what is played by rise against (i.e. 4 measures instead of 16 measures).

4th riff:
The final riff (octaves) is inspired by rise against injection and your lesson for Rise against style.

Eventually, I don't feel that I want to keep riffs 3 & 4 in the song, but it shows how I have tried to apply the below proposed ideas for my own composing.

QUOTE
For example, you could try ideas like these:

- Take the structure of one song, the key of another one, the tempo of another one, the chord progression of another one, and change a few details.

Combine elements from different songs... and let me know what happens!


QUOTE
Another idea... take the chords of one song, the best rhythm of other and the tempo of another one...


Maybe I need to analyze many other songs, so that I have more stuff/ideas to combine in my composing.



Gabriel Leopardi
Hi Aris!! Great job here!! This is exactly what you need to do! Please remember that this is an exercise, like practicing legato or tapping so you don't have to push yourself to compose a masterpiece by once! This is part of the training, the more you do it, the better you'll become.

By now I recommend you two things:

1) Polish this idea by adjusting drums, adding bass, improving guitar playing, and making variations.
2) Give this idea a song structure.
3) Add vocal melodies. You can use your voice or any instrument.

4) Analise more music to incorporate more ideas and concepts!

Aris
Thanks Gabriel,

I 'll try my best but it may take me a little while until I get back to you with some more ideas
Gabriel Leopardi
QUOTE (Aris @ Apr 30 2019, 04:58 PM) *
Thanks Gabriel,

I 'll try my best but it may take me a little while until I get back to you with some more ideas


Great! Please keep me updated! smile.gif

Aris
QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 24 2019, 05:25 PM) *
Hi Aris!! Great job here!! This is exactly what you need to do! Please remember that this is an exercise, like practicing legato or tapping so you don't have to push yourself to compose a masterpiece by once! This is part of the training, the more you do it, the better you'll become.

By now I recommend you two things:

1) Polish this idea by adjusting drums, adding bass, improving guitar playing, and making variations.
2) Give this idea a song structure.
3) Add vocal melodies. You can use your voice or any instrument.

4) Analise more music to incorporate more ideas and concepts!


Hi Gabriel,

I 've been looking into noumerous songs and chord progressions for inspiration but I just can't find out how I could evolve this idea differently or add interesting variatinos.

About the song structure, I think I could use the riff for the verse but I haven't found something good enough for the chorus. Maybe I could use some variations of the second riff as a prechorus.

About the vocal melodies , I could add something for the verse but i don't seem to find something as a main theme.

i tried to follow your tips but maybe I don't have a specific song for inspiration. Do you have any remedies for such situations?
Gabriel Leopardi
Well, I usually work on many songs at the some time so If I get stuck with one, I can try with another idea and then get back to it another day.

Talking about this idea, from what I hear, you are needing to move to any other chord. The whole idea is based on a riff that make everything sound very "root" based. You need to move to another place and make a memorable chorus, or that's what I would do.

And you'll ask... a memorable chorus? how??

Well, it's time to analyze Thrash Metal songs that has memorable choruses and see what's the relation ship between the root and the chords used there.... In some cases the composed uses a short bridge to generate tension and then the chorus starts from the root but moves using a more melodic friendly chord progression:




Here, they also start the chorus on root chord, but the progression starts moving:



the same here, but in this case, the verse is not so stable, it also moves...




Another example:





You can check out many other genres and that's how your compositions will become more original...

This is what I do when I can't continue a tune... Let me know your thoughts!
Aris
Thanks a lot Gabriel.
It felt very embarassing for me to come back to you with no new ideas.
It looks promising... The examples should help a lot too. I 'll check the variations and let you know what happens.


Gabriel Leopardi
QUOTE (Aris @ Jun 25 2019, 05:26 PM) *
Thanks a lot Gabriel.
It felt very embarassing for me to come back to you with no new ideas.
It looks promising... The examples should help a lot too. I 'll check the variations and let you know what happens.



Great! Don't feel bad mate, we are practising here. wink.gif
Aris
Hi Gabriel,

While I am still experimenting with the above ideas you posted me and some other music that I listen to, I notice that most of the punk rock songs I listen to start the verse and the chorus from the root key of the song and the chord progressions seem to shuffle the notes of the chord progression in the verse but the notes don't vary that much between the two sections.

I was also checking some social distortion songs with good melodies and most of their songs keep the same chord progressions and rhythm throughout the chorus and verse, but the vocal melodies are totally different between the two sections. It's amazing how they generate 2 completely different melody lines on top of the same riff. One for the verse and one being very catchy for the chorus.

I was wondering if there are any strategies for vocal or melody lines to have in mind.
Gabriel Leopardi
Hi Aris!

That's a great observation mate! smile.gif

I consider that those songs that keep the same progression between verse and chorus are some of the most difficult to compose and arrange. The secret is in vocal melodies and overall arrangement and production. I've been analyzing songs like that all my life, but I want you to get your own conclusions about this.

These are the things that you need to check:

- What changes in instrumentation? What does the drummer, bass player and guitarist change from one part to the other?
- Is there any other instrument that appears? A synth maybe?
- What's the change with vocals? Maybe an extra voice that harmonizes?
- Finally, what happens with the melody and vocal range? What happens with the rhythm of the vocal melody? What happens with silences?

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