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Old 01-02-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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Riffs a plenty. Tune a nonety.

Ok more help. All I ever write are riffs some are even pretty catchy. But that's IT. I can't think of anything to work with them. No chords, no real melody. Nothing.
How does everyone else do it?
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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I always tend to find that once I have the music, the melodies just sort of work themselves out. I started out writing by listening to something I liked and then trying to do something similar. It'll end up sounding a lot like whatever inspired it, but its a good place to start. After that I started to get into the flow of it and didn't need to rip stuff off anymore
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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I always tend to find that once I have the music, the melodies just sort of work themselves out. I started out writing by listening to something I liked and then trying to do something similar. It'll end up sounding a lot like whatever inspired it, but its a good place to start. After that I started to get into the flow of it and didn't need to rip stuff off anymore
I'm not in a band but this is generally what I do, I've just started writing my own stuff. For example I've got some really TCV-inspired stuff as I just listen to them and Josh Homme's stuff constantly.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:39 PM   #4
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I can create a melody just fine usually. My main problem is then listening to a song that I might have even never heard before and realising that it sounds exactly the same. I had an experience with it yesterday when I listened to 15 Step by Radiohead for the first time, sounded exactly like a song I'd spent a good couple of weeks perfecting. The beat, the vocals...everything was the same . Such a "FUUUUUUUUUU-" moment.

But yeah, I just listen to other people. My main inspirations are Hendrix (which you can definitely hear the most), Muse and now Radiohead so I've just sort of ended up combining the three and that's created a sort of personal, fairly unique way of playing now.

It just takes practice, inspiration and commitment to make a song, you'll get the hang of it
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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you probably need to have some harmonic structure to imagine a melody. If what you mean by "riffs" is the same as me, they're not going to be very helpful to your imagination IMO. Record one of your favorite riffs, but just play the lowest strings instead of any chords. Play along to that with some chords until you find some sort of structure which fits over it. Record that, then sing or whistle along (don't play guitar to find melodies IME).
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:45 AM   #6
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(don't play guitar to find melodies IME).
Why?
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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sorry I should have said "vocal lines" instead of "melodies"

I often find if I write a melody which sounds nice played on guitar, it doesn't translate to singing well (and vice versa)
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:11 AM   #8
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sorry I should have said "vocal lines" instead of "melodies"

I often find if I write a melody which sounds nice played on guitar, it doesn't translate to singing well (and vice versa)
I thought it is something about the restrictions of the pentaton shapes we are used to.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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I find it best to just sit in a room in silence with my acoustic in hand for a few hours at a time and just see what i end up with. I prefer to use acoustic because if it sounds decent on there, then it will be 10 times better on electric.

Although, i have to say, i find all i ever write is quite eerie chord sequences, guess it must reflect me as a personal a lot
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:48 AM   #10
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do you have any demos matt? I'm in stoke and always looking for interesting new people to record
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:29 AM   #11
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Although, i have to say, i find all i ever write is quite eerie chord sequences, guess it must reflect me as a personal a lot
i wish i could come up with eerie stuff, my progressions are always happy/poppy sounding major chords while i wanna make sadcore witchouse seapunk chiptunes.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:40 AM   #12
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I usually come up with some riffs first too...Sometimes it's a good way to start a groovy/heavy song but in general I think it's by far better to come with a melody first. But then I always play the new song on piano - it gives you better view on all the lines in the song and it's best for finding harmonies for backing vocals or for guitar+bass or voice+bass harmonies which are essential for any song IMHO.

But I think my best songs came from creating melody and harmony in my head before even playing it - it's far more melodic. So for me it usually goes like this - riff (usually from improv. with band mates or at home) - chords - vocal melody - arrangement on piano. But ideally - melody - chords on piano or acoustic - then arrangement...
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #13
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Although I'm like a superduperuber amateur guitar and piano player, I do thoroughly enjoy making songs so I still always give it a go. I find it way easier to think of stuff on piano though, then translate as necessary (mainly because I know about four chords on guitar). If it helps, just take a simple 4/4 riff-chorus-verse-chorus-riff-chorus structure, then work off that. Everyone has their own ways of doing it, I find starting with the most simple thing ever and then building it up bit by bit is the easiest. That way is a bit trial-and-error but that way you can have something great that's simple, but also if you keep working on it, it can be great and complex.

Seeing my best instrument is drums, my problem is that I try to make something complicated on drums go with my very simple guitar/piano part and it ends up sounding very messy. This is where I need other people's creative input
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
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do you have any demos matt? I'm in stoke and always looking for interesting new people to record
Nothing really recorded as of yet, although i will be getting a new pedal board for my setup soon which will allow me to record straight through that to the computer, hopefully then i can start messing around with the recording side of things.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #15
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Seeing my best instrument is drums, my problem is that I try to make something complicated on drums go with my very simple guitar/piano part and it ends up sounding very messy. This is where I need other people's creative input
I've played quite a few shows behind the drums and i can honestly say 9 times out of 10 its best to keep the drums as simple as possible. As you say, as soon as you go even slightly complex on the drums, the sound just becomes really messy.
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