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Writing a song

Wally

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  • Sep 27, 2020
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    So I just recently started trying to put a band together. So far its just me and my friend who is a bass player. Any good tips or things to I should keep in mind when writing a song with a band? I've played with other guitar players but I've never played with a full band before and I've never really had to write a song so this is all new territory for me. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
     

    Muz Malek

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    So I just recently started trying to put a band together. So far its just me and my friend who is a bass player. Any good tips or things to I should keep in mind when writing a song with a band? I've played with other guitar players but I've never played with a full band before and I've never really had to write a song so this is all new territory for me. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
    Always have an inspiration for one! It can start of with an idea, a story, a thought, an experience, and naturally the melody will come by.

    Or it can also work the other way round. You hum a tune and lay it out, and then create or relate a story out of it what you feel that melody or chord makes you feel.

    You can watch A7X's Making of the Avenged Sevenfold album or the Breakdown series, and also a lot of Steve Vai interviews, or any bands of your interests as a matter of fact, on how their songs come about.

    You'll realize that a song may even come about when you're sitting still doing nothing haha xD
     

    Nadim Captan

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    I've recorded a few songs so there;s one thing I really need to make sure you do: NEVER stop until your ideas are fully implemented in the final cut. Don't settle with "close enough". Everything has to satisfy your mental vision of the song. Having said this you'll need to be able to mix and master your song after recording. I use Ableton as my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Waves have good sets of plugins that many mixing engineers have designed or modeled after (like Chris Lord-Alge or the Abbey Road Studio). They also post videos on their Youtube Channel to help you with using them. Link to their youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/danielwaves . Dave Pensado also has a plethora of videos on how to use general types of plugins (Equalizers/compressors/reverb/etc...) link: https://www.youtube.com/user/PensadosPlace
    As for the "recording with a band" aspect, you'll need to communicate as much as possible in order to reach a decision on how each song should sound like. Explain why you have your views and you should make a group decision pretty quickly. Jam with the band as much as possible and hopefully the inspiration will come then.
    I'm still a beginner with mixing but I got the hang of the fundamentals with respect to Equalizers, Compressors, Reverb. Essentially these are the first categories of plugins you'll need to start out. If you have any questions about them please feel free to ask.
    Good luck!!!
     
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    Dominik Gräber

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    I've recorded a few songs so there;s one thing I really need to make sure you do: NEVER stop until your ideas are fully implemented in the final cut. Don't settle with "close enough". Everything has to satisfy your mental vision of the song. Having said this you'll need to be able to mix and master your song after recording. I use Ableton as my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Waves have good sets of plugins that many mixing engineers have designed or modeled after (like Chris Lord-Alge or the Abbey Road Studio). They also post videos on their Youtube Channel to help you with using them. Link to their youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/danielwaves . Dave Pensado also has a plethora of videos on how to use general types of plugins (Equalizers/compressors/reverb/etc...) link: https://www.youtube.com/user/PensadosPlace
    As for the "recording with a band" aspect, you'll need to communicate as much as possible in order to reach a decision on how each song should sound like. Explain why you have your views and you should make a group decision pretty quickly. Jam with the band as much as possible and hopefully the inspiration will come then.
    I'm still a beginner with mixing but I got the hang of the fundamentals with respect to Equalizers, Compressors, Reverb. Essentially these are the first categories of plugins you'll need to start out. If you have any questions about them please feel free to ask.
    Good luck!!!
    What I would add though, you need to accept that a piece will Always be a mirror of your current Talent, experience and mindset. Of course you need to try to make your Vision real but maybe you are just Not good enough for something yet. Then you either have to Work hard for it or adjust it in a way you're still happy with it.
    Just because your Art doesn't turn out exactly how you imagined it doesn't mean it's not good, even great perhaps.
     

    Nocturne

    Active Member
  • Dec 1, 2019
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    What I would add though, you need to accept that a piece will Always be a mirror of your current Talent, experience and mindset. Of course you need to try to make your Vision real but maybe you are just Not good enough for something yet. Then you either have to Work hard for it or adjust it in a way you're still happy with it.
    Just because your Art doesn't turn out exactly how you imagined it doesn't mean it's not good, even great perhaps.
    That's a really good point to raise. I feel this a lot when I try to write and it's frustrating because I'm just not good enough to do what I want. I think you have to overcome this frustration in order to progress.
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    The most important part to keep in mind is that everybody know their 'place' in the band. Rhythm guitars, bass and drums are the ground on which your song is build so they generally don't have as much freedom as vocalists and lead guitarists. At the same time vocalists and lead guitarists have to take into account that they can only sound good because the rhythm section is good.

    I'm the general sense, make sure everybody's part complements each other. Writing a song is not about how great the individual parts are but how great those parts sound together so sometimes it is required for somebody to take a step back and leave your egos at the door if you will 😅
     

    Wally

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  • Sep 27, 2020
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    For sure my dude this is probably my favorite one because its something I still bring up to some students and friends of mine. Everything kind of needs to gel together and for that to work everyone needs to keep an open mind and be willing to change. I couldn't agree with you more bro.
    The most important part to keep in mind is that everybody know their 'place' in the band. Rhythm guitars, bass and drums are the ground on which your song is build so they generally don't have as much freedom as vocalists and lead guitarists. At the same time vocalists and lead guitarists have to take into account that they can only sound good because the rhythm section is good.

    I'm the general sense, make sure everybody's part complements each other. Writing a song is not about how great the individual parts are but how great those parts sound together so sometimes it is required for somebody to take a step back and leave your egos at the door if you will 😅
     

    Ed Seith

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    To expand on Calvin's point (which is a great method), standing in a room with your band and ask the drummer to "give you a beat." Then start jamming to it, and finding bits of stuff that works. Not lead, but riffs, parts, chords, etc. Keep playing it, fine-tuning it and having fun with it, and then when you get tired of it, see where your head/heart/hands go next. Allow yourself to change and see what happens. That's the easiest way to find parts that flow together in a song-like manner. Once you do that a few times, then you can stop and figure out your arrangement, and from there the other members can start fine-tuning their parts over or under it.

    Then the singer comes in and changes the whole arrangement, but at least at that point, you have the subframe of the whole thing in place.
     
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    Romain Tassan

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    There's no ONE way to do it tbh. Each band has its own ways. Some bands like to start from scratch together, jam, see what happens. In other bands, there's this one member composing the base of every song, even sometimes the whole thing (in Children of Bodom, Alexi Laiho did that for instance). In a band, all members have different abilities and flaws. It's okay, you just have to complete each other. Random scenario: one member is great at finding ideas but doesn't know music theory, so he may struggle to compose harmonies, maybe someone else will be able to help him. Some other member has a thing for finding live shows opportunities and you'll rely on him for this part of the band's life... My point is, take the time to get to know each other personality and music wise and you'll find your stance. The most important thing for me is that nobody gets excluded from the process. A band suffering from internal problems will always die at some point.