HomeForumsGuitar Instructors"February Album Writing Month"

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  superblonde 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #22693

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Heres the short question.

    I wonder if the metal method instructors would consider it interesting to produce a set of short “Heres how to crank out songs” lessons. They dont have to be good songs, just many songs, and with practice of writing many, hopefully they get better over time. February is songwriting self-challenge month:

    With FAWM you write an album in a month, along with a collaborative community of musicians worldwide. 14 songs in 28 days
    The goal is simple: pledge to write about one new song every other day for the shortest month of the year. Just because you can! Do what the pros do: show up and start making music.
    http://fawm.org

    Here’s the longer story.

    Right now it’s November and for those that have not heard of nanowrimo here is what november means to some people: completing a self-challenge to write a complete novel from scratch in just 1 month. A long time ago, a fiction writer blogger made a challenge to write a fiction novel in 1 month (which is an unthinkable goal for prior generations of writers, who used to brag about taking all day to write just 1 ‘perfect paragraph’) and over the years the challenge has become.. incredibly big.. including a lot of people contributing fast-writing techniques so that, in fact, later self-challengers have learned many new techniques and been able to write some rather not-horrible novels in just that 1 month, or at least, get a proof of concept out of the challenge. There’s some great things that come out of the challenge even for those completely failing the challenge, such as, stream lining a creative work flow for really direct-to-fingers output and the art of overcoming procrastination and self-editing etc. (of course because I am crazy, I did nanowrimo way back in 2007 or so, a lot of fun and a very hard challenge)

    The wannabe-authors learn to iterate fast. With the idea that repeating the process many times will increase the quality of the creative work each time. To get anything done in just 1 month, a lot of the writers start several months in advance creating templates, outlines, collecting ideas, etc, to eliminate as many bottlenecks as possible in advance, before the start date.. just that process alone is a huge bunch of techniques to learn.

    So some later blogger started a similar challenge, to write an complete album in 1 month, February. I dont know anything about that site other than the concept.

    I kind of tried a songwriting self-challenge like this myself a while back but failed big time.. altho it should be easy.. “just glue riffs together” right? Well maybe it is not so easy. Altho it should be. Shouldn’t it?

    Theoretically.. I should be able to open up GP6. Then write (aka, cut & paste) a drum track in 1 hr.. including basic song structure. Then write a bass riff or bass line in 1 hr. Then write a chord progression in 1-2 hrs. (or vice versa, chords first then bass line) Then write lyrics and melody over top in 1-2 hrs. Then cut & paste to rework into a better song structure in 1 hr and finally add lead guitar parts in under 1 hr. Tada, a demo song. Well, ideally?

    Paranoid.. supposedly.. was written in “4 hours of spare studio time”…

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22705

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Paranoid is so basic that I wouldn’t doubt it haha. Writing everything in GP6 might take too much time when you’re in a time crunch, probably recording yourself playing Riffs with your phone is better, play a few and listen to them and you’ll get some ideas how to connect them. Name the videos of your Riffs, then just get a piece of paper and write out the order you should play them in. That might be quicker than having to add every note in GP6. Normally if you watch yourself play something you’ll remember how you played it.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #22707

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Paranoid seems basic at first but actually it is very unusual, thats how I hear it. Like the song form, seems unusual (which I like, not boring ABAB), and the way the riffs and harmonics fit in the rhythm part.. I guess that’s why Iommi is the riff master. Seems basic in casual listen, (like the saying goes: “write something familiar, but not too familiar so that its boring, and not too unusual that it sounds bizarre”), creating that song from scratch is definitely master craft. Another amazing thing about Paranoid is that supposedly when they finished recording and listened to the playback, everyone (band & producers) agreed it would be a big hit. Which doesnt always happen, like Slash says he hated the sweet child o mine intro solo, yet it’s now the most famous and recognizable guitar lick of all time.

    I was browsing the fawm forum and they have a few great tip posts on there in terms of “workflow for writing a song”. I’m not gonna join over there, dont want to get sucked into more time on social media, but they have some good stuff to read. Of course rock and metal is underrepresented there, they’ve got a lot of acoustic guitar strummers.

    One thing that really saves time if using GP6, is writing chord progressions I’m not accustomed to playing, for me it is faster to do that, than the time sink of “oops what was that again, it goes like.. oh wait thats not it, it’s like..” The cheat I have been using in Reaper is to just record stuff at 50% speed so it is easy to play correctly, then play back at 100%, it’s somewhat okay quality for a scratch version (then much later record over it at faster or normal speeds).

    I installed MuseScore some time back (staff notation writing software) and it is really, really fast to write stuff because of the way they set up the keyboard shortcuts – its not like a “piano keyboard” which every other app tries to do, it is more like: type in the note names and use special modifiers to change octaves, or like GP6 use special keys to move notes up or down. I think it would be great for writing melodies really fast (then maybe export to midi as piano). I havent worked with it much.

    I am going to shoot for trying the Feb challenge, first step is to clear out normal life stuff in advance so there’s less distractions from the creative cramming in those 4 weeks. Several months in advance isnt too early to start kind of planning for it.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22708

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I still like this one video by Devin Townsend that I posted some time back.. a real time capture of him writing/demo recording a somewhat pre-prepared song.. http://guitarlessonforum.com/guitar-forums/topic/devin-townsend-live-video-stream-of-recording-new-song-with-daw-in-under-2-hrs

    Devin Townsend live video stream of recording new song with DAW in under 2 hrs

    I’ve watched it several times and also watched Doug’s songwriting package several times too. I seem to pick up new things in later watches..

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22710

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Ya I guess if it’s hard to remember riffs, then probably notating them exactly in GP6 is useful. I typically try to stay away from software as much as possible cause it does take up more time than we think it does. I can normally retain memory of new riffs for a few days after I play them. If I go a week or more without playing it then I’d probably have to try to remember how it went again. Kinda smart to plan early though, you should be able to come up with a legit game plan.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #22713

    Master Killer
    Participant

    I seem to remember Doug had a set of songwriting lessons way back.

    Cheap Guitars (with some exceptions) play just about as good as expensive ones. It's your ability combined with an awesome amp that makes the difference.

  • #22717

    slash
    Participant
  • #22744

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    Yes, Doug’s songwriting course covers this very well!  It’s not necessary to “reinvent the wheel”.  Using a song (or parts from different songs) as a model is a very effective method.  🙂

  • #22745

    JL8112
    Participant

    Agreed Sarah Doug”s songwriting course is exactly what he is asking for

  • #22747

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Try the challenge, see what obstacles come up, and how to work it.. 14 songs in 28 days.. quite a challenge..

    Neat quote from recent metal interview headlines..

    FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH bassist Chris Kael told Finland’s Kaaos TV …. Kael admitted that his listening habits tend to gravitate toward the more aggressive music — much more extreme than the stuff his band usually plays. “That’s just my own personal preference,” he said. “I listen to bands like CODE ORANGE, NAILS — hardcore punk rock and death metal-type stuff. So that’s kind of where I come from. So, personally, I love the heavier stuff. But there’s something about being able to write that song that reaches so many people that can get you to fill an arena. Playing clubs is fun, but there’s a whole different vibe. And it’s hard to write a song like that. I can… Heavy stuff? All day long, all day long. But something that’s toned down a little bit that can reach a bigger audience, which gives you the chance to kind of positively affect lives of more and more people, that’s hard to do, man. It’s hard to write a hit song.”
    http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/five-finger-death-punch-bassist-its-hard-to-write-a-hit-song.html

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #22758

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I forgot to mention this in terms of songwriting. One of my preteen influences on creative writing was a alt rock band that literally released a demo of a new song every day via telephone. They did this daily for years. The band had a phone number on their albums where fans or anyone could call and in their radio interviews they always encouraged listeners to call. (Long distance call of course. To the east coast. Dont tell the parental units.) The number went to an answering machine and they would put a new mini-cassette with a new song in the answering machine every day. I thought this was soooo cool (still do). Sometimes the songs were meh, but they were still complete song demos. Other times the songs were really good and I would call several times a day to re-listen to the song. Some of the good songs ended up being their later top-40 hits. Sometimes the number was really busy (I mean, a busy signal. Does anyone remember those). A Phone number answering machine to listen to band songs is totally diy punk rock in my opinion.

    http://tmbw.net/wiki/Dial-A-Song

    Actually I had to tell the parental units before calling the number and pay them like $2 from my allowance to cover the cost of the long distance call. But it was worth it! Hey $2, in the 80s was a lot of money.

    This band is supposedly still popular today with preteen kids because of their classic funny songs. Kind of like Weird Al songs but with originals. I think now this band writes kids music literally.

    It still amazes me, that they had a new song every day. (Well almost every day. Sometimes they would re-record previous popular songs or rework them.)

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/they-might-be-giants-resurrect-dial-a-song-in-2015-20150104

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.