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Metal School

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Glad to see you roaming your old stomping grounds! And good luck & Godspeed on the Npmusic front!

FWIW, I'm still playing my twangers, and still just for my personal enjoyment. Umbran has picked up the 6-string bug recently, too.

The oddest bit, though: my 68 year old mom sooooo badly wanted to see Aerosmith- a band she has loved since their reunion in the late 1980s- that she bought tickets and demanded I take her. (She doesn't see well at night, and dad doesn't do hard rock at all.) Opening act, Slash, was a bit of a mystery to her, but she recognized a couple of his pieces. And since that concert, she got exposed to a couple of the tamer Opeth CDs I had in my car...and she bought her own copies.
 
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Thunderfoot

Villager
<SNIP> And since that concert, she got exposed to a couple of the tamer Opeth CDs I had in my car...and she bought her own copies.
*sniff* NO I'M NOT CRYING!!!! I just have something in my eye... beautiful man beautiful...

And thanks for the well wishes, I keep thinking in the back of my mind would X like it (where X is a person I know and have either played or discussed music with) you are on that list bra.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
What kind of genre are you and your crew aiming for?

And, of course, if you send me links to stuff you record, I'll be happy to give constructive criticism.
 

Thunderfoot

Villager
Prog inspired metal - what else? :D It's kind of all over the metal/hard rock spectrum since both Daryl, and I like a lot of the same stuff everything from Queensryche to Journey. We cut our teeth on Van Halen and progressed into Pretty Maids before I left for the Military. So melodic or experimental makes no difference and subject matter is all over the map. We have songs dealing with alcoholic parenting revenge, depression, postpartum baby drowning and religious hypocrisy; so you know, the usual.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Holy shamoley, they're back! My favorite industrial metal band of all time!
http://www.metalobsession.net/2014/10/20/the-new-album-is-raw-heavy-and-pure-godflesh-an-interview-with-justin-broadrick-godflesh/

...which reminds me: Thunderfoot (or anyone else), is there an app or something I can feed a song into to have it create sheet music or tab for? I am trying to take the rhythm from Godflesh's song "Pure", Primus' "My Name is Mud", Chemical Brothers' "Setting Sun" and some other oddball tunes to use for practicing/composing Surf guitar to.

(Nuts, I know, but...)
 
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Thunderfoot

Villager
So sorry I missed this, yes there is a program, (I think), no I don't know the name of it, but my guitar player has something that he uses that analyzes songs and drops chord patterns and key changes, so at the very least I'll get that to you in a couple of weeks (when he comes back home off he river.)
 

Bedrockgames

Villager
I just seriously got back into the guitar after a long period of casual play (prior to which I had been heavily involved in bands, song writing and learning about music). One thing I've discovered is some of the old stuff stuck or just needs a quick refresher (relearning how to read music is pretty smooth, but my rhythm is almost completely gone and needs major calibration). Almost no recollection of modes. So I just said screw it and started with square one all over again, going through all the basics again from the ground up just to fill in any gaps or remove wrong assumptions I've developed over the years.

What is incredible is how easy this is to do these days with youtube and other online resources. When I was a kid, you had to learn from your guitar teacher and books (most of which were total crap and strained to explain concepts clearly). So it was a process where you were very reliant upon other people. Now this stuff is all up online. And if you need feedback or lessons from a pro, those can be done by Skype.

I tend to be a pretty intuitive player, but still find music theory incredibly helpful (at the very least, being able to write stuff down in notation is handy). I've always liked bands like King Diamond, Iron Maiden, and guitarists like Randy Rhoads. The theory seems to work well with those styles. But I was always into heavier and slower stuff as well, like Cathedral, Candlemass, Bolt Thrower, and many other bands on the melodic end of the Death/Doom spectrum. For that music theory can be handy (candlemas definitely has a neoclassical vibe) but you can also just arrive there through intuition. I'm Curious what other peoples experiences are with music theory and metal; how they feel it fits in.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Even though I grew up in and around music, I've always been more of an intuitive player. Not that I can't see the value of theory, I'm just not disciplined.

And metal can be VERY technical, so music theory's benefits are obvious.
 

Bedrockgames

Villager
Even though I grew up in and around music, I've always been more of an intuitive player. Not that I can't see the value of theory, I'm just not disciplined.

And metal can be VERY technical, so music theory's benefits are obvious.
I was an 'okay' pupil when it came to music theory. I wouldn't say I excelled, and I wouldn't say I was enamored with it, but I picked it up enough that I could get by. Some of it is just having the right teacher. My first two guitar teachers bored me to tears with music theory and one of them made me hate it for a while (because he always brought it back to reggae for some reason, and I just wasn't able to connect with that style of music). But the the teacher who came next and sort of stuck around for long time, figured out how to find stuff that I could connect with. He basically saw the connection between the metal I was listening to and baroque music. So he got me to practice reading sheet music by giving me Bach pieces to play. So I think it is just one of those things where, when it is presented i the right way, it is a lot easier to digest. I always liked breaking the rules and my teacher was one of these instructors who taught me we learn the rules so we know what we are doing when we break them. Still I am surprised how much I thought I absorbed and really didn't. How many rules I am breaking simply because I don't know the rules. The mentality was just the right fit for me (I was not learning rules to be another stuffy, uptight player, I was learning the rules so we could break things). Still I am surprised by how many gaps there are in my knowledge now. I think I knew a lot of technique, but was missing foundational bits of knowledge (or I just got rusty). So that is why I am building again from the ground up.

I am sort of split. I have a fairly intuitive style but it is largely emulating players who have a good grounding in theory. I think there is a spectrum and players need to find for themselves where they fit most. Personally I like technical players, but I also find that some players get so caught up in theory and technique that they lose of a bit of the soul. I think things can get sloppy if its all feeling and no technique or theory (or at least a bit dull) but it can swing the other way too. So for me as a listener it is about balance more than anything else. There are some amazing guitar players out there, who frankly can't write a memorable melodic line to save their lives (everything works in theory but it never comes to together or leaves a lasting impression). So I think intuition is also very important.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Technique and soul are key elements, and not every guitarist has both in enough amounts to write or play good music. You also have to be aware of genre limitations, and how far you can go beyond those boundaries and still be "acceptable."

I remember seeing an old Steely Dan video. For those who don't know, SD is one of the prototypical bands in which there is a small creative core and everyone else is hired guns. In this case, the guitarist for that particular lineup was clearly talented, but he had no feel for SD's music: his solo- which was technically brilliant- was full of the high-energy blitz of notes typical of metal shredding.

IOW, it was completely out of place in the jazz-pop fusion of Steely Dan.
 

ggroy

Villager
Technique and soul are key elements, and not every guitarist has both in enough amounts to write or play good music. You also have to be aware of genre limitations, and how far you can go beyond those boundaries and still be "acceptable."
Once after one has mastered technique, the one thing I find which is really important is writing composition. I never learned how to write properly, other than by trial and error.

The stuff I write may sound like a mindless flash of notes, but it doesn't really keep my attention in terms of likability (ie. catchiness).

I've come to the conclusion there's no easy way to learn songwriting, other than writing a lot of songs and figuring out whether it is catchy or not. I remember an old interview with Lennon/McCartney where they mentioned that they hardly used the majority of stuff they wrote. The stuff which ended up on their records, was the extremely good cherry picked stuff. (I wouldn't be surprised at all if other expert songwriters also don't use most of the stuff they write).

I haven't written enough music to know what's good and catchy. I don't know of any easy formulas.
 

Bedrockgames

Villager
Once after one has mastered technique, the one thing I find which is really important is writing composition. I never learned how to write properly, other than by trial and error.

The stuff I write may sound like a mindless flash of notes, but it doesn't really keep my attention in terms of likability (ie. catchiness).

I've come to the conclusion there's no easy way to learn songwriting, other than writing a lot of songs and figuring out whether it is catchy or not. I remember an old interview with Lennon/McCartney where they mentioned that they hardly used the majority of stuff they wrote. The stuff which ended up on their records, was the extremely good cherry picked stuff. (I wouldn't be surprised at all if other expert songwriters also don't use most of the stuff they write).

I haven't written enough music to know what's good and catchy. I don't know of any easy formulas.
Emulating your heroes can be useful. It has been many years since I seriously wrote music but easing back into it and my experience in the past was that emulation can help a lot when you are first starting. Also music is like other mediums, there are lots of different forms. A pop song has different structure from a thrash metal song or a sonata. Some areas of metal are quite open in that respect.

I agree that just writing and writing is the way to go. Write a bunch of stuff and put it into a shape you like. Chances are you can rework that material into something better by taking elements or rough ideas from it as you get a better sense of what works. I usually do like three variations on each song before I get where I am comfortable.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I've been playing and composing for many years- alas, not a note of it affixed in any permanent media- and i know there are only a few of the tunes I wrote have stood my own personal test of time. Only a smattering of them do I still play more than a year post creation. If they survive a year, they're probably keepers.
 

Herschel

Villager
Something about Lemmy's announcement makes me ....suspicious. To me, it sounds like he may have gone the Robin Williams route, not that I don't think he has the right to do so.
 

Bedrockgames

Villager
Something about Lemmy's announcement makes me ....suspicious. To me, it sounds like he may have gone the Robin Williams route, not that I don't think he has the right to do so.
What is making you suspicious about it? All we know is he had cancer and died suddenly in the middle of an activity at home (which isn't uncommon for people undergoing cancer treatment and dealing with the side effects of cancer itself. It is certainly possible suicide happened. But heart attack and stroke are also common among newly diagnosed cancer patients. With aggressive cancers there is a like a 16 fold increase in suicide rates but a 15 fold increase in heart attack/stroke (all within the week of initial diagnosis, usually before treatment begins). He was so sickly leading up to this, my guess is it was likely just a heart attack.
 

Herschel

Villager
That's also possible. My experience with cancer/leukemia patients is it's usually not sudden in the middle of an activity but when they're too weak to keep going and their system shuts down if it's the cancer itself.
 

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