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Thread: Writing Metal

  1. #1
    Super Toneologist SamusChief's Avatar
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    Default Writing Metal

    I have writer's block. I am unable to come up with a riff that I am happy with. I thought I had one, but it turns out I subconsciously learned it from Judas Kiss by Metallica.

    So, how do the chug-masters around here write their riffs; that is, how do you some up with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmh151 View Post
    I'd hit that so hard that whoever could pull me out would be the King of England
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    like if we were walking down the sidewalk and you said "hey check her out" chances are i already saw her and mentally sodomized her
    Quote Originally Posted by grumptruck View Post
    Media only reports on what the sheeple wanna see/hear/read.
    Sometimes not read.
    dats hard

  2. #2
    The Drama Dude CTN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    listen to and learn to play new music - heavier, thrashier, more progressive, more evil, more insane....whatever goes.

    The point is to expand your horizons as to what metal is, get inspired, and then rock out.

  3. #3
    Mojo's Minions Virtual Kevorkian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Stop listening to heavy music for a bit.

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    Shaftologist Kam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Try to blend it with another genre to create your own style and sound. Like, say...Flamenco. I don't think anyone's ever done that before.
    I remember calloused hands and paint-stained jeans, and I remember safe-as-houses self-belief.

  5. #5
    Jay 77
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kam View Post
    Try to blend it with another genre to create your own style and sound. Like, say...Flamenco. I don't think anyone's ever done that before.
    Sidewinder, from Avenged Sevenfold's "City of Evil" album. Done and done.

  6. #6
    Shaftologist Kam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay 77 View Post
    Sidewinder, from Avenged Sevenfold's "City of Evil" album. Done and done.
    Take a look at the sig of post #2 in this thread. Kinda where I was going with that one...
    I remember calloused hands and paint-stained jeans, and I remember safe-as-houses self-belief.

  7. #7
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    In Soviet Russia, metal write you.

  8. #8
    Dawn Of The Shred TheLivingDead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Find/make an inspiring beat... Does it every time for me.

  9. #9
    Her Little Mojo Minion DankStar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    For starters, I'd keep the one you subconciously learned from metallica. Unless it's note for note/dead on, it's yours dude.

  10. #10
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    I'm not a big metal head, but this approach often works for me when I'm stuck writing a song.

    1. Take three songs that you know and like . . . they need to all have a similar vibe, and should be from the same genre.
    2. Break down all of the guitar parts in those three songs that you like and figure out what the guitarist is doing. (What scales/modes are being used, what kind of rhythmic patterns are being used, what tuning is being used, are the open strings being hit, how do the drums and bass fit together with the riffs to drive the song forward, etc.)
    3. Come up with a simple rhythmic chord progression (or drum/bass line) that you like. Now approach the riff writing using the techniques that you've discovered in #2.

    Bam. You get a new riff for a song in a style that you like, written by you.

  11. #11
    Mojo's Minions Edgecrusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    I usually write my best metal riffs when im not paying attention. Usually it will be something like we are just setting up for band practice and not everyones ready yet so im noodling around while talking to people and someone will go "Whoa that was cool what was that!?" The hard part comes trying to remember what i played just 2 seconds earlier before I replied with "what was what?"

    I think the big thing is to not try to force writers block. Unless you have a producer up your butt and a contract on the line unless you can pop out 5 new tunes in the next 2 days just relax and let the music flow. If its in there it will find its way out.
    "It keeps you fit - the alcohol, nasty women, sweat on stage, bad food - it's all very good for you." -Bon Scott

    "Let me put it this way: the 5150 will treat
    you better than any girlfriend, because it screams louder, it's easier to pick up, and it shuts up when you take your plug out." -Rip Glitter

  12. #12
    Seymour Duncan Customer Support sosomething's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Just take a Maiden or Metallica or Megadeth riff and palm-mute all the open chords and play all the palm-muted chords open.

    Nobody will ever notice.
    -Adam

    Hear or Follow my music:

  13. #13
    Shaftologist Kam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Quote Originally Posted by sosomething View Post
    Just take a Maiden or Metallica or Megadeth riff and palm-mute all the open chords and play all the palm-muted chords open.

    Nobody will ever notice.
    Reminds me of the dude I was in a band with for a while years ago. He came to my house to jam for a bit and he said he had three new killer songs written (when he said songs he almost always meant a single riff).

    The first was Smells Like Teen Spirit but with the order of the chords reversed.

    The second was the first four notes of the E minor pentatonic played in straight eighth notes ascending up the neck with no deviation in rhythm.

    The third was the second song with the order of the chords reversed.
    I remember calloused hands and paint-stained jeans, and I remember safe-as-houses self-belief.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Kitten Puncher King IzzO)))'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Quote Originally Posted by sosomething View Post
    Just take a Maiden or Metallica or Megadeth riff and palm-mute all the open chords and play all the palm-muted chords open.

    Nobody will ever notice.

    I'm doing this.

  15. #15
    Toneologist brunogio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    I second the approach of just playing around and finding something interesting. Then work it so it is somewhat unique and sounds good to your ears.

    Most of the riffs I've written first come to me as ideas while I'm noodling around. Then I try to refine it craft into what I'd consider a workable song section or riff. I try to work in new things I've never done before. This could be different modes, different arpeggio patterns or different rhythms.

    There are a few concepts I go back to:

    Blues Scale is good for dark and broody
    Harmonic Minor is good for more neo classic
    Dorian / Aeolian is good for somewhat more traditional metal

    I'm always trying to think of new voicings, new patterns etc. That could be more technical approach such as string skipping, chromatic patterns, etc.

    There's no real simple way to describe it because it's partially planned and partially just spontaneous.

  16. #16
    Mojo's Minions crguti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    always has a recorder ready for those moments of inspiration.

  17. #17
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Just play really, I come up with my best riffs when I'm ****ing around on some exercises......

    Listen to some Bolt Thrower too,

  18. #18
    Super Toneologist SamusChief's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Thanks for all the advice! I think my problem is that I'm never satisfied with a riff. I never write and realize that with a good lyric or lead melody over the riff it could be awesome. I mute chords and I get confused on how to add. I think what I'm going to do for my next song is rather than make a riff and start muting and taking away fills, I'll work in reverse.

    I've come up with some stuff based on the random noodling idea.

    Thanks, guys!
    Quote Originally Posted by jmh151 View Post
    I'd hit that so hard that whoever could pull me out would be the King of England
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    like if we were walking down the sidewalk and you said "hey check her out" chances are i already saw her and mentally sodomized her
    Quote Originally Posted by grumptruck View Post
    Media only reports on what the sheeple wanna see/hear/read.
    Sometimes not read.
    dats hard

  19. #19
    The Drama Dude CTN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    I thought of something else.

    don't listen to any metallica post-black album.

  20. #20
    Super Toneologist SamusChief's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Metal

    Quote Originally Posted by ConvoysToNothingness View Post
    I thought of something else.

    don't listen to any metallica post-black album.
    Too bad a lot of it is actually good music...
    Quote Originally Posted by jmh151 View Post
    I'd hit that so hard that whoever could pull me out would be the King of England
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    like if we were walking down the sidewalk and you said "hey check her out" chances are i already saw her and mentally sodomized her
    Quote Originally Posted by grumptruck View Post
    Media only reports on what the sheeple wanna see/hear/read.
    Sometimes not read.
    dats hard

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