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Posted (edited)

Trying to gather a few tracks I've posted before all in one playlist. Does anyone have any advice for lead? 

Edited by LostSamurai

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You seem to generally fall into a harmonic rut of outlining the same kinds of voicings throughout the song. You're not only building a melody, but creating a relationship with the harmony/rhythm section. If a lead guitar player doesn't add any color to the harmony (stays within the key center too often) then it feels like the part loses potential. 

Listen to this song to see what I mean. The guitar always takes on the role as the adder of color, or stays behind and lets the vocals come out.

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Hi LostSamurai.

Not really in my genre. Monarcheon brings up a good point.. Having had to emulate many different styles of music over the years for clients.  I first find released material, which has the important qualities of a genre I must emulate...  I will sit and listen to the song for 10, 15, 20 times. As much as needed. On each pass, I write down notes, or impressions.  

I use graph paper and different colored felt tip pens.. I draw in different colors, where each instrument comes in, drops out. I also use hatch, marks, squiggles, thick, thin lines to also define, where a particular instrument does something different, new technique, changed riffs, modified riff.  By the time I'm thru I have almost a piece of art. It can give you a good overview of how to create music.  The more you use this technique, the better you become and realizing aspects of the music, you missed in earlier listens and can incorporate in your own work.  

You get a nice guitar sound.. Perhaps you might consider, changing settings, as you play guitar.. (switch pick-ups, use different stomp boxes, settings on them etc)..  You do have variety in, just make those changes happen quicker..

A technique, which is also a good exercise, is to take say a guitar solo, riffs, from some other song, and force it to 'fit' into you piece. change, notes, timing, syncopation etc. If you modify it enough, it will sound different enough; listeners won't realize you 'nicked' it from somewhere. It's also a good technique to make you 'play outside the box. 

I always was a big fan of the Beatles (I got see them perform live in Boston in 1966)..  As their techniques, and abilities got better, I lost interest in their first few recordings which were basically live performances.  After Ron Howard's movie, which were their live performances.   I went back, and started analyzing what they were doing..  They very often changed things, every four bars, constantly changing harmonies, in voices.  guitar parts, drums, varying.. This gave them the ability to get a full varied sound with 4 parts..  Same with Gypsy Temple, guitar/singer is constantly doing something different. 

Of course some songs, build their charm on repetition, it can become hypnotic.  Michael Jackson had quite a discussion with QJ when recording Billy Jean.. No one but MJ felt, the beginning should go on so long, before vocals came in.. He had planned on his vocal ticks, his dancing, and emotional dance moves to hold your interest in this section. So even though it was a long intro, he had enough different things going on, to hold your attention. 

You do have some good guitar changes in your pieces, consider upping the timing of when you make these changes..   I used to work for Disco-net (first DJ remix service).. One of their 'Commandments' was something had to change every 4 bars, if I didn't do that, my production was rejected, until I redid that.  Sometimes changes were as simple as high-hat  part changing. Other times they wanted bass played some 'ghost' notes. extra snare bits, etc.  Some changes were very subtle, but when enough were made, they gave the production, more 'listening durability'. By that I mean, you want to create something that gets listener's attention on first listen. AND you also want to have things in it, which the listener will discover on repeated listenings. So you get him 'addicted' to your song.  

This let's the listener 'participate' in the song more.  It draws the listener in more.   The human brain's job is to take in 'data' and make sense out of it.. It will attempt to draw conclusions and make sense out of things that sometimes don't do this.. So the brain likes repetition, and it also likes variety.. Your job as a music creator is to create a sound, which is fulfilling, because of the repetition, but also has enough change in it, to keep the brain paying attention.  There is an interesting book called 'This Is Your Brain On Music'.  It covers subjects, of what happens when you listen to music.. There is a fair amount of ideas in there to ponder, 

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Posted (edited)

Oh wow. Thanks guys! I'll keep those things in mind the next time! I was totally unaware that guitar players wrote in bars. I thought that was only for vocals.

Edited by LostSamurai

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