Thursday, June 7, 2012

A song, and more text than is necessary to describe said song.

I made a song.

It goes like this:

Clicky link here.

Now for the text!

I'm going to explain the entire song in a brain-explodingly exciting manner.  There will be drama, intrigue, and action, but mostly wordy quasi-technical musical descriptions.

I guess I'll just list the parts and talk about each of them.

Part 1 // 0:00 - 0:22 :  Improvised lead part.  It's the same recording on 2 tracks.  They're run through the same effects, slightly different EQ.  The tracks were then spaced verrrrry slightly apart on the timeline and panned slightly left and right, to give a wider sound.  This was improvised and recorded in one take, and it was done after the body of the song was already finished.

I really like the gritty dissonance the 7 arpeggiated chord makes at the start.  That's not a mistake.  The rest follows my typical improv style; slow and deliberate, really spacy.  This is partly because I'm not really comfortable enough improvising fast parts, but I really feel less is more in leads in many cases.

Part 2 (A) // 0:22 -0:47 :  The main rhythm for the song comes in here.  It sounds deceptively simple.  Actually it is simple, but there's a bit of a twist on it.  It's a straight rhythm of (beat) (beat) (rest) played over 4 bars of 4/4 and a bar of 2/4 (making it sort of 18/4).  The drums are playing in the 4/4 feel, while the guitar (b) (b) (r) 3/8(?) feel creates an interesting counter to it.

The lead that comes in was somewhat improvised.  The low part was actually improvised when I was going to make the whole section an improv solo.  I liked the one part so much, I made it the repeating lead line.  I added a higher harmony line which is usually the relative 3rd except at the very end of the lick.  These were recorded on the same tracks as the opening lead, but only one track per part.

Part 2 (B) // 0:47 - 1:12 :  Another guitar part comes in at 0:47, matching the rhythm guitar, but playing the 5th.  The drums change up, getting the ride cymbal to give it some energy, some sporadic rapid snare fills to keep it interesting.  At 1:01 another guitar comes in, also matching the rhythm, but finishing out the chords for the progression used throughout the song (my usual 7th and sus2 chords that I use in basically everything.)  The drums change it up a bit in the fills to build energy for the next part.

Part 3 // 1:12 - 1:38 :  This is the "refrain" I suppose, and it was the first part written.  In the rhythm guitars, I have one playing low power chords in the (b) (b) (r) pattern.  The other one is playing the same rhythm, but is playing the full chords an octave up.  These are panned left and right, making the sound pretty expansive.  The lead part in this section was written to counter the rhythm.  While the rhythm hits (B) (B) (r), the lead hits (b) (b) (B), accenting the beat that the other guitars are resting.  making a sort of bouncing effect.  The bass drum and snare follow this pattern of 3s while the cymbals keep the 4/4 feel going.

Halfway through this part, the drums and bass throw in some extra notes (noticeable in the bass drum fills) and the cymbals change up a bit.  The lead splits into two parts.  Mostly 3rd and 4th intervals in the harmony.

I'm really satisfied with the sound here, usually it's hard to get a really hard-hitting and full sound that doesn't get too muddled.

Part 4 // 1:38 - 1:50 : Fairly straightforward transitional metal-style riff.  This part is in straight 4/4 (no extra measure of 2/4)  The lead part was improvised same as the opening lead line.

Part 5 // 1:50 - 2:08 :  Probably the most interesting and complicated part in the song.  There are 3 distinct patterns going on here, and they all weave through each other, creating a strange panning syncopation.

Bass drum / Low guitar:
//  (b) (b) (r) (b) (b) (r) (b) (b)  /  (b) (r) (b) (b) (b) (r) (b) (b) /...
Mid Guitar
//  (b) (b) (b) (r) (b) (b) (b) (r)  /  (b) (b) (b) (r) (b) (b) (b) (r) /...
High Guitar
//  (b) (r) (b) (r) (b) (r) (b) (r)   /   (b) (r) (b) (r) (b) (r) (b) (r) / ...

the part at 2:02 is relatively simple, using the main rhythm as a transition to the next part.

Part 6 // 2:02 - end :  The refrain part is repeated pretty much verbatim.  Part 4 is called back to for the end riff.  There's also the lead from part 2 playing again while the guitars fade, EQ'd so the highs and lows are mostly gone and it's all mids.  I just figured the end could use a little something aside from just the fade out.


So that's a lot of text for a 3 minute song.

It probably sounds a bit pretentious, but this whole thing is sort of a postmortem exercise to get myself to look at what I did and why.  I'm not sure how much of that is decipherable to anyone else, but opinions on the actual song are welcome.  My perspective is one that is familiar with this type of music, so I might be interested in how other people hear the song.

No comments:

Post a Comment