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Let's make me a good bassist... tips?

Discussion in 'Children Of Bodom' started by (__Joonas__), Feb 7, 2017.

  1. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Nothing really. Common sense says that the tempos are usually between 100 and 200. There are no official rules to determining whether a song is in 120 BPM or 240 BPM, but what I use is the overall feel of the song, especially the speed of the drums. Another thing to keep in mind is that 32nd notes are somewhat rare, so if you have lots of sections with 32nd notes the BPM should probably be doubled. None of these are definitive. I have a song that I wrote the intro melody to in 110 BPM as it was really slow yet made the rest of the song pretty fast and never bothered rewriting the intro in double the tempo so I left the tempo at 110. Were I to start writing tabs for said song now that I know the whole of it I would probably do it in 220 BPM.

    As for blast beats and changing tempo? Don't change the tempo. Ever. Until you know what you're doing. 95% of songs have the same tempo throughout. I don't think Bodom has done a single song since HB that has a tempo change in the middle of a song (Towards Dead End has one before the solo). So when doing blast beats or fast stuff on guitar just switch to 16th or 32nd notes.
     
  2. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I'm now leaning towards having guitar in E standard while having bass in BEAD. This only if I do black metal, cos E for guitar works in black metal. And as the bass is in B it's sort of like E but with the additional lower B string. I modified a song I made to match this and there actually was only a few guitar notes below E, it was no problem... But for other kinds of metal I would have guitar in D maybe... Thing is, when it comes to metal, I'm more interested in doing black and doom than their middle ground in terms of pitch and tempo which is melodic death metal... because I don't feel I could bring anything new to the table in that genre as there's so many epic bands.
     
  3. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I've been working on something cool... trying to put the emotions of music into formula. I plunched deep into what makes music sound sad, dark, angry, etc... what is the role of dissonance, the instrument tones, effects... how the sound of guitar can be made to seem cold, hot, venomous, light or dark... I spent time thinking what is the role of each instrument in the emotion. I pretty much came to the conclusion that lead guitar creates the atmosphere (haunting, mysterious, melancholic), while rhythm guitar, bass, drums and synths have their own role... you have drums creating tempo, rhythm and such, determining the feeling of the song, the 'heartbeat', is the song aggressive or scary or sad... I won't even open the rest of it now because it gets fucking deep. I tried separating the musical emotional psychology into different aspects, you have an environment, a feeling, an event, how it feels like, what is the effect of the event... then with this formula it's possible to see which things can be combined, say you choose a cold atmosphere, a light sound, a sad feeling, then contrast that with agonizing emotion as a twist... then you'll see the musical entity you've created is fitting to a certain colour, which naturally goes together with the soundworld... and think what is the role of each instrument and how you can vary their individual role. This way you can plan in advance what kind of song you're gonna create, make sure it's interesting and avoid elements that clash in a bad way. For example I have a list of guitar tones and put a cross over emotions that they fit, for example a crunchy or biting tone might work with an aggressive or haunting atmosphere, but not with something else... this is confusing, but I'll maybe show what I've come up with once I have it in a clear formula.
     
    #203 (__Joonas__), Aug 1, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  4. bodomite

    bodomite Your Executioner

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    When I fart it is music to many peoples ears.... then they vomit.
     
  5. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Convincing black metal with only bass / no guitar! She uses well the understanding of how to create simple dark melodies. Song starts around 1:10. Gain, treble, thin strings and sharp pick obviously make it like a guitar hybrid. But to think you could pull this off live with only two persons is interesting.



    Holy fuck I wish I had an attic like that to use as rehearsal space. Or a cellar. At least a garage. In this town there are virtually no more rehearsal places left. :( Problem for drummers and singers especially.

     
    #205 (__Joonas__), Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  6. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I need insight on approaching rhythm guitar sections in song writing. Do you guys do inversions of the same chord elements or what? Play stuff within a major 2nd or such interval or something to create dissonance (in genres like black metal)? Some nice tips would be appreciated.
     
    #206 (__Joonas__), Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  7. IDontKnowWhatToWrite

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    Would love to have such an attic too indeed. Always loved houses that have one.
    This is otherwise not a really great blackmetal. I think you give her a pass because she's a nice looking girl ^^ The "riffs" and "chords" are too predictable for it to be actually enjoyable. I don't want blck metal to become progressive, but it's always nice with that element of surprise. Don't know if you know about them yet, but if not, give the band Windir a shot. I think they are as good as black metal will ever get.
     
  8. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    ^I just liked the way the bass sounds as it tries to make up for absence of guitar. It's basically just one riff. That and the attic, I don't care about anything else.
     
  9. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Major 7th, minor 2nd, and a diminished 5th are the most dissonant intervals you can have. AFAIK even black metal doesn't use them a whole lot though as it just results in a messy sound. Lots of minor chords and loads of distortion are worth a try. E minor > C minor certainly sounds gloomy. Harmonic minor is also better for black metal than natural I think. The 5th and 4th modes of the harmonic minor are also great (The 5th is called Phygrian Dominant, no idea what the 4th is called if it even has a proper name).
     
  10. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Try Caladan Brood. Not exactly what one expects from black metal I think but it's the one black metal band I actively listen to.
     
  11. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I'm about to give you guys something back for the help... I think tomorrow when I have coffee.
     
  12. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    So...

    I've done lots of thinking on how to approach designing a song or album, in terms of musical psychology. Instead of just venting out what comes naturally (or playing random shit and salvaging the cherries) I wanted to come up with some system. Because going full spontaneous just tends to end up with describing your current mood in life. Good maybe if you're angry and depressed and you want to create angry and depressed metal. But it tends to spawn mishmash songs where ideas don't really unite in best way. I realized this when I made my first few songs. They were too similar even tho they had different sections obviously. I think you're not supposed to have every element in one song.

    First I figured I need to decide the mood and style of the album itself. Let's say melancholic and medium-fast. This sets rough limits which serve as guidelines and prevent getting lost out of style. Some things can change from song to song, section to section, but for the album composing and recording there's standard sounds. Then I pondered a pattern what makes an album have certain mood, such as melancholy. The guitar tone is most important as it will be set in stone. I formed a rough pattern of moods and guitar tones and marked X where I thought a certain tone and atmosphere fit together.

    MOODS: ______Haunting – Melancholy – Malevolence – Anger – Mystery – Sorrow – Doom
    TONES: Bright _____x_________x____________________________x_______ x ______x
    _______Biting ________________x___________x_________x_____________________x
    _______Crisp ________________x___________x________________x_______x______
    _______
    Crunch __________________________x_________x______________________x
    _______Dark _______x________x___________x_________x_______x_______x______x
    _______Open _____________________________________________x_______x______x
    _______Punchy ____________________________________x______________x______x
    _______Smooth ____x_________x____________________________x________x______x
    _______Warm _____x_________x_____________________x______________x_______x
    _______Muddy ____x_________x______________________x_______x______________x
    _______Hollow _____x_______________________________x______x________x______

    I then chose to have a certain tone that fits the idea of mood I want. The purpose of all this is to find a logical path to steer when selecting elements for a song you want to create, ensuring you can have different songs on the album instead of every song being clone. Some elements don't go together, and even tho this should be intuitive for an artist, you sometimes aren't sure what mood you're chasing in your song.

    Then I started thinking how to approach designing a song. I made similar diagram for feelings of melody when it comes to speed.

    EMOTION: ________ Haunting – Melancholy – Malevolence – Anger – Mystery – Sorrow – Doom
    SPEED:
    _______Very slow ______x_____________________________________________________x
    _______Slow __________x_________x____________________x_______x_______x______x
    _______Medium _____________________________x________________x_______________x
    _______Fast __________x_________x___________x_________x______x________x_______
    _______
    Very fast _________________x__________x__________x______________x_______

    You could make such diagrams with many things. Such as: which atmospheres can co-exist? But there is a limit to making etheric art to a mathematical formula.

    Then I made a diagram of drum speed emotion when it comes to emotion created by drums. With drums the emotions created are different. I believe drumming is primitively linked to human heartbeat in conjunction with emotion. (I neglected emotions that aren't black metal, such as euphory.)

    EMOTION: ___________Sad_______Depressed____Angry____Fearful______Vicious
    SPEED:
    _______Very slow ______x_____________x___________________x____________
    _______Slow __________x_____________x_________x____________________x
    _______Medium _______x_______________________x_____________________x
    _______Fast __________x_______________________x_________x___________x
    _______Very fast ______x________________________x_________x__________x

    I tried thinking the correct order in which to decide on these things, because each decision sets boundaries.

    1) Choose a desired atmosphere and a desired feeling/emotion for it. For example sad & mysterious, or sad & doomy (you can have different aspects for certain mood.)
    2) Choose a fitting 'drum speed.'
    3) Choose a fitting 'guitar speed.'
    4) If you have a twist of emotions in a song, decide if you want different instruments to create different emotions, or the same ones. Such as 'sad drums' and 'doomy guitars', or 'doomy drums' and 'sad guitars.' I have my theory how rhythm guitar, bass and synths operate in psychology, but I'll leave that out here, it gets embarrassingly deep. But that is when you really create layers of dimension to a song. A song is a story told in energy waves: what happens, in what kind of place, how it makes you feel physically, how it makes you feel mentally, and how it changes your fate. With five instruments you can tell that a person get lost in a cold forest and is hurting and is worried and can no longer take life for given.

    These together create the colour and character of a song. With lyrics you can elaborate on the theme. I like to think of the task of true creativity as making two feelings meet in a song. This creates a magical depth.

    These formulas purposefully neglect "style of playing" and "composion ideas." They just serve a foundation, helping to dictate song ideas and sections of a song (varying speeds and moods.) Creativity of selecting notes is up to the artist. This way we don't end up with a million useless songs with I-IV-V chord progressions...
     
    #212 (__Joonas__), Sep 1, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  13. Inceptionist

    Inceptionist It's Not My Funeral

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    The issue you’re going to run into is that following a “structure” when composing will tend to sound very forced. Even though it’s just a guideline, you’ll end up sunconsciously thinking “and now I need a melancholic riff, which should consist of this bass tone, at this speed, with drums playing at this speed”. Everyone does it at first. Like, once you learn to play in, say, the key of E minor, and know that scale really well, you will almost always fall back to playing in that scale and in that scale only. While guidelines can be helpful, just like knowing what sound a certain scale portrays, they’re only tools to keep in the back of your head, don’t let them be a creative crutch like most people. The moment you start sitting there thinking “I want to write something that sounds like X” you’re guaranteed to write something unoriginal, because in your head you already know what you’ve been taught sounds like “X”. Don’t try to convey a certain mood in your writing. Write something that you like that comes out naturally, whatever mood it creates is the mood it creates, try not to force it or fall back on guidelines.

    In my first ever music theory course like a decade ago the professor said something I still remember: “You’re not going to learn the secret to writing good music here. Trust me, there is no secret, but everyone thinks there is. I’m going to give you the keys to seeing new colors. That’s what music theory is. If you were a painter and only knew two colors, you could only express yourself in those two colors. Music theory opens up a whole new world of colors for the painter to experiment with. It’s a world of new possibilities. So it’s your job to take these new colors and mix them into a completely original one.”
     
  14. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Yeah, too strict planning is not good either. I think it's still a worthy thought process to go thru to try to formulate the style of art you're doing. With no guidelines it's easy to get lost, but when the route is planned beforehand with a red pencil, the trip can end up lacking a sense of adventurous creativity. I think in the end it's about having map and compass but not flatout planning everything beforehand. After all, music tends to contain colours that exceed our known colours, and atmosphere that cannot be described with one or even two words. But still, it's really interesting. Maybe start with a plan but don't worry if it goes somewhere else.
     
  15. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    When you do two guitars for a song, how do you record your other guitar to play the other guitar part over it and hear how they sound together? I mean what is the most handy device for this?

    And about the orchestral hits, I'm not gonna use them, they only suit Bodom's type of music. I'm not gonna use keyboards at all, because they're like a shortcut to making music have "feeling" too easily and they bury the guitars. I just have some parts planned I'd need a keyboard for, but I'll make them with guitar somehow I guess...
     
  16. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    What do you record with? I use Cubase, but Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Reaper and others are also very viable options. These allow you to play basically an unlimited amount of tracks at once (Limited only by the performance of your computer). Say I'm recording some kind of a riff. I record it once, put it on solo and listen it through with just the metronome at the back. If it sounds like it's in perfect time, I record it again, put the new recording on solo and then listen to the new recording with just the metronome at the back. If it again sounds good, I then listen to both guitars at the same time and if there are any timing problems, I try find out which recording is the cause of these and re-record. Same process for lead guitars.

    I currently pan both rhythm and lead guitars 80L and 80R. Solos are in the center. If I have a harmony for the lead I'll pan those 80L and 80R, so that results in two rhythms, two leads and two harmonies, all panned 80L and 80R. If the rhythm guitars are playing slightly different stuff I don't record two guitars for both parts, I just leave them so that the left guitar plays something slightly different than the right one.

    I'm surprised you're planning on leaving the keyboards out. Perhaps just mix them to be pretty quiet? They'll still add to the mix but won't take a lead position nor will they bury the guitars.
     
  17. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I'm currently just composing the songs to Tux Guitar (playing ideas on guitar and from my mind first), I have no recording device or program or knowledge. So I need to look into that at some point... I don't even know yet if I'll record everything myself or with other guys... if it's by myself then the drums will likely not be real drums... cos there's nowhere to even access a real drumset.

    Thing is if I only made a short keyboard piece per song, it would be silly to have a keyboardist when playing live... I know this kind of bands have the keyboards coming from a playback at live events, but I'd imagine that's difficult to arrange...?
     
  18. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Cubase at least has a half decent drum machine that comes with it (At least mine did, it's really old so I don't know what you get with it nowadays).

    As for backing tracks, they're really common and I don't think they're that difficult to make work. You need a laptop and then just plug it into a speaker. Usually it's the drummer who then operates the laptop and hits play but, don't think anyone would mind if the bassist did it.
     
  19. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I'm kind of having a musical challenge, not relying on keyboards for atmosphere, and not relying on notes below E for heaviness. At least it's a developing way to start off. Still not 100% sure that's the setting it will end up with.
     
  20. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    You sound like me (Developing rules to go by and trying to make a formula for everything :D I've been trying to learn away from it for the past six or so years (While simultaneously making more such rules and formulas)).
     

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