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Song Structure

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by bob, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. bob

    bob New Metal Member

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    hey just wondering if anybody could help me out on the exact song structure in typical metal music. i know it ranges alot but i am having difficulties on analizing (metal) music. i am only new to metal and trying to learn more music wise. uno in ur typical song (not metal) you got ur verses bridge chorus etc well how is death metal structured? i have been listening to a few death like bands like cryptopsy, nile and cannibal corpse and i am having problems on how its constructed. there are no particular chours and verses i am having problems telling one from another. can anybody please help ?
    cheers
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus New Metal Member

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    One of the reasons I love metal is it gives the 'rules' of music a damn good kicking.

    Stuff like you mention is very often rhapsodic in form - that is normally a set of unrelated ideas which segue into each other.

    ABAB form (i.e. verse/chorus/verse/chorus) is prevalent in more simplistic metal, but almost totally eschewed by the death bands you mention.

    Cannibal Corpse have the most simplistic song structures of the bunch you mention.
    Cryptosy are the most complex, using mostly rhapsodic form, possibly repeating occasional themes, which has a devastating effect. when they do repeat something

    I don't like dance music/pop because the whole backbone of the music is built on repetition (oh yes, that and the fact that it's total shit). I believe repetition is a device which should be used intelligently - as do Cryptopsy.

    It does make the music an absolute bugger to learn and get into though
     
  3. dill_the_devil

    dill_the_devil OneMetal.com Music Editor

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    Yeah, I like metal's bending of the rules too. I do think predictability can give metal more effect if used in moderation though - you know, like when you hear a song for the first time, a melodic passage has been on for a while but you just know that in the next second, the blast beats are gonna kick in... it's like the musical equivalent of a money shot! :)
     
  4. Nick Inch Nails

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    Song stucture can be a pain for metal.

    Many musicians destroy their art by trying to structure it and go for the traditional method of main chorus repetition. However never think you have to abandon song structure. I use it a lot and find it helps the songs immensly.

    :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
     
  5. Surt

    Surt New Metal Member

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    I think that it's not so much a case of whether or not to apply structure to one's music, but more a matter of how to apply it.

    Whilst pop music tends to be very centered around repeating a "hook"; extreme metal tends to be a bit more similar to classical in that a song will be basically a progression of ideas that flow together to form a whole. However, many great metal songs follow a fairly generic verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus type of song structure.

    I have a theory that many of the best songs write themselves, with the composer basically acting as a conduit for the music. In this sense I think that it's better not to conciously try to apply a specific structure or lack thereof, but rather let the song dictate that itself.
     
  6. Atticus

    Atticus New Metal Member

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    Oh yes I'd definitely agree there Surt - the best songs are not formulaic writing by numbers, but a stream of consciousness.

    That is basically independent of the final structure and form of the song, but rather a reflection of the spontenaity of the ideas which make up the song.

    Alcohol helps this process I find... Hmm another thread topic beckons "Writing under the influence"
     
  7. Nick Inch Nails

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    Intresting theory that. And I'd have to say i agree with it.

    It seems that pot and alcohol do boost the creative process. The best albums by bands are usually written when the frontperson is heavily into drugs eg. Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots.
     
  8. NocturnalBunny

    NocturnalBunny New Metal Member

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    I find that personally if you can purvey a feeling successfully, then the song structure comes secondary. I always write several riffs over a long period of time, and eventually marry some of them together, those which are usually in the same scale.

    But, as far as the technical art of it - sometimes I find myself repeating an idea I thought of before (I used to go ape mixing major and harmonic minor scales - I felt like Yngwie for a week); once I realize I've overdone it...I usually stray from it for awhile. It's not always good to go by a structure, but it definately can be. If you follow to closely to one, your music will never sound creative or original - but if you use it enough, it can be a catalyst to help your music - okay, I'm ranting...

    but - I agree with the pot smoking and guitar playing....I either come up with real chaotic riffs, or long acoustic jazzy songs; whereas I normally(sober) just harmonize a whole bunch of stuff on my 8 track in thirds...but then again, I got really stoned once, hit random notes, and for one moment was convinced it was the Scooby theme song.
     
  9. Metal Meister

    Metal Meister Bringer Of Death

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    LMAO! Pot + Beer=good tunes! Damn straight! I find that when I'm writing stuff I focus on riff to riff! By then end of the song I'll prolly have about 7-8 different riffs that flow through one another instead of having verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus! When I write I try to stick with speed and crunch! Although sometimes I'll belt something out and someone will say "hey try slowing that down and doing it clean" and it sounds even better!
     
  10. epicous

    epicous Member

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    example of melodic lines (no harmonies, accompainments, riffs and percussive beats)

    intro
    verse 1
    verse 2
    bridge
    chorus
    verse3
    chorus
    verse 4
    chorus
    bridge
    final
     

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