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Thread: Composing Metal songs??

  1. #1
    Registered User Milo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Composing Metal songs??

    Is there some music theory to compose Metal/trash songs?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Toronto, Canada


    if you analyze any type of song, there is theory within it, but in many cases, the musician that wrote that song, might not have been thinking in terms of theory when he or she was writing that song.

    I think many metal/thrash bands don't think in terms of theory when they write their stuff. They just find something that sounds good to them, and go with it.

    However, I know Troy Stetina has some books on thrash metal/metal writing, and soloing. Try them out, and they might be useful to you.

  3. #3
    Acoustic Gunslinger Wyll_Watts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Virginia, USA
    the Troy Stetina metal books that Oceano mentioned are pretty good as giving you an overall idea of the basic tools and cliches that show up in metal and thrash.. his thrash metal book would probably be a good choice for you since it is based around playing and writing riffs

    I play a lot of thrash and thrash influenced metal (black metal, melodic death etc..) and this is the general approach I use to writing riffs and songs...
    I get a general idea of a sound or theme in my head, what kind of dynamic, tight or loose feeling etc.. Then I noodle around a little bit forming outline riifs or progressions that capture what I'm looking for.. At this point, general music theory comes into conscious play for me.. I use it to develope the outline riffs and to understand resolutions, tensions or whatever leading to different parts and song structure in general..
    This is how it generally happens, but sometimes riffs just seem to pop out by themselves.. One thing to remember though, there is more to a song then just a collection of riffs, so don't fall into the easy trap of just glueing riffs together and calling it a song..

    good luck in your thrash explorations..

  4. #4
    Central Scrutinizer
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    There is no formula for writing a song.
    Yes everything can be broken down and looked at, you shuld strart by taking a good look at what makes the songs you like tick. Not just metal songs buy everythng.
    I don't reccomend the I'm gonna sit down and write a Metal song approach. Just write a Song. Period. If your a Metal kinna guy then odds are you'll write something with a Metal edge to it

    Then only rule is: Does it sound good to you.

    Knowing some theory helps with taking other peoples songs apart, but even if you know no, or very little theory, you can still take the song apart and look at it and make a crude assement.
    Find the heart of the song: what makes it work, what does this song do that you'd like to do, how can I go about getting something like this, etc.

    Maybe its a rythm that cool, only you find you have trouble feeling it or being able to play it. Then make up some ex. that use that rythm. A certain part of writing may be tech. based in that what you feel you lack writing wise may be something you also lack playing wise.

    Building your ear through listening, or sight singing.
    Buliding your theory chops.
    Building your Tech.
    will all help open more creative doors.

    And most of all just listen and write.
    Just write a song.
    Who cares what kind someone will label it as.
    "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is usually the correct one." William of Occam

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