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Question for Conservationist

Question for Conservationist
November 06, 2012, 10:18:43 PM
Do you start with a vision of where a piece is going and flesh it out on the instrument or experiment with the instrument and later put the pieces in their place. I remember reading an interview with Paul Ledney where he stated he would hum the melody he wanted and the guitarist could turn it into a riff. Other metal bands seem to build this massive array of contrasting riffs that oddly enough are in perfect complement to one and other, suggesting their compositional process is more subconscious.

Re: Question for metal composers
November 07, 2012, 02:43:52 AM
I hear the music; I try to work out how to play it, or write it down at the very least.

Re: Question for metal composers
November 07, 2012, 12:04:26 PM
Great question! Most of the time if I am just creating a one off song, I look to create riffs on how I feel and it seems to escalate from their. My newest offering is such:


Re: Question for metal composers
November 07, 2012, 05:02:51 PM
It really depends for me.  I usually have the 'theme' for a song in mind as I start it, or the 'theme' suggests itself as I work with the melody/riff.  Often I am inspired with a melody or riff which I then play over and over again until I can play it well and I've ironed out the weaknesses, then I will start to do variations on it - add some harmony bits, maybe some passing notes, or a pedal note - until new riffs and melodies start suggesting themselves.  Even playing the riff in a different key or the relative major/minor (although my songs tend to be so atonal/modal that songs tend to have wandering tonic notes) can help give a new look at the riff that might expand your thinking.

Mixing and matching odd/old riffs with new ideas is also a good way to move a piece along or at least give you a different look at the same thing.  I also like to change instruments;  playing a guitar riff on the bass might suggest a simpler, more coherent way of writing the idea, and playing it on the keyboard might suggest a more subtle, secondary role for the guitar, etc.

Generally, I would say most of my writing is more subconcious, while most of the editing is concious.