Sunday, April 17, 2011

Technique - Amp Simulator on Drums

Sort of came up with this thing unintentionally, but it sounded good so they probably call this a happy accident. Was working on a new song and noticed after a couple of hours that the drum loop was on a track that still had a guitar sim on it; TH2 2 be exact. Bypassed the plug to see what was going on and it sounded subjectively much worse without the amp. Uploaded a file so u can see 4 urself. The first half of the loop is with the plug-in and the second half is bypassed. So experiment with these sims on drum loops or drum buss and it may be just the ticket 2 the sound ur after. Ampdrumbuss by galaxyswan

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reading Rainbow - Wasting Time - Chords and Lesson

Check out 'Wasting Time' by Reading Rainbow it's a real-good feel-good song. If u want 2 strum the guitar a couple of times along w/ it here's the chords:

Verse |C|C|G|G|F|Bb| x 2 (after the second repeat play 2 bars of 'C' which serves as a lead in for the change)

Chorus|F|Am|C|C| x 4 (Wasting Time Part)

Bridge |C|C|F|F|G|G|F|F|

Okay couple of quick things abt this track. They do a little deceptive thing on the verses where it feels like they are going 2 give u an 8 bar progression but since bars 7-8 end on the 'C' chord which is the same as the chord on the opening 2 bars they use it much like a pivot to jump ahead right into a repeat of the verse early. This is a good one 2 add 2 ur bag of tricks. Another thing 2 take note is how they end the song with repeats of the bridge rather than the more traditional approach of ending with repeats of the chorus. These small jabs of unexpected direction allow the song to remain interesting even though they keep things really simple in other ways.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rhythm Guitar Lesson - Using the 4th

When u have a guitar that's strumming a long to big, fat open chords a nice way 2 build up the arrangement is by having a guitar play some double stops and single note riffs alongside the chordal material. A note that works really well here is the fourth of whatever chord is playing. It provides nice harmonic color but not so much that it starts to throw off the melodies, at least most of the time. If u do notice it drawing yr attention away from the vocal or something more important then it would be wise 2 simplify things. Here is an example riff in Em @ 160bpm that uses the fourth 'A' to get some mojo. Strum an Em chord alongside it and see how it fills things out nicely. Riff - Em 160bpm by galaxyswan

Friday, April 8, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Extended Chorus

Often when u reach the end of a song a single run through the chorus will cause the song 2 feel like it ends too abruptly. This is often overcome by making the final chorus longer than the ones which have proceeded it. However, on occasion the cure is worse than the disease because if no additional information is presented as this longer chorus unfolds listeners can become bored. This issue presented itself on the song 'Before We Both Break' which is available here . And the workaround served 2 enhance the finished product and u may find it usable on yr own songs if u r so inclined. The typical progression during this end chorus is |F|F7|Bb|C Bb Am Ab Gm| as the chorus continues the momentum is maintained or even increased by dropping the third bar completely leaving u with a repeating three bar progression. Now with the chorus cycling in 3 rather than 4 bars it feels as if it is gaining steam and energy as it approaches the end rather than sputtering out. It didn't serve the purposes of this song but u could even experiment with having the repeats decrease by one measure each run thru. so u would play the full 4 bars, then 3 bar chorus, then 2 bars, and then one bar and end after that. This could make the songs energy feel like it's abt 2 go nuclear. And another suggestion 2 consider would be stick with 3 bars during the chorus extension but change which bar u drop. So in the example above u could drop the 3rd bar the first time thru, and then bring it back 4 the next run but lose the 2nd bar instead and so on. The important thing 2 remember is don't take it 4 granted that a simple extra chorus tagged on is enuff to keep a listeners attention and u should consider options 4 keeping the interest level all the way up 2 the final chord.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gauntlet Hair - Our Scenery Indie Tab

Had a couple of requests 4 more guantlet hair tabs so here's another song by these guys. Didn't get 2 spend a lot of time on this cuz really busy on other stuff right now so it's not perfect but should get u pretty close. Listen to the examples for timing cuz the notes in the tabs are played as rhythm parts just didn't feel like writing each hit down. Played the first couple riffs @ half speed to start with before adding some tempo and the third one is held out strums so no slower version 4 that.
riff 1 This is the muted part that plays 4 most of the song
G|   8 10
D|10 8 10 
    Riff1 Scenery by galaxyswan 
riff2 second guitar part that plays through much of the song.

D|15 13 11 10
A|13 11 9  8
    Riff2 Scenery by galaxyswan 
riff 3 This is the guitar part part for the end section.

B|9 13 16
G|8 12 15
D|6 10 13
Riff3 Scenery by galaxyswan