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hm......composing crisis

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassbrother666, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. bassbrother666


    Feb 13, 2013
    Heyyy talkbassers...so i'm currently having what i like to call a composing crisis.....i can compose various riffs melodies and licks but....i can't grasp one style of music...
    what i mean is that....i like some different styles...more like progressive metal and instrumental and technical death metal.....the problem is that i write riffs that sound like progressive...others that sound like tech death and others who sound likea solo bass piece......have you ever experienced something like this?
    sorry for bad english
  2. Depending on what instrument I start on will usually dictate the style of music I compose. Fortunately, I like mixing different styles together and sometimes abruptly switching styles, tempo, and time signatures.

    So let's say I start on bass, usually it'll be a funk-riff. On guitar, I'll add a thrash metal riff. Perhaps another guitar doing a simple funk wah riff. Then I'll work out synth parts that might end up sounding 8-bit pop-riffs. Then I add drums that might have Latin or Asian percussion in it using a Drum&Bass beat. All of this together could either turn out to be total over-produced garbage or ingenious artistry.

    The point is, what might start out as a Technical Death Metal bass riff, could eventually morph into a 80s Hair Band Power Ballad depending how the other instruments interact with it. Sometimes just adding a different effect (like distortion or chorus) might make you rethink how that riff is going to be used.

    Some musicians record all their riffs, and might return back to those initial ideas to use in other musical projects.
  3. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I definitely experience this all the time, and my solution is to combine ideas regardless of differing styles. Zappa did this to great effect as did Mr. Bungle and many other more progressive composers. The key to combining the ideas, for me anyway, is the transition between the ideas. I just come up with a way to go from one idea to another. If one idea is on the lighter side, but the next idea is much heavier, or louder, I compose something to go in between that builds up to the next section.
  4. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    If targeting a certain style with your compositions is the goal, you have to start revising your compostions until they fit.

    If you say to yourself "I am composing a technical death metal riff"
    and then you listen and think "this sounds like progressive in parts"
    then: you are not finished composing!

    It's easy (and fun) to create a riff that works fine all by itself.
    The temptation is to call it done simply because it's fun and you enjoy it.
    but a riff needs to serve more than your own sense of fun.
    It has to serve the style, the song, the overall sound of band etc...

    If it doesn't sound the way you want it to, then you are not done composing.
    Learn to enjoy revising ideas as much as creating them in the first place.