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Dave's Music Workshop: Writing Middle 8s / Drops/ Whatever

 
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Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:14 am    Post subject: Dave's Music Workshop: Writing Middle 8s / Drops/ Whatever Reply with quote

Looking for some hints and tips on writing songs, specifically the arrangements.

In the past I've usually been able to have a flash of inspiration that gets me a decent verse and chorus, but I often find I get a lot of trouble figuring out what to do with the middle 8 kind of thing. I don't have an 'ear' for what works in this context. When i say 'middle8' I'm really referring to ANYTHING that is not a verse or chorus and is used to give the tune some variety - this could be 'drops' or any other form this principle takes.

Really looking for any hints and tips to help free up this area of my writing. I.e: Do you use some basic principles? Do you have any particular Chord theory that informs what you do? Timing? Dynamics?

The question is a wide one really so any and all input welcome.
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George
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in my opinion there should be absolutely no formula. looking at any sort of theory behind it takes the fun out of it in my experience

i basically mark out where a bridge may be good and just see what works. sometimes there's no need for a bridge.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't say we have a formula in NOSE, but there are certain things which definitely work for us. This isn't the case for every song, but most verses and choruses seem to be our standard loud/quiet/loud semi-atonal thing, and then the middle section is often a half-time Sabbath-inspired riff. Verses and choruses are more often something I've come up with at home (although usually incorporating some ideas the other guys have come up with at practice), whereas middle sections seem to come out of jamming as a full band. There'll just be this moment in a jam where we all have a big, dumb grin on our faces, and more often than not it tends to be during a big, dumb stoner rock riff.

Right now we just need to write some more songs, the newest song in our current set is from like April...
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Aiden
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A trick I find helpful in any creative / writing process: Think of what the "right" thing to do would be, then do the opposite. Like, if you're writing a song and it's all quite fast and hectic, the "right" thing to do might be to slow it down for the middle 8. So instead, speed it up. The results might be awful, but it helps you to break out of the feeling that there's an ideal way of writing a song / doing whatever, and that it's your job to conform to that ideal. Also - and I wouldn't claim to be the first person to realise this - doing one arbitrary, prescribed thing at the start of the creative process (in this case, identifying the "right" thing, then performing the "wrong" thing) makes it much easier to commit to that creative process.

Or, just do a solo that follows the vocal melody of a popular rap song like St Vincent says on Guitar Moves.
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Brandon W
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are thinking too much bro. Let the music write itself. You are a passenger more than a driver. A medium of sorts. The last song i did for the scum/slum had a middle 8..two of them actually. Those parts are in the song because they insisted they be. I thought it was a bit long but i also knew they worked even though they were neither a verse or a chorus. I liked the words because they reminded of something that ekwatts would say and i wanted a spot to use this little bass riff i wrote and they went together perfectly. I didn't think about it or force it. So if you have something to say with your instrument or your voice and it doesn't quite work with anything else but something tells you to use it then i would make it a pre-chorus or a middle 8. If it's words then write something that works with it in the same key you are playing in. I would do something different and unique with the drums on that spot so it stands out and if you choose to do a solo later in the song then you can mimick the vocal melody of the middle 8. If it's just a musical passage then you can write words or hum or whatever over it and i would, once again, give it a separate bass and/or drum part with it to make it stand out. You can also use it as a way to get from one piece to another. Good luck dave..
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Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice my lovelies! All taken onboard.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to fall in to this type of writing http://vimeo.com/8715089 build up the layers & polyrhythms & textures. The occasional change & variation. Find the groove & smile
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Benmurray85
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George wrote:
in my opinion there should be absolutely no formula. looking at any sort of theory behind it takes the fun out of it in my experience

i basically mark out where a bridge may be good and just see what works. sometimes there's no need for a bridge.


this is great advice. i struggle with sections A LOT. not just bridges and middles but as mentioned below i just map out a bare bones structure for the song and then fill the bits in as i go. i do ghet really hung up and stuck on it though.

another piece of advice that works well is bouncing ideas off other players. there really is no substitute for getting in a room and jamming that shit out. its hard and can be tedious but you just gotta do it. play through the song and when it gets to the gap just have a jam. even if its an hour long and shite, something may come of it. record everything as well. listen back on a new day and see whats what. there may only be seconds worth of a good idea but it gives you something to go on. not neccesarily practical but it works
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ZombieLloyd
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I struggle alot with sections in recording too, I made a song today using two riffs I made and kind of forgot about, I made them for use with two different songs but they kind of just worked together.
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Brandon W
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the new sabbath record has amazing middle 8's btw
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cur wrote:
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