Composing Metal Melodies and Harmonies

Lesson 7/7 - Song Critiques


Composing Metal Melodies and Harmonies


Lesson Info

Song Critiques

This is a song called a failed by a carl winery um it doesn't say the name of the band so maybe this is solo stuff so let's check it out you will do what we did last time and just get your things you're about halfway through okay, so I kind of feel like a person like stephen hunter but the main thing that I could say is that this could be better if it was a lot less cluttered I just feel like there's I mean it's like the parts are kind of you know have some potential but there's certain things that just go on too long like the piano playing through everything uh I don't know that's the best choice and it sounds like there's an intro into an intro at the beginning where maybe you if you want to do that maybe don't have it be the same piano anymore or something are you thinking um the most standout thing to me was when the vocals kicked in it was like screen vocals and then kind of a droney seeing things that sounded like several people um way too much right off the top uh the scream sou...

nded natural the other things sounded a bit arbitrary for that for that part especially right off the top of the song that and the it's like you have screen vocals clean vocals piano every guitar drums like it's it's a lot of stuff especially not not you could put all that stuff in there but I would I would simplify each part find the right place for each one of those things as opposed to all at once yeah, the piano I would say uh could I could use a little bit of wetness on that sounds really dry really natural piano sound which I think works sometimes depending for this it's like everything else is so uh distorted and crazy sounding I would almost rather hear a keyboard sound for that totally I mean, the in the intro wasn't so bad, but it's like it just kept on going and going and going and it doesn't it doesn't sonically fit everything else so but I definitely think that so far that like you said, if these guys just find out their arrangements you found similar five yeah like I would say overarching theme would be to simplify yeah let's see if the piano keeps going this is very busy. I would say maybe there's a keyboard a piano player in the band because it seems like there's a lot of it. I would say if there isn't a keeper or a piano playing around, you could definitely scale it back if there is a guy who that's his thing and that's what he's doing the whole time I would say find other things for him to do that aren't just our page created you know, courts on the piano I would say find like pads to go over certain things what's that bathroom yeah yeah either to chill for sections or you could be doing things that aren't you know throughout the whole thing more like uh more synthesized pads under certain areas and that's not to say you can't bring on natural sounding piano into certain areas but throughout the bulk of the song is really trying to determine what's gonna be your lead at any one time and focusing on that absolutely your lead yeah that's good that's the problem is with this one is that there's too many conflicting musical viewpoints happening at once it's very similar to what we were talking about what? The lyrics and, uh you know it's going to the next one this is uh kevin student eight of windy city slaughter I am the son. All right, kevin, check out we've got we need to get organized here. That's uh that was the first thing that would probably save these guys were coming into the studio. Um it's it's the same it's almost the same problems with the other side is and totally different. Jonah it's just like too much stuff going on like the guitars are not tight with the drums at all like they're on two different planets of time and it just sounds to me like they're not we're not working together trying to work together to do something complicated but it's too much it's and then this change makes in a sense so I feel like it could be a lot cooler that was simplified and it also sounds to me like it's border and on the edge of people's ability like especially the rhythm guitars and I think well, the most important things you can do is tio know your limits and stick within them uh you know always be pushing but don't go so far beyond your limitations that you're not doing a good job so do you think uh yeah I agree um I think the guitars uh are like you said trying to be as technical as possible we're just fine there's nothing wrong with that um generally speaking um but personally and another's bands that that wouldn't follow this but personally I like for there to be a balance of really technical with really simple parts granted we're not super far into the song but it's far enough along to meet its people to be able to tell that he definitely likes to shred um kind of constantly which is uh which is fine but I would say for the sake of the song there could be some sections that are similar parts just extremely simplified versions of that um you want to draw emphasis on your favorite riffs and if those air the most technical ones you can emphasize those by surrounding it with simpler stuff totally and also with the technical stuff you don't have to do it at like one hundred thirty percent you do it at ninety eight percent you're gonna play away tighter um it will be within your ability so you won't be stressed out trying to play it and this is a guitar player you're not going to be cramping up and then you will play way better so he could even stand a slow it down a little like I think it's too fast I think it's just beyond dues level of ability and so it comes out with the slough and they dropped it ten bpm fifteen b p m it would groove harder and everything would be tighter and you confined areas where the guitar slows way down and maybe the drums keep going fast there's a great good year apart where it's a blast pete it's done, done, done, done, done, done you know so it's there's ways to do really simple and keep it fast keep it interesting on then interspersed with things that are totally technical and everyone's going crazy but you want those parts to be special and the whole records that it loses its intensity absolutely all right let's uh move on this is matt freeman of ordinary human fall, so we have one called fail in one called fall right asked me on that, uh, awful thing, but I got to say that, uh, I feel like a good producer could probably take this song and make it a good song, yeah, without and I don't mean that in like a negative later is the band like, I feel like this pre pro is far long enough to where someone who knows what they're doing could, uh, take out what's needed to be taken out and and keep the good stuff, but I think I think that there's some technically weird things going on like going to tension notes too soon? Um, in the verse of pre chorus and, uh, you know, not properly setting up the chorus and maybe the courses is low in the vocals, maybe maybe it's not, you know doesn't really establish itself too much, and I think it has to do partially and how a song but also helps set up to attention notes I feel like I could tell where the chorus was just because of where it sat in the song, but outside of that, it didn't feel like course, exactly, um what that said I would I would pick bigger longer friend a band like this, I feel like I could be really general with my thoughts on it because I'd radio rock kind of modern rock stuff a lot of times it is what it is, and I enjoy it. I'm not the guy who hates on that stuff. Uh, big long sweeping, uh, guitar drawn out chords for courses. Um, boost the vocal up in key for that part, it should be a higher part in the song attn. Leased in certain sections that almost sounded like a dropped it. Tio mohr monotone mohr sparse. Um, uh, area if you had the right idea, though, by making it different. Yeah, it was different, but it was it was almost in the in the wrong way. Finality wise, it was in the wrong direction. Should it should have been big there's other things you can do to spruce up, of course, to make it sound like a big chorus, put a tangerine in there and just bury it. No one will even notice it's in there. Um, things like that keys just don't want to, you know, wonder like muck it up, but there's additions that you can put into that and it does sound like it kind of seamlessly went into their without, like, any kind of prep for it. So it's, like the vocals never see stop right, give a break in something in the music and the vocal in both maybe just one guitar goes for a couple seconds before the chorus kicks in so that when it kicks in it as that that intensity yeah just needs its fat dreamed kind of and just re working but I don't see anything diary about this one no there's I would say there's some maybe a little bit too many vocal styles happening yet and once it started out very like I had it figured out then in one of the wrapping bottom rock thing um and then the screaming and then a little bit rap e um yes it seemed a little bit um unsure jack of all trades master of none kind of totally so all right let's move on and see if we can get one more of these in before we, uh the rest. So this is echoes that stand by rand brid ran heard or bread wrappers? Sorry. Okay, this is an instrumental track. Uh, I have a very strong opinion on instrumental music, which is that if you're going to do instrumental music it better be interesting. Um I'm serious good people want to hear vocals yeah, if you're another guy short change them on that then you better add something in there that's going tio that's going to take the place of the vocals and still lead it on the way a vocal would I would say more so on music that that is more likely to have vocal you're doing like music that sounds like soundtracks tougher or scores are classical by all means leave it out so it only really tell that it's gone I think it's like I'm just everyone is just waiting to hear the vocal and so yeah like you said if if you're going to take it out uh compensate in other ways yeah there needs to be melody and melodic development harmonic development a lot more tension release all these different things need to be transferred all these different things that the vocalist would be lending to the song that need to be coming from the other instruments and there's some there's some cool stuff happening there like I like some of the way the drums were playing with the guitars time signature wise and um through the intro um I think that's cool um I might like to hear it plateau at a certain point with that rhythm where the drums go really straight even if it is a weird title time signature where the drums go really straight and end up going off from the guitars maybe and then catching back up with him but they were they were kind of technical all the way through until it kind of went into the mellow area again um sounds like it was building up to something that I feel like in my head it didn't make it to where I wanted it to go but that's just my opinion it's mind too I thought it was pretty cool but uh awesome stuff uh alright let's check this one out james oh tools spiral sequence in a beer you all right? Let's see couple things uh with bitchiness is not cool fix that the uh the other first first we heard of the vocal sounded like he was pushing the limits of his range a little bit and then when you kicked into that next part which I don't have those the bar's there he like had it yeah you like that that section is what his voice should sound like absolutely the part before that I don't know if it was too high for him I don't know what it was but it's not his natural thing for him that that second part was by far what he should be sounding like most of the time yeah, like I feel like you know auto tune the melody line exists for a reason but that was too far off in my opinion to warren tuning like that needs to be addressed at this source like what you're saying like probably the wrong range or or do needs to work on his pitch one of the one of the other or both but it's you know it's kind of a cool rob zombie sounding thing once he kicks into it up, sales in the intro could be half the length easel absolutely unless there were unless something else was introduced halfway through it like a guitar lead or something like that yeah, I think in general things just kind of went on a little too long but yeah, if if they cut things down, fix the pitch issues with the vocals and then had the more along the lines of what you said like in what we both thought was the course um this would be a better song by a long shot maybe space some of the vocals out a little bit if it is a chorus area planning is something we're noticing a lot is just blanket vocals yeah give it some breath like make it memorable because of what's not there with you what you take out good vocalists breathe they have to, you know, law of the universe right should work move on to tree but no more time to waste treatment singing way out of his range? Um, yeah, I know I'm starting to think that all the stuff we said about range sticking within the vocalist ranges right on because two in a row and I just recorded one like a month or so ago where he was totally out of his range and it was didn't even occur to them teo teo, you know tweet that you come you want the student you want the bigger chorus e sounding notes to come out on bond and what you hear as, uh an effective version of that is you going higher but that's out of your range find other ways to supplement for that whether someone else in the band khun do harmonies um over you and you stay kind of down in your in your comfort territory um or make the parts before it lower yeah yeah totally but there's other ways to make those big things that other than going yes so I couldn't tell at one point of its that the vocals were out of tune or if they were clashing harmonically with the guitars but when the lead guitar came in it was like league atar the parts of the lead guitar felt pointless toe for for the where they sat and then I would say the base on both a mixing and a performance level we're distracting yet that's why I asked a bass player mixed it because it was so loud I understand why anna have loud bass but you gotto you have for this kind of use a ghetto mix base tio teo serve a function which is to basically provide a sub low end the total drop a little bit too much fancy footwork happening on the bass yeah absolutely and for no real reason um so yeah I would you know I would fix the vocals at first but fix the vocals, the lead guitar and the bass and it's all seems to be performance type simplifying yeah in almost all categories yeah, the common team all right, let's, check out this last one which is peter and I'm not going to even try to pronounce your last name, but the band is called on this say come in with a different riff if you want to pull that off the right way or drop it down like if you're going to do that uh you know, do it todd jones does and nails and have the part before before it goes into the breakdown have the purple for a little bit higher so this altar heavy when it goes into it otherwise it doesn't sound like it just even like one full step up would be cool to just drop yeah, totally yet I feel like that would make it far more effective hard to really form an opinion on this without vocals. But I can say that the guitar was in the wrong key at the end of the sweep section and uh one thing I did think that was cool was that they did it eventually go lower, which may sound ultra heavy, but they put that in the wrong spot that should have been how it came in out of that intro um in my opinion it should have come in beating people's faces and if you're going to do this type of music do it all the way yes a little riff soupy totally there there's parts that technically they you can put you can put him up against one another um but I feel like maybe more attention could be focused on transitions between parts um not that I think it's there's anything wrong with going from something slow and sludgy disembodied sounding like a decapitated blast pete it's uh that's fine um there seemed like maybe too many of those left turns from from this to that um uh find a find a bridge not a song bridge but find a bridge to go between those two parts that at least kind of maybe subtly mentally prepared for it maybe not every time but on some of them I think more tension release would be really effective for this because it's almost like it goes into that wall of blast beat kind of thing where you just have brutality for no seeming no good reason and it could just be a simple rearranging the orders and these risks teo yeah it's that the kind of chug um like muted hard core drive thing that's happening in the beginning probably happens for too long if they're going to end up going into that like speed territory totally not that it's a bad way to start the song but it's. Such a it's, such a simple riff into I mean, maybe the guitar state fairly simple on the drums. Just go crazy, and it sounded cool once it went into like that really extreme territory, but, um, yeah, I feel like it. Maybe it went, it was too polarized from super simple. I thought, I kind of had the band figured out, and then it went into total, like, yeah, I am very, completely cool. Well, I think that that's, that's that

Class Description

A great melody is one of the most important ingredients in writing a memorable song or piece of music. It’s the melody that catches your attention and stays in your head long after the song is done playing. The best melodies are often very simple to play or sing. Writing them is where the real challenge lies.

Join Eyal Levi (Audiohammer Studios, DAATH) and his guest Ryan Clark (Demon Hunter) for their half-day follow up to Mastering Metal Songwriting. This class, which is the perfect addition to Eyal’s Mastering Metal Songwriting, will cover more songwriting ground – teaching you the basics of melodies, how to write them, place them and evaluate them.. Whether you are an accomplished musician or just starting out, this course will answer all your questions related to composing harmonies and melodies in a metal context.

You'll learn how to construct a melody, how melodies and harmonies interact, call and response, countermelodies, what to do when your melody isn't working, key signature changes, how to create tension and resolution, and more.

If you're ready to take your compositional skills to the next level this is the course for you!


a Creativelive Student

Please give us the keynote pdf file as mentioned! This course is amazing and so inspiring! Thanks a lot!