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Mastering Metal Songwriting

Lesson 18 of 28

Refine Your Writing with Pat Lukens

Eyal Levi

Mastering Metal Songwriting

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

18. Refine Your Writing with Pat Lukens

Lesson Info

Refine Your Writing with Pat Lukens

share wants to know. What are your general thoughts of chord inversions on base. So, like, I assume that means if you're using easy keys to write a inverted baseline, does you mean like, using a different note in the route than the reward? I think so. Uh, that's Ah, that's really easy. Let me just explain that real quick. That was something I did want to get to. Um, just put in a minor in the court wheel. You see this right here? Uh, to the right of the inversion that controls the, uh, what the left hand would be doing. So you have your cord on one side and say, I wanna have if under a Noor, that's how you do it. I think that that's what the person was asking. But that's a pretty common thing to have a route. I mean, the lowest note in the in the base not be the actual route of the cord. And that's so that's how you do it right here. So super useful. Cool, awesome. Or Gaylor. All right. I think we can bring ah, bring Pat in on Skype. You ready to go? Yes, sure. Why? There is Hello, sir...

. Yo, what's up? You know, just hanging out. So I want to Ah, introduce my buddy Pat Liukin's. Uh, I brought him in, uh, committed the keynote for one second. Uh, I brought him in because, um, it's actually a professional writer in the pop world, which is not the metal world. But one of the things that I kind of want Teoh bring across in this class is that good songs or good songs and techniques for writing are the same, no matter what. Um, there might be some specifics to the genre. You're an arrangement wise, but, you know, a catchy melodies, a catchy melody. And, ah, one of the things about Pat that's cool is that he's a metal guitarist. He comes with a metal world too. So making the transition from metal to pop This is something I want. Talk about it also. I mean, you still play metal, so figure you've got you've got something, Teoh, add to this class. So thanks for being with us, dude. Well, thanks for having me. A pleasure. I guess I just want toe first. Just ask you a few questions about yourself just so that people get to know exactly why you're here. Besides what I said and then let's get into music. But is it? What do you What are your primary instruments? Our instruments. I say about equal parts piano and guitar. And how long you been playing for? Uh, piano have been playing since up for and it's our place since I'm about second grade. So a really, really long time. And yeah, and I guess on guitar when you started that, what style of music do you start playing? Was that metal right out the gate? My brother gave me the first been hailing home, so Yeah, cool. Like pretty, pretty hard rock metal. When did you start the solos? So you started shredding and stuff. I mean, that's that's like what I wanted to do is just be Eddie Van Halen. Basically, that's pretty cool. So were you, like, I guess when you were a lot younger was, like all technique and soloing and guitar. No noodle. It was just beautiful. Best like all day, every day. I mean, I practiced a little bit like everyone. So while I would, you know, sit down drill scales. But I just like playing I don't really like practicing, so I basically just noodle like a little bit every day. Think that that's actually a really common trait among writers is that they cannot stand practicing. I can't. I can't. I can't either. I think, uh, it takes a certain type to be ableto practice for, like, six hours a day and become a virtuoso. And, uh, we were talking about yesterday. If you make the choice to do that, you're probably not gonna be a great writer because, you know, you only have so many hours in the day. So I think there there's something to be said about a lot of the best writers out there, Not not being the guy that can handle drilling scales for two hours and arpeggios for an hour and then whatever to a Metrodome for another hour. But yeah, sounds horrible, right? I definitely did that for a while, but I think I maybe did that for a combined total of maybe two hours in my life. But, like only, like, 10 minute intervals. Eso like harmonic minor. I got it like this. Well, I guess the moral of story is, though, uh, that sounds to me like you still got good enough on the instrument to be able Teoh pull off what you wanted to pull off, or at least right where you wanted to write. Yeah, I mean, that's always how it's been for me. Is that like, all listen to music and I'll hear something like, I won't immediately understand it and I'll try to, like, learn whatever it is is going on in the song. And then, just, like, learned it enough to where I'm like. Okay, that's what that court is or oh, that's what that skill, that's like, How can I use this in my own stuff? So I mean, like, even though you're not like, uh, busting out scales to Metrodome all day long, there's still something that you're actively working on to get better at music and understanding music. It does. Yeah, sure, Yeah, so it doesn't just sound like aimless noodling for years that's exercising, but that's actually a really good point. Um, I think a lot of guitar players who are who worked too hard on technical issues or scales end up sounding like they're playing scales everywhere, and it's because that's what they're working on. the most. I think what you work on the most is was gonna come out and you're writing. So if you drill if you drill scales all the time and you get really awesome at playing scales really fast well, that's what that's what you're writing is gonna be a semi scales really fast and cool, I guess. But, I mean, still, you told me that you took lessons from Rested Cooley and stuff did? Yeah. I mean, yeah, I mean, pretty much pretty Livingood shred master. Yeah. Yeah. So did you actually do what he gave you? I mean, every lesson would be like he would have some crazy exercise, and I mean, I would do my my best, which is like a solid two minutes of trying to play it. And then, of course, like, you know, I'd learn how to kind of play it, and then it would work in tow. My style. And I mean, the most valuable thing was just like, uh, the core concepts that he taught me like I would use, um, those. But I would make up my own stuff for the kind of suited more what I was doing because I didn't just want to be able to play everything he played. I wanted it like I'd always come to his lessons and thank you. Give me these legs and be like, Yeah, but, like, can you like, show me some, like some were scales, Or like, how do you make the no choices that you make And it will kind of be like so basically, like a starting point for you? Yeah, which is also something that we talked about yesterday was something that I think writers should do is have some sort of warm up for their brains and for their hands. If they write at an instrument cause writing cold sucks. And I think one of the best ways to kind of just get going is to try to learn something new. But one of the key things that I think people need to do and not, and not let themselves get carried away is when they're learning something new or warming up or whatever, Uh, whether it takes 15 minutes or 30 minutes or however long the minute there, 80 d kicks in and they start getting creative. Stop working on that thing and start writing you know. Follow that. Don't. If you're learning some new scale concept and fit within 15 minutes your board and, uh, writing your own version of it. Don't stop yourself from writing it. Just because you said you wanted to practice it for 30 minutes, actually stopped practicing and start writing it Sounds to me like, Is what you do a question. Uh, how is your theory? Knowledge? Um, it's it's okay. Like I'm I'm no, uh, I always have these, like, nightmares about being asked to sit in with, like, a really big band jazz band. Because if I was handed a chart, I would have no zero idea like you would take. I know what everything is. I just don't know it like quickly enough to kind of play it on the fly. But I know my minor sevenths from my major seventh, my dominant sentiments. But most of what I do is just kind of bite year. And whenever right I took a college theory course, and when every time I've learned theory, it's always just kind of confirmed, uh, like stuff that I was already hearing. Like when I learned that the five Ford goes to the one chord. Usually I was like, Yeah, like I've heard that like before. That makes sense. It wasn't like Whoa really like I never knew that. It just kind of it was kind of just a new language for stuff. Priority could sort of sense and feel something interesting that John Brown, he's my guest in about an hour and 1/2 told me it. And I don't know this is true or not, but seems true. And I say, and if someone in the chat room knows that it's not true, please say so. But he said that originally theory was what was used. Teoh better catalogue people's ideas, so it wasn't to make rules out of thin air, but it was to basically create a language out of people. Were are out of things that people were already making. So yeah, this those tendencies, like five to the one and all that it's also it's also important to remember that modern music theory is like, uh, it's like a Western European thing, and other parts of the world have, like different systems, just the one that we all use this kind of the most used one, like there are a lot of African music can only be like like I probably don't know this for sure. But like I've heard that likes, lots of the tribes have different drumbeats that they passed down, uh, orally, basically. And you can't. They're literally so subtle that you can't write them down. It's like you just have someone just test to show you and you pass it down to the next urination. That's actually pretty interesting. I wonder if it's passed. I mean, how much changes also could be wrong? So I'm not a musicologist, but I heard that. I think the point, though, is that you know enough to get around and work, but doesn't sound like you wasted enough time with it. Maybe be a professor of it, but like, Yeah, well, I can work. My whole thing is that if it feels good and it sounds good, then like, I don't need to look up in a book I don't need, like, Mr Music Theory, man to tell me that the thing that I already know sounds good. Sounds good. Yeah, well, I guess Ah, guess developing your your confidence as a writer is super important. Oh, yeah. you have to be the most confident person ever when you're writing. Is that the minute that little wasting your head starts when all is very good? Like it's not gonna work? You gotta You gotta pump yourself up gas. This is amazing. And it's Ah, that's something that we talked about with, uh, Todd from nails yesterday with, uh, I think, arguably some of his best riffs. He was talking about how, when he would write them, he knew exactly that. That, like, that was gonna be the most popular spot on the record. Like there, uh, best riff ever or whatever with full confidence. And I know that feeling too when I know that I've written something insanely badass. Uh, just you just know. And there's not really much that you can really know how to quantify that. Besides just saying you just know, But let's so it's like when your head starts moving around in the studio or you look around people, your writing with their we're doing that you like I did my job. Yeah, that's actually ah, once again. Ah, reason I keep referencing. What we talked about yesterday is because I'm trying to draw parallels between the genre you're in and metal writers, and you're basically confirming everything that we talked about yesterday. Like another thing that we talked about was one of the best ways to know if you've written something good is to get the unbiased reactions like, for instance, of strangers or people that don't know that you're checking out their reaction like their involuntary reactions or or whatever, but not to actually listen to, like, your parents or Oh yeah, because music has a very visceral effect on people isn't like, you know, like people move naturally to music. And, you know, when I was writing metal, the entire point was like Get people in the mosh pit, you know, doing a circle pit. And now it's kind of like people in a club like dance with each other and like you, I don't party too much. But I make a point when I do go out to like the club. Whatever said when certain songs come on, I watch what people dio because it's like when you know, in that new hot wake, let's say D J mustard track comes on, whatever he's like hot guy right now or like, uh, we're like, Yeah, by Usher. When that track comes on, it's like people just go crazy and it's like there's no really explaining it. It just happens. Well, it's no like sci fi it or anything. What? I think that's the work. I think that there's a hierarchy to what's most important in writing, and I honestly think that rhythm is at the very top. I think it supersedes harmonies, supersedes melody, everything like You can have a song of all rhythm and if it's banging and awesome, you've got a good song. It was You can have it with No Cords even. Oh yeah, great. Don't dunk my soldier boy. Well, no instruments, Just drums. It's the hottest song ever. I guess a lot of ah, a lot of a lot of death metal and hardcore like I mean, it might have power. Courts were in a real key that that music is in. Sometimes it's just, you know, just moving around. But it's all about rhythm changes in the harder it hits, basically, the better it is. But yeah, I want to make sure that we don't run out of time, so we move on to Yeah, are one of the most important things that you and I figured out that we both have done and which I recommend that every writer out there do. And ah, that's Ah, keep active listening song journals. Oh, yeah, Yeah. So in the keynote, there we are. Basically, this is something that I've been doing since I was maybe 13 years old. And I've done this for tons of songs, end for classical pieces and even movies. It's basically you sit down and you do analysis of as many different elements as you can figure out, and you try to get as detailed as possible. Like, you see right there, for instance, song structure. So and shows in an example. But like, what I would do is say that, um um, picking a song and I was going through the structure, uh, I would map out exactly how many bars each section would go for. And nowadays, um, I would do it like on a date. W get the keynote for a second. That actually made a graphic for it like, uh like that, for instance, like that's Stockholm syndrome by Muse basically made a structure Matt for it Uh, and how that helps is if you take a song that you like or a piece of music that you like And you actually sit there and internalize what's going on? Um, structurally Well, it's always gonna be with you. And if you do that for 50 songs, have a good idea for how structure should work without having to think about it too hard. It'll just become a natural part of how you think. And then you do the same thing for dynamics arrangement issues that mix lyrical analysis, like as long as you can stand to listen to the song over and over and over and check out every differing element the better. So, like, save looking at arrangement notes. And I'm gonna relate this to song in a second. But in the past, when I would write it down on paper, uh, now I would kind of type it in. Are you screenshots or whatever? You know, whatever works, the point is that you're actually doing this, But you know, say in this song, uh, starts with the solo guitar riff, so Protesters has to play. Uh, we'll get to that. So I haven't the arrangement note that, uh, the band comes in for, um, and that Thea bar. The fill foreshadows the verse beat. And I'm gonna go back to you pat for second and ask you if you do anything differently when you do saw analysis service basically the same kind of idea before I go too far into this song. It's this definitely the same type of idea. Uh, I definitely start with you know, the thing that I am really focused on now is structure, because that's always always felt like that's been a really be wait for me because structure is not really one of those things. Uh, people teach to you. And that's because you can't really It's just you just kind of do it every feel but, uh, have some basis basic structures that there there are really surfers, but yeah, but the way I've learned is just by sitting down guys, you said a piece of music you like that you feel is really strong and start off analyzing the structure. And then after I get the structure all happening, then all kind of go listen back for, like, the arrangement. What are the drums joining? Is there Is there a sub bass part like stuff like that? I think the one of the keys is what you just said. Something that you feel is very strong. And I actually think that that's a key distinction of why music school can ruin musicians and ruin writers is because you're working on music that you may not necessarily feel and whatever team feels exactly. But that's what you're spending your life on, at least for a few years, and it becomes a big part of your style, whether you like it or not. So if you don't like jazz, but you're working on jazz or four years, well, guess what? It's gonna be a part of your style or blues or whatever. Elevator music. Uh, if you don't want elevator music, Teoh, infiltrate and ruin your music. Well, don't study it. Whatever you work on is going to become a part of who you are. So I think it's super important to do the analysis and do as much of it is possible. But do it on Lee on music that you want Teoh internalize. How many songs have you done this for? Pretty much. I mean, I don't always write it out, but pretty much every song that comes out I'm like, Man, that's a really great song. I'll go through and I'll listen to, uh, all like every time it comes on the radio or whatever. All try and pay attention. So what's going on? I think Did you think I've done it so much at this point, where it's like it's second nature, like music is like It's almost borderline not enjoyable for me. I mean, music is enjoyable. I did my brain. Every time I hear a song that I like, my brain starts working. What is it? What are the drums doing? What is the basis like? Rarely do I listen to a song and I'm like, I'm just enjoying This is I think that goes with the whole cliche there says about learning rules and then forgetting them. It's the same sort of thing. If you do a bunch of song analysis or, uh, peace analysis or mix analysis like and write it down after a while, you're not gonna need to write it down anymore, cause your branch is gonna naturally figure these things out. And I think actually that the closer you get to do in this naturally the mawr that these cool things that you like about music are just gonna natural come out in what you write, which I think is the end goal. Anyways, eso I just been like, three minutes or something going through the song real quick. And then let's ah, bust through our next topic. We'll make sure we don't run out of time, but just, ah, a couple of things just for people who are not sure about how to go about doing this like, um say, for instance, that we're looking at the the drums or something, or how how things are working together in the arrangement. So have this intro eso right away. One thing that I would write down there is, um, the drums go from a pretty slam and kind of be L and go through the effort of writing out exactly what's happening in the drums, because that would just take me too long. But some sort of like slime and sort of beat that would get people jumping. And then immediately, as soon as the verse comes in, it goes to a much more flowing, straight sort of Tom beat on the riff. When that happens, the rift changes from a you know, just playing the main hooker for the song to just playing some octaves underneath the vocals as a complete It's just a complete shift and feel to bring in the vocals. Then, uh, so had that for a while, you know, write that all down and for how long it lasted. And, uh, now there's something interesting and basically I just put halfway through the verse. It's, ah, two part verse. Um, so one thing that a crappy band would have done if you have a long verse is play the whole drum be I mean the same drumbeat through the whole thing and just lose their crowd. But one thing that they did right there is halfway through. Change the drumbeat to the intro drumbeat so it ties the verse to the intro. But I also picks up the field. Nothing else really changes. You still got the same riff going on. Um, maybe the vocals air going at it a little harder, but that it's a good thing to note because now that I've written it down and I consciously know that they took the intro drumbeat, and they put it on the second half of the verse, which is more intense in the first half, and that the intro now ties to this. Well, now that's a trick that I can that I can use. And then, for instance, something else. I think so. I think that that course is amazing. But if you glued this chorus onto this verse, it might not really work that well. Or maybe would. But it's not as effective, is is in the song. And so I would sit there and figure out why. And, uh, there's a little pre course interlude. I don't know if it's a pre course, but just some sort of transition, where it goes from the octave guitars to just that in sanlih heavy tone, which I don't know what it is. But it's the sanlih heavy tone for a minute, and, ah, as soon as that's done, it's almost like everything heavy drops out and goes to the arpeggio. Dick Koers. It's like feels like the clouds part, and that is basically what set up the chorus is all these elements basically, contrast thing was the course. It's once again and another thing that's interesting there about that chorus is there's no guitar. Normally when you go to, of course, you would expect the course of the biggest part of the song, but it's not. The arrangement is actually way more stripped down, but the way that it set up is what makes it pop. And, ah, you know, if you want to get tricks like that under your belt, uh, quick way to do it is just figure out what somebody else did. So at least you know, um, I think I think that if I didn't sit here and actually I guess figure out that the guitar dropped out and ah, it brought in the sense which was never there before, Um, that I may not have realized that this chorus is as good as it is because the pre chorus set it up the way it did. So those are things that you only figure out through analyzing songs and pat. Like you said, Now that you've done that a bunch, you just do it naturally. Um, so I think that that kind of thing will just start coming out of your writing, the more you actually figure this out, and I've got an analysis for the entire song, but we're gonna run out of time. I go through it. Uh, is that kind of basically how you would go about it, though? Yeah. Cool. All right. So let's move on to the next thing that we're gonna talk about, Which is a flow state, Um one. Yeah. One of the things that, uh, we talked about a lot was how getting in getting the best material comes from state of impure creative flow. And, uh, that's not something that you can really drill with an exercise or anything, but I think that you can get into the habit of recognizing when you're there. Or you can figure out certain behaviors that, you know, trigger you to be in that state, which you can you can recreate. Or do you have, like, a certain routine for getting there that, you know, works? Do I have a certain routine for getting into Flow State? Yeah. Oh, I guess my routine is well, usually I lately I've been writing from scratch with, like, a one or two other writers. So I mean, at least a good, uh, encouragement of closely for me is that there's under the person room probably should, you know, make this from structure or abuse but the waste of time. But, uh, se I don't know if I have any things that, like Get me in the flow state, but I have definitely noticed that the more often the right what did you write a little bit every day. Then it becomes easier to get in the flow state. I actually, I think that's true for anything you do with music. Actually read an interview with John Patricia once, who said that it's better to practice two hours every day than six hours every four days. Yes, and I think a lot of people go wrong by trying to do these massive marathon sessions. Not that often. I think anything is better than like you said. Do a little bit every day. Well, if the stars and the planets align like I could do a song and about three or four hours like if that's if I'm on my A game and like nothing goes wrong and like I let it all happen. But obviously, you know, stuff takes longer. Yeah, well, and, uh, I guess if ah, if everything isn't going right, um, leg ideas just aren't coming to you or whatever. What's Ah? How do you get around that? Or like, what do you focus on to keep yourself going like, say, either when you're blocked or when it's just one of those days when it's taking longer to get going or you just don't feel like doing or whatever 1,000,000 different things could get in the way of of writing cool stuff? Um, well, I read I I read an interesting quote from Giorgio Moroder once. And if you don't know, Giorgio Moroder is should probably look them up is amazing. Hey, said that if you don't have something cool in three hours, then you should just move on to the next idea. So if you're if you're really struggling with whatever it is you're trying to write and like nothing works, then just hit file new and like, you try something completely different and go with that bill for a little bit, uh, interesting. Say that. Let me interrupt you real quick again. One thing we were talking about yesterday was local vans who come to the studio with the same 5 to 8 songs that they've had for 5 to 8 years. And they know, Yeah, right makes you shudder. But a lot of people do that. Never move onto new material. And one of the things that I think can help you get better is to be willing to either ditch or move on. You know, ruthlessly just be ready, delete. But, I mean, I have one of my friends. He's a really amazing producer. I've sat there and watched him make these. This is the coolest thing ever, and he'll be like, That's not that cool and will delete the session all day. What do you doing? But like sometimes you have Teoh, you have to do that. Sometimes you just have to do it at the delete key. If you're stuff you know, well is that is, if you will, you will always have a potential inside yourself to write something better than what you're working on right now. So, like you never have to feel super attached to what you're working on. I think it takes a while to develop that, but I think that's one of the most important skills or writer can develop. Is uh, detachment. And I think that the more often you've right and the more content you come up with, the less each individual piece you're right means to you on the more willing you will be to ditch him and unexamined lost audio. By the way, that sucks. Oh, there we go. All right, cool. Well, I said, that sucks. Um, but, uh, one thing that that I can say that I've noticed. For instance, when working with bands is typically you'll have one guy who's the shredder who writes three songs a year. And then you have the one guy who's not the shredder for rights 20 songs a year and obviously the due to rest 20 songs is the better writer because he does it all the time. Um, but you can't really have songs and albums, So typically, more than half of what they write gets ditched, and they're cool with it. However, and I have noticed this a lot, uh, the guy who arrested three songs, you know, uh, is very attached to that stuff, and it may not be Aziz good, but we'll try to force it in because they because since they don't write as much. Each piece is that much closer to their heart. And I don't think it's a very positive trait. And I've seen it a lot. So and the best way to get around being attached to just shitty music is right more absent Absolutely. That I want to bring up something I'm gonna talk about later today. But that is the same in progressive tech metal. A zit is in pop, which is that basically, songs are made of light. 1245 or six different ideas and that's it. And just variations of them not 19 to different ideas and one things that you were telling me that, uh, is basically one the most important skill sets and what you do is taking one idea and seeing how many different ways you can, you can bring it across. I was under you Just touch on that a little bit more. Yeah, um I mean a lot of what I do. What I work on is very in. My favorite producers of all time have sort of very like, minimal, simple, like you look at their session files and they're like maybe 20 tracks for the beat like Pharrell is like an amazing example. If you listen to his stuff like there's that, he often says, Like I give myself like, 10 tracks like That's it, Um, but every one of the tracks, like, is constantly evolving over time. So it's not that it's not like he has simple things. It's like he has 10 really well put together great elements. And that's that's actually like the song I was just showing from use. Uh, like, for instance, when you the intro drumbeat being used in the second half of the versus the same idea, being recycled in a different context to make a new part more intense. It's not a brand new idea. Teoh reuse that drumbeat. It's just shown in a different context and what it does exactly ties it all together, but it also develops it, and ah is wonder if you have any, like, go to tricks for that or ways to develop the ability to do that. I wouldn't think of well, one of my professors in college always said You should be able to solo each element in your track and make sure that, like there's kind of like a little bit of a story going on. Let's say you have, uh, like an eighth note high hat pattern like every once in a while, there should be, like a little accent or something. Just so it's not like a static like like Europe, a whole song, Whether you like it or not, the human ear registers really subtle changes, like on a subconscious level. So when you add like, small little changes over time, you may not think it's doing a lot. But like in reality, it's so much keeps your song from getting forming. And the other thing I dio is, uh, when I'm working on a beach or whatever, when my processing power like if I my able concession is I'm able to by able sensation gets to like it runs slow or like, maybe it's crashing. I'll go through and like, all kind of look a like maybe some of the superfluous instruments and we'll delete them and then I'll make the instruments that are that I really like. I'll make them or interesting. So I have less stuff going on. And, uh, just to tie this into, uh, what we talked about with Todd from nails. Little changes throughout a song like the way that Todd used his, uh, key changes which are not big key changes, is going from something based around the first fret open to make apart pop. Same thing is what you were just talking about that high had a small variations over time. Regardless of what genre you're in. Our what makes music not get old after the 1st 15 Listen, that's kind of the goal, isn't it? Like you don't want people to listen to your stuff like a poor it like you want. Like, yes, this is the most exciting song. And, like, ever, no matter what genre. Yeah, absolutely. Well, dude, I think from what I can see, we're, like, out of time. So it's 12 Thank you. Yeah, we still just like every other thing that I think we're gonna be covering today. And we covered yesterday. We've got about three times as much material as we have time, but we could be talking about song writing for two months and not run out of stuff. Part two. Yeah, absolutely, man. So thank you so much for being with us, Man. It's enlightening toe have somebody from what seemingly such a different world basically be saying the exact same things that, Ah, death, metal dudes and pop marriage. It is interesting that one of these pop sellouts uses the same tool set extremely skilled metal musicians. Yeah, exactly. And what we'll see later with a John Brown from monuments is that even in ah, in progressive, it's the exact same tool set. Maybe just harder riffs. Yeah, yeah, way harder. But that's not what's important. That's not what makes a good song. So any questions from the Internet or none specifically on topic? Why not have a pat? What is Just give us a 62nd view of like what your day looks like as as a writer, and a lot of people love to make a living as a songwriter. What does that look like for you? Well, it each week I have been about three or four different quote unquote writing sessions, which can either be with other people who are writers or artists. That right, Um and then on my days off, since I'm the producer, they're people, like in the L. A. Like writing seen they call it like their track guys and their top liners. I'm a quote unquote track guy, so I make like the beach or whatever, and then a writer or the artists will come and, like, sing and write the lyrics and melody, although there are people that do both. And I definitely help out with Top Line. But yeah, like three or four days a week, I'm like making a song with play completely new people that I've never met before And then the other my days off I go back and I two vocals and then I produced the song. So where if what say Christina Angular heard the demo. She would sing the vocal part that's there, and then I would send the file and then they would mix it and then it will come out. So basically, I'm just making I'm trying to make, like, finished products all the time.

Class Description

It’s easy for musicians to get so caught up in the latest gear, plugins, and presets, and forget that ultimately, it’s all about the music. Join Eyal Levi and special guests Ryan Clark (Demon Hunter), Todd Jones (Nails, Terror), and John Browne (Monuments) for an in-depth exploration of what it takes to craft great songs.

Eyal will share the tricks of the songwriting trade he’s learned over years of experience as a producer at Audiohammer Studios (The Black Dahlia Murder, August Burns Red, Whitechapel) and guitarist for Century Media/Roadrunner artists Daath. Throughout this two-day course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the three core components of metal/rock songwriting. You’ll learn about basic song structure and riff-writing; melodies, leads, and vocals; and fine-tuning the arrangement to take your song from good to great. Eyal will be joined by special guests -- from musicians to producers and more -- who will empower you to take your songwriting to new heights.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Metal Songwriting Slides Session 1

Metal Songwriting Slides Session 2

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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user 6f3d0a

Eyal and all the guests are awesome here and really provide a solid education on Songwriting and writing within the Metal genre. One thing that Eyal said that really struck a chord with me, was how Songwriting was being taught at the music school he dropped out of and how it was uninspiring. I completely and thoroughly agree. I own many, many books and videos on Songwriting and I cannot get past the first few pages because it doesn't speak to me and my needs as a Songwriter who is focused on writing Metal. I've been playing Guitar for 25 years now and this is the very first course I've seen that takes Metal songwriting seriously and as a subject worth studying. I would like to commend CreativeLive on having the guts to feature heavy music so prominently in their courses and thank them for helping us establish Metal as a more serious genre. One that is worthy of awards, praise, distinction and honor. In Metal and Strength, R. Ross Strength Keeper Songwriting/Guitars/Vocals/Arranging

Mike Lamb

This was a massively inspirational and incredibly helpful course. By the end of it I had a notebook full of incredibly useful tips and tricks, and I definitely plan a rewatch as soon as possible. I've been in bands writing songs for the better part of 15 years, but this has put a lot of focus on some of the corners I've cut or the areas where I've been lazy with the smaller details. No matter where you are in your songwriting you'll definitely benefit from this, and Eyal articulates everything in an engaging way and positive way. Even if you think you're a good songwriter, there's a tonne here you can benefit from. 10/10 - Thanks Eyal!

Marco Ramírez

Great course, I have enjoyed it a lot and I'm sure I will come back to reinforce many of the concepts shown through the videos. Right now I'm good to go with ideas to apply to my songwriting skills and reinforce several concepts I already had developed prior to this course. This is a great lesson series... even for advanced musicians, anyone can get stuck in this wonderful world of writing and this course shows you tools to get out the best of this process.