Skip to main content

music & audio

Mastering Metal Songwriting

Lesson 24 of 28

Theme and Variations: Bridge and Outro

Eyal Levi

Mastering Metal Songwriting

Eyal Levi

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

24. Theme and Variations: Bridge and Outro

Lesson Info

Theme and Variations: Bridge and Outro

Let's talk about the bridge. Now the bridge is again one of these cool things where you took multiple ideas from different spots and created one bigger thing which, which I think is cool reason I'm zeroing in on this, um is because on asked the Internet what what was one of their biggest issues with writing, like stumbling blocks? A lot of people said they didn't know how to write bridges or how to come up with that next part. And I mean this obviously this isn't always gonna work. No, no, no, But it's a great It's a great trick that you can take. Uh, you took the chorus and the verse, put them together in the variation and you got the bridge so to end. Not only is that a cool trick, but, um, it serves the purpose of keeping things sounding like the same. So a lot of guys were saying that they were having trouble with making a bridge. It's different enough yet, uh, the same. And so why don't we play through this bridge real quick? I'll find it in the song. That's why guys come via so c...

ool. So here, right here, more like two. Of course. Okay, so all right. So getting We get back to the keynote. So the course of the base overseas on always been at it is like a little slap part. Okay, that's what the base is doing. The course. Okay, so it took that and you put it with what I put it with the later on. It goes to a heavier section on. The heaviest section has got the Theo does the base point. It takes the melody there in the guitarist. Pretty stationary. That's cool. And then, uh, is thinking the verses. Well, yeah, I just simplified a little bit. So there's less going on. That's cool. So notes. So basically bass notes from the course. Along with the little motif? Yep. And then a simplified picking style. Yes. This verse. Yeah. Just like it's the same rhythm. Okay, so you know that you know the course rhythm. It's like the such as that decadent taken the main notes from the course. I started, like a little push on the guitars as well. Which is the scratches? Yes. I'm gonna play it again from the song so that I'm gonna play from the chorus into the bridge took up. Many people couldn't see the variation there, Um, a little earlier. What's interesting here also is, uh, with your variations, they're really hard to spot. And one thing we talked about yesterday with Ryan is borrowing Ah, stuff from other songs. Other artists. The way that he does it is like, say, say you like, uh, course to professional, um, he'll pick one element, for instance, like the phrasing or the breath between the vocals and take that change everything else. So just be influenced by one little thing. So when you incorporate it into your own style, it's not a rip. It's just a influence on. And that's kind of what you're doing with your own song is not taking not taking enough to where it's just I couldn't think of something new. It's ah, one little thing. Well, one little thing from spots and it really is hard to spot. Super subtle. So, um, let's talk about the outro now. So, uh, basically that same rhythmic motif comes back, right? Yep. Okay, So what? Elizabeth play through the outro and then, uh, talk about what was going on. Okay, So what is that s o the first start page here of the first noticed in court thing say exact same place court. And then the little hi thing is also seen in the chorus on Diverse. Okay, so it's so it's a combination of lots of different parts of your song together. Yeah, um, same trick that I think that what's interesting. If we can get the slides back up, I wanna point out here is that in the bridge you basically have the course and the verse put together to make something. And then in the outro, you have the course in the verse together, makes something else. It's using the same using the same two parts of the song to create to whole new parts of song. And, uh, interestingly enough, electro zehr. One of the other things that people said they have lots of trouble with bridges and out. You know, it's usually a lot easier thing for people to get started and get to a stopping point. And then where the hell did you go from there? Or how do they have a tie this all together? And I think that people should be paying attention to here is that these parts that tie everything together or take it to the next logical place is, um, you know, like with an outro, it's almost like a call it a recap. But it sounds like a summary of a few of the most important parts of the song put together to make something different with the bridge is just a variation off a few of the most important parts of the song. The ones that capture me is the way I took it from. So is that Is that like a conscious thing that you're doing now? It is, Yeah, it's just those Really. When I think apart really cool, I want to repeat it. That's pretty much it came from that. But its ties us all together more as well cause subliminally people are picking up, but without realizing it, Yeah, not like a whole new thing to take in exactly. I think there's a lot of songs in progressive Mel that have too much ideas, too many ideas, and it's really hard to capture on the first listen or are on subsequent Listen Studio. Actually, I actually think that that's why the genre loses so many listeners, is because the songs are typically not well constructed enough. Thio Thio, Carrie People's Attention I think the rial the real trick or you know what separates the bigger progressive bands is in the quality of their song writing done. And, uh, I think that their songs still need to capture their audience just like there are popping and real quick Just cause we've been talking for a while. Is there anyone not following along that we're talking about A questions from the Internet? I think everybody's following on pretty well. I will double check the chat rooms and make sure cool. Yeah, um, feel free to interrupt us, cause, uh, we're just kind of busting through a lot. You guys all cool here? Alright. Six. So let's ah, play that Outro one more time. I want to talk about it just a little bit longer because one thing that we talked about yesterday with Todd, I guess in terms of albums sequencing is that Pio is says that the last song needs to feel like it's got a sense of finality, I guess in terms of a song section, obviously that Altro has to feel like it's got some sort of sense of finality. But how to actually put that into action, I think, is the real trick. I think of one thing that's really interesting here is listen to this order tunnel. Then I'll explain what I'm thinking from the final chorus into the address. One thing I forgot to mention others. The last repeat is a variation. It's got the high court from the chorus I was actually good at. That's one of things I was gonna ask you about. It seems like part way through the outro. The harmony changes a little bit because it gets a little more intense. Yep, that's I think that's something that's a really good trick to use attending of the songs to tryto build a little bit more tension, uh, than you had before. But how many core changes are there in the chorus? 44 Okay. And what are they? Um, 1st 1 day. So, in the outro of the court of the same, they just in a different order. Okay, so we went 558 for the chorus and in the outrage which is just putting the same notes in a different order which is a really good thing to try going. It's all right. It's descending to sometimes sent in the notice that descending lines put together. Uh, well, uh, I think the repetition of a descending line it's definitely not a rule, but something just pay attention to can definitely help build tension and help you feel like you're headed towards something. In this case, it's torts and ending. Um, but when of No. So when the descending line thing is used to attention to something like an ending, it's not like a descending line that comes on a nowhere. Like you said, if you took a court progression that's already taking place and was put into a different order. And I don't know if you were consciously thinking about making it more tense, but it does make, it knows, knows the idea. Very cool. So spotted it. All right, Um and then also, what about it? Can you show us again what comes from the verse? Yeah, The verse is at court. It appears a lot in the verse, but also appears in the choruses against Mawr. More loans towards it. So it's pretty much that's obviously a theme throughout the whole song as well. Okay, so just restated. All right, Cool. So I think we're good with that song. Do you want Teoh go onto Atlas? Yes. To cool. So we're gonna to another song and show a few other things. So it's kind of like recap what we just went through briefly, Um, his songs are a, I guess, a Siris of little motifs that air that are varied and varied and play, Yeah, played every which way and built into something bigger And generally in your songs don't have, ah, brand new parts that just come on an hour here and there but Asian the but it's better I find the introducing them before they actually come in. Makes the song easy to cross. And so, basically, uh, I guess that's another thing we're going talk about later. We'll just we'll bring up now, Um, when you have a brand new part coming up, you actually foreshadow it before it comes in generally. And is that like a set rule? No. Several. Just occasionally. If I can't find a link that will work, that's kind of my first thing to go. To what part? This rift is memorable. and I'll try and incorporate it into the last repeat of the rift before or something like that. Maybe even before that rift may be like all the way to start something when it comes in later. So there's whenever. So, like, even if you have a brand new park coming out of nowhere, it's really not. Not so something toe link it to the song earlier. Even if it's just two or three notes from it in the way that it feels, then that kind of Yeah, that's ah and take a long time. Okay, so really enough. It's not I don't actually think about it just kind of happens that how long? All right, So better. Better thing Teoh Wonder about is, how long did it take you or how many songs Air years or whatever it take it to where, uh, all this stuff just kind of started to happen? 2010 to 2011 was kind of a starving, And when did you When? How long have you been playing? Um, I started playing when I was 13 So about 15 years now I had installed Ryan Stiles about 16 17 properly, and it was pretty bad. Most people stuff is very bad when they start. So this isn't something happened right away? No, it's again something subliminally I was doing, but not this kind of level. It's just little bits and pieces here in the UK, we have one question. Sure, if you want a Scott Barber wants in on the subject has got outro finality of a song. Do you feel that the ending? Or do you feel that Indian on a tense cord that doesn't result interferes with the sense of the song being finished? So in other words, I guess if there's not like a the cadence that sounds complete riding on pavements or something like that, yeah, just a dissonant came Depends what comes in the next song. I always think, OK, yeah, because it can introduce the next song really Well, okay as well. So that's funny. You bring that up. We talked about that yesterday. Uh, setting up thinking about an album in terms of the entire sequence and how you end one song should be how you set up another. But, um, I think it's a case by case basis. I don't have this example up but perfect for Was that the first song of option paralysis by Dillinger Escape Plan? Oh yeah, something Mona Lisa from the full title. Farewell, Mona Lisa, They and on the most disgusting court ever. But it works because of the next song. Not necessary. Just works. And I think another example that's really good as well as the end of the dreams. That album Train of Thought he finishes an arpeggio and then place the last final No, really, quietly in the background. You really have to listen for So, you know, um, and from a whole other genre music something that people might want to look up is, uh, Gustav Mahler's Sixth Symphony. Uh, if you don't feel like listening to a full hour of classical music just living in the very ending of the final movement, it just ends on a huge minor chord after a huge period of silence is just boom. Uh, and it's not really a sense of resolution, but I guess that right there is the musical statement. I think it just depends on what the musical statement that you're trying to make is, Uh, sometimes I think that the ending is not supposed to feel like a happy like a happy ending. You see this in movies? A lot of movie version would be on ending where the over the good guy dies. Or just to put things in really simple terms. No, you don't need Teoh. You don't need Teoh End a song in a very in a very resolve sort of way to have a good ending. Actually, sometimes I think that sounds really bad. They have having it all resolved on the final one sometimes can really mess up in ending. So things just don't what you think sounds right. The time is, What about the time? Totally. It's some my song basis. Sorry. We're sorry, Scott. There's no actual rule to it. Sounds like it's more. Just taste and creativity. Like if it's an interesting ending and it sounds like it fits, then use it. Yeah, you go with what sounds right to you. Yeah, just over the It sounds terrible ascending, and we're dissonant Chord that doesn't fit. Then don't use it. Well, I think also get Tau take, take into account what you said. What's happening after it on the album and what's leading into it. um, this is where, like, you know, doing a lot of song analysis like we talked about earlier, and and just kind of refining. You're listening and pay attention to what other artists have been doing and refining your feel and just your instincts. You need to be paying attention to where the song wants to go. It's my sampley shape, but the song will tell you where it wants to go. And you should definitely be trying to figure out a way to understand if it wants toe end one way or the other. And, uh, yes, that's not a very, uh, it is not a very definite answers in like and a song like this, but I think what What's definite about it is that you need to develop your awareness for when to do the proper thing. Uh, court. So, uh, anything else? We move on now I think we're good. Okay. Cricket. What's up? Okay, grab something. We talked about yesterday. Um, in terms of generating, helping generate new ideas, was experimenting with different tunings. Where in the process were you picking out these different tunings for the songs? Were you writing pretty much and just one tuning. And then, as the album required, you were tuning up new, different one or where it was that coming in. It's mostly the same cheating. But I thought that song sounded better in a tone lower for some of the songs that just made it some better by 10 to play in a variation of dugout cheating so that I forget. All of my previous lessons on theory find I get stuck in certain patterns. So I guess that's where it come from playing in the different tuning and, ah, quick question about theory how how much theory? You know, um, when I'm in a standard tuning, I practically remember everything that was taught every married, every scale. But I tend to just try and forget that when I write music and just listen for the sound. So every mode has its own like sound. You know, one ST lady in Spain, you can Ste vie or, you know, alien. It's the most played in metal. I guess you know the sound of that. And you know Ionian, Major Dorian, you can hear the more you have to get used to what they sound like, and then I think that is justice. Helpful is knowing theory because then if you want a certain scenario like a dark snow you want to play, you know how my general minor or something like that you want something happy? You on a plane. That's actually just to recap some that we were talking about earlier, and we were discussing cord colors and different. Uh, I guess getting better with your ears is a good trick. To use is to associate a certain type of key or cord or interval or whatever with something that you know by somebody else who did it. And then you have it locked into your head exactly like Star Wars theme. Yeah, just whatever. Somewhere over the rainbow, just some. It just depends on you know what it is. You want to try to remember one. What I use for what I used when I was trying to identify minor chords when I was younger was that song, she said, heavy the intruder. That's just it. It's unforgettable to me, and like that sound, it's just obviously a minor chord. And I always always knew that From then on, just Teoh basically reinforces saying about alternate tunings is. But that's been something that I've used really successfully to get out of writer's block. Sometimes certain tunings like dropsy or whatever, which was the main tuning for my band. Sometimes it would yield no results on homes. Feel like I've said everything I can say with dropsy. And, uh, I at some point I would just make a completely new tuning, uh, not allies that just make one and, uh, create new risks. And then suddenly you have half a now ERM or of music very quickly. So the good thing about that is what you get with your muscle memory and your normal tuning and then expand small options in future. Yeah, exactly you're not. You're not bound by your habits or limitations on the instrument, but I think the thing that's important right there is that's where your instincts come into play of your ears, developed in your instincts or developed. Then you'll make good choices. They'll just obviously different. Physically, it's it's not the same thing

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

Related Classes


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.