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Mastering Metal Songwriting

Lesson 5 of 28

Warming Up Your Brain

Eyal Levi

Mastering Metal Songwriting

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

5. Warming Up Your Brain

Lesson Info

Warming Up Your Brain

There's some things, though. There's some things in the keynote that you know, Even though we didn't get to the slide, we already talked about it in pretty good detail. Just like like I said, like everything about writing is intertwined and related. Teoh everything else. So some of the things we've already talked about, like I was gonna, like, demonstrate a proper warm up. But there's no need to do that. One thing, though, is, um, again, with people that buy the class, I'm going to give, uh, like a four page warm up. That is really, really awesome. It's not that it's not that that should that we copy paste it into their. Basically, I think that that what comprises a good warm up for your hands is that you basically kind of just get everything going that you might be doing in a song. That's it. Like, uh, this is not like warming up to shred or something like that. Like, uh, we have 45 minutes, our long thing to be able to play solos that peak Olympic performance. It's more just that if ...

you're a band that does a lot of down picking, For instance, which is something that people need to continue to be working on in order to not get sloppy. Uh, then that's something you might want to throw into your warmups, consciously. And just make sure that your loose with your down picking before you start writing or what might happen is you get this badass riff and, uh, you are your own barrier, Teoh getting it down in a way that you can remember. You can't play it even close enough, Teoh. Distinguish it. Um and you could always edit it together free pro. But, you know, that's a kind of whack, in my opinion. So, um anyways, if, uh, what I would do is I would make uh, you make an actual list or mental list. Doesn't really matter. Ah, what matters is what you put into warming up. If your band that covers a lot of ground, you should probably just be ready to go with it. One of the things. One of mistakes I've made a lot, I guess when I was writing for my band death Waas starting to right before my brand was warmed up before my hands were warmed up and, uh our ah our music is very hard to play, tons of down picking. It doesn't sound hard, but it's really hard, and, uh, we'll injure you. And, um, I can tell you how many crappy songs I've written just because my hands weren't We're in at the place where my creativity needed them to be. So I think, like you said before, if, uh if you're not feeling it, if you're not quite there with, uh, you know, ideas flowing or whatever, that's a perfect time to be working on other stuff and, ah, you know, down picking or whatever. Whatever it is you need to get better at, that's the time to do it. In my opinion, so not doing the hand warm up, um, until about warming of your brand, which I think is a lot more important. Um, I think that just like warming up your hands, uh, you've got to be ready to write. Like sometimes everything you might do everything right and, uh, lead yourself through whatever it seen it is that you go through, start writing, and then nothing good will come out like, no matter what you do, nothing good comes out. But there's a bunch of things that you could do on a regular basis that will allow you to be created more often or that will filter themselves through your creativity more often. And like you said, sometimes you'll lift something from another genre or something and adapt it. One thing that I will do is, uh, whenever I feel like I need to get to the next level with my song writing is I'll start learning stuff that, uh, has an element to it that I want to pick up. Um and, uh, because I'll show you as an example from a death song, Um, basically adapted. Ah, three different things into this one song. Um, it wasn't really ripping them off, but, uh but I'll show you what I mean. Basically, um, my sweet is a, uh I don't know, Jingle writer wrote it or not, but it's basically a song that I have a recording of him playing on. Uh, that is not really all that speedy, but it's like lots of minor chord progressions and, uh, the way that I like the way that he emphasizes the melody. So I learned that learn the core progressions, learned his solo note for note and worked on it when I wasn't feeling like writing. And then I also thought that the intro to ah Bliss amuse was really, really cool. That's not something that you can really do on a guitar and have a sound good when we start doing arpeggios that fast. Uh, it doesn't sound like an RPG ater sent it. Sounds like a dude wanking. So I kind of figured out a way to adapt, um, on our bedroom sound to guitar. And then I, uh, learned the solar to hysteria because I like how it was very lyrical, uh, and not to know t but still set a lot and then wrote I will show us what I mean. So this is Ah, my sweet by Jenna Reiner. What I was closing in on, like I said, were the core changes and how quickly they moved. Please don't crash pro tools. Cool, Aunt. How he, uh, he wasn't like burning through them. He was more just nailing the important parts of the chord progression and, uh, letting that speak for itself. Eso worked on that. That was actually harder than it sounded. That figure out a way to adapt this to Guitar Way. Basically, when you have something like that, it's a really good exercise for the mind because it's not played on your primary instrument. So there's something in the way it's laid out that is not entirely applicability to what you play unless of you force yourself to reinterpret it, and by doing that, you get better. So when I figured that out, I figured out how, uh, how to make it smooth. Um, so I had a new trick of my sleeve, and, uh so I'll show you the two parts that translated into the DOS song. You know, they sound nothing like what I was ripping off. Um, so the beginning basically is just some harmony guitars going through Cem Minor and diminished chords. But somehow in my head, uh, I got it from the Gypsy jazz song. All right, so obviously sounds nothing like the gypsy jazz on just kind of like what you're saying when you take something from someplace else. It's not that you're ripping it. You're getting influenced by it. Exactly. That's well, I think a lot of people don't get that. It could be that direct like I want to grab this. Uh, I like this one element. Like the way that cords move. Um, and, uh, because you'll learn them, you kind of you'll get a style that you're not used to. Andi, you'll be fiddling with your guitar. You'll make something like that that's told completely inspiring to you that you're gonna turn into a song. You didn't rip off the jangle, Reinhardt. You just you're simply inspired by his plane and made something out of your own. Yeah, well, I wanted Teoh. I remember what I was thinking back then. Waas I want to get better at moving through minor chords without sounding like cliche. Black metal, Um, like the way that they just, uh I mean, I like blackmail, but, uh, the black metal trick of playing minor chord and then moving the mire court up and then moving the minor court down and all that, like it sounds cool to a degree, but like yes. And also even if you do it right, Demon Borg here and emperor and all these other bands already did it about 15 years ago. Better than you'll pull off because probably not from Norway or Sweden. You know, Uh, then I guess the other part of the finding truth the death song was, uh, how the arpeggio later this is, um, sorry. How the AARP educator influenced me is a combination of both the jingle Reiner solo and the AARP. Edgy ater from the Muse song translate into a solo that I wrote and also the underlying guitar part, which is a guitars playing arpeggios, uh, harmonized with each other so well here that the idea to delight life, uh, never played that song line, right? I don't think it's possibility that life, um, sort of sample, right? Well, we always, uh we always did that because we always had more parts than humans. Wasn't Teoh it wasn't too like it wasn't like the way that a lot of bands do it now, which is because they can't play eso. They just put all their rhythm guitars and backing tracks size Think is just awful horrible. Just It's like it's like that being ghost there. Ah, I mean, you know, not to single them out, but it's all their background vocals are our samples. Nobody's doing this man that said really common now. Yeah, I don't. I wasn't aware of that. But like I know, one of the first couple of us shows the timing was wrong and these background vocals were not coming in at the right place. And that would ruin a show for me. Well, I had a nightmare with that once, Um, because, uh, we're five piece, but often had orchestra and, like, synth and like, you hear, like, multiple guitar things. And you can't do that live like it doesn't work like you're not. You don't have that many arms and you can't hire an orchestra. Your small metal band like you don't. I know what orchestras cost, and it's just not feasible. So, um, either you playing a style of music that doesn't do that kind of stuff Or if your style of music does include it, then you add tracks. But, uh, you gotta make sure to stay on, cause definitely I remember being on stage at a huge show like a 10,000 capacity kind of situation where somehow been a song with the head orchestra running from start to finish. We got confused halfway through and got about a bar off from orchestra is definitely, like greatest nightmare come true. You have to have a click track, right for a drum. If you're gonna dio drama in theory, have to be playing to click Oh, yeah, Absolutely. Okay. And then, in theory, you might want to have another guy. He's kind of controlling the samples. Well, like maybe not on stage. Our drummer always was the dude with the computer and I was like the the secondary do for that. Um, yeah, it's It's a thing. It's definitely Ah, it's definitely a lot. Teoh Teoh Take care of life, but a lot of bands do it now. It's not that uncommon for bands to have a bunch of tracks. I just I just Personally, I think it's a misuse of technology. Teoh replacing your rhythm guitars with tracks when you have guitarists. Yeah, yeah, say in seven horn seven eyes. We've with backing tracks for a few years now, and there is like, the headache side of it. You know, where you have an issue on stage, your computer stops mid song. Or like, you know, the monitoring is not good that night, and we always had our drummer within year so he could hear the click and stuff. But, you know, sometimes there's just issues and you get off from it. And then you know, everyone on stage notices. But then I don't know how many people in the audience notice. It is like the worst feeling when you get off from the track. So there is that whole side of it to consider. But I actually agree with you, like, you know, I don't really like it when people are throwing like, too important of an element up onto the backing tracks, like obviously, a rhythm guitar part like Come on, just play that stuff, you know. But the way I've always used backing tracks is like when I write kind of like what you're saying for your stuff is I end up adding a bunch of little layers of stuff that kind of creates an overall big sound, and it creates a nice texture in the background, and it's essential to experiencing the songwriters for the texture to be there. But sometimes it'll be like a really simple little guitar part, kind of in the background and something that's not really like you don't really want one of your two guitar players playing that thing you know, it was just It sort of throws off the balance if you make one of those parts to to forward. So I have a few little guitar parts here and there That kind of come up in the backing tracks a little bit, but it's always like stuff that sort of just hiding behind what the main guitars were supposed to. Dio. Um, I think it's interesting to point that out. It's, ah, a little off topic. But I should say it just cause I've been thinking about this for a long time was remember seeing open back like and 4 4005 or whenever back around when Blackwater Park was like the new shit. And, uh, on the first song for you. It's called school part, where it goes to an acoustic break and they start playing a harmony guitar part, and they're a band that always had more parts in humans. So instead of using tracks, I don't know if they do now, but back then they didn't use tracks. They would just tweak their arrangements. So, like you would see on one tour and they'd be playing a song one way and see him on another tour would be a whole different way and remember seeing them on one tour. And when I got to that part, uh, one guy did the acoustic thing while the other guy played the lead without the harmony Sounded like crap. And another time, uh, they just didn't do the acoustic part and they played a harmony leave sounded godly. So I think there's ways to get around having multiple layers and still making it work live. It just takes a little more work, which a lot of bands aren't. Uh, you are willing to put in, I think.

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.