Warming Up Your Brain


Mastering Metal Songwriting


Lesson Info

Warming Up Your Brain

There's some things though there's some things in the key note that you know, even though we didn't get to the slide, we already talked about it and pretty good detail just like like I said like everything about writing is intertwined and related teo everything else so some of the things we've already talked about like I was goingto like demonstrate a proper warm up but there's no need to do that. One thing though, is again with people that buy the class I'm going to give like a four page warm up that is really, really awesome it's not that it's not that that should that we copy pasted into their basically I think that that would 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 forty five minutes an hour long thing to be able to play solos that peak olympic performance it's more just that if you're a band that do...

es 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, then that's something you might want to throw into your warm ups consciously and just make sure you're loose with your down picking before you start writing or what might happen is you get this badass riff and you are your own barrier teo getting it down in a way that you can remember could you can't play it even close enough teo distinguish it um and you could always edit it together free pro but you know that's uh kind of wack in my opinion so anyways, if what I would do is I would make uh if you make an actual list or mental list doesn't really matter 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 um one of the things one of the mistakes I've made a lot I guess when I was writing for my band death wass starting to write before my brand was warmed up before my hands are warmed up and our music is very hard to play tons of down picking it doesn't sound hard but it's really hard and will injure you and I I can't tell you how many crappy songs I've written just because my hands weren't were in at the place where my creativity needed them to be so I think like you said before if if you're not feeling it if you're not quite there with, you know ideas flowing or whatever that's a perfect time to be working on other stuff and 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 talk about warming of your brain 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 in order to start writing and then nothing good will come out like I matter what you do nothing good comes up 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'll filter themselves through your period activity more often and like you said, sometimes you'll lift something from another genre or something and adapt it. One thing that I'll do is 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 because I'll show you as an example from a death song that basically adapted a three different things into this one song uh it isn't really ripping them off but uh but I'll show you what I mean basically um my sweet is ah I don't know jingle writer wrote it or not, but basically a song that I'm a recording of him playing on that is not really all that speedy but it's like lots of minor chord progressions and the way that I like the way that he emphasises the melody so I learned that I learned the court 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 my muse I was really, really cool that's not something that you can really do on guitar sound good when we start doing arpeggios that fast it doesn't sound like an rpg ater since it sounds like a dude wanking so I kind of figure out a way to adapt on our bed you're sound to guitar and then I uh learned the solo to hysteria because I liked how it was very lyrical uh and not to know t but still set a lot and then wrote I will show you what I mean so this is ahh my sweet bye jenna reiner what I was closing in on like I said were the core changes and how quickly they moved please don't crash protocols cool on dh how he uh he wasn't like burning through them he was more just nailing the important parts of the chord progression and letting that speak for itself s o worked on that that was actually harder than it sounded um that figure out a way to adapt this to guitar wait 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 reinterpreted and by doing that you get better so when I figured that out, I figured out how how to make it smooth so I had a new trick of my sleeve and uh so I I'll show you the two parts that translated into the dawson you know, they sound nothing like what I was ripping off, so the beginning basically is just harmony guitars going through cem minor and diminished chords, but somehow in my head I got it from the gypsy jazz song all right, so I was say sounds nothing like the gypsy jazz on just kind of like what you're saying 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 the cords move and songs because you'll learn I'm your kind of you you'll you'll get a style that you're not used to and then you'll be fiddling with your guitar you'll make something like that that's told completely inspiring to you that you're going to turn into a song and you didn't rip off the django reinhardt you just you're simply inspired by his plane and made something out of your own yeah, well I wanted teo I remember what I was thinking back then wass I want to get better at moving through minor chords without sounding like a cliche black metal I like the way that they just 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 an emperor and all these other bands already did it about fifteen years ago better than you'll pull off probably not from norway or sweden you know, I guess the other part of the finding truth the death song was how the arpeggio later this is sorry how the aarp aviator influenced me is a combination of both the jenga ragnar solo and the arpeggio later from the muse song translate into solo that I wrote and also the underlying guitar part which is a guitars playing arpeggios harmonized with each other yeah the idea that life er never played that song line I don't think it's possible to that life um sort of sample right? Well we always we always did that because we always had more parts than humans cousin teo it was until like, isn't it wasn't like the way that a lot of bands do it now which is because they can't play s o they just put all their rhythm guitars and backing tracks I think is just awful horrible it's just it's like it's like that being ghost there uh I mean, you know not to single them out but it's all their background vocals are samples nobody's doing the man that said really come and now okay, yeah, I don't I wasn't aware of that that's like why no one of their first couple 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 because 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 life like it doesn't work like you're not you don't have that many arms and you can't hire an orchestra you're small metal band like you don't I know what orchestras costs and uh it's just not feasible so um either you play in a style of music that doesn't do that kind of stuff or if your stolen music does include it then you ad tracks but uh you got to make sure to stay on because definitely I remember being on stage at a huge show like a ten thousand capacity kind of situation where somehow been a song with the head orchestra running from start to finish we got confused halfway through and I 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 ifyou're going teo drama in theory have to be playing to click charlie absolutely okay. And then in theory you might want to have another guy he's kind of controlling the samples we like maybe not on stage our drummer always was to do with the computer and I was like, the the secondary do for that um yeah it's it's a thing it's definitely definitely a lot tio tio 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 person I think it's a misuse of technology teo be replacing your rhythm guitars with tracks when you have guitarists yeah, I don't understand that yeah, I was going to say in seven point seven eyes weave played the 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 with an ear you know so he could hear the click and stuff but you know sometimes it does 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 the audience notices it's like the worst feeling when you get off from the track so there is that whole side of it to consider but I totally agree with you like you know I don't really like it when people are throwing like too important oven 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 I 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 like experiencing the songwriters for that texture to be there but sometimes it'll be like a really simple little guitar part kind of in the background is something that's not really like you don't really want one of your two guitar players playing that thing you know it would just it sort of throws off the balance if you make one of those parts too too 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's sort of just hiding behind the main guitars are supposed to dio I think it's interesting to point that out it's ah little off topic but I should say it just because I've been thinking about this for a long time was I remember seeing, oh path back like in two thousand for two thousand five or whenever back around when blackwater park was like the new ship and on the first song for it was called school part where it goes to an acoustic break and uh they start playing harmony guitar part and they're a band that always had more parts and humans, so instead of using tracks I don't know they do now, but back then they didn't use tracks they would just tweak their arrangements so like you see on one tour and they'd be playing a song one way and cm on another tour gonna be a whole different way and I remember seeing them on one tour and when they got to that part one guy did the acoustic thing while the other guy played the lead, without the harmony sound like craft, and another time, they just didn't do the acoustic part. And they played a harmony. Leaves sounded. Godley. 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. Uh, which a lot of bands aren't. 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.


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!