Category Archives: Songwriting

FAWM 2012


FAWM is going on again. I already finished my first song and also did a little video for it. I’m starting to get a hang of this video editing, but that’s it. A lot to learn and a lot to try, still.

This one is a morph song which means that the person following me in the morph is gonna take 50% of my song and write a new one with 50% of new material. Then the next person’s gonna do the same thing to that song. It’s gonna be interesting to see what they come up with.

So, 13 (and a half) tracks to go and 26 days to make ’em.

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New Album: Scions of God


Does this ever happen to you? You’re working on a project and it seems like it’s taking months and months and then you happen to do a similar project and finish it in a week? It’s crazy but that just happened to me.

That Super God project I’ve been talking about is not progressing too rapidly and I’ve been forgetting that I should work on that too. So about a week ago, late in Monday night, I discovered this site.

FAWM.ORG

I just had to participate! It’s just that I only had 7 days to work. I like challenges, however, so I decided to do it no matter what. I thought of the fastest concept to work and figured that I should do something along the lines of Iron Maiden and Dio. Also I wanted to do a concept album because that pretty much gives me the theme of each song as I write the general plot.

Overall these were the things that took the most time: coming up with melodies for the songs, writing lyrics, creating midi tracks for bass and drums, recording guitars and vocals, mixing and mastering.

When I had written down the name and concept of each song I plugged in my mic and started sing melodies and riffs for each song. I pretty much did this a whole day but everything turned out ok and I rarely added anything major when I was actually making the midi tracks or recording guitars. I just followed my “dun dun’s” and “naa naa’s”. Of course there were exceptions, too.

So here are the tracks:

  1. Brothers of Prophecy
  2. Scions of God
  3. Cold Blood
  4. Nightmares of Sleepless Night
  5. Dawn of the Exiled
  6. Candle in the Autumn Night
  7. Inhumane Zen
  8. Chain of Storm
  9. New Dawn
  10. Lightless Fortress
  11. The Blood Bond
  12. Book of Life
  13. Revelations
  14. Trust

I especially liked Lightless Fortress, Inhumane Zen, Revelations and Trust which was an acoustic track. The Blood Bond was a song that I’m propably gonna rewrite for the most part because it just didn’t meet my expectations. I just didn’t have the time to start rewriting it while I was already recording guitars etc.


The Words of Daybreak


Here’s a song I made a few months ago. Miracle Man was a project where I would compose and record a song in one day. Granted, it shows, but I was gradually getting better in it. It was also the first time I would record myself singing so the quality isn’t that great.

I originally came by the theme with my acoustic guitar while I was playing Porcupine Tree’s Trains. So I had a capo in 5th fret and I started to play around with the open strings. Then I just went straight to record! When I’ve got something like six hours to work with a song there’s not much time to fool around and experiment.

I quickly recorded the acoustic guitar parts and then organs and electric guitar parts. As you may have noticed there aren’t any bass or drums. That’s just because I’d have to do them as midi and that’s quite time-consuming. I preferred keeping it simple.

The hardest thing for me in these Miracle Man songs was to write the lyrics. There aren’t a lot of them and they might not be a poetic gold mine but I like them because pretty much only I know the symbolism behind them. It’s not impossible to figure out but you gotta know of what I’m talking about.

So I compiled the whole thing in Audacity as I usually do, mastered it and made a video file for YouTube. My singing technique sucked at the time so I had a sore throat after singing all those lines. My neighbours probably had sore ears.

“Listen to my words”, said Devil to a young man,
“Prayer is the key to the Heavenly Kingdom.
So fall on your knees and praise your Maker.
From under the petticoat sing your soul to Light!”

The words of daybreak turn the light into dark.
Soothingly smiling burning colors into gray.

“Listen to my words”, said Devil to a young man,
“The Heaven’s on Earth just listen me now.
You are the Wisdom – the key of Salvation.
So make all the people to sing your name to Light!”

The words of daybreak turn the light into dark.
Soothingly smiling turning colors into gray.
And when you hear them spoken don’t cover your ears.
Beyond this darkness is your Home.

Oh, and one other thing. As I was writing this I got The Zen of Screaming delivered into my mailbox. I’ll be examining that for a while now.


Advancing With Drum Models


I got the drum models recorded earlier this week. Though I had no idea what to expect with pretty much nothing but song titles down I think I came up with some interesting stuff. You can listen some short samples below.

As you can hear the quality of these recordings isn’t anything spectacular but that’s besides the point. The point was to create some beats to inspire great guitar lines for the songs. I might not even use any of these drums in the format that I recorded them in but there are some good parts that I think are gonna find their way in the songs.

Over all I recorded over an hour worth of drums. I’m gonna start working on the guitar parts next week or so. We’ll see how it goes.


The Next Five Songs


It’s time for the next five song designs. I’m gonna try to record some basic drum tracks for the songs now that I’m visiting my parents for christmas. My dad’s got a real drum set which is gonna help me composing the tracks.

Sunrays

I’m thinking I might mold something a little bit more odd out of this song. I’m gonna vary the mood with foggy pad sounds and crystal clear piano parts. The lyrics will most likely be very minimalistic and cryptic (with some sense buried in them of course).

Sunrays will be a song that has pretty much two similar sections with the first being calm and second a bit more rhythmical with a relaxed drum beat.

Super God

Super God is fast-paced song with all sorts of clever time signature changes and heavy synthesizer backgrounds. The lyrics hold a humorous tone throughout the song. That’s pretty much all I need to say about this song.

Thoughts That Make You Cry

This song is gonna be well-paced but still very calm song that builds around the theme of beauty and the difficulty in acquiring the right mindset for it. I’m thinking of recording some acoustic guitar for this piece with pad sounds and piano.

The B part will be long and revolving like rising and falling clouds. I’m gonna try to write some sort of Pink Floyd style solo for that.

Wild Imitations

I marked down that I’m gonna make this song acoustic and colorful but I’m not that sure about that plan anymore. It could have a colorful feel to it but with a lot more upbeat pace.

Now that I start to really feel the title it brings to mind Daily Show’s Michael Steele muppet interviews and I really start to get some craze ideas for this song now. This should be interesting.

Yellow Moment

This song might be one with no drums in it or very melodic drum lines with other instruments creating the rhythm. I’m gonna play around with this one a bit. In case of the verse being strange and slippery I’ll need to write a more concrete and pop style chorus for the song. I want to make this song very powerful… like SUN! Let’s see how that turns out.


First Five Designs


I’m gonna try to write a little bit about each of those Super God project songs down for clarification. I just bought Joe Satriani’s Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards album and gotta pause it now to really concentrate on the mood and theme of each song.

Coming Back

This song is about returning home to God from this domain. So the theme is a bit spiritualistic and — you know, though I feel a bit uncomfortable describing it here I’m not gonna apologize for it. I’m gonna give the song a 6/8 feel with tempo being around 90. Usually when I have a click track or midi drums I tend to put the tempo off a bit so instead of leaving it to 90 I’ll probably put it to 89 or 92 in case I want it to be a bit faster.

The structure here’s gonna be very common AABA type of thing with intro, two verses and choruses, a B part with maybe a solo and double chorus at the end. I’m gonna try to make the mood loving and yearning and keep the lyrics at a minimalistic level. Because this song has a calm feel to it I’m gonna put it to the end half of the set to leave room for the more upbeat stuff at the beginning.

Drowning in Hope

This title caught my attention in the Song Name Creator because it’s just the kind of bad behavior people tend to slip into. This one will feel stingy but yet fresh. It’s gonna offer another perspective for hope. The song’s gonna be a bit too fast (I’m thinking 300 BPM) with a simplistic and funky theme melody.

I’m gonna write a bunch of similar type of riffs over the basic structure. This means maybe a long intro and short verses with bridge sections. The choruses are gonna be explosive and change the feel from machine gun to freeride (with a very basic chord progression). This has been done many times and it works like a charm. I’m also thinking of doing a lot of strange riffs here and there to build the tension. The structure will be pretty much ABAB with long B-sections.

For People Without Imagination (Myself Included)

This song, I thought, could be a bit harsh and more expressive with cute melodies. No basic structures but rather some heavy riffs and cool organ sections. I wanna do one song with 7/8 feel and this is a perfect platform for that. I’m not really sure how long this song’s gonna take. The structure could be something like ABCA with long A section that’s reprised at the end, silent and moody B part and heavier and more expressive C part. Tempo will be around 120. Other than that I’m just gonna have to see what I come up with.

Loneliness with Style

Now this is something I changed my mind about. First the word “Loneliness” struck to me as another emo song but then (as I kept reading)  that “with Style”  made me smirk with that evil genius like passion. So I decided that this title has come to stay and that I’m gonna make it very upbeat and glamorous… The Ark way!

Standard AABA should work fine here. 192 BPM as tempo and a hard groove kicking the song forward will make Loneliness with Style an instant classic! Haha. I’m gonna write some cool melodies and tricky offbeat riffs for this song. I’m already excited!

Song of Life

This one I’ll make a fine pop tune with easy to follow chord progressions and catchy tunes. Maybe I’ll actually write this one an instrumental. I don’t have a lot to say about life and I think my feelings about it are best conveyed in music. What makes this song special? My viewpoint. I’ll try to make you smile, feel good and wanna listen to this song a one more time.


Creating New Songs


I came up with the song names for the project. About half of them were taken straight from the Song Name Creator I mentioned earlier but needless to say I had to click the button for a while. Others I either modified a bit or just invented myself.

The songs (in the order I selected them) are:

  1. Coming Back
  2. Super God
  3. Song of Life
  4. Yellow Moment
  5. Sunrays
  6. Wild Imitations
  7. Drowning in Hope
  8. For People Without Imagination (Myself Included)
  9. Loneliness With Style
  10. Thoughts That Make You Cry

I can imagine that some of you are thinking to yourselves: “You come up with the name of the song BEFORE you compose it?” and even though I explained this a bit in the previous post I think a further clarification is in place here.

I happened to seek a bit of song writing tips with Google and run into this great site which offered a ton of useful procedures for writing great songs (thus the name).

Your SongWriting Can be Great (GreatSongWriting.com)

“You should ask yourself these questions. Why are you writing songs? Who are you writing for? Why are you unique? This all leads to who you are as a songwriter and why there is no one in this world like you.”

The first question here is the most important one for me. Why? Well, I love writing and playing music. I take melodies and tunes very seriously. What I don’t take seriously are the topics. I really don’t care about the world that much. Day by day it seems more and more like just a sandbox for me and all the issues of humanity as pointless as anything.

This is the reason I feel it’s highly productive to come up with the name of the song first. That way I can concentrate on the theme of the song and compose all the instruments complementing the general theme. If I start to write from a scratch I rarely come up with anything that special.

As you can see from the picture I also described the songs with a couple of adjectives. This makes it easier for me to dive into the mood of that song. Generally I want to make the songs upbeat and happy. I’ve depleted my silo of depressive thoughts and now it’s time for something different.

Oh, also my friend suggested that the name of the band should also be “Super God” which, as I thought of it, started to sound really good. So, if there isn’t a band going with that name already, DIBS!


Realization of Musical Desires


As I was not falling asleep the last night I started to think my musician career. This is the time when inspiration strikes me. If you ever feel your inspiration is down the best thing to find it is to RELAX. My inspiration usually grabs me when I’m in sauna or lying in bed. Begin to contemplate what you want in life and what is the logical route there.

What got my mind going right then and there? I don’t know. But I started to think about what I really want to do as a musician. The answer was and has always been very clearly there: I want to create music.

So, I decided I’m gonna concentrate on writing an albumful of music.

Previously there have been a lot of problems with this kind of projects.  Mainly, I don’t know what I’m gonna write my songs about. I want to sing but if I’m gonna write lyrics I need to figure out the concept of the song. Frankly, I can’t think of any good concepts. I think love songs and “baby, please don’t leave me” ballads are stupid as hell. Also, I don’t want to write anything too low-vibrational.

When I started to write this post I got an idea: “There’s gotta be some kind of tools for this shit around the Internet!” And there was!

Song Name Creator (Songname.net)

This tool is great! Though I might not use the names as they come I get a ton of free ideas there. When I’ve got the name figured out I can write the whole song complementing that concept. This is how I like to work. I’ve done a lot of game design and the basic rule there is to get the big picture down first. Write down what the game is about in one sentence. Then wireframe all the areas of the game — menus, gameplay, dialogues, updater, models etc.

So, what I’m gonna do here is to figure out the names of the songs first and start working down from there. I might scribble down the basic structures for all the songs, describe the moods of all the sections there and then try to highlight the points that require the most amount of tension.

Song Theme Ideas (LyricIdeas.com)

I also came about this other site that offers a table where you can pick the themes closest to your heart at the moment. This maybe could be useful for someone but for me it’s too overwhelming. I just need a few good ideas that I can refine to perfection. I just put it out there so that others may take advantage of it.

I’ll let you know how the work advances.