Skip to content
Notifications
Clear all

Does a song have to have a solo?


(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4389
Topic starter  

No, a song doesn't HAVE to have a solo part. But, what do you think your song is lacking? Is there any way for you to record it and let us hear it?

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


Quote
(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

In my opinion (which is worth the paper it's printed on), a song doesn't have to have any set part. There are lots of songs that are all verses, no choruses. Lots don't have solos. Some are just a stream of music. You wrote it, it should have or not have whatever you want it to.

Bass player for Undercover


ReplyQuote
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

Writing songs is as much an art as it is a science.

From what you described, perhaps you need a "B" section, "Bridge" or as the old guys put it, "A Release" -- which is really a good term because it moves the song temporarily into a new, related key and therefore relieves the tension built up by a long period of time into the tonic key.

I am a good sax player, a good arranger, an adequate guitar player, a good synth player, a good improvisationalist on all my instruments and a mediocre songwriter at best, so I feel your pain. (Also, who am I to give advice?)

There are many good books that teach the science of songwriting, and if that is one of your talents, you can take the science of songwriting, combine it with your talent, and come up with good songs. It isn't instant gratification (nothing about music is), it will take time and development, but if you have the knack, it will be worth the work.

Good luck,
Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


ReplyQuote
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

<...snip...>That's that it doesn't have I knew there is something it was missing.

but I'm still new to guitar and I'm not sure if I can create a good A release.

That's the hard part for me, too.
By the way you said your a sax player?

I would love to hear some mister fabulous type playing aka some blues brothers stuff.

I don't have anything posted right now. I have a slooooooooow "DSL-Lite" connection, not that much faster than a dial-up, because that is all that is available where I live.

I do have some wind synthesizer clips, a couple of mellow sax and a guitar clip at http://www.nortonmusic.com/clips.html and if you want to hear my duo, you can go to http://www.s-cats.com and click the "Listen to" link.

Unfortunately, although I love to play the blues I have no blues up. I play the blues on the sax and not the wind synth and although I've recorded on other people's records, I have no recordings of my own. Wind synth is easy to record on the gig, sax is not. I'll try to get permission from one of the people I did studio work for to post.

I've played sax for a loooooooooooong time, backed up major stars of the day, played on cruise ships, 5 star hotels, show clubs and even MTV, ABC, NBC and CBS. A band I was in almost got a big recording contract, but the lawyers and Motown couldn't come to an agreement about money. I was 19 years old at the time, so I'm sure they did a better job than I did at the negotiations.

I also play flute, wind synth, bass, guitar, keyboards and drums. I make my living playing music. For more info, I have a post on the "Meet and Greet" section of this board.

I wish I could recommend a song-writing book for you, but I don't know of any good ones currently in print. Perhaps someone else on this forum could chime in and lend a hand here.

Take care,
Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


ReplyQuote
(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

A song doesn't have to have a solo - think "Under The Bridge" by RHCP. No solo in that, apart from the intro, and that's just arpeggiated chords. It doesn't have to have a bridge - think "Stand By Me" by John Lennon. Generally speaking though, it usually has one or the other - verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus can get boring in a hurry.

In the genre you've picked - blues-rock, right? - you might think about arpeggiating some chords on slide. You can usually get away with doing it on the 2nd third and fourth strings if you're in open G or open A, 3rd 4th and 5th strings if you're in open D or E.

If you're playing, say, G C and D chords for the riff, you might try throwing in something like a descending run from D down to C to Bb to G, back up to Bb and back down to G.

A good example of changing a song around is Led Zep's "When The Levee Breaks"...the verses, when Plant's singing, are played with something like G, Bb and C chords - the JP changes it round by playing something like G at the 12th fret, D, C, D, F, G - then back to the main riff. Try experimenting with different licks and riffs till you find something you like.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


ReplyQuote
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

<...>
By the way you said your a sax player?

I would love to hear some mister fabulous type playing aka some blues brothers stuff.

I e-mailed a person I did a "sax for hire" recording session for, and he generously allowed me to post one of the songs on the Internet.

If you are still interested, go to http://www.nortonmusic.com/cabaret.html

Like most blues songs, the bridge is short, when it goes to the IV chord and then returns back to the tonic.

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


ReplyQuote
(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

No and no.


ReplyQuote
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

<...>By the way nice sax playing, You actually sound like the guy in the show Night man who faked played sax on the show.

Thanks for the compliment.

I'm not familiar with the show. I can play in many different styles, my objective is to play the right style for the right gig. Hopefully I'm successful more than I am not ;)

Do you know who actually played the sax on the show where the guy faked the sax?

I sure like it when the people portrayed as playing instruments in the movies are actually playing them.

If still interested, I have some wind synth playing (including a synth-guitar I did on another session) at http://www.nortonmusic.com/clips.html

Doing the "wind-synth-guitar-for-hire" was a challenge, because I could only play one note at a time on the synth module. But the client liked it, and that is what puts bread on the table.

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


ReplyQuote
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

<...>LOL syth guitars? hehe they are funny looking gadgets. and I didn't catch the credits when I watched the show since the show was pretty stupid I might have watched it like twice LOL. But I'm sure that wikipedia would be able to us out give me a day or so and I'll get some more info on him.

I agree. I've never played one of those Z-Tars, but I'd really like to try, just for the fun of it. Actually, I don't know if the guitar is a better synth controller than a keyboard or wind controller. I guess only playing one for a while would answer that question -- and I don't have the bucks to buy one just for that reason.

Let me correct myself. The synth-guitar in the clip I mentioned (and the synth-sax) was done with a wind controller (Yamaha WX5) and a Physical Modeling Synthesizer Module (Yamaha VL70-m). The wind controller looks more like a fancy clarinet (see http://www.nortonmusic.com/wx5.html for a picture) and it emits MIDI data (Musical Instrument Data Interface). The VL70-m sound module turns it into music.

The VL works very differently from the sound card in your computer. Instead of static samplers stored in ROM, the VL creates the sound as you are playing, and the nuances of the sound depend on the nuances you use while playing your MIDI controller (in my case the wind controller). This allows for string bends, hammer ons and other guitar forms of expression while subtly changing the tone as the real instrument does when it performs those ornaments.

Layman's explanation (might be close to the truth): The VL has physical models of single reeds, double reeds, plucked strings, bowed strings, cup mouthpieces, etc. PLUS various instrument shapes like tubes, boxes, cones, guitar, etc. PLUS various dampers like bells, bridges, etc. all mathematically stored in the machine. That way when you play the controller, it can react like an acoustic or acoustic/electric instrument. As a sax player, it is the only thing I have ever used to emulate a saxophone.

On the other hand, the tone isn't the greatest. But (1) What is good tone anyway, a variety of different players have very good tone and (2) the ability to recreate the nuances of the emulated instrument far exceed any tonal shortcomings.

When gigging in my duo, The Sophisticats, http://www.s-cats.com , depending on the gig, I usually spend equal time on sax, wind synth and guitar, (vocals added) with only a few songs per night on the flute. I like being able to play different instruments on stage, as (1) they bring out different ways to express myself and (2) it looks good for the audience to see me switch instruments (it is show business).

I am much better on the sax/wind synth/flute than I am at the guitar. I consider myself an adequate guitarist for Rock/C&W/Blues, an average flute player, and a much better than average sax/wind synth player. I'm sure others would disagree, but as long as people pay me to play music, that's fine with me. :D

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


ReplyQuote
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

Hey notes, that's some great Sax playing! To be brutally honest the sax is the only thing in that track I like, it;s a pretty boring and lifeless song overall (IMHO, hope the guy who wrote it dont mind me saying it!) and I'm impressed by how you managed to keep it going and interesting.

As for wind-synth, a synth with breath-controller will really perform much better then a guitar-synth. keybords are now at the point that they track pretty much perfectly, guitars have a long way to go.


ReplyQuote
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

Hey notes, that's some great Sax playing! To be brutally honest the sax is the only thing in that track I like,
Thanks.
it;s a pretty boring and lifeless song overall (IMHO, hope the guy who wrote it dont mind me saying it!)
I won't tell him ;)

BTW, the simplicity of the backing track added to the challenge of making something interesting out of it. It's quite easy to make something interesting out of an interesting chord progression, perhaps the most difficult thing for me is one of those one-chord songs, and this one in-between the two - mostly blues changes.

The guy who wrote it, simply wrote chord progressions and asked the lead players to create the lead on the spot. I did 3 cuts on the CD. Personally, I don't think that was the best formula for success. I would have much rather had a "head chart" with a melody I could have played, then improvised on and then came back to. But when the studio calls, you simply show up and do your best and hopefully that will be good enough.

To me a song needs a melody, harmony and rhythm. Anything less is a "less-than" song (although there are a lot of those kinds of songs out there today).
and I'm impressed by how you managed to keep it going and interesting.
Thanks again.
As for wind-synth, a synth with breath-controller will really perform much better then a guitar-synth. keybords are now at the point that they track pretty much perfectly, guitars have a long way to go.
I agree. I also question whether or not the guitar is the best arrangement for synth controlling.

The keyboard is great for more than one note synth playing, because the inversions of the chords are not limited like they are on the guitar. Plus you can hit all the notes at the same time if you want to, something that is very difficult on the guitar.

The wind synth is best for one-note-at-a-time synthesis because of the amount of control you can get over the expression of an individual note (volume with breath, pitch bend with the reed, plus two assignable variable continuous controllers with the thumb and two more toggle/on/off controllers that can all be manipulated independently from the note fingerings and at the same time you are fingering the notes).

But the guitar has its own wonderful but limited approach, guitar inversions of chords, strum timing of chords, and all those things that make the guitar sound like the guitar and its kin but like nothing else. Strumming a synthesized string or sax section just won't make it in my book. Plus there is that slight delay (unless you are playing a z-tar) - oh I suppose you could get used to that, but it is something to consider.

After saying all that, I've heard some people overcome those obstacles and play some very good guitar synth. Personally, I don't think I'm that good on the guitar.

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


ReplyQuote