Make a lead track - or just shred to this backing track

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Make a lead track - or just shred to this backing track

#1 Post by b2 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:41 pm


(My english is far from perfect, so I hope people understand most of this post)

First, I am not sure if this thread should be in the "Self-Promotion Showcase". If so just throw me to that part.

But I want to stay here :D because this is a backing track to a new song I just made and I want to tell
you how I now gone go on to make a lead track.

AND! I want other people also to make a lead track, and because this is in the theory part of the forum
you MUST tell us how you came up with what you have made. Did you use your brain or just improvise free?
If you make anything you can yourself mix and post the song here with lead included or somehow send me just the
lead part and I can mix and master the song, and post an URL here.
I got some "web storage" to use so I could host 10-20 songs or whatever.

Ok, here is URL to the backing track: (near 22 MB) ... -track.mp3" onclick=";return false;

I love long songs with a "funky" groove.
The inspiration for this song was maybe Joe Satriani's song "The Bells Of Lal (Part two)".

I myself have not yet any melody to use for the lead track.
So tomorrow I have to make a melody and start recording the lead track.
There is alot of space for solo's in the song. But I myself is not much of a shredder, so don't expect
anything "flashy" from me. I just make music on my sparetime, and I have not played electric guitar so
much the last years. So my technique is a bit sloppy or what to call it.
My plan is to make a simple minor-pentatonic melody, use it for verse 1
and the usually up an octave for verse 2. And repeat it in verse 3.
For tone, I will use some "Satch-tone" stuff... and a wha-wha pedal as he also use often for lead playing.
I don't know about the choruses, I must make some "melody stuff" for them also.
And solos... alot of empty space for long solos...

The tempo is "disco" 120 bpm. And meter is regular 4/4. The title "Easy listening" says it all.
The key is E-minor. So E-minor pentatonic and E-aeolian could be used for melody/solo.
The song is maybe not rock yet (more pop-disco maybe), but add a lead guitar track with some screaming noise
and we can call it rock I believe.

Here is the structure and some short comments for making a lead track:
(Don't mind the flute melody, it is just ment as a background melody)

Song structure for "Easy Listening Part II"

Intro 00:00 - 00:38
Comment: I don't believe we need anything more for this part.

Verse 1 00:38 - 01:10
Comment: Make a melody for this part, use e.g E-minor pentatonic or whatever.

Chorus 1 01:10 - 01:42
Comment: Also need some melody stuff for this part

Verse 2 01:42 - 02:13
Comment: Repeat the melody from verse 1, up an octave is very common. Or do whatever you want.

Chorus 2 02:13 - 03:13
Comment: Warning, chorus 2 is a bit different from chorus 1. But you could use the same lead you did
make for chorus 1 and just add more to it.

Solo 1 (same chords as one verse and chorus 2) 03:13 - 04:46
Comment: At last solo! :) This is the same chords as a verse + chorus 2.

Verse 3 04:46 - 05:18
Comment: Very common to get back to the melody you played in verse 1 and 2. I believe I gone play much
the same as I did in verse 2.

Chorus 3 05:18 - 05:50
Comment: This is the same chords as in chorus 2, so I believe I gone use the same stuff I came up with for chorus 2.

Solo 2 (same chords as Solo 1) 05:50 - 07:22
Comment: Well... well... well... yet another solo. I don't know but sometimes just record when you are improvising and
see if anything usefull comes.

Bridge (at last!) 07:22 - 07:54
Comment: I believe this can be as it is, but I am not shure yet.

Repeating vamp/groove 07:54 - 10:50
Comment: This is a long repeating vamp/groove. I love to improvise to things like this.
So just improvise and see if you find anything usefull.

Ending 10:50 - End.
Comment: I believe this also can just be as it is.

So tomorrow I have some "work" to do.
If other people here also want to make a lead track, just post some comments here on
how you progress with the track. Include some words about how you work on it, e.g. music theory.

If you want me to mix the song some different just send me a note here, but I am not gone change the
song structure.

Good luck! I will post again tomorrow and tell how fare I have come.
Or if I don't make anything tomorrow it can take a day or two before I post here again.

Did I forget anything? If so just ask here.

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Re: Make a lead track - or just shred to this backing track

#2 Post by b2 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:24 pm

New day and did come up with some melody stuff today.
But not so much and not a very strong melody. A little silly maybe, like the song itself.

Yesterday I did wrote "don't mind the flute melody", but I found it very distracting
when I was looping the first verse and trying to come up with a melody.
So I muted the flute melody before the bridge and if anyone else want it, here it is: ... bridge.mp3" onclick=";return false;

Tomorrow I hope to record the lead track. Just need some more melody lines before I can
improvise the rest of it. Perfection is not my goal with the songs I am making now, more just to have
some fun playing the guitar. I hope to record the complete lead track in just 2-5 takes. And using only one day.

I will post the finished song with the rest of my new songs in the "Self-Promotion Showcase" later this week... I hope.

Anyone else found the backing track nice to improvise to?
I know, I know... it is disco :)

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Re: Make a lead track - or just shred to this backing track

#3 Post by b2 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:18 pm

Today I recorded the lead track. Here is the song from start to solo as it is just now: ... h-lead.mp3" onclick=";return false;

Just did a quick mixdown and mastering, not sure if the mix is ok or not.
The guitar tone is not perfect, it is ok but could be better. But I am not sure if I can
find something in my PODxt that fits the song better.

Here is how I did make the lead track.

First I just listend to the backing track while improvising some lead to it.
The starting melody (from 00:36 to 00:50) came very quick, but I thought it was to simple and silly to use.
This first melody is pure E-minor pentatonic stuff.
So I wanted something else. The flute melody was very distracting when I was trying to make
a melody so I had to mute the flute.

I looped the first verse and just tried to come up with a melody that could fit it.
After some time the next melody part came to me. It's the one I play from 00:50 to 01:07.
This melody is more from E-aeolian.
I liked this one, but was not sure if it should be used in the verse or in the chorus.

After playing around for some time I came back to the "silly" pentatonic melody that came
to me first. Sometimes you got to stick to what comes first, because it often is the best.
And so I thought it could be cool to first play the "silly" pentatonic melody and then the E-aeolian melody.
You will hear I play the pentatonic melody two times, then the E-aeolian melody also two times.
And now we got a complete verse, that is in the mp3 file from 00:36 to 01:07.

And now comes the first chorus. The first chorus is in the mp3 file from 01:07 to 01:40.
First I in the chorus just repeated the E-aeolian melody one more time and added some
more melody stuff to "fill up". Also took the melody up an octave and repeated it.
Just listen to the chord progression and find something that goes with it.
As I wrote before the key is E-minor so E-aeolian can be used all the time. Easy Listening as it is.

And now I had a verse and a chorus. So as I wrote before I for verse 2 just went up an octave
and the same with chorus 2. But chorus 2 is a bit longer than chorus 1 so also had to find
some more "melody stuff" to "fill up". I added some long tones that fit the chord progression.
Verse 2 is from 01:40 to 02:11 in the mp3 file, and chorus 2 from 02:11 to 03:11.
First solo starts at 03:11, very typical rock guitar solo start.

I did record the lead track now. For verse 3 and chorus 3 just repeated verse 2 and chorus 2.
For solos, just some typical "rock guitar pentatonic and aeolian guitar solo work".
For the repeating vamp/groove at the end I played a little like the flute melody in the start of it and
later repeating some melody lines from earlier in the song. And also improvised some more
"typical rock guitar stuff".

I did record the lead track in one singel take, just had to re-take the first part of verse 1 because it was
not good enough played. This is much how I like to work with music now. Record as much as possible
in one takes. Not spend houres or days on making everything perfect. I just play now for fun.
But of course it has to be "good enough", so sometimes it takes many takes and long time.
Sometimes the different between "perfect" and "good enough" can be weeks or months hard work.

Ok I now thought I had the song more or less finished. After dinner and a little walk I wanted to record
yet another one take of the complete lead track. And this time I found out that the melody in
the choruses could be played a little different. And I liked it better this new way.
So I had to re-take chorus 1 and 2. Chorus 3 I just kept as it was first played.
I think it is nice chorus 3 is a bit diffrent from chorus 1, can become to much repeating in a song like this.

So what you hear in the mp3 file is how the song and lead track now has become.
And I believe I am not gone change anything more, but need a night sleep to clear my mind and ears.
And tomorrow I will just listen to the song, solo's and find out if it is "good enough" or if I should re-take
some parts.

I am working quick with my songs now, not targeting "perfection". Just "good enough", good enough for
me I must say. This is song no. 16, just got one more to finish. Than comes X-mas and
Battlestar Galactica season 4, the final season :mrgreen:

As I wrote I will later post all my new songs in the "Self-Promotion Showcase".
Maybe later this week if I get the last one also done in 1-3 days.

The guitar used is a Fender Stratocaster, through a wha-wha and into my PODxt.
Also the same strat for the guitar rhythm.
Software is Sony ACID Music Studio 7.0 (price around 50$) for multi track recording and
Sony Sound Forge 9.0 for mastering.
I am playing guitar, bass and keyboard for this song. Keyboard in one or two finger work for me.
I am using the keyboard "arpeggiator" for the organ sound, and the fluet is one finger keyboard playing.
I am happy I can correct my keyboard playing mistakes later in ACID (with MIDI) :D
Drums are drum loops, from and also believe I used some from Sony.

Any questions? Just ask.

Good night.

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