Submit your best tips on How to Write a Metal Song here. What lyrics/topics are best for a metal song? How about the music? Share your knowledge on various techniques for writing a metal song in particular.
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I think that there is a great thing about metal, that the lyrics can be related to any topic… however, I think that metal lyrics have their greatest affect when discussing topics such as war and violence. An example of great songs which are based around war include Metallica’s One, Megadeth’s Holy Wars… The Punishment Due, Vader’s Cold Demons and so on… However, there is no limit in metal really, the lyrics can be based on a large number of topics.
lets get crazy
i love that song. What inspired you to write the song? What were you thinking of when you wrote the song? What did the song meant? How did you felt when you wrote it?
metal theory and lyrics (how to write a metal song)
most metal songs are minor (as opposed to major). this gives them a darker feel. be sure to know your minor scales.
chord progressions are usually thrown out the window, but I-IV can make an appearance: you’re playing an awesome minor scale part and can’t decide what to do next. move it up a string! moving it down a string also works well. this makes it a I-V.
other progressions can be used, but most of them risk sounding too “rock”. progressions built on intervals that are usually minor work well then. a list of these intervals: II, III, VI. I and VII can work, but I is usually taken for granted. this is the root, the starting point. VII is down a whole step (2 frets). it’s good after I.
lyrics must involve conflict. some examples of literary conflict include: man vs. self, man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. society. this is where lyrical excitement comes from. nobody writes metal songs about relaxing or taking it easy.
what if you have the the beat or tune but you cant figure out what to write about ???
writing metal songs
i have written ALOT of songs, nearly all of which being metal songs. I usually start by noodling around on piano or guitar. When i hear a riff i like, i adapt it a little if i need to. I then put it into ‘guitar pro’ (which i suggest everyone should own.) and gradually mess around, adding bass and rhythm to it til it all ‘clicks’. There is no set way of writing a song, just work with what u have. I’ve written ‘chorus’ riffs before and ended up using them for completely different parts of the song. Once u build up a little database of ur own ideas, u can mix & match parts that fit well to other ideas and so on. Just recently i took a song i had written years ago and completely removed the chorus from it and put it into a different song. Sounded much better.
One good piece of advice i was given was to listen to as broad a music style as possible and don’t think “Hey, i want all our songs to sound like Metallica’s” because they will, and that’ll suck. Coz your imitating someone elses style. Say if you’re a Maiden fan, don’t JUST listen to maiden all day long coz then all your songs will sound like maidens. Broaden ur horizons, and learn to play some stuff that u wouldn’t normally play. New techniques and styles etc will expand your own style without you even realising. Keep thinkin creatively and most importantly, have fun with it 🙂
Write about anything you feel very strongly about, war, peace, politics, corruption, how bad x and y group is, death, life after death, killing, girls, booze, STD’s (like AC/DC and yes they are rock but still), failed relationships. all are good topics, except maybe STDs which are just kinda fun to sing about in a practice, but don’t waste your time on an entire song for.
I know it’s a bit more deathcore, but if you’re not used to writing fast songs it’s a really good plan to stick a beatdown in there, if you normally write slow, it lest you write naturally. Also, with the lyrics alot of people stick to a formula, and that’s never a good thing. Metal has no structure, the whole point of it is that it’s free. Not every song needs a solo/chorus/breakdown etc.
Key of metal
Actually to add to previous comments saying metal is mostly minor, metal is actually mostly in the Dorian mode. Thanks! 🙂