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Tue, Feb. 6th, 2007, 04:06 pm
How to write song riffs backwards

How to write song riffs backwards

My cousin sent me a bunch of songs for me to add guitar or bass riffs to. I used the songs to try a new method for composing a riff. I deliberately didn't listen to the songs, so I would have no idea how they started. I opened a song into Audacity and loop-played the last fifteen seconds of the song until I had an idea for a harmony riff. Then I played that riff along with the loop until I had the riff down.

Then I loop-played the last thirty seconds of the song and waited fifteen seconds until it was time to play the riff I already composed for the last fifteen seconds, until I had a riff for the entire last thirty seconds of the song. I played that thirty-second riff along with the loop until I had the thirty-second riff down.

Then I continued loop-playing fifteen seconds earlier into the song and kept adding fifteen seconds to the beginning of my riff until I was looping the entire song. Once I was riffing the entire song, I recorded the track.

I couldn't have done this without digital technology. Before digital technology I had to learn a song by stumbling my way toward the end. With digital music editing software I can start composing by establishing where and how I want the song to end and stumble my way toward the beginning. Plus a lot of music theory is about getting to the end of the song, so I enjoyed composing tracks by establishing the end of the song and figuring out how to get to it.

I haven't had this much fun working on music in a long time.