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Writing For A Four-piece Band Instead Of Three-piece

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If I were to write for a four piece band (lead vocals, lead guitar rhythm guitar, bass, and drums) how would this differ from writing for a three piece band (one with no rhythm guitar). I know the basic components of popular songwriting (e.g. lyrics, melody, chords, rhythm) but I don't know very well how to integrate what I know into writing the music for the different instruments. For example I don't really know how to write a bassline or how to write chords for a three or four-piece band. Does one instrument play the chords or are the notes of the chords played across multiple instruments.

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If you write the melody and the chords, just tell the guitar players and the bass player what they are! They can sort out between them what they play! All you need to write is the structure of the song. i.e. where the guitar solo comes in, how long the intro might be, what the ending will do etc. The crucial part (as the writer) is the melody and the lyrics.

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Steve here is right, if you don;t play an instrument it's probably easier to just say 'the melody is like this, knock yourselves out'. Altough mentioning the style of music you were thinking of is probably a good idea too ;)

Something that might help could be going here, downloading and installing the (FREE!) Power Tab editor (it's fairly small and simple - should work on pretty much any PC running windows as long as you have MIDI, which I believe is standard in Windoze). Then you pop along to here and find a song you like and download it. Then you can open up the song in the power tab editor and see for yourself how music can be put together. If you pick the right song it will have all the different parts included (I believe that one of the tabs for Offspring - The Kids Aren't Alright even has drums). If you don't read music you might take a little while to fully get your head around it all, but it's actually very simple and logical (I find at least).

Anyway, just a little tip for getting started, because it will help you see which rules tend not to get broken, and which ones do...

Rohan :)

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