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Some specific ?? about playing strings and pads in modern RnB
Old 5th February 2007
  #1
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tdm71's Avatar
 

Some specific ?? about playing strings and pads in modern RnB

Hey guys I was wondering if I could get some advice or tips from you on how you play your string arrangements or pads in songs similar to those by: Neyo, Joe, Mario etc..

I consider myself to be a pretty decent arranger so I'm not looking for a basic "how to " explanation but more about: do you play single string lines, do you play the root notes of the chords, do you counter the melody, do you play pad or string chords say doubling the piano /ep chords? Do you play notes outside the chord? etc..

My bigget problems seem to be as I listen to most modern arrangements I usually hear a simple string line that will sustain over a few different chord changes but the note doesn't seem to clash with the different chords. However, when I try that it seems like the only thing that really works is just playing the root of the chord (or perhaps a 5th or note within the chord) and then changing it with the progression.

Also, do you play pads in chords or in octaves, 5ths, etc..?? I know pads and strings can take up a ton of the mids in a mix so I would assume with todays minimalistic production approaches chords might not be too popular.

I know not one example with pertain to all situations but some basic tips from you guys on how you do it would be very helpful, there are some very talented people here

THANKS
Old 5th February 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdm71 View Post
I consider myself to be a pretty decent arranger so I'm not looking for a basic "how to " explanation but more about: do you play single string lines, do you play the root notes of the chords, do you counter the melody, do you play pad or string chords say doubling the piano /ep chords? Do you play notes outside the chord? etc....

...Also, do you play pads in chords or in octaves, 5ths, etc..?? I know pads and strings can take up a ton of the mids in a mix so I would assume with todays minimalistic production approaches chords might not be too popular.
The answer to all of that is no. You need to stop thinking formulaically and just start using your ears. I never sit down before doing a string part and say "ok, I'm going to use 5ths, or octaves, or 3rds, or this or that. Basically, you listen for a melody that will work, you play it, and you make adjustments as necessary. You'll know whether the song needs a chord or just a single line if you take the time to listen!

Not only that, but real arranging doesn't happen in such easy categories. For example, 2 notes may sound best with a single line, but the next 2 notes that follow might work best with a chord, which is then followed by octaves, which is follow by a 2-note voicing plus a moving line on top... So it's not about "which method" to use. Your ear is the best method available.

Why? Because it all depends on the arrangement, the song, the singer its intended for, the tempo, the style... And not only that, but also if you always do the same thing in the same situation, your music will get stale quickly.

So just start listening to as much R&B as you can get your hands on, and mimic what you hear without trying to analyze so much. You'll thank yourself for it in the long run!
Old 6th February 2007
  #3
Here for the gear
 

i was pretty much thinking the same ^^^^. i guess you should just learn some rudiments of chords, they will help. and a good ear.

one thing i have learnt is to simplify my chords and arrangements for Rnb, i used to make some mad jumps all over thekeys, and it was always a problem. yet the best rnb song i liked..just had some damn simple keys, neyo's so sick for E.G was just centred around 3 main keys.

so i never think of all that stuff u mentioned, i just remember to try and keep it simple. it aint opera. this all changes however when it comes to ballads.
Old 7th February 2007
  #4
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Hmmmmm.... well as I stated, I'm not looking for any hard fast rules that work in every situation, just some of the techniques that you have used in the past.

I know it is not opera (which should make it easier to describe what you do cause it isn't that intricate) and yes I do have a good understanding of theory and chord structure, voicing & patters but I also know there are techniques that are commonly used by bass & keyboard players as well as drummers in the RNB area (as well as every other genere of music that can be taught and do work in several situations or to create a desired sound). Guess I was wondering the same about pads & strings.

Am I speaking of ballads by the way.

Ok ... THANKS ...
Old 7th February 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
Listen to the bass. This will tell you a lot.

In string arrangements, you may want to utilize counterpoint. You just have to listen and learn..there is a ton you can do. Learn how to harmomize..it takes time..there are no magical rules. You just have to listen a lot and hear it in your head when it comes time to lay parts down.

This is not an issue for me, my biggest problem is finding the right sounds for each song im working on. Takes waaaay longer for me to get the sounds right then to write parts.
Old 7th February 2007
  #6
LCD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methlab View Post
This is not an issue for me, my biggest problem is finding the right sounds for each song im working on. Takes waaaay longer for me to get the sounds right then to write parts.
I feel ur pain patna.
Old 7th February 2007
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdm71 View Post
Hey guys I was wondering if I could get some advice or tips from you on how you play your string arrangements or pads in songs similar to those by: Neyo, Joe, Mario etc..

I consider myself to be a pretty decent arranger so I'm not looking for a basic "how to " explanation but more about: do you play single string lines, do you play the root notes of the chords, do you counter the melody, do you play pad or string chords say doubling the piano /ep chords? Do you play notes outside the chord? etc..

My bigget problems seem to be as I listen to most modern arrangements I usually hear a simple string line that will sustain over a few different chord changes but the note doesn't seem to clash with the different chords. However, when I try that it seems like the only thing that really works is just playing the root of the chord (or perhaps a 5th or note within the chord) and then changing it with the progression.

Also, do you play pads in chords or in octaves, 5ths, etc..?? I know pads and strings can take up a ton of the mids in a mix so I would assume with todays minimalistic production approaches chords might not be too popular.



I know not one example with pertain to all situations but some basic tips from you guys on how you do it would be very helpful, there are some very talented people here

THANKS
alot of chords' scales have the same notes... if you can find chords that sound good together i guarantee there scales (good for playing single notes) will have a few notes in common which will sound beautiful.

basically the best thing to do... learn ALL the major and minor chords, as well as about 3 or 4 different scales for each... like harmonic min, melodic min, and the Pentatonic Scales, major minor and blues..... that will take you VERY VERY VERY FAR... it took me about a year of sitting down and just practicing chords and scales but now melodies come like second nature... it becomes so easy when you look at the keyboard and you just know the next key or chord you press will be in key/melody... its worth it. trust me.
Old 7th February 2007
  #8
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if that doesn´t help.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWsounds View Post
it took me about a year of sitting down and just practicing chords and scales but now melodies come like second nature... it becomes so easy when you look at the keyboard and you just know the next key or chord you press will be in key/melody... its worth it. trust me.
lol...if I was to live in the 21st century, I wouldn´t need all of that.

like Methlab said, it´s harder to find the right sounds than the right theme.
with strings, there is also a lot you can do with scale tuning; while only people with trained ears can detect the exact keys (frequencies) that were changed, all of us can spot the difference in mood.

the exact same phrase will sound different on a flamenco guitar than on flamenco guitar..........that was tuned to sound arabic.

you need a scale plug in, a microtuner plug and some .tun/.scl files.

MicroTuner (for the .tun/.scl files) and a dozen usefull plugs
http://www.tobybear.de/p_midibag.html

over 3000 scales (more than enough, at least for this lifetime heh)
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/doc/scales.zip

comming from the Scala site:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/scala/

Force2Key (and again a dozen other usefull tools)
http://www.niallmoody.com/ndcplugs/ndcmidi.htm

Old 7th February 2007
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusColeman View Post
lol...if I was to live in the 21st century, I wouldn´t need all of that.

like Methlab said, it´s harder to find the right sounds than the right theme.
with strings, there is also a lot you can do with scale tuning; while only people with trained ears can detect the exact keys (frequencies) that were changed, all of us can spot the difference in mood.

the exact same phrase will sound different on a flamenco guitar than on flamenco guitar..........that was tuned to sound arabic.

you need a scale plug in, a microtuner plug and some .tun/.scl files.

MicroTuner (for the .tun/.scl files) and a dozen usefull plugs
http://www.tobybear.de/p_midibag.html

over 3000 scales (more than enough, at least for this lifetime heh)
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/doc/scales.zip

comming from the Scala site:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/scala/

Force2Key (and again a dozen other usefull tools)
http://www.niallmoody.com/ndcplugs/ndcmidi.htm

wow. i'm dreading the day when you can find midi plugins that you set a few parameters and boom. melody. is there no heart and soul/musicianship left in producing these days?? maybe not.

i'll repeat myself... LEARN M-U-S-I-C!!! as much as these plugins could do for you, you won't ever feel like you've actually played and come up w/ a melody by using these... have some self respect and learn it because you love it!
Old 7th February 2007
  #10
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here's how to make a hit song with plugins: plug in your brain and be creative.
Old 7th February 2007
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhonoquO View Post
here's how to make a hit song with plugins: plug in your brain and be creative.
x1000000000000
Old 7th February 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 

[QUOTE=CWsounds;1116599]wow. i'm dreading the day when you can find midi plugins that you set a few parameters and boom. melody.[QUOTE=CWsounds;1116599]

welcome to the past. using it for a couple of years. you set the scale, your chord changes, than type in a scale-conform melody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWsounds View Post
is there no heart and soul/musicianship left in producing these days??
no. because musicianship is craftmanship is technique. don´t misinterpret it as musical talent.

I remember british orchestral musicians (in the 80s) signed a petition to forbid samplers ("these somplas r takin hour jops!").

when Tesla literally lit the world, there were a lot of people who believed, electricity would make the world explode and that Judgement Day is near.
you sound like one of those people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWsounds View Post
i'll repeat myself... LEARN M-U-S-I-C!!!
how have you managed to download all these evil plugs, try them out and smash them as unusable....all in minutes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWsounds View Post
as much as these plugins could do for you, you won't ever feel like you've actually played and come up w/ a melody by using these... have some self respect and learn it because you love it!
ignorance IS a bliss.
Old 7th February 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
defjamm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusColeman View Post
lol...if I was to live in the 21st century, I wouldn´t need all of that.

like Methlab said, it´s harder to find the right sounds than the right theme.
with strings, there is also a lot you can do with scale tuning; while only people with trained ears can detect the exact keys (frequencies) that were changed, all of us can spot the difference in mood.

the exact same phrase will sound different on a flamenco guitar than on flamenco guitar..........that was tuned to sound arabic.

you need a scale plug in, a microtuner plug and some .tun/.scl files.

MicroTuner (for the .tun/.scl files) and a dozen usefull plugs
http://www.tobybear.de/p_midibag.html

over 3000 scales (more than enough, at least for this lifetime heh)
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/doc/scales.zip

comming from the Scala site:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/scala/

Force2Key (and again a dozen other usefull tools)
http://www.niallmoody.com/ndcplugs/ndcmidi.htm

thank you, this is good stuff!
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