Writing grunge..

Davey Rock

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Pretty sure this is supposed to be in the backstage but here I go..

Really ready to catch heat for this one. I need help writing grunge songs. I've got it down for the most part, but mostly just come out sounding too modern. I want something similar to these sounds.

The length of this video is 3 minutes and 5 seconds.
3:05
Emote - Apologies. New grunge 2020
YouTube · EmoteMusic
Apr 7, 2020

The length of this video is 3 minutes and 34 seconds.
3:34
Covered in Chrome - Violent Soho - Lyrics
YouTube · MGMLyrics
Apr 8, 2020

The length of this video is 3 minutes and 2 seconds.
3:02
Violent Soho - Jesus Stole My Girlfriend
YouTube · ViolentSohoVEVO
Apr 26, 2010

For the LOVE of GOD please don't roast me. But yea I guess I just need help bro.
 

brokentoeswalker

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I dont know what new grunge is. Im pretty sure to be able to write the old grunge you needed to be strung out on heroin, with thoughts of suicide and constant anguish as your travelling companions. A insane girlfriend or 2 helps as well (also strung out)

are you wiling to make that kinda committment ??
 

Hogie34

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Go learn every single song from the “grunge “ era by every single band labeled “grunge”. Play them over and over. You’ll pick up on the writing style . You’ll find it easier to write that type of music. Also, the myth that it was the music of no gratuitous guitar solos is horse shit. Kim Thayil and Jerry Cantrell have chops...learn the solos.
Check back in - in a year or so and let us know how it’s going.
 

cooljuk

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Step 1: strum a power chord a bunch with some pedal dirt
Step 2: go down a string and do the same thing
Step 3: go up 2 frets and do the same thing
Step 4: go up a string and do the same thing
Step 5: repeat and mix it up for a few minutes
how to end: rip the guitar cord out, while still recording, then hit stop on the recorder

Well, ok, that's just how I did it in the 90's. I wasn't that good but it worked.
 

ARandall

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If you cannot write songs after hearing what you want and being aware of the style, then nothing is going to help. You just don't have 'it'.
And I'd go further......if this style is not natural for you, why bother in the first place. Art is about doing what comes naturally. Grunge bands did not come into being by copying in the first place. Trying to write something that is forced is about the same as 'selling out'.
Grunge is also 30 years old now, and was a byproduct of the music and political scene of the late 80's and early 90s. Its time is past. If your natural style is more 'modern', go with that. Its going to be way more authentic and satisfying at the very least.
Who knows, you might shock everyone and end up with something original.
 

redking

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Mother Love Bone sounded nothing like Mudhoney
Mudhoney sounded nothing like the Melvins
The Melvins sounded nothing like Nirvana
Nirvana sounded nothing like Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains sounded nothing like Soundgarden
Soundgarden sounded nothing like Pearl Jam
yet they were all considered grunge. I don't think there is a formula. Violent Soho sound like Weezer's first record to me which was already a derivative of grunge. Be modern if that is what comes out of you.
 

HogmanA

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It's not what you do it's the way that you do it.

You see? Take any one of those grunge acts, give them any song to cover and they'll still sound like them.

How about this:
Just write a quality song and don't worry about the genre, even if it comes out Country, etc.

Then, do a cover of your own song!

 

Davey Rock

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I dont know what new grunge is. Im pretty sure to be able to write the old grunge you needed to be strung out on heroin, with thoughts of suicide and constant anguish as your travelling companions. A insane girlfriend or 2 helps as well (also strung out)

are you wiling to make that kinda committment ??

Now that I think about it, should've stayed with my ex..
 

Davey Rock

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It's not what you do it's the way that you do it.

You see? Take any one of those grunge acts, give them any song to cover and they'll still sound like them.

How about this:
Just write a quality song and don't worry about the genre, even if it comes out Country, etc.

Then, do a cover of your own song!

Huh. Never really thought of that. I could give that a try. Thanks man!
 

Davey Rock

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Mother Love Bone sounded nothing like Mudhoney
Mudhoney sounded nothing like the Melvins
The Melvins sounded nothing like Nirvana
Nirvana sounded nothing like Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains sounded nothing like Soundgarden
Soundgarden sounded nothing like Pearl Jam
yet they were all considered grunge. I don't think there is a formula. Violent Soho sound like Weezer's first record to me which was already a derivative of grunge. Be modern if that is what comes out of you.
True words. Never really understood the genre labels although I use them all the time. I write music almost constantly and have also been writing with my acoustic. I DID write one song that had the sound I was looking for, but just like in bloom, or self esteem, it sounds terrible on acoustic.
 

Davey Rock

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If you cannot write songs after hearing what you want and being aware of the style, then nothing is going to help. You just don't have 'it'.
And I'd go further......if this style is not natural for you, why bother in the first place. Art is about doing what comes naturally. Grunge bands did not come into being by copying in the first place. Trying to write something that is forced is about the same as 'selling out'.
Grunge is also 30 years old now, and was a byproduct of the music and political scene of the late 80's and early 90s. Its time is past. If your natural style is more 'modern', go with that. Its going to be way more authentic and satisfying at the very least.
Who knows, you might shock everyone and end up with something original.

This was also a worry of mine. Although I want to do grunge, or if I could make my own label, "sloppy garage trash" (maybe it sounds more like the sound I want), I still fear that if I do find the sound I'm looking for, most people won't even take a listen because it sounds mediocre Within a specific decade. Now POST grunge (the bands that are given this name) like 311, emote, senium, noiseheads etc. I like too. Like early breaking Benjamin, or Chevelle (not really GRUNGE but dark sounding) I like as well. Basically anything from the late 80s up to late 2000s. Most shit today sucks. It's nothing but "bro country", "imagine draggin Deez nuts" rock, and Billy eyelash. Which some of hers is ok, but I just find it repetitive. Dave grohl once said that she was keeping rock and roll alive, and I stood in disbelief. I may use the term grunge a lot, but for the best type of music, I believe that labels are for posers. (I am hypocrite) although, I DO have standards for what I believe is the rock and roll sound, I do not think she sounds like rock and roll. I really like green day. Their stuff is mostly the same, but at the same time it never changes. It's always a green day song you hear.
 

kakerlak

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Go learn every single song from the “grunge “ era by every single band labeled “grunge”. Play them over and over. You’ll pick up on the writing style . You’ll find it easier to write that type of music. Also, the myth that it was the music of no gratuitous guitar solos is horse shit. Kim Thayil and Jerry Cantrell have chops...learn the solos.
Check back in - in a year or so and let us know how it’s going.
This is good advice. Immerse yourself in what you like and learn those songs. You'll pick up on tendencies, riffs, vibe, etc and it'll start to come out subconsciously when you noodle around. You'll gradually amalgamate all the bits and pieces that speak to you and eventually, your own voice will emerge within the language. But it has to come from a place of love or it won't have that magic.

And yeah, there's absolutely more going on guitar-wise than it sounds at a casual listen in a lot of the original grunge. Even the stuff that's not "hard" is often musically clever (think Nirvana). There's also a ton of bands that had some fairly sophisticated playing that was really buried in the mix and/or behind heavy distortion (think Pearl Jam and Soundgarden), sometimes so much so that it's virtually impossible to pick out by ear. But it's there and it shouldn't sound the same or evoke the same emotional response if it wasn't.

Go google up Rick Beato's "What makes this song great?" Youtube videos. He's done a number of grunge and post-grunge songs and he picks them apart in a way that really gets you to consider them compositionally in a way you might never have before. I don't know where you are as a player. I like to think I'm fairly decent -- like hot bar band level. I think I'm pretty dextrous/fluid, but I'm terrible at writing and theory and I'm no shredder, either. I've kind of come to terms that I'm most at home being a rhythm and blues/lead player. Rick's ear is a million times better than mine and listening to those song breakdowns is fascinating to me, even when they're songs I don't even like.

And, like anything else in music, my experience is, if you're not having fun, you won't keep it up.
 

Davey Rock

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This is good advice. Immerse yourself in what you like and learn those songs. You'll pick up on tendencies, riffs, vibe, etc and it'll start to come out subconsciously when you noodle around. You'll gradually amalgamate all the bits and pieces that speak to you and eventually, your own voice will emerge within the language. But it has to come from a place of love or it won't have that magic.

And yeah, there's absolutely more going on guitar-wise than it sounds at a casual listen in a lot of the original grunge. Even the stuff that's not "hard" is often musically clever (think Nirvana). There's also a ton of bands that had some fairly sophisticated playing that was really buried in the mix and/or behind heavy distortion (think Pearl Jam and Soundgarden), sometimes so much so that it's virtually impossible to pick out by ear. But it's there and it shouldn't sound the same or evoke the same emotional response if it wasn't.

Go google up Rick Beato's "What makes this song great?" Youtube videos. He's done a number of grunge and post-grunge songs and he picks them apart in a way that really gets you to consider them compositionally in a way you might never have before. I don't know where you are as a player. I like to think I'm fairly decent -- like hot bar band level. I think I'm pretty dextrous/fluid, but I'm terrible at writing and theory and I'm no shredder, either. I've kind of come to terms that I'm most at home being a rhythm and blues/lead player. Rick's ear is a million times better than mine and listening to those song breakdowns is fascinating to me, even when they're songs I don't even like.

And, like anything else in music, my experience is, if you're not having fun, you won't keep it up.

This is exactly what I believe. If you don't love and have fun whltih what you are doing, then it won't help. That's why I stopped practicing every single day on schedule. I've found that when I play because I HAVE to, then I don't enjoy it, but if I play because I WANT to then I feel as if my life is laid back and joyous. Thank you all for your help. A lot has been given in knowledge that seems to just pass me by. Like I've said before, I appreciate EVERYTHING. And I mean that to heart. Anyone that takes valuable time from themselves to help me out especially world wide on this forum is alright in my book. Thank you all for your kind words. I take none of them for granted.
 

kakerlak

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This is exactly what I believe. If you don't love and have fun whltih what you are doing, then it won't help. That's why I stopped practicing every single day on schedule. I've found that when I play because I HAVE to, then I don't enjoy it, but if I play because I WANT to then I feel as if my life is laid back and joyous. Thank you all for your help. A lot has been given in knowledge that seems to just pass me by. Like I've said before, I appreciate EVERYTHING. And I mean that to heart. Anyone that takes valuable time from themselves to help me out especially world wide on this forum is alright in my book. Thank you all for your kind words. I take none of them for granted.
Music is a never-ending journey. Sometimes you end up somewhere wildly different than where you meant to go and that's okay, too. It's all a part of finding your voice and sometimes the stuff you play is different than the stuff you listen to. And that's okay. Just play it from the heart.
 


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