Almost Finished My First Guitar Arrangement

I’ve mentioned before about how I’ve started to use Guitar Pro to write arrangments, but so far I’ve only actually worked on one song for a while. There have been two songs I’ve done, but one of them I’ve only done the first few seconds of it. In this post, I’ll write about some specific things that I had a hard time with on a specific song.

The song I’m currently spending most of my time on is W: Wonder Tale. I pretty much chose it because I liked the song. I wasn’t really thinking ahead of time which aspects the song had that would make it easier or more difficult to arrange. One thing I noticed is that there’s a lot of things you won’t really notice in a song until you actually start looking for them. For example, when I was arranging W:Wonder Tale, there was often a bar or two of just sustenance of another chord. So for parts of the song it kind of felt empty. When I listen to the original song though, you can hear some of the smaller things that fill in the gaps. For this song specifically, it was mostly keyboard and synthesiser, so I decided to use some harmonics occasionally.

Another thing I’ve noticed with this specific song is the drums in it before certain song sections. Going from the intro to the synth break there’s a drum roll and going from the verse to the bridge section has a really noticeable fill. I wanted to include these things on the guitar, but I still can’t really seem to figure out the right sounds to use. For the drum roll at the beginning, there are two beats of sixteenth notes. On the guitar, I couldn’t figure out a way to maintain a roll for two beats, so what I did was replace the last beat with a bass drum and then snare hit. This works, but it doesn’t really sound like the original. The same problem kind of happens for the drum fills since it’s hard to find a sound the matches the toms on the guitar.

The last thing that I found difficult with this song was keeping the original feel of the song. Later on in the song where the chorus picks up, the song sounds really energetic and lively. I think this is because of the sustaining chords played by the synthesiser and the fast drums. The song is at 158 bpm which is supposed to be around the speed of Allegro, but slightly faster. Allegro is considered a “lively” and “cheerful” tempo which I think is true with this song. I couldn’t really capturing the liveliness of the song, but I think that’s just because I had a hard time sustaining the chords while also playing the melody. The chords in the song are difficult for me to hold while also playing the melody.

Overall, I feel like I learned a lot from just this one song. I think that the problem with capturing the individual feel of a song will always be something people who make arrangements deal with since it’s always different with each song. However, I still had fun making this arrangement.


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