Joe Satriani: fazer magazine interview

Joe: Yes, well it all starts with a song; the song has to be a good song and the melody has to be very strong. If you're building a song that has not only a verse and chorus but also a bridge, you really have to be just like any other song writer and embrace all the great songs ever written and understand why they work and why people like them. You can go against the grain for effect but you'll reap what you sow; if you start adding notes in with too many notes or notes that are very unfavorable, you will get the results from the audience. A melody still has to be somewhat uplifting and capture a mood, if you're going for brooding it has to be really good. You can go all the way back to Beethoven, he was one of the great brooding melody guys and as a student of music, you can really learn how to get power from delicacy and to fill up space with dichotomy. I know it sounds like I'm talking about things that don't go together with musical dichotomy, but this is actually the stuff of composing. When you get that inspiration and you write a song you just go with the feeling but then afterwards you sit back and go, "Okay, what have I done? How can I make it better? How can I tweak it and tighten it up so that what I experienced writing it is something people can experience when they listen to it?" That's two different things. That's where the professional composer has to come in and tweak it with an ear towards the audience and what they need to hear to understand the story you are trying to tell.
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