Filling gaps with the "Shred Duct Tape" (© Fossegrim) composition technique

Are you ever in the below situation when writing music? (Could be an entire song, a solo with different sections, whatever!).

Basically you have an almost finished thing, but there are some short segments where you keep hitting a creative brick wall: maybe you don’t have a convincing final statement for a melody, or you don’t know how to connect two sections with a good-sounding phrase.

Well, how about you stop trying to compose something “good” for these sections, and instead fill them with something more patterny or “mechanically-inspired”:

  • One of your favourite shred patterns that you have been practicing for years and never used in a song


  • A lick that uses a technique that you want to learn or improve (so that you progress both musically and technically)


  • the first red box is the final phrase of a melody. The first 3 phrases are good, but all the endings you tried so far did not sound particularly interesting or inspiring. Well, screw all that and let’s close the melody with an obnoxious shred lick that you already have under your fingers (well, make sure the last note sounds good though :rofl:)

  • the second red box is a transition, maybe a mini-bridge to the final chorus? Everything you tried so far sucked. Also, you always wanted to learn the hybrid picking pattern Down-Up-Down-middle-Down-Up-Down-Ring but never sat down to learn it. Ok then, your bridge will be an 8 bar (or whatever) etude applying this hybrid picking pattern to a sequence of chords.

More ideas welcome :slight_smile:

PS: I’m going to try and apply this method to at least one piece or two, because my folder of quasi-finished songs is getting ridiculous.

PPS: maybe let’s find a better name for the concept :smiley:


The sad truth for most people is that it would be nearly all of them.

You can just call it filler, or a place holder. Plenty of people do it and have done it through the ages I’m sure. You can call it the DAP technique after the makers of plasti-wood


Let’s say that you had a lot of your favorite shred exercises packaged up as loops; could you drop them in for those red measures and try them out, perhaps to later make a perfect recording if the fit is good? I’m not very good with a DAW, but the one that I use (Logic Pro) seems to support this (and the others must as well). Indeed, you could build a library of those very naturally as you make instructional videos, etc.


I’m in :smiley: - “Shred-DAP”?

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Maybe Shred Duct Tape?

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