how do you compose your songs?

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studio32
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how do you compose your songs?

Postby studio32 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:54 pm

Hi,

I'm wondering, how do you compose your songs?

Do you start with a particular piece, structure?

Which programs do you use?

Do you use some theory books or documentation?

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MattKingUSA
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Postby MattKingUSA » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:56 pm

I generaly sit down on my bed and strum until it sounds good. And then I find the notes that I feel best reflect how I am feeling at that time. And once I've established a nice tune I lay down the lyrics to reinforce what the music already says.
-Matt

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nathan
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Postby nathan » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:41 pm

When doing singer/songwriter or folk type stuff, I follow pretty much the same process as Matt. When doing more formal compositions like choral pieces, instrumental duets, or whatnot, I like to have at least a starting mode (major or minor) and a rhythmic idea in mind. Then I play with various melodic ideas, and finally harmonize the melody as I see fit. On pieces I may emphasize harmonic progression more in my thought process.

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nathan
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Postby nathan » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:42 pm

PS - I use Gedit or Cream for writing tabs and folk music, and NoteEdit is a huge help when composing on the staff.

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schivmeister
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Postby schivmeister » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:27 am

Always been relying on Guitar Pro =/ It's just convenient..I can have the entire sheet with all the details.

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studio32
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Postby studio32 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:38 am

schivmeister wrote:Always been relying on Guitar Pro =/ It's just convenient..I can have the entire sheet with all the details.


Have you tried tuxguitar?

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schivmeister
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Postby schivmeister » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:45 pm

Actually I use tuxguitar when I'm only playing back - not editing. Don't wanna call up wine just for that :lol:

Its UI is a little lacking for bigger scores where I need access to highlighting both page and track view, mute/solo/pan/ and all that shebang, mutli-track mode, hiding tab/standard notation for exports, PDF output etc. I do think NoteEdit would suffice, however.

That being said, I feel more comfortable with it than before especially since it got support for timidity instead of the Java midi. I still have a GP5 license til February 2009 so might as well use it even though I try my best to kick proprietary things out of the window. In fact, it may be the only reason why I have wine installed.

Software and computers aside, I normally do not start with lyrics. I do always have a particular theme in mind though, before I let my fingers do the breakdance on the guitar. I would simultaneously use my vocal chords for beats, percussion, and other accompaniments suchs as keys/piano. I have this trusty analogue recorder just for such times, so I sort of have a history in tapes full of incomplete tunes.

For backup purposes, I write down in pen the defining rhythms but not really the precise notes, maybe here and there just to remind me later but I normally have them embedded in mind. Never been formally trained so I have no formal guidelines; I prefer not to have such limitations. Rules and laws don't apply :mrgreen:

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Postby thorgal » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:06 pm

my way of working is a bit different. I have ALL melodic material in my head, it is almost continuously flowing so sometimes, I cannot even sleep ... all I did was to reserve myself the time to dump it, and the shape it takes when I do so takes on new avenues sometimes. I wish I had started this way before instead of learning hardcore fundamental physics ... but the dam broke. I never stopped playing the guitar though so now, the pieces of the puzzle are put into place. I am not searching for new inspiration, it's all in there ... and when I feel I am dried out, I will do something else :lol:

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby kurotenshi » Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:34 am

I have two ways of doing things

The first one is the strike of inspiration, somethig cool comes up and I work on it till I have a full song (or near)

The second is the old tactic of recording (in my case making tab) of everyting that comes to my mind and then some time ill come up with something based on all that "trash"

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby ntnunk » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:21 am

I usually start a song after noodling on the guitar or piano leads me to something I like. My problem is that I come up with pieces of things and then usually get stuck trying to figure out the rest of it. I've not found a good way of combating that problem so far. I'm going to try to take a more structured approach for my next couple of projects and see if that helps my writer's block any.

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studio32
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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby studio32 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:45 am

Maybe you got inspiration but lack enough music/ songwriter theory knowledge? Maybe you should take lessons or search for another source of good education? Just a suggestion

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby thorgal » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:52 am

it depends. When you find a catchy phrase, of course it's not enough for a song (although one should not feel restricted by standard formats). But then, what does this musical phrase tell you ? I always "picture" a song like a self-contained story and that's how they come up to me. Sometimes, it's even the translation of dreams into music. If your story makes sense, just let yourself guide by it. By story, I don't necessarily mean it in a pure semantic way but more like a scenery you cross through that unfolds into something self-contained. Your musical phrase should "tell" you something, make you glimpse a landscape that need exploring. Let your subconsciousness do the job :)

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby ntnunk » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:39 pm

studio32:
Actually, I think you're exactly right to a degree. I've been working to educate myself on songwriting techniques and theory, that's part of the "more structured approach" I mentioned. As for music theory, I think that might be part of the problem too, but from the other direction. I have a bad habit of getting hung up in the "rules" of music theory instead of just doing what sounds good. That's another problem I'm trying to overcome. I'm still pretty new at doing this by myself so I'm hoping that, like with so many other things, just doing it will help me get better.

thorgal:
I wish I could do that. I've got a friend who's songwriting abilities work exactly the same way and it always impresses me. He just seems to "see" the song and then just kind of dumps out the parts, arranges a little bit, and starts recording. It's depressing for us mere mortals to see. :D

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Claudio
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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby Claudio » Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:21 pm

For me, it happens one of two ways. I'll either sit down and start doodling on the keyboard, or I'll be doing something else and all of a sudden something pops into my head. I'll usually just record what I come up with on the sequencer and save it for future use.
"You must first control your voltage before you can oscillate."

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studio32
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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby studio32 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:24 pm

Another option to finish a song is to ask someone else take take a look or to take part in the 'jam'.
You can also choose the more virtual way and post your song in our rehearsal room:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=523


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