how do you compose your songs?

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby ntnunk » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:07 pm

studio32 wrote:Another option to finish a song is to ask someone else take take a look or to take part in the 'jam'.

That's what I've done in the past. Most of the music I've written to date has been a collaborative effort. I've historically had far better success working with other people than I've had composing on my own. The funny thing is that when I'm working with someone else the ideas just flow out of me and I'm usually able to just "feel" what should come next. I have a much harder time doing that alone, which makes me think it's some kind of mental block on my part.

I've actually been working on a song today though and making decent progress. So far this afternoon I've written the drum, bass, and vocal melodies for the verse and chorus. I'm working on orchestrating the chorus now and it's going pretty well I think. Let's hope it continues.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby nathan » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:21 pm

As formally trained musician that at one time was still a musician, just not formally trained, I can say that the education has only helped me. I don't feel bound by rules at all, stead I feel like I have expanded my musical vocabulary for expressing my self, and have a set of skills that help be discover new ways of doing things.

That being said, a lot of formally trained musicians, myself included do get stuck in ruts sometimes.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby Cerebral Pain » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:22 pm

I have 2 ways of making music:
-I record a "practice session" during 30 or 40 minutes and I choose the best ideas and re-record them, or;
-I have the melody inside my head and record it.
I'm only a beginner, and I don't understand anything of musical theory, what sounds good to me should sound good to others, despite sometimes not being the case :lol:

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby kaimerra » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:42 am

I usually get a melody/rhythm that pops into my head or I come across on piano or guitar. I then take that to my drum machine, which lately has been hydrogen. I get all the parts roughed out with simple beats and record(ardour) that with bass or rhythm guitar and then build from there.
I have taken a good amount of music theory and production/composition classes and I feel like it improves my ideas, but sometimes can be daunting because I feel like everything has been done already. (The Simpsons already did it :P) Though when I do sit down and compose theatrical or orchestral type music, I feel like I lose much of my expressiveness and my song structure comes out very rigid. I usually push myself to finish something and just sequence parts together without finesse and move onto something else. This is a problem I have all around, not just musically. I have started so many things that I never finish like reading books, learning programming languages, learning speaking/written languages, video games, etc.
I like having the space and flexibility of working on music alone, but I can easily fall into writers block. Like someone posted above, when I jam with other musicians live the ideas can flow faster than beer down my throat, which is pretty damn fast. :)
Nathan, I am glad you mentioned the rehearsal room, I am interested in doing a virtual collaboration music project and am going to check that out.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby etienne » Wed May 27, 2009 11:43 am

The best way I've found is to just play around. Let your mind wonder. Choose a key, and then just go for it. A friend of mine and I ususally just start singing random lines, and we keep the ones we like. I call it "being in the zone" when the "creative juices flow", a state where I don't think about anything, I just do stuff and sing stuff.
The less I think about what I play/sing/write, the better.
Etienne Snyman

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby southpaw » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:21 am

I hear music in my head all the time and sometimes I can't keep up with it. However, I usually pick a melody out of my head. I don't think of the key or the tempo. I do consider it's basic rhythm but I focus on the melody first. Mind you, I do a lot of instrumental music so I don't always associate words with my melodies. Although I do sing these random melodies first. I usually use that as a foundation, then I pick up my bass and structure it harmonically from there on. Then I jot that down on staff paper before I even turn to the computer.

I draw inspiration from everything, ambient sounds, traffic, birds that communicate with each other in the morning. You would be surprised how many musical patterns you can formulate by listening to world around you.

"The modern day composer refuses to die" - FZ

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby thorgal » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:42 am

ha! found my lost brother-in-music :D

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby StudioDave » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:17 pm

southpaw wrote:I draw inspiration from everything...

That about sums it up.

As Stefan Wolpe advised, I want to know all the structures of fantasy and all the fantasies of structure.

Btw, your sig quote is actually from Edgard Varese, Zappa loved his music. I first of heard of Varese from that quote on the back of an early MoI record (Freak Out, maybe ?).



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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby Capoeira » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:47 am

and writing letters?

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby dirtyblackacid » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:20 pm

aside from just recording while playing and seeing if anything stands out...
i have had great success with this technique

even if you feel nothing useful came out of it, i'm sure you could fine some interesting ways to get to different places you never knew existed.

just remember, nothing is "wrong"

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby Capoeira » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:27 pm

Capoeira wrote:and writing letters?

how do you guys write letters? i don't want to open another thread as it fits here.

i have problems getting inspiration for writing letters.
for composition i get the ideas "sleeping"; sometimes i wake up with a melody in the my head in the middle of night - or the melody comes when i go to sleep, in my bed; sometimes when i walk on the beach; sometimes after hearing sounds on the street/tv.
so, help me writing letters?

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby musicbloke » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:54 am

Edward Elgar said "Music is in the air - you just reach out and take as much of it as you want."

i would urge you to train your "mind's ear" so that you can speak the language (whatever language your music is in!). listen faithfully to your own imagination. train your memory so that, at the first available oppurtunity, you can WRITE IT DOWN (in whatever form) to clear your mind for the next onslaught.

sound a bit zen? ok but it works for me, and i haven't run out of inspiration in forty years.

oh, and get out from in front of the computer, and go for a long walk in the country, the town, and give your imagination some AIR.


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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby Lech123 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:43 am

musicbloke wrote:train your memory so that, at the first available oppurtunity, you can WRITE IT DOWN (in whatever form) to clear your mind for the next onslaught.

Training sounds about right! I've found that I'm completely out of practice and by the time I've written down a phrase or two, I've lost the melody or somehow killed it with too much repetition. Jamming on a keyboard while recording WAVs with Zynaddsubfx and seeing where it leads, seems promising for me.

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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby hellalive » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:44 am

I'm mainly a bass and guitar player, and I play what you could call alternative/progressive metal, but not strictly. So, i compose with my bandmates or on my own; here's how it goes:

With my bands, i (or someone else) usually bring some riffs that fit with each other, some rithms or so and then we process them, mainly improvising. Then, everyone brings his ideas in, and we improvise getting to "another place", and so on until we feel it's complete - i like to have a bit of everyone in the songs we make.

On my own, sometimes i just have the ideas flowing in my head and i bring them together. i mainly have and image or a feeling or something and i try to translate it in music - this leads me to particular scales, and sounds, even song structures, but i try to keep it as instinctive as i can.
In other circumstances i just improvise until i get something decent then i play it over and over and over until i remember it well. Sometimes i just get a rithmn going in hyrogen and improvise over that, or a synth line then i build something around depends much on how i start, but it's always a morphing process, and usually at some point i just semplify what i am doing, or break it in some pieces and build the thing around.
i don't use lots of instruments - just drums, with some percussions or electronic sounds near it (hydrogen), guitar(s), bass, and some synths or piano; then depending on what i'm doing i can have extra stuff.
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Re: how do you compose your songs?

Postby iftke » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:12 pm

To compose a good song it is necessory to have good lyrics written by using rules and tips for Songwriting. A few poets know how to write a good song. Next step is to select a good melody for song.

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