I've been writing a lot of tunes lately and I was just wondering if anyone else here writes? If so what is your process, I start with chords a lot but recently I've been experimenting with odd rhythms and times so I'll start more with a groove. How do you write?
i'm always writing. right now, i'm working on writing a concept album that i'm going to play as my senior recital.
i usually don't like to start by specifically writing chords or grooves/times - unless i was writing a tune that was more of an exercise to shed certain types of chord changes, meters, grooves etc.
when i'm just trying to make music, the only way for me is to sit at a piano (guitar too, but it's easier for me to compose on piano) and improvise, not separating chords from melody, but improvising them both together. usually i'll stumble upon something i like, whether it's a melody or a chord change, and i'll build from that and expand the melody, and figure out how to harmonize it as i go. for me, the melody is the most important part, i try to write melodies that are more accessible. and then i experiment with different interesting ways to harmonize the same melody so that it's musically satisfying as a student of more modern jazz harmony.
the struggle for me in this method, is that i've been finding that the things i come up with tend to have the same sound and style, similar types of chord changes, and i'm even having this problem where every single thing that comes out is in the same meter (3/4 or 6/8). another problem is that the stuff i write on piano doesn't usually lend itself well to guitar, and i found myself wishing i was a pianist instead. i think i just need to study more, listen more, maybe pick up the guitar to write more. but there's my approach.
I write alot. Writing for me is mostly about singing. First I just worry about melody and root motion; I start with a little bit of melody or mabye even just a root and sing something over it until I like it, then I just keep going until I have a song. After I have the melody and root motion the chord qualities are usually pretty obvious. I really like this approach because I feel like I'm really connected with everything I write: I can only write things I hear. I also find that the best stuff I write comes out really fast, I will like write a song in like a minute or two and it will all just fit really nicely and naturally. Anyway, that's how I do it.
the way I like to write, and the way I feel most connected to the song, is building melody and chord changes together as I go. Maybe I will have an idea for the first two to four chords then create a melody then the melody will want to do something and a chord will come out of that etc. and then mabye after i will tweak it and see how I feel with the piece. thats basically my process. build off of what comes next and then ask, How do I get back? or do I need to go back? Pretty much Rhythm/Melody/Chords start the piece, and in a way they finish the piece because the rest has to come naturally. I guess I try to make the rest of the song compliment the first phrase or thing being said in the song.
I´ve always seen composing as an discovery of something that already was there, before I wrote it, for some reason. When I stumble across something that I like, I dont know what/which part of the song Ive found. I just find a way in, and then I try to get out, haha. Its like finding solutions for harmonic/melodic problems/questions? Sometimes I get an idea, more like a concept and experiment with it. I wrote a blues, like one year ago, when I worked with triad pairs. The chords ended up:
B/C E/C F#/C
-----2------- -------0--------- -------2--------
-----4------- -------0--------- --------2--------
-----4------- -------1--------- --------3--------
-----2------ -------2--------- -------2---------
-----3------- -------3--------- -------3---------
-----3------- --------3-------- -------3---------
That was just an idea, something that came to my mind during a boring lesson at school. Then you go home and investigate the potential in that discovery. I still must say, I often start with one or two chords that sort of give an hint of a melody, and go from there.
Very nice topic by the way!
Sometimes I transcribe what I hear in my head. Most times it's like going fishing. Sometimes things cone out very quickly and completely , more often it's somewhat of a struggle: is it it's own thing or can it connect to other things that I've made that are incomplete? Is this the middle of something? How am I gonna connect things? It often gets bigger and mire involved and if I have the patience and don't expect it to be done really soon I find the result satisfying. I have tried imposing deadlines ( doesn't mean things can't be expanded upon ) just to get sone sense of completion and closure. Some things have started ad excercises to help get comfortable with a certain issue; this process has less pressure - it's an excercise not my deepest personal statement ( ... Again it can be a springboard for more personal statement). Simple melodies can come grim being the highest voice of what started as an exploration on harmonic territory . I like the excercises vibe because it is generally geared towards a new place or sound I want to get to for me personally . Sometimes it's hard once something is made because I've spent time working this thing out and it's a little through composed ballet and I forget what it's terrain is harmonically ( much like me dealing with bebop ) it's hard for me to match the depth or movement of a head when it's time fir me to solo and this is very frustrating and brings me to where I left off, where I am with fundamentals,
After doing composition in college, I find it very hard to write something within a 16-32 bar standard format. I find that writing away from the guitar works best for me because it challenges me to play things that i wouldn't normally play. I write mostly for quintet so i usually have my melodies featuring unision, harmony and counterpoint. I usually like to write backgrounds and interludes between solo sections just to keep things interesting for the listener and myself. I haven't done any composing in a while but i will definitely be getting back soon as there are lots of ideas running through my head lately.
For me it always starts with an idea; maybe it's a progression, maybe a melodic idea, maybe a rhythmic/meter/feel thing. The main thing is having that initial idea, that idea being something you really want to hear in your composition. Once you have an idea, you jut have to build on it. That's where experience can help. I'm still fairly new to composition, but the more I do it, the better and more mature the compositions get. I think anyways :)
A composer (Latin com+ponere, literally "one who puts together") is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media. This is real explanation of composer or composing.
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