I was just wondering if anyone is composing their own music and how they approach it? I was thinking of picking out general chord progressions first and then trying to write the melody on top of the chords? I just don’t know if that’s how most people compose?
No expert but I tend to just noodle until I get something that I like and expand it from there using my meager understanding and fumblings…
Generally its a bit of lead or some chord progression I’ll enhance
@RobDickinson Thank you! I don’t know how much musical theory I can understand on my own but I’m trying. I kind of need people to dumb things down for me because if I don’t understand it then I get frustrated.
I dont really apply much at the moment either!
I guess stick to the key notes 1/3/4/5’s and the key for scales for whatever goes, but if it sounds good it is good.
Same as Rob, I just play around until I come up with something I like the sound of. Usually start with the rhythm, then use a looper to noodle over the top. Certainly not the most efficient method and one that doesn’t really apply much theory (since I haven’t learnt much yet), but it’s fun and it works for me.
I also have a nasty habit of not writing down or recording what I come up with quickly. I leave it too long because that’s the “boring” bit, then by the next day I’ve forgotten it. Oops.
@RobDickinson I’m trying to figure out whether it’s the chicken or the egg when it comes to lyrics and the music. How they combine is mysterious to me right now.
It works for pretty much every decent well known guitarist too! Theres certainly levels to noodling (see Guthrie Govan etc) and skill at developing ideas
@Goffik Yeah I could probably figure out how to use a looper pedal but I wouldn’t know how to write out what I put into the looper!
@RobDickinson yeah Guthrie makes a lot of sense when he talks. He reminds me that you really do better when you can feel the music with your heart and not just understand it on a cerebral level.
Have a look at MuseScore, which is notation software that is free to download. No idea if it’s any good for experts, but it’s good enough for a novice like me to write down the occasional masterpiece. Isn’t too hard to get the basics down, though I don’t understand half of it.
I do a bit of songwriting. Not sure if you’d call it composing. Different chord progressions and rhythms and a couple of riffs. Don’t really know enough music theory to compose proper melodies.
When I write them down it’s just words, chords and some description of what I’m doing. It would have to be a pretty special song to spend the time writing down tab & score in guitar pro!
Yeah I guess everyone has different things that work for their process. I would love to read a book all about people’s methods. I watched a YouTube saying “Yesterday” by the Beatles started out as Paul singing “Scrambled eggs”!
@suzieq have you seen this video? A fun way to get started
@stitch Yes I saw that one! It’s neat
The Get Back doco has a bit of an insight into the way the Beatles wrote songs if you’ve seen that? I think a lot of different bands & artists are different. Pretty sure I read that in RHCP Anthony Kiedis would write a lot of the lyrics first, and then sing them, and Frusciante would work out the music to go with it.
I remember once hearing an interview with Paul McCartney where he said they never had a way of writing down the tunes they came up with, they just had to remember them, and that he thought that they probably ended up with better songs as a result because the tunes had to be memorable.
Do whatever you find works for you and is the most enjoyable.
The only important thing is to actually DO IT! You’ll improve with time
I’m not very good on guitar or music theory, so I try to find and interesting topic or funny observation and write the lyrics, then steal a tune.
I’m unlikely to come up with something that has never been done before, so I might as well borrow something I like and maybe alter it to suit
If you enjoy writing lyrics, it can be fun just changing the lyrics of an existing song too.
Haha, so that must mean all of my compositions are rubbish since I can’t remember them a day later!
Seriously though, I can see his point.
I have only written one song, so I don’t exactly have a ‘method’. I came up with a lyric one day while in the car with my wife Jen. She really liked it and I worked on it for a while. Finally I set it aside in frustration. Almost a year later I was noodling around with some chords and enjoying using sus chord based fills. Suddenly I could hear the lyrics I had fit in, which then made it easier to finish the lyrics.
@jkahn That makes sense with RHCP. It amazes me how musicians can just pick up and play but then if you understand chord progressions it seems it would really help break things down into manageable bits.