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> How Do You Start A Composition?
Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 12 2014, 02:30 PM
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Hey guys! As many of you must know, I'm doing some Creativity Workouts at my personal board that are giving amazing results. This gave me the idea to invite everybody to share what's the most used way you start a composition.

Is it just something that magically appears? Do you sit down and force yourself to compose? Does it appear while you are practicing, when you are listening to music? at the bathroom? while reading a book? while watching a movie? while talking with a friend? When you are sad?

Please share your experiences and even your compositions if you think that the result is related to the starting way.


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klasaine
post Mar 12 2014, 03:05 PM
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Good question.
I don't really write that much on my own. I'm better as a collaborator and an arranger. When I do come up with an idea it's usually when I'm playing something that I already know and then it evolves into something that I don't know.

*I also go back through all my little notebooks of 'ideas'.

I'm in a band that writes collectively. At the beginning of each rehearsal (2 or 3 times a month) we just start jamming. No set key, no set groove - sometimes it's just sound/noise. For 10 or 20 minutes. We record the whole thing. There's usually one riff or chord change in the mess that's worth saving and then building on.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 12 2014, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 12 2014, 11:05 AM) *
I'm in a band that writes collectively. At the beginning of each rehearsal (2 or 3 times a month) we just start jamming. No set key, no set groove - sometimes it's just sound/noise. For 10 or 20 minutes. We record the whole thing. There's usually one riff or chord change in the mess that's worth saving and then building on.


Beautiful way to create music man. This is exactly how I think you can compose genuine music as a band. Music that appears thanks to the connection of human being making music, there is a lot of chaos, but if you clean it, you will find top quality stuff. Keep on experimenting in that way.


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klasaine
post Mar 12 2014, 04:18 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Mar 12 2014, 06:25 AM) *
Beautiful way to create music man. This is exactly how I think you can compose genuine music as a band. Music that appears thanks to the connection of human being making music, there is a lot of chaos, but if you clean it, you will find top quality stuff. Keep on experimenting in that way.


There's a whole record that evolved that way ... http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hellbat


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 12 2014, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 12 2014, 12:18 PM) *
There's a whole record that evolved that way ... http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hellbat



Interesting. I will check them later. Do you know those guys?


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Spock
post Mar 12 2014, 05:27 PM
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I do it based on the drum beat. I have always loved tight heavy rhythms and I find inspiration depending on whatever beat is being played. You must have a recorder going though, because the next time you sit down to the same beat - the rhythm in your head is gone forever.

I would love to compose through melody, like a piano, or be able to hum a song idea and play it on cue, but I'm not that gifted. At the same time, Once I have come up with the initial song idea, it's easy to lay a melody on top of the rhythm and typically my initial guitar part turns into the bass part and the guitar part is written to a melody.

I'll run back to my set-up and try to give an example of a song evolution, I've been wanting to record with my new ZW EMGs, JVM 410 and PodHD500X - this is a great opportunity.

This will take the rest of the day. dry.gif
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klasaine
post Mar 12 2014, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Mar 12 2014, 07:36 AM) *
Interesting. I will check them later. Do you know those guys?


Yeah, I'm in the band.


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Caelumamittendum
post Mar 12 2014, 06:32 PM
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It used to be a magic out-of-nowhere thing for me, where I'd just have whole ideas for songs with all instruments in my head. Those days are gone now though and I can't seem to come up with anything useful...


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Spock
post Mar 12 2014, 09:15 PM
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Well, I just finished recording the song I was working on and at this point I'm too embarrassed to post it - I need to work on levels and some background guitars first.
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verciazghra
post Mar 12 2014, 09:41 PM
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For me it usually starts with some kind of concept mostly stuff derived from my own experiences or views on anything. It can be something as silly as a "wrong step" or how a tree's leafs flutter in the wind or something more abstract like trying to imagine how alien invisible plants would sound. Or I just start writing and the feeling then generally appears in mid-process which kind of propells the piece in whatever direction it seems to wanna go. I'm a bit all over the place when I write and usually I end up with songs with complex harmonic structures in 11/16th... been considering if i'm suffering from arrhitmia like Don Ellis or why I tend to be able to feel odd signatures more naturally than 3/4 or 4/4, but hey, that's just me...


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Mar 13 2014, 08:41 AM
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Always appear in my mind musical ideas. It's funny but if I hear a noise, even if it's make it by rain or my neighbor working with a drill in a constant rhythm the ideas come in my head. Every noise, every sound and every moods gave me inspiration. It's very hard for someone to understand how it's possible to have so many ideas and I don't have an explanation.
Looks magically but all this good thing have a bad side not funny at all. If I don't improvise something for 2-3 days, even a little short thing, I have headaches and I became very nervous. I always try to avoid this feeling and every day when I touch my guitar I start my warm up improvising something and after that I make my usual practice.
Every day and every thing that I improvise has the same structure as for a song. This thing it's somehow instinctively, I don't try to control this when I don't have a purpose. Also, I never think what notes and modes must put over a backing or in what key is the backing. I just know what should I play to harmonize things but I do this in a unconscious way.
Improvising it's a way to relax myself. Like a good sleep smile.gif



This post has been edited by Monica Gheorghevici: Mar 13 2014, 08:48 AM
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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 13 2014, 10:23 AM
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QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Mar 13 2014, 07:41 AM) *
Always appear in my mind musical ideas. It's funny but if I hear a noise, even if it's make it by rain or my neighbor working with a drill in a constant rhythm the ideas come in my head. Every noise, every sound and every moods gave me inspiration. It's very hard for someone to understand how it's possible to have so many ideas and I don't have an explanation.
Looks magically but all this good thing have a bad side not funny at all. If I don't improvise something for 2-3 days, even a little short thing, I have headaches and I became very nervous. I always try to avoid this feeling and every day when I touch my guitar I start my warm up improvising something and after that I make my usual practice.
Every day and every thing that I improvise has the same structure as for a song. This thing it's somehow instinctively, I don't try to control this when I don't have a purpose. Also, I never think what notes and modes must put over a backing or in what key is the backing. I just know what should I play to harmonize things but I do this in a unconscious way.
Improvising it's a way to relax myself. Like a good sleep smile.gif


Practicing anything with full focus and commitment is a form of active meditation. For you, it seems that the form has revealed itself even clearer, in the form of improvising. Keep at it and try to mix the knowledge you get after recording an idea, so that you can make it shinier smile.gif

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Mar 13 2014, 10:23 AM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 13 2014, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 12 2014, 02:13 PM) *
Yeah, I'm in the band.


Awesome! Congrats! I found your album at Spotify and have been listening some songs. I like the style. How was the composing and recording process?


QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Mar 12 2014, 02:32 PM) *
It used to be a magic out-of-nowhere thing for me, where I'd just have whole ideas for songs with all instruments in my head. Those days are gone now though and I can't seem to come up with anything useful...


Why do you think those days are gone?


QUOTE (Spock @ Mar 12 2014, 05:15 PM) *
Well, I just finished recording the song I was working on and at this point I'm too embarrassed to post it - I need to work on levels and some background guitars first.


Cool! Feel free to post it here or start a new thread! Don't be shy, we can give you very useful feedback.

QUOTE (verciazghra @ Mar 12 2014, 05:41 PM) *
For me it usually starts with some kind of concept mostly stuff derived from my own experiences or views on anything. It can be something as silly as a "wrong step" or how a tree's leafs flutter in the wind or something more abstract like trying to imagine how alien invisible plants would sound. Or I just start writing and the feeling then generally appears in mid-process which kind of propells the piece in whatever direction it seems to wanna go. I'm a bit all over the place when I write and usually I end up with songs with complex harmonic structures in 11/16th... been considering if i'm suffering from arrhitmia like Don Ellis or why I tend to be able to feel odd signatures more naturally than 3/4 or 4/4, but hey, that's just me...


QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Mar 13 2014, 04:41 AM) *
Always appear in my mind musical ideas. It's funny but if I hear a noise, even if it's make it by rain or my neighbor working with a drill in a constant rhythm the ideas come in my head. Every noise, every sound and every moods gave me inspiration. It's very hard for someone to understand how it's possible to have so many ideas and I don't have an explanation.
Looks magically but all this good thing have a bad side not funny at all. If I don't improvise something for 2-3 days, even a little short thing, I have headaches and I became very nervous. I always try to avoid this feeling and every day when I touch my guitar I start my warm up improvising something and after that I make my usual practice.
Every day and every thing that I improvise has the same structure as for a song. This thing it's somehow instinctively, I don't try to control this when I don't have a purpose. Also, I never think what notes and modes must put over a backing or in what key is the backing. I just know what should I play to harmonize things but I do this in a unconscious way.
Improvising it's a way to relax myself. Like a good sleep smile.gif



verciazghra and Monica's post are very interesting. You both get inspiration from real life. There is some point when / where the exterior reality connects with your unconscious and music takes form. You definitely must work on this, record songs, albums, ideas, you have to take this stuff out. This new music will tell things about you and about the reality, you will learn a lot from it.


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Caelumamittendum
post Mar 13 2014, 12:59 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Mar 13 2014, 12:50 PM) *
Why do you think those days are gone?


Good question! I used to play in a band where I had to write everything, but one day I started running out of ideas. That was step 1.

Then I had a look back at an old project of mine, which I never recorded but just wrote in Guitar Pro when I was like 15. It had lyrics written by a friend and it was actually a really ambitious project. Anyway, I looked back at it, thought it was all crap and wanted to re-write it... so I tried and tried, but whatever I came up with, it never felt good enough to be in the project, but on the other hand I didn't feel like writing anything else. So whatever I came up with was deemed "not good enough". Now, I've put that project behind me and probably won't touch it again, but I'm still feeling the aftershakes of it... in that I try to come up with something which might be decent on its own, but then I can't come up with more parts that fit it etc. And in the end I end up not writing anything. laugh.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 13 2014, 01:07 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Mar 13 2014, 08:59 AM) *
Good question! I used to play in a band where I had to write everything, but one day I started running out of ideas. That was step 1.

Then I had a look back at an old project of mine, which I never recorded but just wrote in Guitar Pro when I was like 15. It had lyrics written by a friend and it was actually a really ambitious project. Anyway, I looked back at it, thought it was all crap and wanted to re-write it... so I tried and tried, but whatever I came up with, it never felt good enough to be in the project, but on the other hand I didn't feel like writing anything else. So whatever I came up with was deemed "not good enough". Now, I've put that project behind me and probably won't touch it again, but I'm still feeling the aftershakes of it... in that I try to come up with something which might be decent on its own, but then I can't come up with more parts that fit it etc. And in the end I end up not writing anything. laugh.gif



How much time have you been feeling this?


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Caelumamittendum
post Mar 13 2014, 01:07 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Mar 13 2014, 01:07 PM) *
How much time have you been feeling this?


Basically since 2006 laugh.gif


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Darius Wave
post Mar 13 2014, 01:17 PM
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For me it's just a melody or riff idea. Sometimes I make a minute of a song withinn 2 hours (full arrange) and the have problems for a few months to finish it because I feel that everything I try to add above that minutes destroys everything. But then comes that "magic moment" of "that's it!" and the song get's finished smile.gif

Personally I feel very comfortable in position Ken mentioned smile.gif I can make full arrange within an hour, destroy simple harmonies, add breaks, add varations of main theme, create a bridge...and arrange the drum beat if I have even a very simple, triad based idea made buy someone. Then I feel the flow..

Funny thing is...I can't start form the same point myself. I usually play some simple stuff and think "nope...that's to obvious, let's search for something more advanced" tongue.gif Life is funny smile.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Mar 13 2014, 01:26 PM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Mar 13 2014, 01:17 PM) *
Funny thing is...I can't start form the same point myself. I usually play some simple stuff and think "nope...that's to obvious, let's search for something more advanced" tongue.gif Life is funny smile.gif


I tried explaining this to my friend the other day and he didn't seem to understand it. It's weird. I might hear someone play something simple like arpeggiated chords, and I'll think: "Maaaan, that sounds so nice!", but when I try to come up with something myself of a similar ilk, I'll be thinking: "it's too simple and ordinary!"


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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 14 2014, 09:54 AM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Mar 13 2014, 12:17 PM) *
For me it's just a melody or riff idea. Sometimes I make a minute of a song withinn 2 hours (full arrange) and the have problems for a few months to finish it because I feel that everything I try to add above that minutes destroys everything. But then comes that "magic moment" of "that's it!" and the song get's finished smile.gif

Personally I feel very comfortable in position Ken mentioned smile.gif I can make full arrange within an hour, destroy simple harmonies, add breaks, add varations of main theme, create a bridge...and arrange the drum beat if I have even a very simple, triad based idea made buy someone. Then I feel the flow..

Funny thing is...I can't start form the same point myself. I usually play some simple stuff and think "nope...that's to obvious, let's search for something more advanced" tongue.gif Life is funny smile.gif


I so understand you mate smile.gif For me, it also starts from an idea I hear in my head. I learn how to play it and then record it. From that point on, two things can happen - something sparks forward and I can continue in that very moment until I get a larger structure, or, it stays in that incipient form for months, even years, until at one point it becomes a part of something bigger which I am working on and at some point, I suddenly remember... 'HA! I have that little thing I recorded so long ago! It finally fits somewhere!' smile.gif That's how it basically goes for me.


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Caelumamittendum
post Mar 14 2014, 12:13 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 14 2014, 09:54 AM) *
I so understand you mate smile.gif For me, it also starts from an idea I hear in my head. I learn how to play it and then record it. From that point on, two things can happen - something sparks forward and I can continue in that very moment until I get a larger structure, or, it stays in that incipient form for months, even years, until at one point it becomes a part of something bigger which I am working on and at some point, I suddenly remember... 'HA! I have that little thing I recorded so long ago! It finally fits somewhere!' smile.gif That's how it basically goes for me.


I need to start doing something like that. Sorting my stuff and actually keeping it instead of just throwing everything out I don't use or don't like at present.


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