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Do you have the Song first or does your instrument dictate the Song/Tune?
Old 22nd August 2019
  #31
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My natural way to do it is that I come up with the lyrics, melody, and basic riff or chord structure. That can happen more in my head and I'd traditionally write it out on scribbled sheet music, more lately I'll just record midi on my phone.

But I find mixing it up and recording a riff, doing sound design, especially on synths, makes me go in different directions in writing.

So that is really my advice, I think there are benefits to trying to do it the way that doesn't seem natural to you sometimes.
Old 23rd August 2019
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger View Post
give it a spin[/URL] if you like instrumental music.

99% of the music I've written is instrumental, even though I live in the United States, where instrumental music is much less commercially viable than it is in many other parts of the world. I daresay I might get most of my Spotify spins from Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Australia. I must have been born with un-American ears.
Like it! And yes I can see that if you do this sort of thing well then you can develop a very devoted fanbase.

But the OP asked about tunes with vocals, that's why I mentioned Everything Everything who somehow manage to fit tunes over very complicated backing tracks.

I don't know how they write though; maybe they do everything at the same time in the studio or rehearsal room?

I suppose if you have lots of instruments(including vocals here), then the trick is to double parts so as not to increase the overall amount of information too much. Like you do with saxophone and Rhodes for example.

I always try to have a "total complexity" display in my head and make sure the needle doesn't overshoot!
Old 26th August 2019
  #33
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stixstudios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger View Post
I like this thread! It's cool to hear about different writers' and composers' processes, and it's further proof that there's no single correct way to do it. Whatever works for us works for us, and we have to spend the time developing our own way to write. I've written a lot of music, and I don't have a single method that works every time! For example...

This tune came to be while I was living in Brooklyn, supremely low on gigs, and messing around with keyboard patterns in odd time signatures... while also trying to learn to program good electronic drum grooves in five and nine.

On the other hand, the idea for this tune happened while I was driving through west Texas, somewhere on 287 between Albuquerque and Denton, heading back to college from a visit to the hometown. Stuff popped in my head and I actually had to pull over to a rest area and write it down before I forgot! Glad I did that.

I've also gotten some of my favorite ideas while in the shower, taking a walk, or some similar situation in which I couldn't record or write it down right away. Sometimes I managed to get the ideas down before they evaporated, sometimes they're lost forever! Ouch. Hopefully there will be more!
Very nice music Progger. I enjoyed listening to it. Somehow I listened to all of the 8 trax.
Old 26th August 2019
  #34
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Progger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stixstudios View Post
Very nice music Progger. I enjoyed listening to it. Somehow I listened to all of the 8 trax.
Thank you, glad you dig it!
Old 26th August 2019
  #35
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I do dig it!! I'll buy the CD if you have one.

Nice lay-back stuff.
Old 27th August 2019
  #36
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Progger's Avatar
Awesome! We do indeed have FOUR CDs, as a matter of fact. Only two of them are still available physically through Ropeadope Records, our wonderful label, but here's a link to the web store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stixstudios View Post
I do dig it!! I'll buy the CD if you have one.

Nice lay-back stuff.
Old 28th August 2019
  #37
Here for the gear
 

I'm really into lyrics, so I write those first. As I'm writing, I start getting an idea of what I want the melody to sound like and what instruments it would sound good on.
Old 29th August 2019
  #38
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s wave's Avatar
Right now I am 'writing to record'. I start with the opening of the song (usually lyrics first) in my head. I do not move on until I can foresee/forehear how I will nail the opening; including instruments, voice, the ideas of mic placement, what room acoustics etc. (along with plan b and c I will explain this at the end) I make sure the next puzzle piece works superb before thinking of moving on. This is where the time and effort with tempo/signature works very well - I can replay it in my head faster and better than any studio. (kind of like Tesla worked or ninja-ing it) This is sweet because you are doing the hard work and the hard thought not allowing you to tangent off with sounds and DAWS and other rat holes.

A quick note here - I have taken this approach from my filming days. (Running out film rolls or using b-camera filler/ambient shots) What if it is a one day shoot and you can never replicate the light the talent the equipment or the sound/speech? I always did a quick plan b: same shot not showing the actors face - so I can dub in new dialogue if ever needed. Plan c: was keep the actors coat in the trunk in case... lol)

This is severing me really well with solo producing song. I see it start to finish - hear it beginning to end. You have to edit and make the choices/decisions because you do not want to remember 3 alternatives for every section. UGH. By the time you get half way through the song - you really start getting to know the tune inside and out and (simple plan bs that are equal to the original / just different waiting in the wings if ever needed) It gets the juxtaposition of lyrics/sounds/pace really working together.

It is a great way (confident feeling) to KNOW you can steer the tune down the road and into the can. This has taken all the aggravation out of trying to get the tracks right - like 'oh no' the piano is a tad off or the guitar is NOT sitting in the mix like I thought it would - Now the prearrangements in my head say - no problem I already have this worked out nine ways to Sunday.Go ahead you can't trip me up.

I an using this for all my new productions BUT many old polished gems that I wrote and never recorded are monsterous to try to tackle because I wrote them as if I had IDEAL conditions and situations to record them... let alone the talent or instruments or vocals. So I am now 'writing to record'
Old 29th August 2019
  #39
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s wave's Avatar
Progger just checked your material out - very nice - It sounds from Windham Hill to Celestial Harmonies labels - the later with a German connection... much of my early label is big in those markets and being re-issued... great fans and followings. Nice man.
Old 30th August 2019
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s wave View Post
Progger just checked your material out - very nice - It sounds from Windham Hill to Celestial Harmonies labels - the later with a German connection... much of my early label is big in those markets and being re-issued... great fans and followings. Nice man.
Thanks very much! I'm actually not familiar with much of those catalogs, to be honest, but I think we have a lot of similar fundamental influences. I appreciate the kind words!
Old 30th August 2019
  #41
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s wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger View Post
Thanks very much! I'm actually not familiar with much of those catalogs, to be honest, but I think we have a lot of similar fundamental influences. I appreciate the kind words!
When I was real young I knew Eckart Rahn a bit and distributed some of Kitaros silk road in NYC later I created a record company with my Father called - Muse/Art Records. We did a few releases - worked in the same circles of GRP - Dave Gruisin and Will Ackerman etc. I was more focused on that happening trend back them. One record by Larry Chernicoff I executive produced recently got re-released in Germany I believe - let me see if I can find it... here it is
https://www.larrychernicoff.com/gall...nyl-lp-reissue

AUDIO - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPaIV3OFBgU I almost got tarred and feathered (from the majors) for releasing this plus a couple of other albums nationwide well into the Rock only stations (I figured if they could release Born to Run on stodgy FM why not do it the other way around?) it worked but not without heavy blowback - stupid kids right? - it actually was in heavy rotation on many stations and held the 1 slot often against Springsteen and the Police. Dancin in the Dark and Wrapped around your Finger respectively. Crazy times. I really like your music - I am more of into alternative genres now... best of luck.
Old 30th August 2019
  #42
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The most important aspect of creativity I have learnt over the last 40 years of writing songs and music is,

Have no methods!

Material comes from every possible source, sometimes all at once, sometimes a verse and chorus 20 years apart .... literally!

Ideas can come from a lyric, a riff, a musical dream, writing in my head, writing on paper, at the piano, guitar, bass, drums, improvising vocals, programming in a DAW, playing a cover song and then it morphs into something new and original and lot's more ways too.

The biggest challenge s freeing your mind.

And also learning not to be precious about anyone aspect.
Sometimes an idea's only purpose is to be a container for the actual idea your end up using,
with the original idea discarged like discarded packaging.
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