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no skills, but are ideas in the head, how to convey?
Old 19th April 2020
Gear Head

no skills, but are ideas in the head, how to convey?

Hello everyone, my question is quite complicated,
I ask you to treat with understanding without jokes.

In general, I have been practicing vocals for many years as a hobby, I also do mixing and mastering, because it touches.
the problem is that is time I would like to write my own tracks.
but I don’t have any talent, even for vox. only 10+years hard work.
so for full-fledged arrangement, I understand that I don’t want to switch all resources specifically to arranging.
but because I have a lot of experience listening/etc of music
there are many ideas in my head.
and all it is hi-skilled-lvl. (hard-rock/metal etc)
and sound like a finished mix.

in general, if I try to pick up the squares in the midi it drives me crazy, I can’t break it down first, and then tie the sound from my head to the midi sound. in the end, it takes a lot of time, clogs head up, and I lose both the idea and all body energy.

the essence of the question: I would like to get advice on some simple way to create only the base/skeleton, such a sketch of the melody and rythm, so that the essence is understood by the pros.
roughly speaking, to draw a cartoon cat, so that the artist understands that this is a cat and painted it beautifully and anatomy correctly.

everything that I find on the network, aimed at beginners, was created with the aim of teaching precisely a full-fledged arrangement, with a deep knowledge of the theory of notes, playing instruments, etc.
my goal is not to become an arranger, but to get an idea out of my head, in the form of a simple drawing/layout suitable only for transmission to the pros.

I understand that maybe there is no solution. but I ask because I heard that the PRO arrangers in the studios somehow manage to work with such people who don’t know how, but have an idea, and get it out of them somehow .. but unfortunately, no one has given me an example or explaining how. the only answer that I received was "well, it's his job, understand the client .."
so if this is possible without direct face-to-face work in real time, I would like to know where to start to do such sketches.

but to a greater extent I understand the impasse of the situation, just hope dies last. sometimes someone one of the million can explain or give an idea since no one can before.

so please do not throw stones
Old 20th April 2020
The hard truth of it is that there are no shortcuts, you have to find time to practice to get better at the skills needed to translate what's in your head to something other people will understand.

Now having said that it doesn't mean that you've got to be a renaissance man doing every single thing on a track! It just means that you have to be able to communicate your ideas. Many great songwriters can not sing, but they are able to communicate the song to others through written music, music theory, singing even if their voices aren't good. Many hits have been made this way.

So start working with some other musicians, see if you can get them to deliver the parts you need. But expect that it will take time and effort. Work with a producer if necessary, if your song ideas are good and strong then they will shine regardless of your delivery, others will take it from there.

But you do have to ask yourself why you're doing it too. If you personally want to be a star then there are no shortcuts, you have to have the skills and that elusive star quality in your delivery. If you just want success it's a business, build contacts, get good at the business skills required to make it. If it's just for your own pleasure, well, maybe just join a band and learn how to work as a team to achieve wonderful music that you enjoy.
Old 21st April 2020
Gear Head

Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
So start working with some other musicians, see if you can get them to deliver the parts you need.
well .. no one will waste time on collaborations, etc. one who has no talent.
therefore, I want to at least understand where to start, because too much theory.
and for my purposes only a small part of it is needed, but which one, no one will explain. but you still need to learn how to apply it. it's all complicated for me, I google and I don’t understand nothing, I feel like my brain is just trying to stretch in all directions at the same time. as a result, standing still, not moving anywhere but hurts.

in fact this is my ... attempt, maybe already on the 10th..
I threw it many times trying, and not understanding why everything is not like in my head, for many years, and only now
I just was able to figure out what is going on, little bit.
broke the chords and melody.I could not see and how to separate it before. take all as melody.

I decided for a start to howl a line of chords and melodies with my voice.
but I started to think/google into chords, I realized that is kaos///
in my head, it does not sound the tone from which the name is a chord, but its middle note.
I can not sing 3 notes at the same time.
for example in C major, I howl note E.
so I have to build the chord from the middle in the MIDI editor..
it really is not clear to how to do. lol

a 15 main constructions, and in my head only a middle tone.
ok, let's say I spent an hour and found that to my E, I need to add C and G.
but there are 14 more constructions ....
google, listened to all 15 constructions as an example.
maybe I'm wrong, but so far I decided to drop the very complicated, I liked to cut C, Cm and Cm7.
right now I again ran into the wall, and then what?
At first I thought that everything should be in one construction,
but turning on the standard chords mode on the piano, I realized that it’s not, and many of them sound very cool together ..
Cm - Csus2 - Cm7 - C5 - Csus4 - Csus2
Well, let's say I have a melody for chords sung in a voice, of 5 random notes.
There are 3 constructions, and try every single note?
total 15 options? some hardcore with this theory...
Old 4th July 2020
Gear Head

I completely agree with the need to make a "pencil sketch" before the "oil painting".

The sketchpad of music is often guitar + voice or keyboard + voice. I agree that moving MIDI squares around is not the best.

You mention "howling" chords by singing the third, like singing an E for a C major chord. This might be a good way for you to sketch out chords. In your DAW, you can turn the E into a C major chord automatically. For example, in Reaper you use the Reapitch plugin. Set shift = -4 semitones, then add a second shifter at +3 semitones. This will let you sing/howl/hum any major chords into the DAW. Or you might be happier singing the bass note and having Reapitch just add a fifth for power chord. Then the major/minor is ambiguous.

But I think learning guitar or keyboard will be very helpful if you haven't already done it. This builds a connection between the music in your head and your fingers. You don't need a high level of proficiency to make pencil sketches. I had good results with the Monath piano book. What helps is to play the chords from existing music.
Old 4th July 2020
There is a lot to unpack here.

But I think sliding MIDI blocks around is a route to madness. If you can read music, maybe something like Guitar Pro would be better.... keep the sounds grounded in a more musical context.

And I second learning piano, I'm a bad pianist, but there is nothing better for exploring ideas. Melody on the right hand, explore chords and counterpoint with the left hand. These can then be recorded as MIDI and edited. Start working out other songs and see how the pieces fit together. Play the same melody over different bass notes etc.

Lots of work ahead for you. But stick with it!
Old 4th July 2020
Gear Head

OK, here's another approach to sketching, thinking of bass notes rather than chords.

First we start with a generic drum pattern. Kick, snare, and 1/8 note hi-hats. This is pretty simple in any DAW and you can save templates.

Then add a simple bassline using sustained tones. This is one finger playing, and you may be able to play what you hear in your head. The only rhythm needed is coming down on the downbeat of a measure or the third beat. (I did quantize and loop this - but you don't have to). This is where you sketch out the structure of the song. Each tone will probably be a bar (4 beats), or a half bar, or 2 bars.

The bass changes indicate chord changes but there is some ambiguity for a musician to interpret later. Which is good.

Then we add the lead melody, which can be voice in your case. The relation of melody to bassline is (unfortunately) based in music theory, but it may be intuitive for you as a singer. Or you could sing over the drums with no bassline, then add a bassline that complements.

Things I notice:

1. There is enough information to communicate the song to a musician.

2. The canned drums handle the basic rhythm, which is the same role of the strummed acoustic guitar in the hands of a songwriter. The bassline doesn't need to be strummed. The 1/8th note hi-hat particularly inspires an 1/8 note feel in your playing/singing.

3. The relationship of lead to bassline sketches in tonality. We don't need full chords.

4. Not much "piano technique" is needed. The bassline is one finger.
Attached Files

sketching-example.mp3 (704.7 KB, 119 views)

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