Choosing the Right Music Teacher

music lessonThe best way to learn an instrument is to find a music teacher. In fact the best way to learn anything in life is to find a tutor of your chosen subject and to take on the task head on – to learn from actually doing.

People say that you learn from your mistakes – partly true due to the fact you end up knowing what NOT to do. But I believe there is a key point missed here – at least you are actually DOING something.

A teacher is someone to show you the path, the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. At the end of the day they know what they are doing and talking about – you probably don’t – and it’s because of this, the fact that you put all of your trust into your teacher, that you should be very careful about ensuring the one you choose is up for the job.

Here is some advice on choosing your teacher and what to look out for.

Advice 1 – Previous Experience.

It is essential that your teacher has experience in two specific areas – performing music and teaching music. It is important that your music teacher is actually a musician – the best example I can give is this – imagine that instead of learning an instrument you want to learn how to scuba dive. Would you let yourself be taught by someone who has studied diving from a book but who has never actually been under the water?

If your teacher shows that he has performed music it gives you some guarantee that they are of a high enough standard musically – chances are they wouldn’t have been hired if they couldn’t play their instrument.

The second is teaching experience. After discussing how it is important for your teacher to have actually been, or still is involved in music it is also important that the have experience in teaching music. Teaching is a completely different art to performing. Most musicians tell me that they learn more through teaching than they do from any other source – when you teach you instantly reveal your own weak points.

The opposite of this is true as well actually – how many times have you heard someone who recently passed their driving test say you don’t learn how to drive until your out on the road on your own – after your lessons and test (This carries over to a future article – Why performing is critical to your progress as a musician.)

So – make sure your teacher is both a musician and a teacher.

Advice 2 – Attitude and Personality.

It is fairly common for people to ask for character references – estate agents, employers – most people looking to hire someone – this is also true for finding a music teacher as at the end of the day you are hiring them to teach you.

Learning is much easier in a friendly environment – did you ever notice that the teachers at school that had a laugh and were fun often taught you the most each lesson? In human nature it is common to be stubborn and resilient and it is a teacher’s personality and character that helps connect with you, therefore making the experience enjoyable and thus increasing the productivity of your lessons.

It is not generally going to be possible to get a character reference from a teacher but try and use your first lesson as a trial – Get to know your teacher a bit and get a general feel for the lesson – if you have fun and enjoyed every minute then you’ve probably found a teacher with a good teaching attitude rather than if it was drab and boring.

If you can try and talk to some of your prospective teachers regular students. See if they enjoy their lessons and what the overall comments are about the quality and attitude of the teacher.

Advice 3 – Teacher Flexibility

Again this covers more than one topic – flexibility as a musician, and as a teacher.

In the long term you will eventually begin expanding your musicality. For example – woodwind players generally begin learning one instrument, maybe the clarinet or saxophone. Eventually, and if they want to pursue music, they will begin learning other woodwind instruments as it is common for, say for instance a saxophone player, to play clarinet, flute and even through to oboe and bassoon.

Because of this you are going to want a teacher that can provide this in the long term. After months and years of lessons with your teacher you won’t want to find that in order to progress further you need to find a new instructor and have to create the bond that you would have developed with your current teacher all over again.

Positive things to look out for are:

o If your teacher still has lessons and practices (even the most professional musicians still have lessons – see the beginning of my article – Practicing music – what to do outside of your private music lessons to see how it is impossible to learn and master every aspect of music)

o If your teacher teaches more than one instrument (however be wary of teachers that teach, for instance, trumpet and flute. Whilst musicians do end up playing completely irrelevant instruments they generally will stick to teaching their primary instrument.)

o If your teacher is still an active musician – this is a gray area because where it is easy to assume that your teacher, not an active musician maybe is not good enough to perform music and therefore teaches music, it is possible that your teacher prefers teaching than performing. The benefit if they are still an active musician is again they will be learning constantly and they will still be an active teacher during this period.

The other flexibility to look out for is their organisation in regards to lessons. It is positively advised that regular lessons – or regular anything – is good for you. Regular exercise keeps you healthy, regular sleep keeps you alert and regular lessons help improve your musical playing.

If your teacher will constantly phone up to re-arrange your lesson, often misses lessons or is often late for your lesson it will have a negative effect on you. Psychologically the fact that you haven’t got into a routine with your lessons and the fact that you keep getting let down will make you less enthusiastic towards your music lessons.

So find a teacher that offers many years of tuition rather than a limited number of months, and someone who will keep regular dates and who holds his promises of this dates and times.


Hopefully this article will give you some food for thought if you decide to find a music teacher and just remember that unless you are enjoying and learning your instrument – maybe you need a new teacher.


Audio Mixing Software

You And Your Computer Rules!

These days, it seems like you can do just about anything on your computer. From buying the latest gadget or gizmo to creating your own online business, the Internet is a strong part of our everyday lives. One of the things that people are finding to be easy to do online is downloading software to make their own music beats and do audio mixing.

Start Your Own Career:

If you are someone who loves music and wants to start your career in the music industry, then you’re going to need some serious audio mixing software that can help you create your own music beats and rhythms. Using audio mixing software does not have to be hard if you find the right tools and instructions that explain how to do it.

It’s Easy To Have Good Sound Quality:

One of the main reasons why you want to make sure to use audio mixing software is because you need to make sure that the volume and sound quality of your song is the same throughout. Nothing sounds worse than a song that has a volume inconsistency which causes the music to go in and out. Another important part of audio mixing is making sure that the sound quality is good and that there is no extraneous noise causing your music to sound horrible.

Use The Correct Mixing Software:

If you want professional sounding music, it is important that your audio mixing techniques be top-notch. The only way you can really accomplish that is by using the software that will give you all of the tools necessary to get the job done. Thankfully, the Internet offers all kinds of opportunities to purchase this sort of software to make your own home into a music studio.

Explore Your Talent In Music Production:

Spending time in a music production studio can cost you a lot of money. When you’re just starting out, you likely don’t have a lot of money to invest in the music business. This is why audio mixing software has become so popular in recent years because it allows you to use your skills and talents in the comfort of your own home while sounding professional at the same time.


Important Things In A Karaoke Machine

Karaoke machines can make family events and get-togethers very entertaining because they give family members or friends a chance to sing to their favorite tunes. The karaoke songs do not have accompaniment of artist voice and lyrics are projected on a screen for smooth singing. These machines are common in pubs and bars, but individuals also buy them for their home entertainment needs like in weddings and parties.

The machines are of different types including microphone karaoke machines, pocket, CD and all-in-one karaoke machines. When looking for a machine, you must consider your immediate needs and whether you are getting a home karaoke machine or one for your business so you can choose the right type. But besides type, there are important things you can never forget when buying a machine for whatever musical need you have. These are the features that will make your machine a good machine or a great machine.

Portability – Pocket and microphone machines tend to be most portable options that you have and they make best karaoke machine for kids. This is because the kids can easily carry them to their friends’ homes and parties to enjoy without demanding any type of transport. All-in-one machines are less portable, but they are loved for their quality and they are better for specific use such as in bars and pubs where moving is limited.

Audio quality – Machines that are high in quality often translate to quality audio and they can make even the worst of singers sound tolerable. This is because some have voice projection features and manual controls for pitch, tone and bass and other helpful sound elements that help in improving the quality of audio output. They might be costly but definitely for serious singing and karaoke competitions.

Song database – Some machines operate with chips and CDs to select music but there are some that have pre-programmed databases for the songs. When choosing, think about the database size and the possibility of adding songs so that you have an easier time programming to suit personal preferences.

Video graphics – The karaoke machines usually project song lyrics onto TV screens and can have background images or even graphics. The video graphics are a must consideration, especially when getting the machine for kids. Ensure they are appropriate for the age; it would be even better if you have the ability to change them. Some of the machines are very good making it possible for you to actually turn off video graphics to offer a better lyric concentration to the users.

Accessories – Karaoke machine accessories greatly improve machine performance and they can include things such as amplifiers and connectors. Think about compatibility when purchasing the relevant accessories to enjoy better results every time you use the machine.

Rating – A good number of machines in the market have rating feature that rates singing ability of the users and you can actually use the same to track progress for every singer. Standard machines might not have the feature, but you can find models that are equipped if you find it relevant to your kind of use.


Techno Artists & Music

Techno Music was created in Detroit, Michigan in the mid 1980s. It has an emphasis on rhythm while utilizing the best of advancements in music technology and music production. Techno is sometimes an instrumental genre and is usually discovered via DJ mixes, club nights and festivals. Some ingredients used are drum machines such as TR-808, TR-909, synthesizers, field recordings and sampling.

The main styles I would say that are the biggest influence on my music are as follows:

Detroit Techno

Detroit Techno is a subdivision of the techno genre which generally includes some of the earliest techno productions from Detroit. Detroit techno had its largest audience in the Atlantic. Some of the most common techno music artists include Underground Resistance, Mike Banks, Blake Baxter, Kevin Saunderson, Jeff Mills, Derrick May, Eddie Fowlkes and Juan Atkins. Some of these artists used whatever technology they had in their reach and initiated music with epic synth sounds and engaging driving grooves. I could never list a top ten of tracks from this genre as it changes all the time, but a personal favourite label was always the Red Planet series. This label seen some fantastic releases in the mid-90s. I witnessed both Ghostdancer and Stardancer in particular causing some serious mayhem when played out in clubs.

Dub Techno

Another famous sub category of the techno genre, dub techno is quite distinctively un-show-y, doesn’t try to wow or stun and is never overreaching. I could probably put the dub techno sound alone being the reason I wanted to produce techno music. Nothing more do enjoy still to this day is generating those lush minor chords on a synth then washing them with reverb and delay. I could spend hours applying the filters and tweaking the sound to death. The fact that this style of techno is able to stun and wow the listeners, is a testament to the strength of its subtlety. Dub techno is a work of structural, architectural and musical genius in my opinion. It is unquestioning, placid and deeply soothing. My favourite dub techno artists without a doubt goes is Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, sometimes known as Basic Channel. My all-time favourite dub techno track has to be Maurizo – Domina which holds special memories from Glasgow’s famous Arches, sadly no more, where I heard it at the regular Friday night event held by Slam.

Scottish Techno

So where did I discover this music? Right on my door step. As previously mentioned through the early to mid-90s I had the pleasure of being a regular attender of Glasgow’s famous night club “The Arches”. Hosted on a Friday night for many moons by legendary Techno duo Slam. They would serve up a mixture of these varieties of techno to welcoming, knowledgeable crowd every week. They too influenced by the sounds of Detroit and dub techno, among others, introduced me to these styles and I was hooked for life. As a lifelong fan of their label, Soma Records, I followed their releases and many of the artists they have. Funk D’Void has also been another firm favourite with his ability to turn has hand to many different styles of techno, more often than not bringing more melodic and emotional elements to a track. Check his aptly named Emotional Content track and you will get the picture.


Amplifier Specifications Buying Guide

If you are looking to increase stereo system signal power, then an amplifier is what you need. The same goes for a musical instrument, sound playing device, or a home theater. Amplifiers are designed to make sound louder and more powerful without losing the quality. It helps to get a little knowledge on amplifiers before purchasing to increase your chances of landing the most suitable one. You can use basic tips and research so that you avoid buying mistakes when selecting it.

When buying an amplifier, it is really not enough to listen to sound input alone; the specification sheet should be evaluated if you want to end up with a good quality and reliable amp for that matter. Even when going through amp reviews, these are the specifications that you should look out for to help your decision making process.

Sound quality – You might be looking for more power, but sound quality should definitely be prioritized. This is because it directly results in loudness that is perceived. Consider the total harmonic distortion when looking at the amplifier sound quality and also signal to noise ratio. Amps that have distortion levels below 1% are great choices because it is hard to tell the difference in when perceived. Higher percentages will only give you poor sound quality at high and low volume levels.

Amplifier power – Highest power is what most buyers look for but it should not overshadow the sound quality. Amp power is usually in watts per channel and Hz frequency. The specifications might be a little complex for a buyer considering that some manufacturers can give misleading reports. It would be wiser to use expert reviews when determining the power of your amplifier so you do not end up getting a unit that will not do you justice. Check average power quotes over peak power when making your determination.

Noise levels – Signal to noise ratio is the correlation between background noise and sound signal levels. Amplifiers do produce background noise that is unwanted and it therefore helps to check that your preferred amp produces minimal noise. Choose a ratio that guarantees you minimal noise perception, even at low level signals.

Dynamic headroom – It is expressed in dB and represents the output power ability of the amplifier at high levels in short periods. It impacts sound effects and music peaking and amplifiers that are able to double the power output are better. Those falling in the 3dB dynamic headroom can multiply the power output by four. Amps that have low dynamic headroom imply reduced impact because they end up compressing high peaks to fit in their headroom levels.

When matching your amplifiers and speakers the more power the better the results you will get. Amplifiers intended for two speaker system should have a power rating that is 50% more than that of the speaker RMS power rating. It also helps to know about amplifier classifications before you set out to choose the perfect one for your intended use.


Professional Tips on Mixing and Mastering Audio

Music mixing is a task that forms an important part of music creating. The procedure of penning down the lyrics, creating a tune, syncing the lyrics to the tune created, recording it and finally mixing and mastering it makes it a complete music track. Music mixing is often the task of professionals who know the technicalities involved in creating a perfect song. They are the ones who use modern software allowing them to have perfectly mixed songs at the end of the entire procedure. These are performed at specialised studios, but several companies specialise in online mastering and mixing where there is no need for you to go to a studio and instead get professional results virtually.

Any professional who is an expert in mastering and mixing audio, know the right ways to have a final mastered sound piece. Mastering too requires a particular procedure which when followed would give the best results. Here are a few steps that you could follow that come direct from the mouths of professionals.

• Choose fresh music – It is always advisable to bring about freshness to the music that you record. While you record music, ensure that you use the best devices to record it as the recorder plays a significant role in the final product. There has to be a freshness in the audio that you record as the mastering would get tougher if the recording is of poor quality.

• Learn not to appreciate your work – You may no doubt have the best-recorded audio but at times you need to be critical of your job. It helps in analysing the minute details and looking out for loopholes. You may appreciate your work as eventually it is your creation any if you do not find any loopholes in it, you can get someone who may critically analyse your work and provide you with some help.

• Match the volume – Imagine listening to a song where the volume of the voice recording is lower than that of the instruments that make up the tune. It would sound annoying to the ear, and therefore, you should ensure the fact that the volumes of the audio and the instruments are equal and not overpowering each other.

• Choose quality equipment – You may own a professional mixing console and the best mastering software that can help you mix your music well. They need not be the most expensive equipment but should be able to bring out the best in your sound recording.


Important Tips to Mastering Music at Home

The times when you have freshly composed a melody, you may feel it to be the best, but it isn’t the best yet. It involves an efficient procedure where you need to blend the melody next. After a certain point, you would feel irritated by the music mixing methods and happiness that originated from making music would vanish. Composing a tune is fine but mastering it is a task in itself which is tough. There are several experts out there who come up with wonderful ideas on music mastering but not always can you take help from those tips to create a mastered music.

You could blend the ideas and tips to make an easier way out for yourself if you seriously think of pursuing music mixing as an option. It helps you understand the techniques well rather than following someone blindly and not availing results that are satisfying. Here are a few expert tips that is made by blending several ideas from the experts to ensure that you can master music all by yourself without much of help from others.

• Ensure that you listen to more than one genre- You ought to listen to more than one type of music to make your sense of taste dipped in variety. It will show you how to create music without you being deliberately interested in it. You don’t have to like what you listen to as there are numerous things to listen to with every song that you hear. Technicalities such as blending the voice recording with the music, beats, notes, etc. can be learnt by critical evaluation each proceeding and simultaneously understand what the music is made of.
• Erase terrible quality sound – The primary lesson at any music school or is, whether you have a recording, and it is awful quality, and it doesn’t soothe your ear, and you are not content with it, discard it and get yourself a fresh one. Even if people claim that modern software can help you bring perfection to even the worst sounds, you will get terrible results if you hear them carefully.
• Complete the song before blending – It is important to complete the recording completely and then start the mixing and mastering process. Mixing and adding a different texture every time you pause with the recording would affect the recording quality and thus make you confused with the throw of voice after every break. While you apply the techniques of mixing in it as and when you stop the recording, you would notice the fact that there is a change in tonal quality if not the music.


Complete Guide Buying Cheap Events Tickets Online

Getting their hands on cheap tickets online to enjoy every minute of the event. It starts with enthusiasm followed by anxiety about the pricing. They also wonder whether these might sell out. Apart from social media – talk shows, promotional materials, announcements and sweepstakes sites are great ways for the most up-to-date information.

Booking tickets online is convenient. The only downside is those to popular concerts can sell out in minutes since everyone has access. However, there are a few tips that can help you sail through the process:

Beat The Rush

One of the best ways to get ahead of the pack is to avoid last minute ticket booking. Opt for online pre-sales that are announced well in advance. This is why experienced concertgoers never lose out on their cherished experience. They always plan way ahead before everything gets crazy. After all, there are millions trying to do the same thing!

Keep An Eye Out for Online Pre-Sales

Nowadays, it’s quite common for artists to sell concert tickets well in advance. These are made available to a select group before the general public. There are two main methods to ensure that you have the first choice:

– Fan Clubs

Apart from their talent, fans are what make an artist famous. Several artists always make sure that their fan club members are offered tickets as a part of their pre-sales promotion. This is their way or returning your love – grab it right away! If you are one of those diehard fans who don’t mind paying a membership fee, you’re finally getting your money’s worth.

If you don’t have the time to keep checking the website, sign up for newsletters that list the tour dates in advance. They may also include members-only exclusive priority deals and offers.

– Credit Card Ownership

Besides charging exorbitant processing fees and late payments charges, credit card companies actually do their owners some good. Banks sponsor events and concerts. They provide select customers access to presale offers. If you’re lucky, you might enjoy these. Pay close attention to credit cards that earn you presale privileges before you even opt for one.

None of The Above

If you’re neither a fan club member nor have a credit card like the one above, don’t despair! Good times can still be yours. Your fellow music lovers will come to your rescue. They will circulate a code that you can enter into the ticketing website to access the pool of pre-sale tickets.

These codes are made available to the general public through a variety of different channels. You can use them to get access to what everyone is enjoying. Several Internet users and music lovers double as beneficiaries selling their presale codes on online ticket markets. Additionally, local radio shows that are sponsoring concerts may also give out presale codes during specific periods. Stay alert and keep your eyes and ears open! You might be a lucky winner of ticket giveaways they offer callers.

Get Ready for The Public Online Sale

If you missed an opportunity to buy cheap presale tickets online, you can log onto the ticketing platform early on multiple devices. This method will definitely yield results. You will have an advantage over all the other fans.

Prior Registration

Losing out on tickets online due to no registration is not something you want to live with. Make sure that you log into the website at least 15 minutes before a scheduled online sale. This is important if you haven’t registered already. The best part is the website receives your request immediately. You can leave the ticketing pool a bit early and before the tickets become unavailable.

Use Multiple Devices

Buying cheap tickets is not an opportunity you want to lose. You can cheat the system and enhance your chances of grabbing them by logging into several devices. Multiple browser windows convey simultaneous requests to the website. Some websites may have a strict limit of one request per IP address, but there is nothing that you can do about that. One workaround is to use a second wireless router that is connected to another laptop or device.

Late Ticket Releases

Sometimes, concert promoters, artists and performers or the venue itself reserves tickets for special guests. Their overestimation leads them to making these tickets available to the general public just a few days before the show. A good idea would be to check the band’s, promoter’s or even the venue’s website for this set. You can even buy them directly from the venue for a low price. The other great news is these seats are often excellent. You might even grab the front row at a concert that you can’t wait to attend!

Buy from a Reseller or Secondary Ticket Broker

Most ticket brokers have a way of grabbing tickets faster than most fans. If you’re willing to risk it by waiting it out, then this method is much better than not going. Professional ticket resellers always charge more than the original price unless the demand is low. Apart from them, many fans who are unable to attend a concert may also resell them here. The good thing is that for fans, the profit motive is not as strong as it is for resellers. They only want to get back the amount they paid.

The other ways that you can book cheap event/concert tickets is by signing up as a volunteer for the event. If you don’t have music equipment, sound, or lighting experience, you can help with the cleanup. Just like with everything else, technology has made our lives so easy. Buying tickets online is convenient, easy, effortless and quick – no more waiting for mail orders or dialing ticketing agencies till our call goes through!


Purchasing A Six String Guitar Tips

Whether or not it’s your first guitar, your tenth, or your hundredth, acquiring a guitar is certainly a super fun and stimulating time. To ensure that you are determining the best guitar-shopping decisions, take into account these things before purchasing your next guitar.

Purchasing a six string guitar?

This is a vital question you have to ask yourself. Suppose you already own a guitar, yet you are not using it, bear in mind the reason why. This will let you know exactly what to keep away from when shopping for a guitar. Meditate with your previous guitar and figure out why you think it’s mandatory for you to go shopping for this particular guitar.

Electric or acoustic?

This is a good in advance question you ought to ask yourself. Would you like to get an electric acoustic six string guitar? In case you are baffled on this one, solicit yourself what kind of music would you prefer to play? In case you are hoping to strum somewhere in the range of classic folk or 90s go for acoustic. In case you are hoping to shred somewhere in the range of 80s old school thrash or metal go for electric.

What is your budget?

The main thing you need to ask yourself is what amount you would like to spend. Having this made up from the word go will spare you lots of time while window shopping the nearby guitar shop. A beginner guitar can cost around $100 and advanced professional model can cost a few thousands.

New or second hand?

It’s generally an awesome thought to purchase second hand when you aware of what you are getting into. What’s more, much the same as purchasing a second hand car, you ought to just purchase a second hand guitar on the off chance that you recognize what to search for. Here are a few things to ask yourself when purchasing a second hand guitar Does it look savaged?: How can it sound? Is the neck bowed? On the off chance that it’s an electric guitar, plug it into an amp and test it out before purchasing it. Be an informed purchaser!

Shop in store or online?

It’s truly wonderful purchasing stuff on the web. While you can grab up a guitar online it can be a ton better to go to your neighborhood guitar shop and converse with somebody proficient. A decent music store will have a strong gathering of representatives who can help you find precisely what you are searching for. What’s more, you truly need to try out the guitar before purchasing. You do not purchase a car online before having a company / professionals do a test drive and other inspections.

Other things

Much the same as new shoes aren’t accompanied with socks, guitars require a few items. You will likely need to get guitar wires, a little amp, set of strings, a guitar strap, a cleaning pack, and a case. Additionally, new guitars will require being set up. This is where a guru sets the six string guitar by adjusting the neck and getting the activity simply right, ensuring it’s absolutely ready to be rocked.


Benefits to Buying Vinyl Records

Vinyl have been used and enjoyed for years. They were out before the CD, which then was replaced with the ability and convenience of downloading an MP3. There are so many benefits to going back to being old school and listening to vinyl.

The first benefit you will find when you buy vinyl records is that you will get to enjoy superior sound quality. So many people are under the false impression that a MP3 or a CD will produce better sound than the old vinyl record, but the fact is that the MP3 file and a CD have been compressed and you will find that you don’t get more original and enjoyable sound quality that you will achieve when you listen to a vinyl.

You will also find that the vinyl can give you a certain style which is beneficial. They are very slim and yet large is overall size, but this can make them the perfect choice based on your storage solution. You will find more vinyl on a shelf than you will CDs and if you are looking at building a collection and having an extensive range of genres to enjoy, then vinyl may be the way to go now and moving forward.

The great thing when you buy a vinyl is you have a physical copy of the song or album that you enjoy. While downloading music is great and convenient and sometimes more affordable, you never have a tangible item you can touch and read. With a vinyl you get that item, you can read through the song list and make your selection.

Of course you are investing is what today is considered “vintage.” Vinyl were the top choice for music up to around the late 1970’s when cassette tapes all became the rage. While they may be considered a vintage item, they are increasing in popularity again with turntables being readily available in a number of stores around the world.

The final benefit you may not be aware of is that you can enjoy a good return on your investment when it comes to vinyls. Bear in mind that these can scratch, but if you can get your hands on a superior quality record and hold onto it for a couple of years, you will find it is worth more in the long run. This is ideal for those who are looking to build up their collection.

There are some very important factors to take into consideration when you buy vinyl, especially when buying online. One of the biggest problems faced with records was scratches and to find a record without a scratch is not going to be an easy task. This is why its imperative that you only purchase from a reputable company that is managed by an enthusiastic team of record traders.

Take the time to learn as much about the company as you can, this means reading online reviews, reading their about us section and identifying their turnaround and delivery times. See if the company offers a returns policy and their take on customer service.

What is more important is that you need to know you are dealing with a real company that is operated by real people, which is why you are going to want to search their site for a phone number and physical address. Take the time to pick up the phone and speak to one of their representatives before making the decision on whether to buy a vinyl from them or not.


Creative Process for Writing Music

How do you write a song?

Perhaps everyone has a different method or perhaps there’s a rulebook somewhere that states the order in which a song or piece must be written.

I can only speak for myself.

I know I take a different approach for writing songs as opposed to say writing a film score.

Most of my songs all came about by accident, I was just noodling on the guitar and a few chords got stuck together and I liked how they sounded and I started fumbling around with them until I had a riff and a pattern.

Some songs might take months or years to complete, I leave them there to ‘marinate’. In the past I would remember the chord structure, might even record it with a 4-track machine (when I borrowed one) or just play it into my tape deck (remember those days?). But other times I would just play those chords over and over so much till I remembered them. All in my head.

Of course, fast forward to the digital era and everyone and their grandmother has a laptop with some sort of recording capability. So nowadays I just have everything readily hooked up to go if inspiration strikes and I need to press record.

But it always starts with chords for me, then I hum a melody line and finally I write lyrics to fit the rhythm. That’s my way of doing things for a song.

When I write a piece for film however, I start by humming a motif in my head. I’ll try to get a few variations and once that is fairly secure, I will record parts for the various voices (bass, alto, treble) using a number of instruments. It’s like making a cake really, you must a solid foundation before you can add the icing and the candles.

Of course that’s just one movement, sometimes a film score will have between five to ten movements and within each movement there will be variations and sections. I don’t map out these sections in any physical hard copy but what I will do is bring back an earlier section in later movement (e.g. I’ll bring back the A minor section of Part 1 in Part 3 this time, but instead it will be in C# minor). I try to change the order of sections around and I try to start and end with really strong music.

People always remember the starting and ending, not so much the middle.