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Author Topic: What's your normal plan of attack?  (Read 12209 times)
jerico
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« on: June 13, 2006, 12:23:23 AM »

Just for kicks, I browse independent game development boards and try to write demos for games out there that don't have any music put to it yet.  I would be more comfortable working with a project for real if I didn't get this feeling of being overwhelmed when I sit down at my keyboard and start writing.  The ideas come, but it's getting the whole thing put together that's the hard part.  I don't want to steal anyone's secret method, if it exists, but I would be interested in any tips you may be able to give as far as the composing process.  Thanks!

Before I go, I should mention I’m working off a keyboard, and have no programs that work well with playback, so I’m going for live recordings of multiple tracks.  For that I have Audacity.  Maybe that says enough in itself as to why I feel overwhelmed.  Notation programs are just obnoxious in my opinion, and I get lost in my own song when I’m trying to record all the different tracks I hear in my head.  Maybe I just need to get use to writing everything down…lol and if someone just thought “yeah…duh” then my question is this: how do I go about the writing?  Start to finish?  Work out some motifs?  Go backwards?  Learn to juggle fire in the process?

Thanks guys, you’re always a great help. Smiley
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MostlyDifferent
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 10:04:18 AM »

For me, paper.

And if you still have trouble with that, try drawing a roadmap of where the music will go.  Graph paper is especially good for this.
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jerico
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 03:21:51 PM »

Thanks for the reply, could you give me an example of a road map?
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Avaronald
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2006, 01:49:17 AM »

I have to same problem too, jerico. Ideas pour from my head, but making them a coherent piece is very difficult.

I would recommed same as MostlyDifferent, paper (although I don't use paper but notation program).
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jerico
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2006, 05:26:14 PM »

I decided to try and use both the notation program and live recording from the keyboard.  I'm hoping it will take out some of the difficulty by making the computer play the back-up lines (I sometimes compose things I don't yet have the skill on the piano to pull off on my own), while I play the melodies with the kind of style and expression I want to hear on the keyboard.  I'll let you guys know how it goes.  Thanks again for all the help.
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MostlyDifferent
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2006, 07:51:03 PM »

I said paper specifically because it's NOT a notation program.  

For me, going straight to a notation program causes a significant, noticeable drop in quality.  In lots of music I play, it will be painfully obvious that they composed it in a notation program with little work on paper.

As for a roadmap, get some paper (graph paper is best), draw a line from left to right at the bottom, then draw a line of the general contour of the piece (e.g. high for lots of energy, low for quiet or unimportant or slow sections).  Label where in the piece certain things will happen.  Erase and redraw frequently.
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jerico
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2006, 05:44:33 PM »

So your saying to make a picure, like a graphical representation of the music?  Or are you saying to start writing notes down on the graph paper?
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MostlyDifferent
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2006, 07:44:52 PM »

A graphical representation of the music.  Hold off the notes for a while.  Perhaps draw a couple motives here and there if you want to show where they'll be used.

This really helps to get a feel of where the piece is going, and how things will come together.
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jerico
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2006, 03:37:10 PM »

That's really an interesting concept, thanks man.
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Melda
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2006, 04:51:39 AM »

Agree with this, I do. Smiley
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SnakeEyes
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2006, 05:23:17 PM »

*steals concept, makes it his own, sells best-seller "How to compose music" on amazon website*
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