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Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby blinddrew » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:43 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby GilesAnt » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:24 pm

Regarding completion, you could either take the Brahms approach (21 years for 1st symphony) or that of Vivaldi who completed endless pieces....

….or as Igor Stravinsky said "Vivaldi did not write 400 concertos, he wrote the same one 400 times".
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby blinddrew » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:08 pm

Harsh! :D
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby ManFromGlass » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:50 pm

I bought Scalar. It and this video -

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JYiHQrrLHuQ

are really opening my mind and hands. I’m from the same music school as Drew.

I watch this vid a bit at a time. Heck I’m watching EDM composers using Scalar to create club tracks. If they can do it to create tracks then I sure can. And it’s kinda sneaky too because as I create progressions I’m learning a bit, but not so it gets in the way of creating the music. Sorry to sound like an ad but I’ve finally found someone who can explain what I thought was really complicated stuff in a very simple way.
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby blinddrew » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:03 pm

ManFromGlass wrote: I’m from the same music school as Drew.
But did you graduate? ;)
I'll give that video a proper watch some point soon, thank you. :thumbup:
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby GilesAnt » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:52 am

Interesting video. He is trying to cram a lot in, but to be honest I'm not sure he really is simplifying theory or just showing off a product that allows you to play chords more easily if you don't actually play an instrument. It seems to restate some of what has already been said in this thread - try inversions, try adding notes to chords, try different chords.

Maybe it helps if you are trying to develop an idea that is harmonic in origin, but for me it would be rather constraining - I wonder where he gets the idea that only I, IV, V, and vi are important.

Which makes me wonder what really constitutes an 'idea' in music. For some it might be a nagging melody in their heads, or perhaps a distinctive rhythm. Or an idea might be more abstract - for example a poem or painting that inspires. Maybe you start with an idea that is structural in some way, a series of sections with alternating dynamics, rhythms or whatever.

What is the starting point, for most people I wonder?
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby blinddrew » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:28 pm

Hmmm, starting points. Sometimes it's a melody, sometimes it's more of a sound or a bit of a sound-design-scape (if that makes sense), sometimes it's a lyric, sometimes it's a concept.
The ones that tend to stick with me are generally those that start with a founding concept of some kind, where I can quickly build a theme around a few strong lyrical lines, and hopefully quickly get my hands on an instrument to pull things together.
I did write a complete set of lyrics on my motorbike coming home from work one day but wouldn't recommend it as a reliable, or safe, technique. :)
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby John Egan » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:08 pm

[quote="GilesAnt"
What is the starting point, for most people I wonder?[/quote]

It can be a number of things for me. Often it's a phrase which strikes me ("thin ice" was a case in point). Sometimes it's a subject which interests me. It can be a riff or a song from the past which captured me (although it's more likely to be the lyrics or the style) but in this case I try like fury to stay well clear of the tune. It might be a style based on someone who influenced me a lot.
However, the starting point is the most difficult and frustrating point to reach.
Regards, John
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Re: Tips to Develop Songs from Ideas

Postby GilesAnt » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:38 pm

blinddrew wrote:However, the starting point is the most difficult and frustrating point to reach.

Getting a good idea in the first place is challenging for me too, but maybe we aim too high sometimes. Think of Beethoven's 5th - ta-ta-ta-daaaaaa. Not all that impressive as an idea on its own, but it's what he does with it afterwards that counts.

So having some tricks up your sleeve for developing an idea, whether melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, or just stylistic can always help. Maybe the original idea isn't that important, but you might be able to transform it into something special if you apply some musical craft work.

My main difficulty is to stay out of my comfort zone as a keyboard player - simple ballad-like triadic chords pumping away 4 to the bar in the right hand, and slow moving octaves in the left. Loads of great music does follow that pattern of course, but I feel I at least ought to try and do something a bit different.
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