View Poll Results: How do you get inspiration to compose / write

76. You may not vote on this poll
  • During noodling session

    10 13.16%
  • Playing scales

    0 0%
  • Chord comping

    6 7.89%
  • Hearing another music snippet as inspiration

    4 5.26%
  • Just sit down to write

    11 14.47%
  • Wake with a few bars in the head

    7 9.21%
  • All most of the above

    38 50.00%
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Posts 51 to 65 of 65
  1. #51

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    Nothing concrete, just various people all claiming Miles stole their tunes. Bill Evans has said he wrote Blue in Green. John Lewis said he wrote Milestones (original version). Four and Solar we written by someone whose name escapes me. I always ant to say Von Freeman but it's not. A tenor player.

    Plus there's always been a controversy about Donna Lee.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 03-03-2015 at 07:00 AM.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

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    Supposedly guitarist Chuck Wayne wrote Solar. His title was Sonny. Dig by Miles Davis is basically the same tune as Donna recorded by Jackie McLean shortly thereafter. Jackie played on Dig as well.
    George Harrison got caught up in a well publicized plagiarism suit over My Sweet Lord. Was supposed to be the same as
    He's So Fine. But John Lennon did a tune from around the same era on an album with Yoko I think called something like God Is a Concept that was about the same as Love Letters Straight From My Heart by Ketty Lester. It even used, note for note, the distinctive (and great) piano intro from that song.
    Last edited by mrcee; 03-03-2015 at 02:07 PM.

  4. #53

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  5. #54

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    》 Liner notes list Davis as writer of all compositions [on Kind of Blue], but many scholars and fans believe that Bill Evans wrote part or the whole of "Blue in Green" and "Flamenco Sketches".[11] Bill Evans assumed co-credit with Davis for "Blue in Green" when recording it on his Portrait in Jazz album. The Davis estate acknowledged Evans' authorship in 2002.[12] The practice of a band leader's appropriating authorship of a song written by a sideman occurred frequently in the jazz world, as legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker did so to Davis when Parker took a songwriting credit for the tune "Donna Lee", written by Davis while employed as a sideman in Charlie Parker's quintet in the late 1940s.[13] The composition later became a popular jazz standard. Another example is the introduction to "So What", attributed to Gil Evans, which is closely based on the opening measures of French composer Claude Debussy's Voiles (1910), the second prelude from his first collection of preludes.


  6. #55

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    Yes. Evans has said he wrote blue in green. Miles had a runaway proclivity towards stealing songs, only corrected in the 2nd Quintet band with Shorter and Hancock. I tend to doubt anything Miles took credit for.

  7. #56

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    Eddie Cleanhead Vinson wrote Four and TUNE UP. That's the tune I meant instead of Solar.

  8. #57

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    Donna Lee was then written by Miles Davis

  9. #58

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    I seriously doubt it, but anything is possible. Did you read the article?

  10. #59

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    Just now yes

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    Eddie Cleanhead Vinson wrote Four and TUNE UP. That's the tune I meant instead of Solar.
    Peter Spitzer Music Blog: Tunes Miles May Not Have Written
    Speaking of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, I used to hear this recording of his on a radio show years and years ago. It often kicked off the DJ's "Blues Hour"

    eddie cleanhead vinson youtube - Bing Videos
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  12. #61

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    Such an interesting thread! Nice to see everyone's different approaches. As a guitarist, I compose pretty much entirely at the keyboard, so my compositions don't sound like a bunch of guitaristic cliches.

    I compose in pretty much every style (pop, rock, film score, blah blah, etc) but MY main focus has been the fusion genre.

    Anyway, I try and write as a composer who will have others play his music, then as a guitarist, I try and play the tunes as if I were hired by that composer.

    I also play bass so I can keep the parts playable and yet challenging.

    Being a drummer as well, helps my perspective on writing drum or perc parts.

    It depends on the moment, but I'll usually just sit down and go for a vibe and see where it leads. Sometimes harmonic content is sketched out first, other times an idea for a drum groove. A particular take on the genre may catch my interest and I'll challenge myself to write in that direction.

    Here are some of my compositions, if anyone is interested.

    I've gone back and re-tracked ALL of my guitar parts on several previously released compositions of mine, "Give it Time", "Beast of Burton", "One", "Mulder's Search", "From Nothing", "S'Corea" and "Tito's Time" with my new Carvin HH2! I primarily did it for my buddy Cirque du Soleil drummer, Andre Boyd​ to use in his drum clinics. PLUS I wanted to feature my new Carvin HH2.

    I can fill you in on the process if interested.

    Hope ya dig!



  13. #62

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    Interesting interview with Lage Lund:

    You mentioned previously that you compose at the piano. Is this still the case and was it always that way?

    LL: When I started music at age thirteen, it was on the guitar. I didn’t really start playing piano until high school and college. I can play some chords and stuff but I can’t really “play” piano. I think at some point I just found it easier to write on piano. The guitar can be too familiar sometimes. I might play a chord on guitar and get bored immediately. On the piano, I can play the exact same voicing but I might visualize the next step in a way that I wouldn’t see on the guitar. Because I’m less familiar with piano, it sparks my curiosity more as to what harmonic or melodic changes I might make. I also like to write away from instruments, so I’m not writing something only because it’s coming from my fingers. But, I’m trying to write more on guitar because I might write something away from it but need to figure out how to apply it to the guitar. The whole process is sort of abstract. It’s like I’m hearing something and I’m just trying to uncover it. It’s devoid of any method. It’s hard for me to devote time to it, particularly now with a family. Often, when I’m on the road and have some hours in a hotel, I’ll devote some time to it but it’s not like I always have a set aside time for it.

    Lage Lund Speaks: Influence, Family, and the ?Post-Racial? Myth | Jazz Speaks

    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis

  14. #63

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    Songwriting Strategies: A 360 Degree Approach

    Write songs starting from any direction: melody, lyric, harmony, rhythm, or idea. This book will help you expand your range and flexibility as a songwriter. Discussions, hands-on exercises, and notated examples will help you hone your craft. This creatively liberating approach supports the overall integrity of emotion and meaning in your songs. It will help you become more productive, versatile, and innovative in your songwriting. You will learn to: * Discover more ideas for songs song seeds and capture them in their most powerful and usable form * Overcome writer's block by having many more pathways through the writing process * Develop strong song structures by working independently with melody, lyrics, harmony, and rhythm * Write songs more easily, guided by your well-tuned "songwriter's compass"

    Some of you might find this book from Berklee Press interesting.
    Last edited by Jonzo; 08-01-2015 at 10:48 AM.

  15. #64

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    OMG, there are so many possibilities:

    Pseudo-random generated note sequences.
    Plagerism is quite good, but you have to chip away at it until it becomes a new original, or face the consequence.
    Singing helps.
    Lots of theory / other theories.
    Start from a difficult place and try to find a good solution - eg start with the most horrible sounding chord you can imagine.
    Last edited by czardas; 08-05-2015 at 05:15 PM.
    We are the borg. Your harmonies will be assimilated. Your scale patterns and distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by czardas View Post
    Start from a difficult place and try to find a good solution - eg start with the most horrible sounding chord you can imagine.
    The 'A Hard Day's Night' opening chord | The Beatles Bible

    I don't think the opening chord was added until after the rest of the song was written, but it's an unusual and effective start to a song none the less.