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02-06-2018, 11:06 PM #61Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. Marcus Aurelius
02-07-2018, 01:13 AM #62
02-23-2018, 08:02 PM #63
- Join Date
- Dec 2016
1. Grab the great american song book, pick out some tunes you like, take the changes and write your own melodies over it.
2. transcribe tunes you like, melodies/changes and find out what parts you like and why -> try and mimic the parts you like, in your own context.
3. don't sit down and look at the paper and wait for the perfect melody, or the perfect changes. Write horribly on purpose, then adapt and improve. It's better to work with something you have on paper rather than wait and wait and end up with nothing after an hour or so of just trying to write something acceptable the first go.
4. do loads of writing.
5. share it with the musicians you trust, and feel like you won't be judged by.
6. do loads of writing (again).
Hope that helps you in some way!
03-13-2018, 12:02 PM #64
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- Central New Mexico in the bottom of the Rocky Mountain chain.
Well, I just sort of fell into this idea, When you first pick up the guitar do you usually toss off a few notes to get the fingers going? Just 4 to 6 notes, some subliminal phrase lurking in the back of your mind or under those fingers. I have put together more than a few tunes that way. This began just after I learned to play enough to want to keep learning more. Had just a few scales under my fingers.
Fair warning, they didn't sound much like jazz. But I figured that would come later as I got better at jazz chords. [still persuing those chords and haven't written many tunes lately]
Here's one very fine place to start the wheels turning. The Cycle of 5ths has a wealth of ideas for digging yourself out of a compositional hole. Most places where it's found also explain it's usage.
Rich Severson [99 cent guitar lessons.com ] has a very fine class on how to turn those first 4 notes into a very nice 8 to 12 bar line. [ not blues] I have been trying to find the class and am missing it. It's called sequencing. I just tried under that title and failed to find it. He begins the class with a short tidbit about a student who couldn't think of anything to play...... wish I could remember the class title. They cost 4.99 If you listen to jazz you will hear this idea used all the time.
The class is about how your move your short melody up the neck diatonically. It makes your lines sound more like you know what you are doing.
BIAB is a very useful tool for composing, if you have a real sounding band as your white board the ideas will flow. Jazzers borrow from each other and great composers all the time.
09-15-2018, 03:49 PM #65
- Join Date
- Sep 2018
- Orlando, FL
I plug chord changes from a jazz song into my Band in a Box. Then I change the style to something totally different. If swing, make it metal, if bossa, make it reggae. Then I sit there with my guitar as Band in a Box plays it over and over and over again. I eventually spit out a few melodies that sound really good to me.
Then I play it with my band and see how well it passes the test. If it does, then I know I have something with legs. Sometimes they tell me certain parts are weak so I have to start over again, or tweak spots.
I recommend this approach just to get started.
09-19-2018, 11:30 AM #66
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Brooklyn NY
the only thing I'd add is to figure out what kinds of activities on average lead to satisfying results, for you. For myself, sitting down in front of a blank page and saying "time to write a tune" rarely leads to a good tune. But, practicing certain kinds of voiceleading often gives me an idea that I can then expand on. I was listening to an interview with some famous songwriter recently (maybe springsteen?) and he said "I'm not sure where inspiration comes from, but what I do know is that when it comes, you need to be able to drop everything and follow it".
Which kinda confirms my experience that I can't manufacture inspiration on demand, but what I can do is engage in activities that are likely to lead me to being creative.