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  1. #76

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    Rag is writing tunes all the time I notice

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C

    PS That could take a long time.
    :-)

  4. #78

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    If I have an idea, I try to write it down.

    Sketches because tunes.

    I still use a paper manuscript notebook, but became a MuseScore fan about 16 months ago. It's nice to test my ideas and hear if that's what I really was hearing....it gets better.

  5. #79

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    Good stuff. If we divide the subject into a few headlines and then assign a headline to each reply, the ground is still not covered. For example;

    Composition
    1. Scope
    2. Prerequisites
    3. Motive
    4. Objective
    5. Systems and Methods
    6. Practice and Training
    7. Tools and Technology

    Most replies in this thread are about chapters 5-7, with an emphasis on 6. Practice and Training.
    I think it's important to address chapters 1-4 first. Here's my take (but since this is all about art I bet there are different outlooks...)

    1. Scope - A discussion about composing vs song writing, improvisation and poetry. Don't confuse lyrics with music. Lyrics could be a source of inspiration for music (or the other way around). Lyrics could be written on rhythmic meter and also be intended for someone to write music. But the areas are of separate nature. If you want to develop as a composer, concentrate on the music (If you never put words into music you may try it as an exercise). It should be possible to perform the piece without vocals. Playing with "Garage band" or similar software is not composing. Arranging samples created by someone else in sequence in a DAW is not composing.

    2. Prerequisites - Instrument Skills and Music Theory.
    -Is it possible to compose without instrument playing skills e.g by using technology and software? No. refer to "Scope" above.

    -Could a computer compose? Not by itself. A composer would have to feed the computer with algorithms based on music theory and/or a reference base of music composed by humans. Same thing with AI -the learning algorithm is created by a human. Shit in - shit out.

    -Is a sequence of sounds/noise music? No. refer to "Scope" above. The important thing to remember is that technology is not going to make better music. On the contrary there are several indicators that points in the opposite direction.

    Theory (e.g Harmony, Voice leading, Counter point etc.) is of tremendous help in general.

    If you learn 200 tunes/pieces/songs, playing skills will improve. Ability to improvise will improve and ability to compose will improve. (Having said that, the best instrumentalist is probably not the best composer.)

    3. Motive
    -Why do you want to compose?
    -What inspires you to compose?

    4. Objective
    -What do you want to achieve?
    -What is your relationship to attributes like "Catchy", "Hook", "Hit", "Improvised", "Cliche" etc?
    -How is your objective connected to your motive above?

  6. #80

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    I say start with arranging, feels like a natural step prior to composing to me. They had us do it during my jazz program at local uni in this order as well. Take a song you like and write it out the way you want. That helps to get the macro approach internalized

  7. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe

    I saw the Five Peace band when they were touring, and McLaughlin talked about composition. He said, "I write tunes. This guy [pointing to Chick] is a composer." I just wanna write tunes.
    Yeah, me too. I just want to write tunes... Melody, harmony, rhythm, song structure. That is composing, but I don't like the word composition or composing. Some define composing on there own terms so I just avoid the term.

    I think writing tunes is a good place to start anyways. Songwriting... Melody, harmony, rhythm, song structure and lyrics. Just because one adds lyrics doesn't change anything, still composing. But I just like to say "writing tunes".

    Just make it part of your daily or weekly routine. That will keep it percolating in your head.

  8. #82

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    Not that I'm a great composer but I do like some of my stuff a lot.

    The two best ways I get a creative streak are:

    Noodling... Not practicing, not playing tunes, just letting my fingers walk.

    The other is listening to tv or even a DVD while noodling. Often I'll hear 2 or 3 notes that just stop me in my tracks and I build on them and all of a sudden I take off on a tangent that makes for a completely different vibe.

    Even if I only get a few bars down I record them on my phone and build as I go along.