126 Answered Questions for the topic songwriting
Compose with pencil and paper?
I see many composers argue that one of the best ways to compose is with pencil and paper, without using an instrument. What is the process for composing this way? Does one have to imagine a fairly... more
How can you get a Country and Western sound with just a guitar and vocal?
A glimmer of a song idea I have feels like it might fit a C&W style. But I have no idea how that would be achieved and I'm not really a big C&W fan. Is it a musical thing with the... more
Why use the key of C#?
I was reading about Brahms, and it was mentioned that he had composed a piece in C# Major. AFAIK, we generally don't use C# Major in jazz or rock music because the key signature has 7 sharps, so... more
Can any melody / motif be turned into a good sounding melody? (Theoretical and practical question.)?
I've read and experienced and I noticed that rhythm, rest placing and even very minor (no pun inteded) changes to the melody, for example some flat or sharp can change it drastically. My question... more
Freestyle Advice for Beatboxing?
So I have been beatboxing for a couple of months now, got inspired by GBBB battles. I can do the basic sounds (kick drum, hi hats, (inward and outward) K snares, pf Snare, throat bass, lip... more
How to make the dominant preparation less boring?
This is one thing that I have always noticed when I compose a sonata. Even if I can get through most of the development section in sonata form, the dominant preparation sort of grinds my gears. I'm... more
Can I have two different instruments play the same melody at the same octave?
I am writing an orchestral track and so far I have written the melody of strings (violins and such) and I want to add trumpets and here are 3 things I consider. 1) Have the trumpets play the same... more
What ukulele chords would go well in a song with a C-F-G7-C progression?
I am a beginner ukulele/guitar player and although I'm not a great musician I enjoy making up my own songs. I've started improvising a bouncy, twee little tune with a C-F-G7-C progression but not... more
Off beat chord change in progression?
I'm self learning to compose something using a daw. I'm a self tough on theory and quite poor so please but hope the question make some sense. I followed a tutorial that suggest the possibility to... more
How to avoid a rut when listening to the same composition hundreds of times?
Often I find myself re-listening to certain parts of a piece repeatedly when composing it, generally hundreds of times in a short time. This creates a pattern of behaviour that becomes dull and... more
Do Most Pop Songs Have An Instrument Play Chords While The Singer Sings The Melody?
I'm very curious if most instruments play a melody at the same time, and work in counterpoint, or it's just a singer playing a melody while some instruments play chords.
Do composers often compose one instrument 'section' at a time?
Whilst learning more about the art of composition for traditional classical music, I have come across a question that I always wish I *knew* the answer to. Multilayered classical 'songs' are so... more
Writing a Strange Ukulele Tune - Need Chord Help :)?
I'm writing a strange little ukulele tune that goes G-G7-C-Cm and then repeats, basically. But I'd like it to repeat to a different last chord/last two chords but I'm having an issue finding a... more
Beginning composer wanting to know where to start?
I'm a seventeen-year-old aspiring film composer. I have twelve years of piano and theory experience, but beyond that, I have no experience with anything else musicwise. I am homeschooled with no... more
Why are most string quartets in a key with few accidentals?
The most accidentals I have seen in a string quartet is 4 flats or sharps. Now I have been told that this is because C major, G major, D major and A major are the easiest keys on a string... more
When composing parts for different instruments, how do I find out if the part is playable?
I'm thinking of composing pieces for small ensembles with varied instrumentation. Typically I compose on a keyboard. How do I determine if the musician can easily play the parts I write for them?... more
How do you actually learn how to compose music?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dYUmLwnZ6Y&t=629s How do you compose a rock song like the person in the video? I've gone through all the books and video tutorials and I still don't know how... more
What contributes to an artist's melodic "signature?"?
Studying the vocal melodies in recorded pop music, from a theoretical perspective, I have the impression that there are certain musical characteristics that make up the melodic"fingerprint" of an... more
How to make melodies/chords more interesting?
I’m a noob when it comes to making music but I have a little problem when creating melodies/chords. I made a nice loop in fl studio but I feel it’s to repetitive. I’ve tried adding more chords and... more
How to turn a "tune" into a "symphonic melody"?
I'm a hobbyist composer and I just started reading Piston's Harmony handbook to recover the basics I never learned. One of the limits I'm trying to overcome is my inability to conceive melodies... more
Can't compose past a motif?
I'm a beginner to composing, and I don't know how to play any instruments. I asked my parents to put me in lessons for years but they never did. I just decided to start trying to compose. I've... more
Why is writing in free counterpoint so hard?
I have had this overwhelming feeling for weeks. 1 day I even had to listen to Mozart just to go to sleep because I was feeling so overwhelmed. I have tried everything I did in the past for... more
Who do I write music for?
I've been playing keyboard for eight years now. As much as I adore music I can't find the real answer to who am doing it for? Who am I writing music for? I'm very much interested in art rock and... more
developing rhythmical phrasing?
Recently i've become more and more interested in phrasing for melodic instruments, and how one could develop a strong sense for making interesting arrangements, particularly when you work with... more
Can learning music theory from "Music Theory for Guitarists Volume 1" by Bruce Arnold teach me enough to start composing?
I am a guitar and bass player who has played pop/rock/blues for 15 years. Like a lot of other users I am music illiterate. I am a fan of Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead and am interested in composing... more