127 Answered Questions for the topic songwriting
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
How much of a jazz composition is defined by the composer, and how much by the musicians?
Do jazz music composers need to write all notes for the every instrument, do the players write themselves a new suitable extravaganza or do they completely improvise the song?
What is the effect of "Conglomerising" your percussion?
When writing music, I use a program called Fruity Loops. Of the music that I write that has percussion, some of them are written with all the percussion instruments being grouped into one pattern.... more
Finding musicians to play new compositions?
I've been composing for most of my life. Lately, I've started to accumulate a rather large number of completed pieces. I recently realized that it may be time for me to start looking for musicians... more
Composition for Clarinet?
I would like to write a song for a Bb clarinet. What is the easiest key for a clarinet player to play it in? Do I use the Treble clef register?
How do I get out of my song writing rut and compose something new and fresh for a change?
I have been writing melodies for my original lyrics since 2008 and have written quite a few songs in that time. But the more songs I write, the more difficult it becomes to write melodies that... more
Creating a cadenca (Boccherini Concerto No 3 in G Maj)?
I need to create a cadenza (A virtuoso passage inserted near the end of a concerto movement) for cello for the first part of Boccherini Concerto No 3 in G Maj (Allegro, starting at measure 98 in my... more
How does one compose fills and solos for the drumkit?
I keep hearing that rudiments are the building blocks of drumming. How do you create drum fills and solos out of rudiments? They say that solos and fills are made from rudiments. Are they ALL made... more
How to correctly deal with abrupt sound cuts when working with sound samples in a DAW?
I am new at DAW's and sound editing and have trouble dealing with abrupt end of sounds. What I mean is that, with the orchestra samples I use (from VSCO-2 CE), there are different options... more
How do video game music composers make so many songs for one game? Are all of them some sort of musical talent / genius?
I love video game soundtracks from to 8-bit ones to the very orchestral pieces but it's not clear to me how they can make so many songs for one game. Even if there are motifs which can help make... more
Most practical way to compose classical music on PC?
I write in Sibelius but I do not like the its sounds. I like Reaper's sounds but its notation editor is not practical. Thus, I export a midi file from sibelius which I import in reaper. However, I... more
What are some examples of seminal chords?
I consider the James Bond chord to be a seminal chord. What are some other examples of seminal chords, if we come to define a seminal chord as a chord that defined an artist or band, made famous by... more
The Chords in this progression sound great but don't belong together - so why do they work?
I am a songwriter and compose my own music to go with my lyrics. Most of my chord progressions follow common patterns like using a I V IV or I IV V with an occasional ii or iii or vi chord thrown... more
Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?
I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge.Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be... more
Harmonics in composition?
As a composer, I never took under consideration the harmonics and natural overtones of note frequencies and never had trouble, as long as it all sounded well and was not very dissonant (unless I... more
Is there any significance of key change of 3 semitones in pop songs?
I was listening to Nightwish's Nemo and noticed they have a key change of 3 semitones from Dm to Fm out of the blue that just sounds pretty good/unnoticeable: https://youtu.be/rNg2Dh6gPkw?t=83 And... more
Examples in "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" by Schoenberg?
I am working with Schoenberg's Fundamentals of Musical Composition, amd would like to know if anyone is aware of a website that has the examples in audio format, or if some saint here has sequenced... more
Method to develop a key change?
I know this question may seem broad, but I am a very mathematical person, I've never had much "ear" for these things. I have a slow tempo song, about 90bpm with a VI - I - IV chord progression for... more
How best to coordinate parts spacing when composing by hand?
Forgive my enactment, but it seems like the easiest way to explain: Let's say, hypothetically, it's a piano piece. I'm on a train, composing on paper, no piano in sight. I have a strong idea for a... more
How am I supposed to go about writing a waltz?
This and other dances in general I have kind of been avoiding for the first 10 years that I composed. But I figured that if I am going to start composing dance music as well as sonatas, symphonies,... more
Audiation: dealing with key changes when you hear in terms of solfege?
So, I'm a musician who believes very much in the value of audiation: that is, not only hearing pitches in my head, but also hearing them in terms of both the current harmony and the current tonal... more
Help in composing music for spa or relaxation?
What are the important elements of harmony, rhythm and orchestration in composing relaxation or spa music?
How to synchronize sustain strings with the rest of the orchestra?
I am trying to write a track that has sustain strings and when I listen to it, it seems to me that the strings are delayed with respect to the rest of the orchestra. Strings have a slower attack... more
I find composing for transposing instruments hard?
So I have gotten into writing orchestral works and I have a bit of a problem. You see, I can transpose, but I am not used to adjusting the notation of the transposition. So if I transpose from C... more
How do I find suitable chords for a melody or a song? Or How do I come up with chord progression?
I have spent some time reading a book that taught me different types of chords and different scales and I understand them very well. But the book didn't really expand on how to actually use these... more