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what can I do to write better music?

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Thread replies: 15
Thread images: 2

hi /adv/,

I'm an amateur songwriter and I love music. I want to have more depth and intricacy in the songs I write (instead of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-etc).
I listen to songs like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqOKYOhUYx0 and love how all the instruments are playing different counter-rhythms and melodies but they all fit. When I try to do imitate this I get a train-wreck of a song.

how can I improve on this? I listen to a lot of music like this, but I can't seem to ever write music like this. My "boring" (for lack of a better word) aren't terrible to listen too, but I want to write more interesting music. I realize this is kind of an open-ended question, but I would appreciate any advice at all.

cheers!
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>>16934416
by having talent ?
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File: lebensrune.jpg (27KB, 250x378px) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
lebensrune.jpg
27KB, 250x378px
An intimate knowledge on music theory helps. Just write some stuff and post on mu, see what they think. Granted most will be shit posts but any criticism should be helpful and most will tell you that practice makes perfect.
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>>16934416
Quick question: can you read music?
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Steal from all your favorite musicians
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>>16934433
i would like to think the riffs I do come up with aren't bad, it's just layering them to make something more complex.

>>16934434
I probably should study more theory, I learned a bunch in high school but got side-tracked when it came to chords.

>>16934439
Yes

>>16934442
while that is a possibility, I'd rather understand the process rather than just straight copying

thanks for the replies all
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>>16934439
Actually forget this.

Okay, from listening to the song I think I know of ways to help you out. Keep these things in mind

>Simplicity
Start simple. This song sounds more complex than it really is. The guitar chunking is the same rhythm for the most part. The singer sings on the same note for the most part, and the guitar(s) that are playing the riffs are building upon simple motives to make their melodies.
>register
You have low chunking, singer in mid range, and the upper guitars singing way up there. That reduces interference between lines. Rule of thumb, the lower you go, the more space you need between instruments. The higher you go, the closer you can bring them.
>Direction
Where are the voices going? You can have one instrument repeating a single not or chord, and occasionally move somewhere else, you can have one voice move up, one move down
>Rhythms
You can have short rhythms, long rhythms, fast rhythms against slow rhythms, on the beat vs. syncopated. You can have one instrument that plays constantly, and another that splays sparingly
>Contour
This goes along with direction. You can have one voice moving by step-wise motion, and another doing massive leaps, or arpeggios
>Color
This is getting a bit less technical, but maybe have some lines emphasize minor sounds, and another voice emphasize major sounds, or you can do one voice having lots of consonance, and another using lots of dissonance

Mix and match these. Maybe one line is arpeggiating really dissonant chords, rapidly up and down the neck, and another line is staying within a single octave, playing a more melodic line with more flowing notes that's much less active. The goal is to make each line independent.

One more tidbit: give things space. If there's a part that you want to bring out, then the other lines have to come back in some way. Maybe the arpeggios can hold a high note while the melodic line does some little fill. Also, call and response is a cool thing to do with your music.
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When asked in an interview where the inspiration for his ideas came from Francis Bacon the painter replied that inspiration for his work came less from flashes of genius and more from regular hard work. Sometimes you have to go through the motions and produce work that is quite substandard, mediocre and frankly inspired in order to provide a base for those times when you really shine.
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>>16934581
Frankly uninspired
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>>16934489
oh wow this is really helpful thanks anon, I have a couple questions.

>simplicity
so the instruments are expanding on the same motifs every time they come around again? I should work to expand on the idea rather than trying to write more parts?

>register
the reason my songs are sounding like a train-wreck is because I'm not giving enough room for the instruments? they fighting for the same octave range?

>rhythms
so when I want to establish a counter rhythm I need to juxtapose the different types of rhythm?

thanks again, this is really helpful. I apppreciate the response.
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>>16934584
>so the instruments are expanding on the same motifs every time they come around again? I should work to expand on the idea rather than trying to write more parts?
Yes. Take a simple idea. It can be a melodic gesture, a rhythmic pattern, or whatever, and just play around with it. Get a simple riff going in the background, and play around with your motive. Try to stretch your usage of. Like, exhaust every possibility you can think of, good, bad, or indifferent. This is a good way to build melodies in general
>the reason my songs are sounding like a train-wreck is because I'm not giving enough room for the instruments? they fighting for the same octave range?
I don't know, but if they are fighting for the same octave range, that could lead to a lot of interference.
>so when I want to establish a counter rhythm I need to juxtapose the different types of rhythm?
That's one thing you can do. Another thing you can do is call and response, or simply filling in the empty space. If you've got one line that has a chunk of emptiness, try having another instrument fill in the space over top. You don't have to fill in every gap, but if it sounds like "hey, this four second bit sounds kinda dead" you might want to have one of the other instruments do something

These are just ideas to get you started. The only one who can really remedy your music is you. I'm just handing you some tools to help you work it out
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>>16934613
yeah yeah, for sure, I realize you can't just tell someone how to be better at music.

I'll definitely play around with these tools you're suggesting. thanks so much, I'm feeling inspired so I'm going to go work on some ideas I have kicking around.
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>>16934416
The president! Hahahaha
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focus more on the core of your song. be able to play through it with just one instrument and still get the idea of the overall feeling of the song. find solid ground and then build upwards.
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Just write to I V vi IV and you are sure to write a hit song. I i this with my special ed students to get them to memorize their addresses and other simple, but important, stuff.
Thread posts: 15
Thread images: 2


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