composing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Lazorphaze, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Lazorphaze

    Lazorphaze Piano User

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    Feb 3, 2004
    when you want to compose a piece, how do you go about it?
    i want to compose a latin chart for a big band i will be helping out with over the summer, but somehow can't get any ideas. :dontknow: any help?
     
  2. jpkaminga

    jpkaminga Pianissimo User

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    Jul 1, 2004
    Boston
    a piano and emotion, and a pencil and paper of course
    and if its not there then wait awhile and try again, and if you feel it while you're away from the keyboard then run to it as fast as you can, and if you absolutely can't get to a piano then carry a little notepad and write down the intervals and rhythms that pop into your head
    also listen to a whole bunch of a style you wouldn't mind imitating
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    LP,

    Have you ever written anything before?

    ML
     
  4. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    Lazorphase,

    I have to tell you, I think composition one of the greatest skills on earth. Good luck in trying to compose something. I wrote a few pieces for young concert band and was amazed at how hard it is. I have two very good friends who are composers who were really great help during my projects. Try to find someone who has written, or at least arranged, to act as your sounding board as you start composing your piece.
     
  5. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

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    Dec 6, 2003
    Toronto
    There are a number of ways to go about it. Sometimes you begin with a melody and find changes to fit it and then expand it into an arrangement. Other times you'll have worked out a great chord progression and need a melody to fit into it. Sometimes you'll start out with just a concept that you want to realize and work towards it.

    The biggest advice I can give is not to wait for inspiration. Just write and don't be afraid to throw ideas away...they won't all be good ones. :-) Just because you get a great idea once means that another is going to fall into your lap again. You could go weeks, months, or years waiting for inspiration. Fool around on the trumpet or piano to get ideas or just sing them and figure them out with an instrument. Also, don't be afraid to rewrite.

    One thing I learned as I got into larger forms and instrumentation was to create a leadsheet with the chords and melody that I had checked and revised that I was happy with. It really help to have some to refer to and keep consistant. I have some older messy arrangements that vary chords in different choruses and that inconsistancy bugs me now.

    Do you know much about basic jazz theory and chord progressions? I can give a brief tutorial if you like. Keep in mind as you are writing that we are used to hearing chords move in a particular way and following the rules(or guidlines) makes writing faster and easier and makes it more pleasing to the ear. If you want me to I'm pretty sure I can explain chord function, general progression rules, and some really hip substitutions(tritone sub, diminished chords as secondary dominants, triple box theory) in a simple way that'll make writing easier. I can tell you about basic form too, if you like.
     
  6. stewmuse

    stewmuse Pianissimo User

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    Apr 28, 2004
    NW Chicago
    Lazor -
    Composing is a s much a craft as it is artistic inspiration. To be any good, you have to listen and study the styles in which you are interested in composing. From the composition teaching I've done, the students who are unfamiliar with a given genre are the ones who struggle to compose or arrange in that genre.
    LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN to different jazz arrangers and composers and different big bands. Take the small parts of each writer's style you like and then combine them, alter them, reassess them into the music that becomes...
    ©Lazorphase.
     
  7. Just composing anything is relatively easy. All you need to do is fiddle until you get something that sounds good and develop it. Composing in a certain way like ternary or for a specific band is also quite easy for me. What i found hard is composing something specific like a Baroque fanfare for example. I get a lot of inspiration but rarely in the style i need. Sometimes i can convert it but not always. Normally you just have to wait until you get hit by some more inspiration.
     
  8. stewmuse

    stewmuse Pianissimo User

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    Apr 28, 2004
    NW Chicago
    Sorry, but the best way to NOT be a composer is to "just wait for inspiration."
    You admit you can't copy specific styles. That's because you're "waiting" for the skill and technique to happen. It takes study and practice, too.

    Gee... kinda like trumpet.
     
  9. fatpauly

    fatpauly Pianissimo User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Ellicott City, Maryland
    Not the only way, of course, but one way I have composed is:

    1. Map out the basic sections in bars or phrases. Like INTRO-VERSE-VERSE-CHORUS-VERSE-CHORUS-BRIDGE-VERSE-CHORUS-EXIT.

    2. Lay down the rhythm track(s).

    3. Figure out the chords, melody(s), and harmonies.

    4. Start recording part by part.

    Generally, I am not writing music which is note-for-note transcribed, but I don't think it is too hard to move from chords to individual parts. Some of my best works have been collaborations with musicians who come up with their own solo lines, so then it is just a question of filling in the supporting harmonies and counterpoints.

    Also, some of the best stuff has come from just jamming for a while until a groove gets to gel and starts to stand on its own. Since I mostly work from the recorder as scratchpad school, it is important to have the recording capturing everything then editing and getting basic structure later.

    Hope this helps. You might look into some loop sequencing software like Sony Acid or Apple Garageband to help you lay out basic parts and construct the tunes.

    - Paul Artola
    Ellicott City, Maryland
     
  10. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    LP,

    I'd still like to know: have you ever written anything before?

    ML
     

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