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Blastfrog

How to not suck at composing music?

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So, I want to write music. I have attempted as much, but I feel that I'm pretty far off the mark from making anything that even approaches decent.

 

A lot of people tell me that my music lacks structure and has a lot of dissonance. I actually do like a bit of dissonance and it is (partially) intentional, because I'm going for an energetic yet chaotic/disheveled and creepy atmosphere. I'm writing this music with the intent of it being ambient background music for very surreal maps.

 

The kind of dissonance I'm going for is inspired by Yakfak's midis as well as Chrono Trigger's OST (though the latter is far more subtle about it). Clearly, it comes out sounding awful in my attempts because I barely even know what a key is.

 

I literally know nothing about music theory at all. So I'm creating this thread to ask*, where should I start? Any recommended reading/exercises?

 

*Hopefully it's not an issue making this as a thread instead of as a status update, since this is a subject that I think others may also like to learn about. I chose EE instead of Creative Works because it'll probably get more exposure here than in there, even if it technically fits there better.

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I'm going to give you the clichéd but never-any-less-true "practice makes perfect" answer.

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I'd recommend lightnote and the learningmusic.ableton. Both are free, interactive guides to music theory and composition. Lightnote is more focused on explaining the physics of sound, and how it makes particular scales and harmonies work, whereas Ableton is more focused on rhythm and song structure.

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On 7/14/2017 at 9:24 PM, Blastfrog said:

So, I want to write music. I have attempted as much, but I feel that I'm pretty far off the mark from making anything that even approaches decent.

 

A lot of people tell me that my music lacks structure and has a lot of dissonance. I actually do like a bit of dissonance and it is (partially) intentional, because I'm going for an energetic yet chaotic/disheveled and creepy atmosphere. I'm writing this music with the intent of it being ambient background music for very surreal maps.

 

The kind of dissonance I'm going for is inspired by Yakfak's midis as well as Chrono Trigger's OST (though the latter is far more subtle about it). Clearly, it comes out sounding awful in my attempts because I barely even know what a key is.

 

I literally know nothing about music theory at all. So I'm creating this thread to ask*, where should I start? Any recommended reading/exercises?

 

*Hopefully it's not an issue making this as a thread instead of as a status update, since this is a subject that I think others may also like to learn about. I chose EE instead of Creative Works because it'll probably get more exposure here than in there, even if it technically fits there better.

 

Do lots of drugs and compose while high? That seems to work for a lot of musicians.

 

(Disclaimer: The above statement is a joke.  This shall not be construed as a serious suggestion to the threadstarter or anyone else on Doomworld).

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Don't take inspirations from Limp Bizkit.

 

You should be fine. 

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Attempt to do a remake of something you like. Pick up the patterns you encounter during the writing process (low-to-high/high-to-low note transitions, repeated measures and how they are kept , instruments that work together, etc) and engrave them into your mind.

Attempt to do one yourself, but focus on recreating the patterns you saw before, and use them in your music.

Take a step back and see if you got it now, and them attempt yet another composition, except this time, you choose what you want to do. Who cares if it sucks? Practice makes perfect.

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Continue to grind out tunes.  It took me a long time to make anything I thought was "passable" for music and then some more time to get things where I was happy with the composition and quality of production.  MusicTheory.net was a great resource to me as were YouTube tutorials.  Grinding out a bunch of shitty music and patience will get you where you want to go.

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Thank you, everyone. :)

 

 

Very handy references, I know there's a million tutorials out there, but I figured some are better than others and that other people may know which ones to recommend first. So, again, thanks for that.

 

Some of this is already giving me ideas on how to rework my existing songs.

 

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Do you play any instruments? Honestly the thing that got me into composing was playing guitar and bass for over a decade. 

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11 hours ago, Ajora said:

Don't take inspirations from Limp Bizkit.

 

You should be fine. 

 

What? So you're saying Blastfrog can't have "Faith?"

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I realized I can't always overthink these things when it comes to making music, whether ambient or not. Just enjoy yourself and have fun with it. It's always much better that way. 

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Don't be me.
...

Congrats, you're already halfway through becoming a musician.

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Probably it sucks because: even if the melody sounds awesome in your head, it doesnt sound exactly like that when you make it. You just cant use your programs or you just dont know how to make it. Just take some accurate midi and look at it, how they do it. Ask yourself, how much percent similar is your music vs your imagination.

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Being myself a "musician" or something, I listened your stuff and there is nothing wrong with them. Actually they are pretty cool, with a good texture quality. I think the people criticizing it are being picky or just can't listen to anything that deviates from the norm.

Edited by Noiser

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^ I agree, I have heard a LOT worse stuff by "proper" musicians, midi artists or otherwise. Screw other people's opinions, your opinion about your own stuff is what matters. Remeber most critics know even less about music than you :)

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As someone who composes music for two bands, I always go for a solid beginning, middle and end. The song-structure doesn't need to be that of a traditional pop-song, as long as it has those three things it should flow fairly well. I usually compose a chorus for the middle section, and make that part return maybe once or twice in order to give the listener a feeling of familiarity.

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