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Any Tips on Writing Instrumentals?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by RnR Nolan, Feb 12, 2018 at 2:00 AM.

  1. mjark

    mjark Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 15, 2015
    Maryland
    I figured Fezz would respond. The fundamentals of music make it so much easier, it's not as if you have follow them to letter either but it's not really breaking a rule if you're ignorant, it's dumb luck, if it works.

    If you write a melody you're also defining the chords that it implies.

    A chord pattern leaves more melodic choices open.
     

  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    :)
     
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  3. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dumb luck is my middle name.
     
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  4. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    I like Kevin's suggestion about the two chord vamp. Really makes you work. Or 1 chord like this one. Its from the old improv challenges here on ST.


     

  5. Bladesg

    Bladesg Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 31, 2013
    Australia
    95% of the time I've heard the song/melody inside my head, then transpose it to guitar or keys. From there it sometimes gains some momentum through improvisation. Sometimes it junk....
     
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  6. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir Most Honored Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2013
    northeastern usa
    Start with surf music, then move on to jazz...
    or was that the other way around?


    Either way, there's a gold mine in there!
     
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  7. RnR Nolan

    RnR Nolan Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    18
    55
    Sep 5, 2017
    Chandler, AZ
    Thanks for your input.

    I certainly don't do that enough. I really need to hear the music before I play it. Currently, I just improvise it as I go and I end up scrapping almost all of it...
     
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  8. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    Frankly, what you are all discussing is how to compose music.

    Knowing basic (and not-so-basic) theory helps, but there's more to writing music than just knowing some scales, chords, and having a cool riff or two.

    So the first principle is tension and release. Too much tension, the music is edgy and hard to listen to; not enough tension and the music is boring.

    There are many ways to get the tension/release thing happening, and that's where some formal study of composition helps.

    Developing an idea is part of this - sure it's a good riff or idea, but how do you make it interesting for several minutes?

    Then there is form, the putting together of parts of musical ideas into a pattern; orchestration, knowing how instruments sound together, and so on.

    Just a few ideas about writing music...but let's face it, I'm prejudiced to the trained composer, having a Master's in music composition from the University of New Orleans. I think this is an area one needs to study, very few people can write music well with zero training.

    An example of some of my instrumental music:







     

  9. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Here are some youngsters that have near zero training who write almost exclusively instrumental music.



    Whether it's your cup of tea or not, it's music. :D
     
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  10. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chon_(band)

    I find it hard to believe that these musicians had "near zero training".

    http://www.chonofficial.com/

    https://www.mobilemusicteacher.com/mario-camarena-san-diego-guitar-teacher

    "Correct practice is everything when it comes to guitar. What my students put into their instruments will be what they will get out of those instruments. I focus on proper technique, versatile application, and lots of Rhythm and Timing! "

    sounds like some training to me!

    "Mario Camarena picked up a guitar for the first time at age 13 and began taking lessons a year later with fellow instructor Seth Hollander. He had so much fun with the instrument initially that he often devoted up to 12 hours a day practicing and studying theory."
     
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  11. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter


  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Schooled. :)
     
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  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    And the "Rhythm" changes, the iii/VI/ii/V....
     
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  14. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oh well.
     
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  15. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    I was very lucky. Not only did I have a great guitar teacher, my music composition teacher lived in my house. He took music composition from Miklos Rosza at USC. He was pretty good at it too.

    My Dad:



    He still takes me to school every time I listen to him. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 8:52 AM

  16. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir Most Honored Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2013
    northeastern usa
    Thank you for bursting that bubble.
    You can't play like the CHON boys unless you actually know your stuff,
    both on the instrument (technique) and away from it (functional harmony).
     
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  17. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Dec 6, 2016
    Massachusetts
    I usually discover the melody on the fretboard, as if it was always there waiting for me to find it.

    What works for one person might not for another. To each his own.
     
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  18. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 22, 2010
    Germany
    I wish I had a recipe for making instrumentals - I would never stop.
    But great advice here, mostly appreciated. You guys rock \m/

    All the best,
    Robin
     
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  19. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Dec 6, 2016
    Massachusetts
    I've already mastered those two. It's that other thing I have to keep working on constantly.
     
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  20. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Ruinsofahero 3 points 3 years ago

    Absolutely love your music! My questions are do you guys have any formal training in music? Did you study music theory?

    CHONofficial[S] 15 points 3 years ago

    we learned via the internet and sethmetal.com

    Myoue 3 points 3 years ago

    How did you guys learned guitar ?

    CHONofficial[S] 3 points 3 years ago

    we just learned from tabs and youtube and stuff. also, our friend / mentor Seth Hollander sethmetal.com
     
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