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Author Topic: About Making Music.  (Read 15289 times)
the captain
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« Reply #75 on: July 10, 2010, 03:58:24 PM »

Hey look, this thread is back. And here's why: I could go for some advice as to how to handle a few bars of music. A 4/4 andante tempo tune, currently being banged out in block chords, verse in Dmaj, which is where I'm resolving with the refrain. I like the first four bars of the refrain, but then after that I can't decide how I want to answer/end it. Thoughts? Refrain atm starts: Bbmaj7 ' ' G-7 / C7 ' ' ' / Fmaj7 ' ' ' / ' ' ' ' / G-7 ' ' G7/D  / A-7/C ' ' ' / A7 ' ' ' / B7 ' ' ' / Bbmaj7 ' '' / C7 ' ' ' / Dmaj7 ' ' ' .
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the captain
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« Reply #76 on: July 10, 2010, 04:45:09 PM »

This is a very hasty recording of what I'm talking about. The chord pattern outlined above begins at about :20 and the part I really am uncomfortable begins around :30. But when I do anything other than what's there, I end up rewriting what's there. (btw, forgive lack of sound quality. I literally did zero mic setup or anything, just turned things on where they were and banged it out to give you the idea.) http://www.sendspace.com/file/vfijmg
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« Reply #77 on: July 12, 2010, 11:32:15 AM »

To me as soon as you get to the B section it starts to sound more and more pro forma, and it leads you up a tonal ladder you can't get down from.  How about changing the root to create parallel movement downward, and then going for a slightly more bluesy sound?  Like this (one bar each unless otherwise noted):

Bbmaj7 --  C7/G -- Ebmaj7 -- C7sus4add2 // C7 // -- (repeat 2x) (any variation of C7 would work for the last bar, the sus add 2 just sounds good and in line with the other chords you're using)

To me that's a really good progression that you can hang almost any kind of a hook on, it's sophisticated but easy to grasp, and it should lead easily back into the A section.
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« Reply #78 on: July 12, 2010, 01:00:22 PM »

RANDOM....

In the song 'Little Honda', right when Mike starts to sing, an electric guitar comes in...it sounds palm-muted...it comes in right at the 3-4 second mark. I've tried a lot of things, but haven't been able to properly emulate it. Does anyone know how to make this sound?
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« Reply #79 on: July 12, 2010, 04:21:19 PM »

To me as soon as you get to the B section it starts to sound more and more pro forma, and it leads you up a tonal ladder you can't get down from.  How about changing the root to create parallel movement downward, and then going for a slightly more bluesy sound?  Like this (one bar each unless otherwise noted):

Bbmaj7 --  C7/G -- Ebmaj7 -- C7sus4add2 // C7 // -- (repeat 2x) (any variation of C7 would work for the last bar, the sus add 2 just sounds good and in line with the other chords you're using)

To me that's a really good progression that you can hang almost any kind of a hook on, it's sophisticated but easy to grasp, and it should lead easily back into the A section.
Good idea, Adam, thanks. I'll play around with that idea and see what develops. (The world's first Hermanson/Marsland...  Smokin LOL )
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the captain
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« Reply #80 on: August 27, 2010, 04:48:15 PM »

I just picked up on the 2-year-old beginnings of a re-recording of a nearly 10-year-old song of mine. Feel me breathing down your neck, Jardine? Do ya? Anyway, I drummed a bit this evening, and roughly mixed that. Later tonight or tomorrow I'm guessing there is some redoing of bass, some piano, more background vocals, possibly a new lead vocal, and a mix in store. Hopefully I'll finish and post it Saturday.
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« Reply #81 on: August 27, 2010, 05:14:50 PM »

I just picked up on the 2-year-old beginnings of a re-recording of a nearly 10-year-old song of mine. Feel me breathing down your neck, Jardine? Do ya?

you son of a bitch Luther, i nearly dropped my laptop after reading that  LOL  LOL  LOL
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All roads lead to Kokomo. Exhaustive research in time travel has conclusively proven that there is no alternate universe WITHOUT Kokomo. It would've happened regardless.
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« Reply #82 on: August 29, 2010, 12:13:15 PM »

Spent some time doing some drum-recording, and another hour or two wading through it to edit together a usable track. Yes, my actions are no doubt against some of those more vocal folks in the "TLOS Sound Quality" thread who supplemented their brickwalling complaints with criticisms of sampling, editing, and presumably the light bulb itself. But I believe in separation of recording and performance. As long as it isn't presented as a live event, why should it be assumed to be one (or be valued more greatly for being one)? Anyway, hopefully in the next day or two I'll be doing the other tracks--and unlike with drums, I am fully capable of performing those parts!--and will post the results on this forum.
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« Reply #83 on: September 24, 2010, 06:09:06 AM »

Time for a little revive, i think.

Have recently found a bass amp that my uni chucked out, but own no bass, have been asked to soundtrack a friends production of The Snow Queen despite never having done such an act before, am in possession of a strange compulsion to do a 'Variations On California Girls' orchestral piece, and have an albums worth of slightly finished tunes that if i find time between all the above, my course, my acting, and my drinking I'll finish completely.

With regards to the soundtracking business, has anyone here tried doing this sort of thing? I'm kind of worried it's going to be a lot harder than it seems.

Also, i found I have no compulsion to write songs anymore... this worries me a little. I'm putting it down to stress, but still.

What's everyone else been up to lately?
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All roads lead to Kokomo. Exhaustive research in time travel has conclusively proven that there is no alternate universe WITHOUT Kokomo. It would've happened regardless.
What is this "life" thing you speak of ?

Quote from: Al Jardine
Syncopate it? In front of all these people?!
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« Reply #84 on: September 30, 2010, 09:04:54 AM »

About five years ago my neighbor was putting on a production of Duck Variations by Mamet in Portland and asked me to record some music for between scenes and during the intermission. Basically all I did was come up with three or four musical themes, or feels as Bri likes to call them, and recorded variations of them. I then added an unfinished backing track or two from a recording project i was working on and lastly, my neighbor came over and we recorded 'wildlife' sounds (the play takes place in a park) which was very SMiLE-like and fun. Voila, forty minutes of incidental music. I recommend it very much.
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« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2011, 07:39:48 PM »

Maybe it's that winter here makes it hard to do much else, but in the past few weeks I've gotten going again with some music. As a nice little bonus, I came across a pair of notebooks full of songs, some of which I had entirely forgotten, others of which I sort-of remembered, but not necessarily in detail. Not to say it's a goldmine, but it is a welcome memory-jog. The tune I posted today, "Letters (Please Come Home)," is one of those. I don't know how many of them I'll record, but whatever. Anything to spur some musical thought, I guess.
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« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2011, 08:42:31 PM »

Maybe it's that winter here makes it hard to do much else, but in the past few weeks I've gotten going again with some music. As a nice little bonus, I came across a pair of notebooks full of songs, some of which I had entirely forgotten, others of which I sort-of remembered, but not necessarily in detail. Not to say it's a goldmine, but it is a welcome memory-jog. The tune I posted today, "Letters (Please Come Home)," is one of those. I don't know how many of them I'll record, but whatever. Anything to spur some musical thought, I guess.

I've started keeping notebooks of musical ideas/chords/lyrics/thoughts/quotes. It's amazing how all this stuff can add up to a song. I work landscaping...Since landscaping is normally done in the warmer months I have a lot of down-time in the winter, so I've been writing music like crazy these last few months.

Your song is sounds VERY 'Friends' influenced! Love the happy-sound/chord changes! The lyrics are sad but the instrumentals are very happy sounding - nice balance!
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I'm completely willing to learn about the Beach Boys!
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« Reply #87 on: January 16, 2011, 10:50:57 AM »

Thanks (about the song). While Friends is definitely one of my favorite records, I can't say I ever would have made that connection. I wrote it before I had heard Friends, I think...maybe around the same time. Regarding keeping notebooks, it can get insane. I forget things entirely, which is just as well, since if I remembered them, I struggle to find them. Rewriting songs, or combining bits of different songs, or deconstructing them, makes it harder still to keep track. I think I find what I'm after only to find it's the wrong version.
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the captain
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« Reply #88 on: January 29, 2011, 09:57:40 AM »

I am not at all a gear-head or collector of any sort. But today I'm a little giddy: I bought a Martin D-35, easily the best acoustic guitar (hell, the best guitar, period) I have ever owned. I learned on my dad's old (late '50s D-18, I think, though he doesn't have it anymore so I am guessing) Martin, and they have always been my preference for acoustics. I've got another one, a cheaper, acoustic-electric cutaway, but this is another league.
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« Reply #89 on: January 29, 2011, 01:48:16 PM »

I wish i could get a new electric. But dammit, i have to do boring things like eat and pay rent.

Have recently moved my entire kit and caboodle up to London, so now I pretty much have a home studio! Kind of excited. Have also been reunited with my keyboard, which i hadn't used in months. All i need to do is get this cursed degree out the way and i can start making a record....
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All roads lead to Kokomo. Exhaustive research in time travel has conclusively proven that there is no alternate universe WITHOUT Kokomo. It would've happened regardless.
What is this "life" thing you speak of ?

Quote from: Al Jardine
Syncopate it? In front of all these people?!
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« Reply #90 on: February 17, 2011, 03:30:01 PM »

Any drummers who may feel like drumming on some of my songs, pm me. May want to check out some of the stuff from that "friggin bunch of..." thread to get a feel for what I'd be after. No intention of doing anything more with the results than what I do with them now, but I'm certainly open to negotiations as to compensation.
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« Reply #91 on: February 17, 2011, 07:17:56 PM »

If I played drums, I'd be happy to help!

The somewhat plagiaristic music I have recently made for the production of Romeo & Juliet I am in right now..... Us Beach Boys fans might recognise The Capulet Party music.

http://www.mediafire.com/?em3cqczznj51pnj
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All roads lead to Kokomo. Exhaustive research in time travel has conclusively proven that there is no alternate universe WITHOUT Kokomo. It would've happened regardless.
What is this "life" thing you speak of ?

Quote from: Al Jardine
Syncopate it? In front of all these people?!
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« Reply #92 on: February 20, 2011, 04:22:36 PM »

I'm not sure if anyone cares what I have to say, but here goes!

When I am writing a song I try to clear my mind completely and sit down at my piano. Then I hit just one note.

After hitting this one note I like to have a melody come to my mind.

After hearing the melody I then figure out what kind of chord to make over the note (major, minor, 7th, 9th, augmented, diminished, or a major or minor 7th with a wild, unexpected bass note)

and from there I just try to figure out the usual 3 or 4 song chord structure based on my melody in my head.

Next I try to write a bridge by using the opposite chord as my first chord (for example if my verse started with C major, my bridge will start with A minor), although this is obviously not a LAW.

From there, depending on how much energy I have I will write a completely different section of the song using just the melody and then try to bring in the original chord structure underneath it with some extra instruments and melodies, just to make the song's finish more epic.

I have done this technique probably 50 times.
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« Reply #93 on: February 20, 2011, 04:58:05 PM »

I've been listening to your 'Isn't It Nice To Be Loved' album a bit lately. I really like the melodies in it - My favorites from it: Solving Problems For You, Change Is Hard, Outside In The Sun is such a fun melody! She Tells Me No, Making it Tough, thirteen - friggin' love that song. It really is a great album.

I also love that the songs are really short in length...but each packs a good sized punch.

Have any plans for a future album?
______

Anywho, on to my futile musical ventures:

I'm trying with all my might to stay away from the 4 chord structure. I've also been finding jazz chords to substitute regular chords in my music.

For my latest project I've been listening to A LOT of Smile songs for inspiration. I just wrote one in the spirit of 'Wonderful' - even including plucking violin strings.

Also been listening to some Gershwin for melody inspiration. I think it was a recent Brian Wilson quote where he said he was disappointed where music had gone these days - he hoped that more artists would be experimenting with better melodies - and they are not. I totally agree with him. Am to F to C to G (which I have used immensely) is the most overused chord progression ever in history.

I hope to have some of my most recent music up sometime soon to share with you all.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 04:59:52 PM by rab2591 » Logged

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I'm completely willing to learn about the Beach Boys!
You can't handle the truth !  Grin
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« Reply #94 on: March 12, 2011, 10:09:48 AM »

I'm waking up again a little bit musically, beginning to write some new tunes and identifying several older, never properly recorded ones to work on and get out of the way. (Five of those at the moment, actually, with no more than one or two of them having been posted here in demo form, I don't think.) Kind of psyched.
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« Reply #95 on: March 13, 2011, 05:13:52 PM »

That's good to hear!

I have been doing the opposite, actually. But it's not like I haven't been busy with other things, acting, working, etc. But the music has gone by the wayside for now, which is a shame. I'm just not very motivated. This might come from living with much better/successful musicians than me.
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All roads lead to Kokomo. Exhaustive research in time travel has conclusively proven that there is no alternate universe WITHOUT Kokomo. It would've happened regardless.
What is this "life" thing you speak of ?

Quote from: Al Jardine
Syncopate it? In front of all these people?!
the captain
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« Reply #96 on: April 03, 2011, 08:15:33 AM »

I like this from a John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) interview with Mother Jones. The context is, he's talking about how he has been relatively prolific, doing something like an album a year for however long.
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[W]hile writing is a mystical process, it's also work. If you show up to work five days in a row, nobody's going to pat you on the back—everyone does that. Well, do that with your writing. Just show up. Be there for it. When you get an idea, write it down somewhere and then be a steward of that idea.
It fits in with my de-romanticized view of writing, and of music. Not that there is nothing that feels other-worldly sometimes, both in process and result, but that you can't get caught up in the mumbo-jumbo of magic. You write. There are words, there are chords, there are notes, there are rhythms. Like Lou Reed always says Andy Warhol told him, "just work."
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the captain
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« Reply #97 on: April 03, 2011, 08:20:56 AM »

Damn, same interview (found at http://motherjones.com/media/2011/03/john-darnielle-mountain-goats-all-eternals-deck%20 by the way) also just happens to have a line that's extremely relevant to this board in general. A good thing to keep in mind. (Bolding my own; left in the rest because it's a nice piece of context.)
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My stepfather was also really active in the left; I learned to be compassionate about the struggle of disenfranchised people from him. I tried to put some of the tenderness of things we went through on the last song of Sunset Tree, but it's only the last song of that album. And the thing is, when a person teaches you those values and also abuses your family, it's a hard thing. It's weird, and it's hard to explain, in song or elsewhere. The best way to explain it is families are extraordinarily complex units, and everyone in a family is probably going to be a hero and a villain at the same time.[/quote
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« Reply #98 on: April 11, 2011, 04:04:40 PM »

Have been going 'to work' lately, on some segues for another show at Brighton Festival in May. Dealing with non-musical types is difficult when trying to nail down what they want, but it's all 'orchestral' stuff - string quartets, clarinets, that sort of thing.

Have also, in an intriguing turn of events, started to get involved in a friends film project which would involve me writing four part harmonies. Time to put my BB's obsession to good use!  Grin

Am also trying to get some other project off the ground in the style of The Point! - A fairytale album, i suppose, with none of the trappings of crappy concept albums. My friend is writing a story, unfinished as of now, but it's hard to get across exactly what I want and it's a little tenative right now. Only written one bit of music, which is a little Bacharach style chord progression. Am away from my piano for a month, and by god do I miss it  Cry

What's up with everyone else?
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All roads lead to Kokomo. Exhaustive research in time travel has conclusively proven that there is no alternate universe WITHOUT Kokomo. It would've happened regardless.
What is this "life" thing you speak of ?

Quote from: Al Jardine
Syncopate it? In front of all these people?!
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« Reply #99 on: April 12, 2011, 03:08:30 PM »

Have also, in an intriguing turn of events, started to get involved in a friends film project which would involve me writing four part harmonies. Time to put my BB's obsession to good use!  Grin

(...)

What's up with everyone else?

Please do keep us updated on your score for the film. Sounds like an interesting project. Do you write out harmonies for songs others have written or do you start from scratch making oroginal music on your own for your friend?

Speaking of four part harmonies, myself and the three other guys in the Surf School Dropouts (http://www.reverbnation.com/surfschooldropouts) have been rehearsing Graduation Day these last couple of weeks. Those harmonies in the chorus are really tricky and take a lot of getting used to. We finally got the final chorus, the most complex one, right tonight after much blood, sweat & tears.  Grin

As for our own stuff, we recently completed this song:

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_7842920
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