#1
I think all musicians, maybe everyone, must experience some degree of original music writing itself in thier head at times (or am I wrong?). My question is twofold: When and how often does this happen to you? And are you able to translate it, to some degree or another, to your instrument or to paper?

For me, I usually get it most powerfully as I drift off to sleep. Strangely it almost never seems to be guitar stuff. A trumpet and violin duet? WTF? Sadly I don't think I'll ever be able to make it real - certainly not in its pure form - its too complex and quick-shifting. It's better than anything I'll ever write with a guitar in my hand, also.

Another question - is it the hallmark of all musical geniuses to be able not just to concieve of this stuff, but make it a reality?
#2
never happenned to me.. i cant write anything,
i`m just a guitar player.
the music i hear in my head is not mine.
would love that to happen one day though
#3
When I play I sometimes make something up and think to my self: "Wow that's good". And then the next day I've forgotten all about it.... Sucks!
#4
I suck at writing stuff, but this happens to me lots. Then when I try to play it, it sounds nowhere near as good as it did in my head.
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#6
I can imagine some riffs that sucks and solos that would be awesome, but I can't turn them on paper or guitar. That happens when I'm listening some music or when I'm improvising on my guitar or bass. Same stuff with the lyrics (turning them on paper is amezingly hard, too).
#7
Whenever I let my mind wander - normally in meetings at work lol. Its rare that I can remember anything long enough to write it down though. I do find my mind carries on noodling for a couple of hours after I've been jamming, and sometimes some of that sticks for next time.

It never used to happen - when I was younger I was convinced I was in no way creative, as I could never come up with anything original. I guess life helps. So you guys that think you can't write - don't worry there's hope yet
#8
Yes, I remember it happening as early as July of 2008. I have to record it as quickly as possible or I'll forget it. Most of the time the songs/riffs come to me as I'm about to fall asleep and I end up recording them anyway even if it is as late as 3 AM. They turn out really good too, I'm quite pleased with the results when a riff comes to me.
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#9
I hear incredibly complex and beautiful music in my head and one of my goals is to be able to transcribe at least a little bit of it. I'm not even close at this point.
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#10
Yes i hear music in my head constantly and ESPECIALLY if a rhythm section of something is playing..then it really goes nuts with all the other instruments in my head you know. Trumpets galore.
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#11
this happens to me constantly daily. sometimes an interesting rhythm will pop up in my head and eventually notes start filling in the rhythm. sometimes i just hear a melody line or a riff, sometimes i hear an entire song beginning to end.

generally i can put just about anything i imagine to my guitar as long as its not composed entirely of sicka$$ jason becker insanity sweeps.
#12
I have dreams about playing beautiful music on my guitar in space. My goal is to one day write some of it down.
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#13
Quote by Beserker

Another question - is it the hallmark of all musical geniuses to be able not just to concieve of this stuff, but make it a reality?


I'm going to have to say yes to that. When you can play what you hear in your head, it's free from any restrictions you might have if you wrote something based on theory or the limitations of your playing.
#14
Every night this happens. Guitar solos are going the whole time on and on in my head. Most of the times I have watched some vids on youtube, and I improvise on what I heard, in my mind. I think that if I manage to learn the fretboard REALLY well, I'll be able to translate all this stuff there, since now I have some very basic knwoledge of music theory and the notes on the fretboard. The day I reach the point where I'll be able to play what I think is when I'll be totally satisfied by myself as a guitarist
#15
Happens quite a bit to me, and... this may sound odd... but apparently I'm an 'extremely' talented whistler and tapper. So basically, what ever I hear in my head, even if there are two or more instruments... I never have difficulty 'performing' it right away with whistles, hums, 'grunts' and percussion.

p.s. for those wondering what a 'talented' whistler can do, I can hit every high and low... I can do extremely fast riffs, I can whistle two different tones at once (overtones), I can whistle just as well breathing in as out... and most of all... I'm very precise and clean. This coupled with hums, 'grunts' and on the spot percussion means I can replicate most songs with just my body... and 'create' songs on the spot from my mind. I usually have an 'impromtu' version recorder first... then I figure it out on guitar...
#16
I had it really strong last night as I lay in bed. Extraordinarily complex classical and later jazz (I'm sorry if that sounds boastful but that's how it was lol)

Some observations -

- It was possible to influence the general flow of the music if I thought about it, but only simple things like making the melody ascend or descend. If I tried to force a new melody, it would quickly dissipate. Otherwise it seemed to continue on autoplay.

- It changed too damn quick for any single meolody or harmony to really make a memorable imprint. By the second there seemed to be new stuff getting introduced and old stuff disappearing.

- Some time after it had turned into jazz, the voice of Homer Simpson started scatting along with the solos, and wouldn't go away! It was really quite hilarious hahaha


Quote by Ganphra
I never have difficulty 'performing' it right away with whistles, hums, 'grunts' and percussion.

I don't suppose there's any chance of a recording?
#17
happens to me allllllll the time, but its usually electronic music (probably cuz i listen to more of it)

sometimes i'll have like a 4 or 8 bar pattern in my head and spend hours and hours trying to translate it onto the comp, sometimes its just too difficult though, the noises are too damn random!
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#18
I used to have a problem with that in high school because I could never translate anything I came up with in my head into reality. I majored in music in college though and had to take a lot of ear training...and that coupled with all the experience I have playing now usually helps me figure out pretty much anything that comes to mind. The only problem I have is if I come up with something that involves more than one instrument, say guitar and piano...I don't know which one to go to first because I'm afraid I'll forget parts
#19
I had a brilliant piece playing in my head the other night as I was going to sleep. I unfortunately forgot it. If I was able to write it all down, it would have sounded fantastic in person.
#20
Quote by Beserker
I think all musicians, maybe everyone, must experience some degree of original music writing itself in thier head at times (or am I wrong?). My question is twofold: When and how often does this happen to you? And are you able to translate it, to some degree or another, to your instrument or to paper?

For me, I usually get it most powerfully as I drift off to sleep. Strangely it almost never seems to be guitar stuff. A trumpet and violin duet? WTF? Sadly I don't think I'll ever be able to make it real - certainly not in its pure form - its too complex and quick-shifting. It's better than anything I'll ever write with a guitar in my hand, also.

Another question - is it the hallmark of all musical geniuses to be able not just to concieve of this stuff, but make it a reality?


If you compose during the twilight time (before you go to sleep and just before you wake up) then that is a good thing. Albeit in the head, its still fantastic. A few months down the line you'll actually write it down or record it. The psyche works with different laws to man, has its own timetable when things can form. Its nature, don't fight it. At least accept the idea that u can't get it down now, but soon you will and you will find stuff happening at its own pace.

Just before you wake is the best time it will be remembered and you can hum the piece into your phone or dictaphone before the waking mind says "Hey, I need coffee first and I'm not gonna let you remember anymore before that"... Hopefully this made sense to you, if not, at least I tried.

The genius inside of you will make it a reality (if nature allows, that is) and even better, will make that trumpet and violin into guitar sections that would sound awesome. It also happens to be a memory thing... if you have a strong memory you will be able to remember strong snippets of it before the whole piece comes to fruition.

Feel blessed that its the composing in your head and not the melody/solo you've just recorded, playing through your sleep cos its so infectious. Come to think of it, thats a good thing cos then it'll be in other peoples heads too. But its irritating.

Anyway, I hope I brought some clarity to the composing mind.
#21
I try to do this when I haven't a guitar with me. I imagine melodies with more than one instruments. I never tried to write something down though. That's something I have to work on in the future.
#22
I get this really strong when I'm drifting to sleep, too. Drifting to sleep is a very weird state of mind.. i've had experiences where I'm not sure if I was half asleep or half awake or something, but its like your mind is in a dream state but you're still conscious of your body. i'd be paralysed but still aware, and what I guess was the dream part of it were demons flying around my room but I couldn't even open my mouth to scream or anything.. in those same states crazy music comes to me, too.

what I love about hearing music in those states is that it's a whole different perception of it. Kind of like being on a hallucinogen (I've had experiences) where things your senses pick up on are associated with completely different things. certain melodies actually speak to me without saying words, and there's like scenes or atmospheres that become really vivid that are attached to certain phrases.
I think we all have some kind of musical genius, it's just hidden behind the barriers of our everyday consciousness. or it's just about perceiving things differently. maybe some people are lucky enough to have their brains 'hard-wired' like that, due to experiences as a child.
#23
"I don't suppose there's any chance of a recording? "

Haha, oh you :P

I'm thinking that quote deserves a spot in my sig!
#24
Yeah this kind of thing happens to me almost anytime I'm doing anything that doesn't require much brainpower. At night when I'm trying to go to sleep, in the shower, doing dishes, riding passenger in a car, walking the dog or whatever. It's like my brain occupies itself with music when it's got nothing else to do.

Usually if I come up with something I like I'll keep repeating it over and over until it's firmly stuck in my head, rush to the nearest guitar, figure out what's going on, then stick it in guitar pro for safe keeping.

This kind of stuff always seems to turn out quite a bit better than any of the music I've intentionally written.
#25
Because jazz music is so heavily improvisational, it is the ultimate goal of the serious jazz musician to eventually be able to play the music in their head on the spot, no matter the complexity and intricacy. I'm talking about professionals that practice eight hours a day. If you work hard enough, one day you can share the music in your head.
#26
Quote by Nietsche
I have dreams about playing beautiful music on my guitar in space. My goal is to one day write some of it down.


THERES NO SOUND IN SPACE, /dreams.
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#27
Quote by Ninjake
THERES NO SOUND IN SPACE, /dreams.
THERES NO SOUND WHEN i'M SLAMMING YOU'RE FACE INTO A COMPUTER SCREEN AFTER SLICING YOUR EARS OFF. Seriously it was only about 3 times. And in rerospect it wasn't that great
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#28
Quote by Nietsche
THERES NO SOUND WHEN i'M SLAMMING YOU'RE FACE INTO A COMPUTER SCREEN AFTER SLICING YOUR EARS OFF. Seriously it was only about 3 times. And in rerospect it wasn't that great


Uh, yeah there is.

I usually start hearing music in my head when I'm waiting for something without listening to music, usually it starts with piano or guitar and then I start adding different instruments in. Sometimes it isn't too cool when I start adding them though 'cause it kinda takes away the feeling and the whole music turns to ****.
But when it doesn't take away the "feeling" every instrument that I add starts doing their own thing and I dont need to think about them, usually I take control of guitar though
Its really hard to describe how it feels.

But man I wish I would hear my original music in my dream. Nowadays whenever I remember a dream I've been looking for a guitar... Would be cool if I just saw a guitar or knew what guitar I was looking for..!
#29
I can often hear music in my head. I am one of those people who are very creative, at least musically and lyrically (thats a word, right?), but i can never really translate it, i think it's because of my lack of theory knowledge. I can make tons of good music in my head, but when i go to make it real, i just really can't find the notes, because i don't really know the notes, i just hear them.. if it makes any sense. I've done it a few times though, where i've just gone donkey, and have stubbornly sit with the axe for ages, just figuring it out. But mostly i just let it pass, actually.

Most riffs i make comes from sudden sparks of creativity, which i think we all know. We just sit, playing randomly, something sounds halfway decent, then it hits you, and you make something decent into something completely awesome.
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#30
Happens to me all the time.
I'll think of an epic solo to a song I'm writing, which I will forget before I can get anywhere near transcribing it
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#31
I hear music in my head all the time but i always seem to come up with the best stuff when i' m falling a sleep so i always keep some manuscript paper by my bed. Usually when i'm falling asleep the music is almost always orchesteral and a couple of times its even been atonal. All my stuff comes very suddenlly to me and out of know were and usually at awkward times like while i'm at school or some thing. Although these sudden spurts of creativity happen quite often to me its almost always just a phrase which i come up with and i find it very difficult to turn it into anything resembling a song.
#32
i always have original songs going on in my head. i can never get it out though, but when i try i to play whats in my head i get something new altogether. so its kinda cool.
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#33
This happens to me all the time. I'll be writing lyrics and the entire song will become composed in my head as I go along. The only downside is I suck at guitar. I'm a drummer.
#34
I'll get phrases in my head when I'm doing nothing. Of course I never have my guitar at these times, so I figure out how to play them without the instrument as I'm sitting there, and when I get home I play it on a real guitar, and see if I can work it into anything, which usually I can't.
#35
I can only hear music in my head if I'm outside of a one thousand yard radius that surrounds all of my musical instruments.

It's really f*cking annoying. I'm a creative person but as soon as I sit down with an instrument, I cannot hear music.
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#37
Quote by drewfromutah
I think of a riff, convince myself it is amazing, play it two or three hundred times and convince myself it sucks. Every time.


I've done that lots. But I usually save at least one recording of every riff I make and keep them in a folder on my computer. when I'm out of ideas, i pull one up, and it usually sounds just as badass as when I first played it! works wonders.
#38
it happens to be,but I've gotten better at transcribing it as I've been working on my ear training.
#39
I like thinking of riffs or solos in my head- it's easier to make it sound as you want and you don't mess up. Than I try to transcribe it on my guitar
#40
Quote by Korner4
When I play I sometimes make something up and think to my self: "Wow that's good". And then the next day I've forgotten all about it.... Sucks!

this is why I always carry a pencil and a manuscript pad with me everywhere I go. It's also pretty handy for just writing **** down, phone numbers and jazz.
I think it is important (especially when soloing) to hear songs in your head while composing.
Write it down, you don't have ot play it on guitar, you could make midi of it, make some sheet music and hire a few musicians/friends to play it for you.
I myself love getting my friends ot play my stuff 'cause they come up with all these other ideas, and then its great!