#1
Ok so in my school we have to do something called a personal project, and we have 6 months to do it. And I, because i love music, decided to compose a song, but unfortunately I dont have any musical theory notions or any idea how to compose a song. So I really need help from an experienced musician on how to start composing. Is it really necessary to learn theory? Do I have to write lyrics before composing music? How can I record my compositions? Any help will be GREATLY appreciated, I am pretty desesperated, its a very important work and I have completely no idea on how to start composing.
THANK YOU (and sorry for my sucky english)
#2
Quote by JFrusciante007
Is it really necessary to learn theory?

Can a blind man paint a beautiful painting? Technically yes, but good luck.

www.musictheory.net
#3
You don't need to know theory, but it'd probably help if you knew some basic stuff. You don't need to write lyrics before you start anything musical. I prefer to write some ideas down, get an idea of the theme, feeling, or emotion I'm trying to convey then try to come up with sounds that... sound good with what my idea is. Then actual lyrics come later. Some people prefer to write lyrics first... preference...
As for recording it, unless you have some people you know who have more "professional" equipment, a $20 desktop microphone and the program Audacity will do the trick. I hate audacity personally cause it always crashes on me... but you get what you pay for... it's free... just save a lot.
#4
Get a theory textbook and learn it. You have to write your own song, not us. When you have specific questions people will be glad to answer them for you, but 'Help me' won't get you anything.

To answer your questions:

Theory is extremely useful to learn. I would highly recommend it.
There's nothing dictating when to write the lyrics relative to the music. Some people find it easier before, some find it easier after, and some find it easier to do both simultaneously. Most people use different methods on different songs.
Recording is something not typically dealt with in MT. If you want to record you will need something to create sound (your instruments) and something to capture the sound (a computer, hooked up to an audio interface with either MIDI in, or XLR in) If you use a microphone, it will need to hook into the XLR port, and you can go from there. If its MIDI in, it will plug directly into your controller (usually a keyboard). You'll need a recording program too. Youtube proves instrumental in learning to record.
#5
Audacity works fine for me, don't use it anymore since I upgraded but it served me well. The reason behind theory is that it makes it so much easier to compose. If you don't know anything then really all you can attempt is hit and miss jamming. When I write something I envision in my head what I want it to sound like and then immediately know what to write down, because I know the theory behind it.
#6
Ive already composed a sort of introduction that sound like To live is to Die bridge, and another verse riff that sound like the Day that Never comes verse riff, but I have been trying for months to play something between them (to rely them). Any idea? and i know some basic theory, but I dont think its indispensable. John Lennon didnt knew how to read music.
#7
Quote by JFrusciante007
but I dont think its indispensable

Everyone says that. Every time I learn something new I always wonder how I lived without it.
#8
man get your guitar tuner and have some lyrics you want to say or a flow/melody in mind...(this is what i used to do...might be horrible way but it worked)

humm out your **** into the tuner and let it tell you what you are kinda humming...usually you will find it follows a common progression (no need to understand that) but here we go

you humm your lyrics...your tuner on the first hum says E, second A, third B, fourth E....so roll with that to begin with and try to play those chords...make a friggin power chord and arpeggiate it just play around and get a few sounds you like

next learn a few different areas on the neck to play this same pattern...and feel free to mix and match...some just play a palm muted downstroke then some play an unmuted updownup type strum

figure out a chorus change that will fit well with this progression you build of EABE try to get in some notes you havent messed with yet...try an ECGB or anything really that feels cool...

next write your lyrics and sing them and as your tone changes at a point write it under that word (E) or whatever note corresponds to the note you are currently playing whether it be halfway through a word...this welll help you for singing while you play...will let you know where to make your change..."oh i change here in the middle of this word type thing)

maybe this helped...just go in with an idea and how u kinda want it to sound name it something hella crazy and you will do fine
#9
""Is it really necessary to learn theory? "


Can a blind man paint a beautiful painting? Technically yes, but good luck."

That's a very ignorant statement... knowledge of theory doesn't dictate who can and can't make music. Music comes from the heart... Though knowing theory is very helpful, it's not absolutely needed. Plenty of great song writers know little to no theory... So, if you're willing to take the time to learn theory, go for it... if not, than just figure out some other way!
#10
Quote by fngrstylgtr
""Is it really necessary to learn theory? "


Can a blind man paint a beautiful painting? Technically yes, but good luck."

That's a very ignorant statement... knowledge of theory doesn't dictate who can and can't make music. Music comes from the heart... Though knowing theory is very helpful, it's not absolutely needed. Plenty of great song writers know little to no theory... So, if you're willing to take the time to learn theory, go for it... if not, than just figure out some other way!

Music does come from the heart, theory is there to make it easier to express it. I never said a blind man can't paint, it would just be easier if he could see.
#11
Fair enough, but in the time frame he has... there may not be enough time to get 'fluent' in musical theory! There's only 6 months to make a song from scratch! But, it was a choice made i guess....
#12
I suggest you learn some scales atleast. And try to get a hold of a synthesizer or a program to program synth or something. The most powerful pieces are usually in minor scales and its variants. If the class will be listening learn the Lydian scale to bring a scary feeling to them from the music?

Every scale/mode has some emotion that is expressed mainly such as Major is usually associated w/ happy (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Happy Birthday) while Minor is associated w/ serious (Godfather Theme song, ... can't think of anything else) and Lydian is associated w/ spooky (Halloween the Movie theme song).

Get an idea of what each basic scale/mode expresses and then decide on what kind of song you'd like to compose. If you wanna be basic then just chord progression, bass line, 4/4 drums and a solo (unless you wanna sing). If you wanna get experimental like say Buckethead then do w/e you want.
I've gotten a lot of LOLs in my time but I choose not to sig them to not look like a pretentious douchebag