#1
I wrote a song tonight that includes whistling. I can whistle, but I'm not very proficient at it. I don't even have a solid key for the song yet, and don't know where to begin with the whistling part.

My thought is this: What do you do when you want to write for an instrument that you are not proficient in? Do you use a MIDI, or find someone who can? If you write a song that includes a sax and you've never even touched one, how can you perform or record it?
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#3
If you don't know how to play it at all, then you probably have no idea how to write for it because you aren't aware of the ranges and abilities of certain instruments.

EDIT: Unless you're a composer of course but even they have the knowledge of instrument abilities.
Last edited by Weaponxclaws at Dec 3, 2011,
#4
I can't play drums so I program them or arrange/modify stock MIDIs. I always send the drum tracks to my drummer friend and he'll tell me what doesn't sound natural, what sounds impossible and what should be altered. I think I'd do the same if I record other instruments. At the very least, we can always find players on the net. They'd be happy to help out.

(Forgot to mention that by "record other instruments", I mean virtual instruments/ VSTi)
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Last edited by wicked_hobbit at Dec 3, 2011,
#5
I study and think about what physical limitations they may have, and what kind of considerations you should give regarding timbre, techniques, feasibility of movements, etc.

The one thing I'm completely in the dark for is drum sets. That's probably the most complex instrument to imagine for someone who doesn't play.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#6
Quote by Xiaoxi
I study and think about what physical limitations they may have, and what kind of considerations you should give regarding timbre, techniques, feasibility of movements, etc.

The one thing I'm completely in the dark for is drum sets. That's probably the most complex instrument to imagine for someone who doesn't play.


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#7
You don't need a lot of experience with drums to be able to sequence them convincingly. I'm by no means a good drummer, having only played about 2 years or so (and not practicing every day like I do with guitar), but I know them very well in terms of what would be possible. You'd probably just need to get about 2-3 months worth of experience to gain that ability.
#8
Quote by Xiaoxi
I study and think about what physical limitations they may have, and what kind of considerations you should give regarding timbre, techniques, feasibility of movements, etc.

The one thing I'm completely in the dark for is drum sets. That's probably the most complex instrument to imagine for someone who doesn't play.



You think?

Hmmm maybe because I played in a few bands with very good drummers it's easier for me.

But writing for ie. saxophone, knowing what notes you can play legato, how long and how hard you can blow certain notes, breath pauses.. Is harder for me.

I do have this amazing book somewhere on every orchestral instrument, with a summary of their range, timbre and techniques they use. It's a very nice read.

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#9
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I do have this amazing book somewhere on every orchestral instrument, with a summary of their range, timbre and techniques they use. It's a very nice read.

If you happen upon that book any time soon you should post back in here and let me know the title
I think that's a book I'd like to invest in.
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~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#10
Personally I use MIDI. To be accurate, I use VST Synths in my DAW. The main advantage is you can change the pitches freely and easily and it's easy to experiment this way.

Of course it would be easier if you are able to imagine parts of different instruments in your head but if your aural skills aren't well developed, writing in MIDI can certainly improve your ear.
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