#1
When I listen to the stuff I write (instrumental music which is progressive in nature) I'm often satisfied with individual cool parts but very rarely with the whole thing, it's like it lacks ''flow'' and structural coherence so to speak. The weird thing is that even when I'm just playing in one key without modulating back and forth to different keys my pieces tend to lack a coherent flow structure, it's more like various cool parts sticked together in a rather abrupt manner. How do I get better as far as writing pieces that are more coherent ?

Llamas in advance
#2
Learn songs you like and figure out how they get the flow you like.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
There's more to to having complimentary sections than a common key signature.

Consider the use of harmonic progression (how often chord changes are made); rhythmic devices (a drum ostinato or other rhythmic motif); texture, with regards to degrees of density and sparseness, and of instrumental layers; pitch register; timbre; and other facets comprising the stylistic design of each section.

Take your focal attention away from the key signature. As an exercise, write one theme and permute it. Alter the harmony whilst retaining every other musical characteristic; change the roles of instruments; change the time signature while retaining the harmonic structure, and re-shape-the melody to suit this new meter. Next, permute the variation, and continue on, altering only one or two elements per permutation. Common ties unite ideas.
Last edited by juckfush at Apr 1, 2014,
#4
Quote by francesco18
When I listen to the stuff I write (instrumental music which is progressive in nature) I'm often satisfied with individual cool parts but very rarely with the whole thing, it's like it lacks ''flow'' and structural coherence so to speak. The weird thing is that even when I'm just playing in one key without modulating back and forth to different keys my pieces tend to lack a coherent flow structure, it's more like various cool parts sticked together in a rather abrupt manner. How do I get better as far as writing pieces that are more coherent ?

Llamas in advance


I'm not really sure what your exact music sounds like so it's difficult to comment, but I'll throw some ideas at you:

1) sometimes a part simply doesn't fit together with the tune - sometimes you simply need to drop it and save the part for another tune. Other times you may need a bridge to fuse the two parts together.

2) As mentioned above, analyze songs in your genre to see how they make them flow.

3) I would recommend you analyze some Beatles tunes. It may seem out of place, but they really have great structures and flow. Their structures are pretty much the standard - so it's a great place to start if you're looking to improve on that aspect.

4) Try analyzing your song from a verse/chorus /bridge etc. standpoint. Do you have a melody? Do you have a chorus etc.? If you're looking to have more accessible structures that flow together, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try to work around those concepts, even in an instrumental setting.

5) very important - start looking at structure as being as important and vital as the individual parts - start looking at your songs as a whole and listening to music with structure in mind. Place markers in your DAW to clearly outline each section. I find it helpful sometimes to do a mixdown of the tune to one track and then import it into a new session. Then I cut up each section of the song and I play around with the arrangement by moving things around.

6) Sometimes the trick is to bring back an identifiable part/hook- the chorus for instance. Listen to the song Take the Time from Dream Theater : the song has a ton of time signature changes and different styles, funk, metal, classic style prog arpeggio riffs, but glues them all together by always bringing back the (power) chorus. Bringing back a main part or theme can create a sense that the song is tied together and give it a sense of flow.
#5
You could try, uh, putting some emotion into your music. It takes a little 'something' more to make good music, rather than just following mathematical equations in a theory book. some sort of.... special ingredient...
the
music and soul of love and hope and light manifesting in our minds, trapping whats left of us in our hearts.
where theres nowhere to go.


Quote by I_Pwn
Ostin, you are the pwnzorz and my new hero for that flame.

and this is a guy who's name is "i pwn"
#6
Quote by Ostin
You could try, uh, putting some emotion into your music. It takes a little 'something' more to make good music, rather than just following mathematical equations in a theory book. some sort of.... special ingredient...

That isn't true.
#7
Quote by macashmack
That isn't true.

You're right. You can write a song by simply picking a key and following all the 'rules' in the rule book so everything fits where it's supposed to. You choose notes not because of the relation between the sounds they make and how you feel, but solely because they fit the equation.

Then ya play it back and it sounds dead.

but you followed all of the rules! Why is this happening?????
the
music and soul of love and hope and light manifesting in our minds, trapping whats left of us in our hearts.
where theres nowhere to go.


Quote by I_Pwn
Ostin, you are the pwnzorz and my new hero for that flame.

and this is a guy who's name is "i pwn"
#8
it was a suggestion for OP. i'm assuming he is not a professional song writer and is merely writing for himself/band/whatever.
the
music and soul of love and hope and light manifesting in our minds, trapping whats left of us in our hearts.
where theres nowhere to go.


Quote by I_Pwn
Ostin, you are the pwnzorz and my new hero for that flame.

and this is a guy who's name is "i pwn"
#9
Quote by Ostin
You're right. You can write a song by simply picking a key and following all the 'rules' in the rule book so everything fits where it's supposed to. You choose notes not because of the relation between the sounds they make and how you feel, but solely because they fit the equation.

Then ya play it back and it sounds dead.

but you followed all of the rules! Why is this happening?????

Such a song would not sound bad. It wouldn't be great, but 90% of everything is crap, regardless of whether it's made with "feeling" or not.

Also, from what I've heard, when someone writes strictly thinking about theory or whatever, they usually make something more unique than when they just go off what they feel. Most of the time, what they feel is more aligned to the "Rules" while consciously thinking about the theory produces more unique and interesting stuff.
#10
TS, don't write separate parts and then connect them. Write songs from the start to the end. Connecting different sections is sometimes really hard and many times it doesn't work at all because they are too different from each other.

As somebody said, analyze the part you have written. Write the next section by using something in common with the first section (and by something I mean more than the key and time signatures). Usually different parts in the same song have a similar groove.

Also to connect two sections maybe use a drum fill or a break or a sustained chord or whatever. If you can't connect two sections (for example verse and chorus), you may need to write a section between them (for example a pre chorus).
Quote by AlanHB
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