#1
Hi All,
I have been writing instrumental music for a number of years and was wondering what sort of problems people come across when writing this style of music. Personally I write in a similar vein to Satriani/Vai, but I have also studied classical composition and written pieces for brass bands and jazz bands.
One problem I have is that after writing for so long it is difficult to keep the music sounding fresh. What problems do you guys have?
#2
the biggest problem is that they sound like satriani/vai

get a singer, and once you know how much better your music would be with a singer, you can then begin to make hollow substitutions to pretend you don't need one

but you do
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#3
While I find it rather easy to improvise things which make sense (i.e. not sound like random notes) it's very hard for me to actually sit down and write music I would feel comfortable releasing to the public like an album or single- actually, I don't feel like I have achieved that quality yet. I haven't gotten the more planned approach to work yet, and I feel like it severely limits my ability to progress towards making music at a more professional level. If it isn't done in the heat of the moment, my mind wanders and it's hard to focus. I tend to overthink things judge something as not good enough or unoriginal. I want my compositions to be really, really good by my own standards and I'm willing to spend a lot of time making that happen.

However, so far the highlight of my year was a long, drunken jam session I had with my dad at someone else's house a few months back. It wasn't particularly amazing music we made, but it was probably the most fun I have ever had with a guitar. So yeah, it's certainly not all bad and I am still learning new things all the time.

I might try a quantity over quality approach one day. However, throwing stuff together like that seems like it would have little educational value. I don't know, maybe one day I'll go all grindcore with it and throw out 10 songs in an afternoon. There's bound to be something to learn from that.

A weird thing about all this is I'm actually a very asocial person with a tendency to get nervous around people. It doesn't really make sense to me why I would feel more confident improvising with others than writing something in private lol.
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#4
not really a difference between instrumental and vocal music. the melody is just played by a different instrument.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#5
If I write on computer, I don't find I have any real "problems" with composition. What grinds me the most is things that are long to do, like a swoosh effect exactly how I want it, or finding sounds or shaping them how I want them. Once I have the sounds, the rest is easy. Not that it is perfection, I mean you could like the music or not, but I would not consider easily writing a lot of stuff people don't like, a "problem". It's just I would have poor taste in that case I guess.

On guitar, the problem I run into is not knowing exactly how to play the exact idea I have, and also the physical difficulty of actually executing it, which sometimes turns out basically impossible.

That's for composition of instrumental, which I don't do that much on guitar, it's mostly freestyle what I play, but there is some composition in the general progression and feel nonetheless, and the difficulties in that are the same, except on the fly, but I make do, because the show must go on.

For music with vocals my difficulties are different.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jul 14, 2015,
#6
Hi,
Good to hear that I am not the only one who sometimes hits a creative block. One thing that I found useful when I was studying composition is the fact that there are only three things you can do musically: repetition, development and contrast. Keeping this in mind helps me to overcome hurdles, as I am thinking conceptually.
Out of interest, what style of instrumental music do you guys write? Who are your main influences? Obviously Vai and Satch are big influences for me, but I also really like Michael Hedges, Mike Oldfield, John Scofield and modern classical composers like John Adams and Philip Glass.
#7
Quote by Instrumental777
Hi,
Good to hear that I am not the only one who sometimes hits a creative block. One thing that I found useful when I was studying composition is the fact that there are only three things you can do musically: repetition, development and contrast. Keeping this in mind helps me to overcome hurdles, as I am thinking conceptually.
Out of interest, what style of instrumental music do you guys write? Who are your main influences? Obviously Vai and Satch are big influences for me, but I also really like Michael Hedges, Mike Oldfield, John Scofield and modern classical composers like John Adams and Philip Glass.


You can see by listening to my soundcloud. I don't really have any specific influences like that. I learned a few techniques for playing guitar from some guys. Some random nobodies, some from Joe Pass, John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, and idk, a bunch of stuff from a bunch of people, too many to really even single anyone out I think, but also a lot of trial error. Mostly trial and error.

As far as musical influences, I think it came from everything I ever heard, ever. When I create music, it is usually from just a sound perspective. Or, I try to make it that way, but on the guitar, I am also learning the instrument. If I compose in a DAW, it's all just ideas that come to me, trying different things sometimes, and doesn't come from having studied anyone or borrowing from anyone. But all the music I've heard definitely influenced me.
#8
Listen to Scale the Summit, they make instrumental progrock/metal. Maybe they can inspire you.
#9
Oh dear. I guess the biggest problem I have is that when I work too long on a song, I tend to get tired of listening to it, and I end up abandoning it for a while. Maybe I need to take breaks and listen to other music I guess? Do you guys have this problem too?

And another thing I'm working on is trying to meld all my influences (everything that sounds good to me, if you will) into my own sound that I can identify myself with. And of course translating what I hear in my head into my playing. It's all fun, really. Nice thread btw.
#10
obtain a singer, in addition to once you know the amount much better your current audio could be using a singer, then you're able to set out to help make hollowed out substitutions to help imagine you don't need one.