#1
Hello all, been trying to get into writing music. Been playing for a long time, but when I try to write anything in GP nothing seems to sound good. Are there any tips that anyone has to composing music? Is it easier to start with the drums, or just write a melody, and see where that goes? Any help would be appriciated. Thanks!
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#2
I just use it to organize thoughts. it won't sound 100% like your song, but it will help you see the bigger picture.

a song i posted recently, you can listen to the rough demo of it in my bandcamp link below. i used guitar pro 5 to compose the whole thing in regular midi

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1704346
#3
Listen closely to some of your favourite songs, especially for the phrase structure ... you'll probably find a fair degree of repetition in that structure (the rhythm, not necessarily the note choice), e.g for the verse. See if that gives you melodic ideas.
#4
-tempest- I will check it out. Thanks for the advice man.
Everytime I rip a jaw bone out of a skull and ram it into and eye socket I know I'm building a better future

-Jack
#5
jerrykramskoy I will have to start doing that while trying to write. I often times think of really awesome riffs, and ideas. When I am at the computer trying to write it all seems to vanish. Maybe listing while writing will help. Great advice. Thanks man.
#6
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Listen closely to some of your favourite songs, especially for the phrase structure ... you'll probably find a fair degree of repetition in that structure (the rhythm, not necessarily the note choice), e.g for the verse. See if that gives you melodic ideas.


This is great advice. I'll take it a step further though. Study not only the artists that have influenced you, but also their influences: your influences' influences. I've taken it about three "generations" back, but it's up to you how far you want to go.

What to start with? Whatever comes first. I don't think there's really a "wrong" way to write songs. Once you figure out a method (not necessarily a sequence) that works for you, though, stick with it so that the skill becomes more easily reinforced.

Here's how I got started writing songs: one day I realized how much of a visual learner I am (whether this is "pop psychology" is for another discussion). This reminded me of a song that I'd been listening to recently, and how I responded in a way unlike any other song before: it made music a full sensory experience, evoking very specific thoughts and feelings. And images. I then went to Google Images, trying to find a picture that I could translate into something musical. I found the picture below, and studied and thought about what sort of music it might convey:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikolemedoza/5893306319

After a while (and it did take some time), I came up with the attached song. And that's been my songwriting process ever since.

Explore the songs, but also explore yourself. The process of self-discovery (which I think is, in a way, found everywhere throughout music) is definitely challenging, but equally rewarding. Again, though these are only my suggestions.

Nobody else can tell you how you write songs best; only you can reveal that for yourself.

Sorry if I got a bit too esoteric. Hope this helps!
Attachments:
California Skate Punk Song.gp5
Last edited by Jake P at Jul 3, 2016,
#7
Jake P It definitely helps. Thank you for taking your time to write that. It has been a struggle, but I think I am on the right track. It is certainly something that has to be practiced; just like playing music does. Hopefully in time I will be more confident in my writing. I am glad for tools like guitar pro, because I can write an entire piece. Even if I can't yet play that piece. It is a powerful tool, and one I hope to master to some degree.
#8
Quote by Floppylopagus
jerrykramskoy I will have to start doing that while trying to write. I often times think of really awesome riffs, and ideas. When I am at the computer trying to write it all seems to vanish. Maybe listing while writing will help. Great advice. Thanks man.

Train your ears. Can you sing what you hear in your head? Before trying to find the notes on your guitar, know exactly what you are hearing. Because what you hear may be pretty vague. You may not actually hear exact pitches or rhythms (even if you think you do). So try to sing what you hear.

If you get an idea, sing it and record it that way. Then find the notes on the fretboard. This way the idea doesn't vanish when you are trying to find the correct notes. Another thing is just repeating the idea over and over again in your head before trying to find the notes. You want to know the exact sounds you are looking for before trying to find them (if you don't want the idea to vanish).

But yeah, if I come up with a song idea, I can figure out the notes without using an instrument. I usually think in scale degrees and chord functions. I don't need to know the exact note names, I just need to know how they are related to the key.


When it comes to writing music, you can start with anything - drum beat, bassline, guitar riff, vocal melody, lyrics... Try different approaches and see what works for you. There really isn't one correct way to write songs.

Also, remember that midi sounds are crap. If your guitar riff doesn't sound awesome with midi sounds, it doesn't matter. Try it on your guitar and it may sound a lot better.
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#9
Writing in Guitar Pro is fine, but in my opinion it's a good idea to get something that sounds more realistic than General MIDI. Learning to arrange music is much easier when the note you write actually kind of sounds like the real thing.

For me, there really isn't a best way to start. Sometimes I can try to make a decent melody for hours without success; then I come up with a cool rhythm pattern or something, and the rest just comes by itself. Sometimes I instantly hear the thing I want in my head, and sometimes I have to trial & error on the piano A LOT
#10
I'd honestly suggest NOT writing in Guitar Pro, not at least until you've got a bit more experience...write with your guitar, but use Guitar Pro as a way to record what you've written. The danger of Guitar Pro is, IMO, the fact that it's literally a blank canvas. Its very easy to create stuff that you're not going to be able to play, or even stuff that's physically impossible to play. If you're not a particularly experienced writer, or even player, then writing with the guitar keeps you in mind of things like the physical restrictions of the guitar and it's also a lot easier to experiment and play around with ideas - with Guitar Pro you kind of need a fully formed idea to note down.
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