Joined: 14 Aug 2006
|Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:45 pm Post subject: Helpful tips for composers (continued)...
|Here are some more tips for composing, arranging, and mixing songs:
15) Don't make songs too long. If each major section has already repeated twice, then it's probably time to end the song. As long as a song hits at least 3 minutes, it's cute. At 4 minutes, it's healthy. At 5 minutes it's hefty. At 6 minutes or up, it's either a masterpiece or just a load of endless filler material. Some genres of music actually ARE just endless filler material; do you really want yours to be like that?
16) If your song doesn't have major sections but just a long stream of little repeating sections, then you'll need to have some breaks and a layer of constantly changing overdubs to keep it from sounding too repetitive. This is a particular issue for Trance, Drum n Bass, and House music. (It's also why I don't do a lot of those styles).
17) If one day you can only do one riff and the rest is garbage, keep the one riff and throw away everything else. A single riff by itself seems unimpressive, but if you keep all your good riffs and start combining them, then you'll never be permanently blocked. This applies to single sentences of lyrics too.
18) Have both complexity and simplicity in the same song. If there is a section that has a lot going on in it, also have a section with not too much happening in it. It helps to prevent ear fatigue and allows the listener to identify sections as well as individual parts.
19) Don't borrow all your material from the same artist. You will sound like a clone of your favorite artist if all of your borrowed ideas come from them. Use a beat from one artist, an effect from another, a type of arpeggio from another, a type of riff from another, etc. NEVER copy exactly what they did; that is just boring and uncreative. Better yet, don't borrow anything at all and DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE.
20) Study music-making and songwriting at every opportunity you can get. Read about what other people do. Mix, EQ, Keyboard, Electronic Musician, and Sound On Sound are some good magazines with tips. However, the Internet is full of discussion forums and articles about making music and songwriting.
Talk is cheap. It's easy to talk about all this stuff and harder to do. I'm gradually getting to the point where I use all of these techniques every time in a song. It's not easy, but it's not so hard to gradually incorporate these techniques.
You can hear some examples of my techniques at http://SoundClick.com/DeathlessDodecagon