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Ronenriku

How to Improve

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Im a decent music maker already, but... Ummmmmm... I cant seem to get any better. Note that by "Decent" I mean Im good enough to make a soundtrack, even if it isnt too great. So can you help me out by telling me a method that can help me make better music? And I dont mean a format, I mean a true method.

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Here are the methods I've used over the last 15 years to improve.

1) If you truly want to improve in an area I think the best way is to submerse yourself musically in the genre.

What I have to do for example, is being asked to write something orchestral, I will sit and listen to Danny Elfman, Vivaldi, John Williams, Beethoven.. etc for weeks. I will look up how orchestras are put together listen to other people's demos.. and then slowly try to piece together something short.

This goes the same for Techno, Drum & Bass, Jazz .. etc

2) Also the more you compose the better you get at it, the more tricks you learn.

3) Learning an instrument also helps a lot. Improvisation on an instrument is a good compositional tool

4) Having a goal is important, just writing music is a bit pointless, and not very inspirational. Try taking some video clip and composing something to that.

5) Also Exposure to a lot of different music will help with ideas. You'll hear a drum or bass riff and think, that's cool, I want to base a song off something like that. Listen to the music, analyze it, pick what it is you like about it. Try to do something similar in your music.

6) Theory always is a good help. Knowing chord progressions, wierd timings... etc

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Listen to lots of other music, from many different genre. When you're actually composing, focus on listening to other music of the same type you'll be writing.

Actually playing one or more instruments can be an excellent method of improving your compositions.

Take scenes from movies or TV shows, remove the sound, and practice writing music to go with it.

Have your friends listen to your work and suggest what could improve it. Try making some of the improvements they suggest.

and lastly: "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources" - Albert Einstein.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Never thought of it that way. I guess so. I guess its not like drawing random art drawings, you cant just sit down and do it. Okey, I'll work on these things.

PS: I am Ronenriku

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Why can't you just sit down and start making a "random" song? Visual art can be just as studious as music.

When I wanted to be a better piano player I would listen to my favorites at half-speed.

I've heard some mediocre musicians play some insepid songs and get plenty of business. You don't have to be a revolutionary in order to function in the industry, apparently.

Best way to improve: get a good teacher.

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1) Learn the 'vocabulary', ie. chords, scales, modes, rhythms, instruments, tempos, etc. It is easier to work with a concept if you can describe it accurately and efficiently. For instance, it's harder to explain that going from playing G+B+D to C+E+G is effectively the same as going from D+F#+A to G+B+D providing the scale is transposed accordingly, than it is to say "V->I".
2) Analyse music you like and take notes. If you have the vocabulary you can describe a feature of the music outside the context of the song.
3) Use the features you like in your own compositions. Understanding them in an abstract way will allow you to do this without sounding like you're ripping off the original.
4) Create variations. Reverse the order of a chord sequence, try a certain rhythm at a faster or slower tempo, transpose a melody to a different scale or mode, etc.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Thinks, these tips are pretty good, I think I will follow dodecahedron's idea and get a teacher.

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