music composer
music composer music composition techniques cubase tutorials music essays reviews contact

writing melodies tips 1 to 3 counter-melodies & chorus/verse melodies tips 4 to 6
melodic intervals & leaps tips 7 to 9

Song Structures
basic song structure examples repeated verse and AABA
pop song structures verse/chorus & bridge
pre chorus song structures verse/prechorus/chorus bridge & coda structures

Music Arranging
orchestration & midi arranging tips 1 - 3
recording & arranging tips tips 4 - 6
more music arranging tips tips 7 - 10

Becoming a composer how to become a composer tips one to five
how to become a composer tips six through to ten
how to make a demo CD tips on making and marketing your showreel

Tuitionin composing music production schools reviews of some top music production colleges in the USA how to choose a music school factors to consider when choosing where to study music composition lessons a check-list for subjects to study within music composition



how to become a music composer

a list of top ten tips - part one


1. Stay in touch

Believe it or not, some of the best commissions I’ve had over the years have come from people who know me, or friends of people who know me. Two recent (big) projects came from friends that I’d stayed in touch with from university days (that was many years back!) It pays to keep in contact with people – you never know what they might do in the future or what doors they might be able to open for you.

cell phone and laptop


2. Sign up

Join some (or all!) of the various music organisations that are established to help and support music composers. If you're UK based, you might be interested in joining some these:-

BACS (British Academy of Composers and Songwriters). Organise forums, events and seminars for composers and songwriters, and are the people behind the Ivors. Good for networking.

MU (Musicians Union). Have a legal advice department for helping with negotating different types of music contracts (worth joining for this service alone). Also provide musical instrument insurance cover and public liability cover as part of the membership.

PRS for Music (Performing Rights Society, merged with MCPS - Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) - distributes royalities owed to music creators. You will need to have published works in order to be a member.

SAN (Sound and Music) - a new organization formed in 2008, a merger of SPNM (Society for the Promotion of New Music), the BMIC (British Music Information Centre) and two other contemporary music networks. Devoted to the promotion of new contemporary music. Suitable for avante-garde, experimental and new music composers.

3. Develop a good web presence

However you choose to do it – whether by building your own site or using a social networking site like “myspace” or “facebook” - it pays to have your work online so that you can instantly refer to it on the phone or in an email. It’s also possible to get “found” on the web by building a good site or by being well networked within the social networking sites.


4. For every “no” there are a thousand possibilities

open doors

It’s very easy to believe that when you are trying to clinch a deal with a film company or working on a major music project that this is the only way you are going to make it. This is simply not true. There are so many ways to potentially take your music, and the one you are working on at the moment is only one amongst hundreds in your lifetime. You never know what new doors will open for you or what doors may appear that you can knock on.


5. Seek first to understand

Stephen Covey in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” observes that when we are negotiating with people, we need to listen first, and seek to fully understand their perspective, before relaying what we think or believe. This is absolutely essential when you are working on a commission. What does the film maker really want? Make sure that you fully understand his or her brief before setting about working on the music. It’s very easy to waste time writing something that’s not appropriate because you have “misheard” the director.



Further Reading:-

how to become a music composer part 2

The next set of tips on how to make it in the music industry, including a handy tip on how to build up your CV with jobs for recognised film production companies.

how to create a good showreel for your music

Some guidelines on what to do (and what to avoid!) when marketing your music to prospective producers, directors and library production music companies. Also features hints on the presentation and format of your demo CD.

more composition tips

The index page to this section, with links to pages on music arranging, composing melodies, and how to develop your song composition by understanding the various forms and structures of songs.

music college courses on production and music technology

For those who are interested in taking full-time study in the art of music engineering and computer technology, this is a lowdown of what I consider to be some of the best music production schools in the USA.



how to become a music composer p.1 - p.2


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