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 two


6. Recycle

Over the years I’ve acquired a vast amount of material that has never been published (yet). Now some of it is not worth publishing, but I know that some could potentially be. I keep and catalogue all this work - I never know what future life it may be able to have. I also try to record any new ideas and add these to the catalogue. For instance, I’ve had instrumental works published for films that originally started out as demo arrangements for songs. Be prepared for material to “morf” and find new homes.

Recycle Icon


7. Creating the first chicken for the egg

Egg Song Bird

So you’re trying to get your first job as a composer and you’re pitching yourself to a film director. Just about the first thing she’s going to want to know is what you’ve done before. What’s on your CV? Unfortunately all those works you’ve written are not going to count for much (in her eyes) unless they’ve actually been used by somebody or published in some way. But you’re not going to be able to develop your CV without getting something published. How do we square this circle?

The answer is by working for free, and seeking out directors who are currently working on films or projects with very tight budgets. Documentary film makers for charities are often in this position. I have a (composer) friend who did exactly this. And after he had produced the music he was able to say that he wrote the score for a nationally recognized charity, directed by W (who has produced X, Y and Z etc.) The fact that he wasn’t payed for it does not need to feature on his CV! He later landed a (payed) contract with a major Hollywood film company.


8. Get ready for the long haul flight

Being a music composer can result in having a very unstable income. Some months you may have loads of projects on, at other times things may dry up and you may find yourself forced to get a job in order to pay the bills. I have always had a second income. When I started out as a composer after graduation, I developed a music teaching business. However, I never did this completely full time, so that I had time (and energy) to devote to composing. As more commissions have come in, I have been able to cut down the hours spent teaching. So the majority of my days are now spent composing. However, I still retain a second income strand.


9. Keep listening

What are composers and musicians writing at the moment? Look out for new sound ideas to fuel your creativity.



10. Create your sound

The last tip, and the most important one. Create your own sound because nobody else can, or will. The musical style you have is unique because there is only one of you. Don’t feel that you have to sound like X or Z to be great. Usually copying the sound of another artist results in something inferior. Figure out what excites you the most about writing. Is it in composing a sequence of chords? Or writing a captivating melody? Or creating a great rhythmic groove? I have a friend who loves creating new sound textures, weird and exotic ones. For him this is where he is really strong because nobody can do this quite like he does.

So how about you? Figure out what aspect of composing you really enjoy and work at this. Become the best you possibly can be at it. What people (and directors and producers) need is music that sounds distinctive, not music they’ve heard before.



Further Reading:-

how to become a music composer part 1

In case you missed it, here's tips 1 through to 5 on how to make it as a composer. Includes a list of music organisations worth joining joining such as the MU and PRS for Music.

choosing a good music school

A checklist of things to look out for when choosing a place of study. This is an article written with music production colleges in mind, but many of these factors apply equally to any university offering a music degree program.

a guide to form in song

A series of three page which explore the structure and make-up of popular song. These articles look at the essential characteristics of the verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge and coda sections with examples from Youtube.

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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