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


music composition tips & techniques


In many ways composing is a mystery - there is no one formula that can be followed which will then produce a great piece of music. However, I do believe that there are certain principles and patterns which are worth noting and learning, and these can lead to writing music which works, and maybe even along the way creates something truly great.





Melody Tips

The first pages in this section are about writing melody. If you look to the left you'll see that I've divided this up into three pages - with tips 4 to 6 and tips 7 through to 9 underneath. The tips explore patterns within great melodies (such as the use of the pentatonic scale, and repeating devices) as well as techniques on how to "find" and develop tunes, and catalog and record them.


Song Structures

So you have a fantastic idea for a song. It might be a memorable hook, or a great chord sequence, or an interesting melody. But how do you develop this idea into a full work? This section seeks to help composers and songwriters overcome those creative "blocks" that can happen after the first thirty seconds of inspiration.

reflective piano keyboard

The section analyses successful songs in terms of their structure and their harmonic progressions, and draws out patterns that might be useful for helping a song "flow" from chorus to bridge, or pre-chorus to chorus. Again, there is three sections. The first section deals with basic song structure (repeated verse and AABA), the second explores songs with verse/chorus and bridge structures, and the final page deals with the addition of the pre chorus and coda elements.


Arranging Techniques

Music arranging takes a number of forms. We can arrange music synthetically on the computer, we can take piano works and transform them into ensemble works, or arrange for a live band or even a full orchestra. In this section I offer ten top tips for music arranging in these scenerios. Here you'll find out how I use other works as templates to guide my creations, tips on good orchestration, how I layer musical parts to create a fuller sound in the recording, and how I consider the energy level of the music.


How to become a music composer

old guitar

I'm often asked how I came to be a music composer. Maybe you have aspirations to be the next big thing in the world of music! Here I've made notes of things that I found useful as a composer - from good professional organisations worth joining, to how to work effectively with co-creators such as directors and writers, from how to get a "break" in the media world, to tips on remaining true to yourself and your musical voice. If you require some advice about how to put together and send out a demo CD, then there's information here about how to present it, and the best people to send the work to. Are you considering studying music production and composition at degree level? If so here is a short list of what I consider to be some of the best music production courses in the USA.




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