Week 7 of Passion Project

I needed to talk to a music “expert” this week so I went to Mr. Long. I had a conversation with him and here are the main questions I asked him.

What is your process for writing music?

He answered instinctually to start with a bassline, then build chord progressions from there. Upon further discussion, he elaborated that with different songs and different artists, the “process” for songwriting varies. When a song is a dependant on the melody, the melody comes first, when a song is reliant on the background other parts come first. I also thought that the rhythm or drums are the starting point for any music, but Mr. Long convinced me that rhythm should come later. Mr. Long also helped me understand why EDM music is so easy to write. EDM is constructed of several layered loops, this is similar to minimalist music, a genre of music created not by complex melodies but simple limited parts put together. Nonetheless, Mr. Long advised me to always have a central idea with me when constructing a song.

I’ve learned that it is ok to change my process when writing music, and everyone is different in this respect.

What and How is Key used?

Key again is involved in the tonality of a song and the central mood or genre. Of course, when a singer is involved the range of the singer must be taken into account, but the key should be generally decided in the planning phase of a song. A key often used in popular music is the key of E.

How Do You Write Lyrics?

Although Mr. Long said that he does not write a lot of lyrics, he explained that writing lyrics again goes back to a determined main idea of a song. By having a central idea it is much easier to know where to go with your song.

Conclusion(This Week I learned)

Always have a central idea. It’s as simple as that, I realized that by having an idea in mind is much easier as this direction I obtain from the “central idea” allows me to know what I want in my song and how I want it to sound like.

 

My discussion with Mr. Long also led me to ask him whether it is alright to take a bit of someone else’s music and add elements to my own. Mr. Long informed me that it is ok to copy music a little bit, but it is very difficult to determine when exactly are is too much copying that it becomes illegal. I thought about this and found a video discussing a recent case where Ed Sheeran got a Lawsuit because “Thinking Out Loud” sounded much like another song.

 

Week 6 of Passion Project

This week somewhat productive yet not as productive as I wished it was.

I had a sort of new found understanding that music is “good” or “catchy mainly because of repetition. When a listener hears a song, they rarely walk away with your lyrics or “Central Message”. The listener usually remembers the tune. This got me analyzing modern hits and their individual “tunes” and I realized that so many songs depend on their hook or recurring tune, and in many songs this tune is engrained into the song itself. The chorus sometimes is straight up the bassline, examples include “Do I Wanna Know” by the Arctic Monkeys, “Seven Nation Army”, “Another One Bites the Dust”. This understanding made me take a new angle of songwriting, I tried to start by writing a chorus first, and then using the rhythm or melody of the chorus to structure and plan my entire song. However, because this was quite an unproductive week I wasn’t able to produce much.

Now the somewhat productive part of this week

This understanding that songs rely on a singular line or melody told me that although it’s possible to write and perform a good song with just a guitar, I need more instruments, harmonies, and layers. Therefore, I need to master Logic Pro. I also need to brush up on melody writing and understanding of music genres and instruments but I’m putting that aside for now.

I spent most of my time this week doing Logic Pro stuff. I found some interesting videos online where people sampled some day to day sounds like paper ripping or clamoring of pans and made beats out of them. I tried to do this by downloading the audio of an iPhone 4 buzzing. I used and cut this sound to make a short drum loop. I uploaded it to SoundCloud in the link below.

https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/buzz

I fooled around more with Logic and eventually made a song, check it out in the link below.

https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-man/playing-with-logic-pro

The strange thing is that I actually was somewhat satisfied with this song, even though it was very easy to make. I realized that making pure EDM is different to writing full melodies. EDM is made with a combination of loops, I did not go through the pain of making full melodies to write this song, but I still liked it nonetheless.

Even though doing pure EDM is very easy and NOT what I plan to do much in the future. I did make a breakthrough this week; I was satisfied with something I made. I hope this is some sort of trend that continues in the future.

 

Week 5 of Passion Project

In this week I mainly tried just singing and experimenting on my guitar. I wasn’t able to come up with any ideas I was satisfied with but I am definitely getting a better grasp on songwriting.

I searched up some tips and tutorials on lyrics and songwriting. I also found interesting videos where songwriters try writing songs in a very limited time.

I learned that to make a song good it’s important to select specific instruments that fit the style and genre of the song. And I’ve tried to incorporate some of that when producing music using Logic Pro.  (the software I have decided to use I the future)

I uploaded some of my guitar experimentations onto this account I’ve made on SoundCloud. I plan to record progress using this in the future.

Please tell me if the link works or not.

First Three Weeks of Band

The first few weeks of Band was not too stressful. While it was cool to meet new people from 9th grade, it was also some what annoying to work with irritating freshmen. I was always prepared during these few weeks, I never forgot to bring music, instrument, and a pencil. I also have been able to leave time each week to practice so far, I practiced articulation and long tones. I think the long break has deteriorated my tone and made me rusty. I definitely need more consistent practice.

 

 

I think Mr. long should wear reading glasses during the concerts.