What Order Do You Compose In?

I’m curious to know from people: When you compose a song, do compose it mostly in chronological order, or do you try something else such as making some sort of song “skeleton” and then refining it?
Now I’m just a n00b, but it seems to me that composing a song chronologically, while in one sense being the most obvious way, is also in another sense kind of strange, like painting a picture from the left side to the right side (or maybe from the top down would be more appropriate on a tracker forum).

There is no right way. Try all methods and see what works for you… But…

If you don’t have a strong idea to begin with you’re pretty much going to be just either be mucking around or end up frustrated. I do not seriously compose (which is separate to mixing) unless I have an idea.

yes as foo? said, these are great ideas that result in good songs. But this is not a law, there are always exceptions. 90% of my songs begin with an idea, but there are also others that are started for example as exercises for myself, but finish up being good songs.

Thanks for your input, and about these ideas you speak of: what sort of ideas do you mean, and could you possibly give an example?

I do realize that there is no one right way of creating music, I just intend to use what I read here as a starting point.

There’s no one answer for me. I’ve composed end parts first without realising they would be end parts. I’ve made songs that didn’t work out apart from one small section, yet that section works incredibly well in an entirely different song, so I transfer it across. And, yeah, there have been tracks that just flow straight from start to finish. I’d just say go with whatever is appropriate for the song you’re working on.

Part 1) When uninspired I start with a few patterns/loops. Make a bunch of them with no relation each other. Then I try to connect them. Months later, I go to old songs as created by this and pull out parts that sound good and work at them again. It’s a library of crap that you can keep remixing into mud, but eventually you can pull out a couple of pattern tracks and use them in part 2)

Part 2) When I have an idea I lay down the groundwork for it. Then I fill in the rest based on drawing “intro” “extro” on a piece of paper and figuring out what needs to be done next. I scavenge my pile of crap in part 1) for ideas and parts I can use to save time actually coming up with new ones.

usually drums first. sometimes i’ll find a really great sample and build up a song around that though. then most-likely it’ll be bass next, but there is never a set way i do things. I’ve gotten to the point where i dont need inspiration to produce a track. doesnt mean their always good tho!

First I load up a synth / VSTi and play a tune…
When it sounds cool, I quickly enter a simple basedrum, hihats and a snare.
Just to see how my synth would sound in a “complete” track. :walkman:

Then another time, I am focussing on a track with a fatt bassline and suddenly the main melody does not matter any more, the bassline is so phat that it can go on forever and doesn’t get bored :yeah:

I listen to other people’s music until I find something I like, then record that and glue it all together. Then I go into my “ready breaks and beats ripped off other people”-catalogue and find something suitable, then pass this on to professionals to finish it.

Oh, and I’m really using Dance E-jay. I’m only here for cred.

lawl. :)

I tend to use renoise as only a part of my music making arsenal… though occasionally I might make entire tracks in it. If I’m making a beat sometimes I start with a short pattern and then double the length and expand it, then double the length again… then copy the pattern and make variations, eventually you end up with a “loop” that has no repeats and can be very long. So it could be the beginning or end of a track…

Once I used Renoise to record a tune… bass, vibes, juno, kit, etc… basically just recording loops, then playing back the pattern (512 lines, so like 30 seconds long!)… and while playing the pattern recording new sections (much longer) into renoise… as well as some tracker beats… then when finished i assembled the patterns in a multitracker for ease of editing.

Honestly I find the more ways I can work that are different, the more fun music making is and the more varied the results are. getting stuck in one methodology is about as fun as going to work every day (IMO).

Hi all!
The basic principle is idea. And catch the idea is pretty hard. I do it usually in such way I load sample or VST which sounds appealing for me. Either I have idea and then everything is OK. Or I have no idea and then I am trying to create anything “on place”.

My own style of composition is following:

  1. main theme (melody) + making rough picture of composition (it is task usually for 4 patterns)
    = I set up leads (melody), bass, drums (rhythm), guitars
  2. intro = way to climax (main theme)
  3. additional ideas + framework of composition = kiss of creativity (the most important part)
  4. outro + finishing operation = grand finale (final sound etc.)

So, a lot of interesting ideas and …

God bless you!!! :rolleyes:

i always start with makin the beats!

I have no clue as to what I am doing. My production method is total chaos, which may have to do with my ADHD. It usually starts out with a beat, but then it all becomes a blur. At times there are tracks that seem to be complete, which I then unleash upon the unsuspecting Outside World.

(sorry to take this offtopic here)

motormind, are you an diagnosed ADHD, are you in any kind of treatment and how old are you ? I just have some personal interest in this … PM me if you like.