I am just wondering. How do you compose? - Do you flinker with your instruments and write in on paper? - Or do you record the process whilst you are doing it... - Do you use any cool software to manage your songs... -...??

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  • I think about it for several days, get some themes in my head, then plink around on the piano and sketch in some melody lines and harmonies, then go upstairs to my computer and fill everything in with Sibelius.
  • I always have a notebook with me, so if a tune pops up whilst I am walking in the park, I'll write it down, otherwise I could never remember it.
  • Initial ideas come in lots of ways, sometimes its just in my head, sometimes I stumble on it practicing my horns, or playing piano, trying to get comfortable with finding ideas on guitar, but i still suck on guitar. When I have the idea tho, I try and write it down on score paper, as quickly as possible, because the way my mind works, it will easily be transmuted into something totally different within 30 mins or so. So I try and write it down on paper - I have huge stacks of loose score paper with 2, 4, 8, 16 bar ideas (and odd-bar stuff of course). When I am in a less creative and more constructive mode, I will revisit ideas on those scraps and work out how to develop them. Unless I am under a deadline for a specific project and that has so many answers, all dependent upon what the project is. Some of my best jazz tunes I have written on paper only and often pretty quickly, other times painstakingly long times involved. But I used to always work with score paper only, and piano, sometimes checking a line on a horn
  • I don't know. A theme usually comes to my mind, and I start playing notes like that until I get what I want. Then, I write it on a paper, check it for harmony errors, then if it's a Piano solo, I'm done, but if it's for other instruments as well, I play it on my Keyboard, and record it to my computer. Sometimes when I'm practicing Harmony, I find a good theme, then I'll start working on that.

    It depends on how you feel actually. :)
  • Sometimes I'll get a great musical idea in my head and just write it down, but usually I tinker around on the piano until I'm inspired. I use Sibelius to organize all my ideas once I have them figured out.
  • Mind is enough for the early stages. I recommend finale software. I have a keyboard and laptop next to my bed so I can test stuff at any hour. I play in two bands which have tons of collective improv, so I vomit up new stuff all the time, some keepers, some duds.
  • Sometimes I hear a tune in my head then go to the keyboard and pick it out. From there I edit and add to it using the "what if" process (e.g., what if I threw in a minor 3rd, etc.).

    Sometimes I just noodle on the keyboard until I hear something compelling or different. Lately I've been playing around with the electronic percussion on my keyboard. I first lay down simple sustained chords and then play with percussion patterns and sounds until I come up with something I can work with.
  • Most often an idea pops into my head and I write it down (hopefully). Occasionally I'll flesh these ideas out a bit and sometimes a lot. The most important aspect of my methodology is the honing of ideas. Just because it popped into my head and I liked it at the time doesn't mean it's something I consider great. When I work on something later that can include a complete reworking of the melodic idea. If someone plays what I've written down and comments about some aspect I'll consider their thoughts. My most recent piece (Consolation) underwent every bit of that. It was an idea from a few years ago that I decided I liked enough to come back to. I reworked the rhythm, the key, aspects of the melody and then wrote the piece. Now I believe it to be some of my best work. My point is to be willing to take old ideas and revamp them until they meet your standards.
  • I have an mp3 player, and it's pretty good for recording audio. When i'm at home, and I have an melody in my head, I usually sit beside my piano, set my mp3 player, and record the audio.. Just as a rough melody.. And then I go to my room, and workout my melody on Cakewalk. Humming would be pretty good as well.. lol...
  • I usually have a tape recorder around to record any melody that might come up. If it is something i cannot play in a certain instrument i figure it out on the guitar, put in in midi and my good friend Mr. VST plays it for me.

    Over the time i´ve come to realize that if i come up with something and don´t have anything to record it i will most likely have forgotten in when i do have the chance to record... Like most of us here i believe when i have an idea or melody i can imagine a whole band, orchestra behind it but of course it does´t write itself so i have to re-construct slowly with my mind all the melodies and rhythms etc as fast as my mind will hold that musical thought.

    But sometimes, mostly often i just pick up the guitar, start improvising and some nice stuff comes out once in a while
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