1.The Scale Jar!
And yes I had fun making a jar full of little papers on which I wrote the scales in major and minor mode.
The reason is simple: we all have a scale of preference in which we compose.
The idea of the scale jar is to get out of the comfort zone in which we love to compose, for example: if you are adept at working in E flat minor on many of your compositions, drawing a F #major scale will force you to approach your chord progression and the melody of your music differently.
Obviously I see some who could cheat and put only the scales in which it remains in their comfort zone be honest with yourself, because that’s how we progress …
Moreover, it will make you think outside the box in terms of creativity and realization.
Don’t forget that you always have the possibility to go back to the minor or major mode relative to the scale you have drawn… C major the relative is A minor, the progression of your chords is possible by mixing the 2 modes…
2.The synth we don’t use anymore!
I love this one whether it’s with a physical or virtual synthesizer, there’s always one that we use more or less.
Dust off that synthesizer and use it in your new composition. Even make it the spearhead of your new track.
You might enjoy playing with this new synth, rediscovering its sound bank and giving a different sound paste than your other pieces.
3.Play an instrument differently!
This is an exercise that we don’t often do unless we are doing sound design.
For example, why not play your guitar by tapping the strings with Chinese restaurant chopsticks!
Why not hit the body of an acoustic guitar with a drum kit. Be careful not to damage it.
You can also use a guitar effect pedal on a violin. Let your imagination run wild. Or the bow of a violin on the guitar strings…
4.The way of the voice!
We always think of recording the voice for singing, chorus, but it is possible, because the voice is an instrument to use it to create sounds as a rhythmic drum to use it as a base in his composition. Yes I know it is called beatbox.
I use this technique a lot in hip-hop as shown in the track “Fast Forward” below. Beyond that, it is possible to use it as a sound effect or as a synthetic sound. The possibilities are great and not to use them would be a shame.
This is one of the many paths of sound experimentation on which I invite you to adventure.
5.The style we don’t know how to do!
Yes, there is one or more musical styles you are not comfortable with?
So, why not try to understand what is wrong with this musical style and your personality? And what could be better than trying it your way without forcing yourself? Because music is a practice like many others that must remain pleasant and enjoyable to practice.
In addition, you may be able to combine this style with your own creative process to create a new sound that could become your artistic signature.
I personally experienced this and I must admit that it brought me a lot. Both musically and in terms of the creative techniques I use.
6. Tempo and tempo!
Oh this one is my favorite !!! Because in a composition there are tempo and tempo… Let me explain: there is the tempo of 140 to the quarter note which is written in your Logic Pro X project. This is the one that feeds the metronome click. Personally, I use another one, or even two, as in the example below with the song “Samurai“.
On a 140 bpm tempo, some parts can be composed at 70 bpm.
As on a tempo of 120 it is possible to work with a drum beat divided by two, i.e. 60, and a pizzicato violin line played at 180 bpm.
Always the same speech from me, experiment it doesn’t eat bread and it will allow you to understand some composition tricks used by the greatest.
7. The constraint !
Working with one or more constraints! But yes, it may seem like a difficult exercise, but it can be very rich.
As we have seen before, the 6 ideas to boost your compositions are already constraints in themselves.
But let’s push the concept much further. Here are some examples:
- The musical style, perhaps a constraint for you
- The tempo, for example compose a song with two different bpm the first one in the verses and the second one in the chorus
- Using an instrument that one does not master well
- Work on the voice via the Quick Sampler in the form of vocals hooks
- Fusionner deux styles musicaux
- Do not use a synthesizer
The list is long, the objective of this tip: with one, or even several constraints you will get out of the habits of musical composition that you have taken with time.
At first it may be painful, difficult, even discouraging. Many compositions may end up in the trash because of a lack of personal satisfaction, inspiration or simply because of a constraint that bothers you. Persevere and you will see that it will be extremely useful in the long run.
End of the article the 7 ideas to boost your compositions ?
No of course not, I’m sure you also have your own tricks to boost your compositions!
A little gift for the end, to put an extra idea in your head is another tip that I give you to close this article:
“In a music of Mozart, even the silences are of Mozart…”