Writing a Tune

Writing a Tune

Hey!!!
I I am one who finds writing music very hard. I know numerous people who say that it is not that hard. So maybe it is somthing that you grow into as you progress in music, or it just comes naturaly for some and NOT for others? I have written 2 songs in the past 2 years [nothing before that]. And I am working on my 3rd.Although, I only have part A,but I just can’t think of anything for part B. So ya, if anyone has any sort of suggestion that would be FANTASTIC!!!!
Thanks

Stay Dialed,
Fiddle95

Re: Writing a Tune

For me, writing tunes is never forced. They appear to me when I’m inspired, and very little thought process goes into it. I find that they appear when I’m playing a lot, and/or completely inspired (usually by another player, or by a great session, or whatever). As Will CPT says, "The tunes exist… I just channel them into the world".

Some things to think about for the B part. Try echoing the A part in some ways. Try saying something similar, but maybe in a different octave. Try noodling the A part and see what appears on its own. Try looking at the structure of the A part, the peaks and valleys, and then inverting it. Try giving it a rest until something forms itself in your head.

Re: Writing a Tune

And re-reading your post, are you writing tunes? Or songs? I can’t help much with songs. A poet, I’m not ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: Writing a Tune

Thanks a ton. I am writing tunes.hehe
I am so longing to play my fiddle. It is at the fiddle guy getting my bow re-haired. Anyhoo, when I get it back I will be sure to try those tips out.
Stay Dialed,
Fiddle95

Re: Writing a Tune

Try and think of the tune as a conversation. Question… then Answer.

Most tunes are constructed this way… except for the occasional ‘odd’ one.

๐Ÿ™‚

Re: Writing a Tune

Fiddle95, here’s what works for me when I want to come up with a tune.

I usually have an instrument (fiddle or mandolin most of the time) in my hands, and I begin noodling. Sometimes I’ll take a cool phrase from an already existing tune. Then I’ll play around with it, see how I can change it to make it even cooler. Or let it go off in some direction that’s different from what it does in the already existing tune.

Sometimes I get inspiration from something that happened to me or one of my friends. One time, when someone got urpy sick driving home from a big session, I started a tune off with the letters GAG. Another time, I made up a tune that would have some fun places to play bowed triplets just because I had banged my bow frog on a sofa during a session.

It helps to really listen to a lot of tunes, for years and years. That way, the building blocks and overall shape of the music gets burned into your brain and you’ll start to think in the form of tunes.

Posted .

Re: Writing a Tune

davydd, that’s a good one. Although, I think of the Q/A as being more part of a single part. Ask the question, and then resolve it. And then the B part asks a follow-up question, and then resolves it. Rarely do I think of the B part of a tune answering the question of the A part. Maybe that’s just me…

And argh… Will just reminded me that I need to learn BYFOTS. Sigh.

Re: Writing a Tune

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with a complete tune going through my head. Both parts. It’s a really nice tune. I asked quite a few people whether they had ever heard it before (just in case I *hadn’t* made it up in my sleep) and nobody has heard it. Therefore, I think I must have written it. Great, huh?

Re: Writing a Tune

sometimes i come up with tunes when im playing something else, but change it to suit my fingers.
so its more satisfying to play.

for example i was playing the geese in the bog and i love the galloping drive of the tune, but i wasn’t getting it under my fingers and i started messing around with it and came up with a tune that i felt more "right" for my fingers.

Re: Writing a Tune

Ben, why not post your tune to the database here—I’d love to see/hear it!

Posted .

Re: Writing a Tune

Will, that’s very kind of you. I will post it later. I’ve just about OK with my ratios, though I’ll have to find some more trad stuff to do my ‘penance’ later, I should think!

When you see it, Will, I think it’s a nice tune - not one of my best, but nice, all the same.

Re: Writing a Tune

Aw, crikey, once I dreamed up a tune, and in my dream it was an absolutely brilliant piece of work, and I woke up delighted at this work of genius that had come to me unbidden. I remembered it all the way through, so I started to hum it, and discovered that in the light of day it was complete and utter crap. Somehow it managed to be trite and dissonant all at once - most tunes manage at most one of those, but mine turned out to be both. Perhaps when I have been steeped in this music for a few more decades, my subconscious, like benhall.1’s, will develop good taste in music - but then again, all sorts of nonsense makes perfect sense in dreams, so I suppose it’s not surprising that bad music can sound good in dreams as well.

Fiddle95, any luck with your new tune? I’ve written a handful, and Reverend’s comment that writing tunes is never forced speaks to my experience - whenever I sit down and decide to write a tune from scratch, nothing much comes the exercise. Most often I end up building on the phrase or two that I started humming idly in the shower or misremembered from a session or whatnot. The one time I really laboured over a composition, I ended up reasonably satisfied with the end result - but the reel that came out of that experience ended up a tad more structured than my others.

One thing that the others haven’t mentioned yet - you don’t have to compose from beginning to end. As the Reverend said, your B part will echo some of the themes of your A part in some way (otherwise, you’ll end up with two half tunes, rather than a whole one). It’s common for the A and B part of a tune to end with the same bar or two. Try ending your B part the same way that you ended your A part, and then experiment with phrases that lead into your ending.