I know a lot of musicians want to get into composing, but don't know where to begin. Don't worry, this is something we all go through. I'm not professional, but I have been composing for about 6 years now, and I have freelanced; I've handled my share of projects. So, I'd like to quickly shed some light on how to get started with composing.
One Note Wonder
Okay, let's get down to it: how do you start composing? Simple: you start with the first note! It can be any note; just pick your favorite, or even close your eyes and play a random note. What do you do next? Play another note! Just keep it in the vicinity. Now, don't roll your eyes at me! What you now have, is a melodic interval. These 2 notes can define your whole song! They have character, they have a certain mood! Don't underestimate the importance of a melodic interval!
Now, before you start saying,"Well that's great, but I'm not a score writer, so this is useless", I'd just like to say: it doesn't matter what kind of musician you are, the principal is just the same! For example, take jazz music. Why jazz? It's one of the most complex forms of music in existence! You need insane performing skills accompanied by an equally thorough knowledge of music theory. That being said, check out what this guy, Peter Kadar, can do using just ONE NOTE on the blues scale. Sure enough, he proceeds from one note, to TWO NOTES. Again, there it is - a melodic interval. It's powerful enough to hold it's own in a song.
There are still so many times when I have to compose for a project, and my brain just wont get into gear. At times like that, what I do is get back to this tip - playing those first 2 notes really is enough to get your creativity going. So, I hope you realize what you can do with just one or two simple notes, and you have now "officially" started composing. What do you do after those 2 notes? Well that's for another article. How do you use those 2 notes? THAT, is where your creativity comes into play. Don't worry, you don't have to figure it out on your own; there are just certain things you have to pay attention to. THIS will be the topic for my next blog. Until then, keep practicing.