Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Creating and Keeping a Composition Journal

I keep a spiral bound notebook like this one on my piano at all times. It's where I write down the ideas I want to turn into songs or compositions.

The first thing I do is draw out 8 bars of space. I work within 8-bar units because it's a very manageable way to complete a small section.

Then I'll notate the first 2-bars as a rhythmic pattern. For example, it might be 4 quarter notes and 2 half notes for 4/4 time. Whatever the idea is, I only write out the first 2-bars. This way I get the inspired melodic germ quickly. I then improvise my way through to see where this idea wants to go.

An unusual method I know, but one that bridges the gap between improvisaiton and composition nicely.

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