Composing Tips

Composing Tip #1: Dare to Be Bad

The series begins…

The composition of two point reflections is a ...

Dare to be bad – in the initial stages of composition.

If you try to write an immortal masterpiece for the ages, you won’t get past the first bar, or it will stink if you do.

Write for the fun of it, just get something down. Not caring or comparing during the first draft is immensely liberating. You can always edit – or throw out the whole thing – later.

Trying to be impressive, brilliant, erudite, perfect, etc. severely inhibits the creative process. Don’t edit or judge at first, just record your idea any way that you can.

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Crowd-Sourcing Composing Tips: Introduction

English: Level/Time of competence when learnin...

Acquiring composing skills and knowledge is very much like living: you just pay attention and learn one thing after another. Your skill (theoretically) improves over time, your tastes develop and change, your ear gets better so that you can analyze a lot of what you hear (recordings, concerts, elevators, TV & radio, anywhere, anytime), the better to steal, uh, learn from it; in any case, toss it on your musical compost heap to (switching metaphors now) slowly become part of your musical DNA. Another analogy: once, during my bluegrass guitar phase years ago I asked a pro player how he learned so many fiddle tunes. He simply said “One at a time.” Composing is like that. You just keep learning one thing at a time, and keep doing that over and over for a long time. Another analogy: like learning a language, including your native language. You can always learn more words, become better educated (history, sciences, current events, food, fashion, sports, games, music, literature, on and on), learn to craft felicitous phrases, no matter what you start out with. You can always improve, learn more, hone your craft, add depth to your knowledge and understanding of the world. It all supports your craft. All you need besides that is what we said earlier: the itch, the inspiration, the energy, the drive to put it to use.

What I’m getting at in this series of composition tips is this:

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