Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

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PuglyWont
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Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by PuglyWont » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:51 pm

Does any one know of any places with info on this, or books or something. I'm well studied in music theory, I know my chords and scales... but I'm sometimes at a loss as to how to use them in making a nice arrangement. Where the progression sounds nice and natural and not really forced.

Arranging and knowing how to make the music flow always seems to be a ethereal, how to make the music build towards something... when to hold back and drop out parts. When to introduce a counter melody.

I've developed some rules of thumb, and I'm getting better... but I was wondering if there was a more studied approach out there.
Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting. - Gottfried Leibniz

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DS-10 Dominator
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:55 pm

Where as scales and stuff are hard to hear for the untrained ear, I think it's much easier to notice the structure of pieces, why not try to compose some variations on pieces you like?
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azimuth coordinator
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by azimuth coordinator » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:41 am

I can recommend a good book that covers things like arrangement, part relationships (drums->bassline->melody), theory of individual part construction (so e.g. what makes a good bassline? Building drums from basic established patterns to your own groove).

Composition for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

It's a follow up to his Music Theory book which covers scales, chords, timing etc.

To be clear - Composition for Computer Musicians isn't just about 'arranging' (there's a small chapter on it) but it does cover wider compositional topics (hence the title) that are an excellent complement to the theory book or if you already have a decent grounding in scales etc. It takes you a bit further to the bigger 'structural' questions.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Theory-Computer ... 1598635034

gejm
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by gejm » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:17 am

I kinda had the same problem, but I'm lately getting better at it (at least I think/hope so lol) so I can share some tips:
-read the book some friend above mentioned (Composition for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt),
-try to imitate your favorite artists structure. As I was mostly into underground music, I noticed that some commercial productions are easier to follow and are sometimes better in construction, though often really similar to each other,
-read this: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1997_ar ... ging1.html and this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_struc ... lar_music) - it's really basic, but should give you some ideas on how to built your own songs. Music is art and you should be creative anyway!
As for counter-melodies etc., I can't really help you, because nothing helped me with that as much as music theory, that you said you're good at... I'm still just a beginner.

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titaniumshell
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by titaniumshell » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:32 pm

Composition and structure can be hard to grasp at first. Listen to any pop song and try to see how the song is structured. Usually you can break a song into sections and categories and then each section can be broken down to into loops and breaks. If you follow this process you can reverse it a build a track up of your own. Hope that makes sense, it did in my head. Remember there is many musicians who have no grasp on theory or composition, the technician in the studio usually mixes the track.
Last edited by titaniumshell on Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cfgk24
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by Cfgk24 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:29 pm

There is also a god book called 'Music Composition for Dummies ' available :) very helpful :D

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Decktonic
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by Decktonic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:03 pm

doing covers of songs you like is a great way to learn!
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Decktonic
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by Decktonic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:09 pm

This is an excellent guide! Love it!

In part 3 when they start talking about getting your composition and arrangement down with basic synth sounds (piano, bass, drums) before even worrying about the instruments you will use, it's so crazy... I've been doing the complete opposite and never thought about doing it that way. But it makes sense... a pop hook should be catchy even when played with lame basic MIDI instruments.
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Cfgk24
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by Cfgk24 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:06 pm

Of course! Such a simple way of doing things- yet so often I tweak the sounds to what I want before I start composing but I guess really all the notes hsould be done on piano and then the instrumentation done......

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titaniumshell
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Re: Looking for tips and ideas on arranging

Post by titaniumshell » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:57 am

It's easy to worry about getting it right, use a method that you feel comfortable with. I just get the structure in place first. I tweak samples and restructure as much as I want later - especially as Im recording onto my mac. Basically you can use ds10 as a sketch pad for your ideas, save or note your patches etc. most importantly its about having fun.

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