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Multi-instrumentalists #3002647 08/10/19 06:23 PM
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Bill Heins Offline OP
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Do you have a certain instrument you start writing on or do you bounce around? For me I just pick up whatever I feel like playing at the time and then noodle till something strikes my fancy smile

Bill

PS- I like the term multi-instrumentalist...it's a big word like mayonnaise wink

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3002652 08/10/19 06:50 PM
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linwood Offline
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Depends...most of the time it's at the keyboard. For some things I might start with guitar and for other things it starts and finishes with Sibelius (paper). There are so many ways to approach it and all are valid and worth exploring.

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3002757 08/11/19 04:34 PM
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GregC Offline
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All my songs have several instruments, mostly acoustic type instruments.
I usually fill up 10-15 midi tracks.

While anything keys related is my main instrument, I can handle basic rhythm guitar.
From there , bass is easy and hella fun. I also can fake around on violin and played flute in high school.

I feel comfortable
starting a new song with a chord progression on keys or guitar.

I think most keyboard musicians can discern, in the recording, that the acoustic instrument, like flute,
or violin or horn or sax is a sampled instrument.

My non musician listeners, however, believe acoustic instruments are used.

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3002776 08/11/19 06:07 PM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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How and what I write absolutely depends on what instrument I’m using at the time - not just guitar and bass vs. keyboard...but piano vs organ vs synth. I even have tunes that have started with a vocal phrase...


dB

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3002808 08/11/19 09:11 PM
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linwood Offline
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Here's another way to get the creative flow going. With this technique/approach I don't have to wait for inspiration or search for chords, melody ideas, harmonic choices. I have the tools I need in front of me and I simply explore them. You have to have a creative bone and instincts, but it's a great tool to understand and can be used in a variety of situations. It's too much to go into on a forum, but basically I'm setting up my interval relationships. I will shift them at will into different places on the staff and use leading/passing tones and Bingo. It's always interesting to see where things might take you on a given day. I just try to stay out of the way. smile This mockup isn't the greatest, but it doesn't need to be. It's just an exercise in the technique.

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3002818 08/11/19 10:52 PM
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GregC Offline
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Its cool how we are discussing how we start and perform the song start process.

I am interested in song structure and transitions.

I almost always have some type of intro. My recent songs have
a 5-10 second intro. Based on tempo that ranges from 8-16 measures.

Early in the creative process, I work out the intro , while fleshing
out my chord progression in the verse or first main section{ my term].

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3002891 08/12/19 01:44 PM
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Even in my days when I was primarily playing bass, I would write at the piano. I was never very effective building songs up from basslines -- they always felt too much like Generic Riff #7. I would much more often come up with an interesting melody when inspired by a chord progression.

These days I'll often start writing away from an instrument. My hands often go to familiar places when I'm trying to write, and I like to defeat that tendency (or at least kick it down the curb a bit after I've established something that appeals to me in my brain).


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003010 08/13/19 04:43 AM
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I play keys, sax, bass, and guitar. I can play simple beats on drums but don't own a set. I can play just a little clarinet and have dabbled on Violin. I'm not an accomplished writer on any instrument. That said, I sometimes feel like my strongest writing is on my weakest instruments. Not sure why that is, but it seems like I can come up with some super cool novel idea on guitar and can't write anything on keys. Here's what I DON'T know"

1) is it just that I think it's cool because I wrote it on an instrument that I'm not proficient at? Would a guitar player feel the same way about something I wrote on guitar?
2) Am I knocking myself on my keyboard written songs because I'm aware of so many great keyboard players and nothing I write will ever be good enough?


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003012 08/13/19 04:49 AM
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Let me add.... I've heard guys who had no formal keys training come up with some cool sounding stuff. First thought is "well that's really simple stuff, whatever" but it sounds good. I'm guessing same with the guitar stuff I write. Point is that there's sort of 2 things going on....what SOUNDS good, and what is TECHNICALLY COMPETENT, and maybe a third...WHAT IS MUSICALLY INTERESTING. these are all separate things that, when they come together, result in a winner. People just pecking at keys can come up with something that sounds good. Me messing on the guitar can come up with something that sounds good. Good songwriting is a separate thing that transcends instruments. Look at the Beatles. George Martin wasn't sure about them at first because he was skeptical of their musical abilities. The rest is history.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003025 08/13/19 11:02 AM
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I know some people who are "freer" on instruments that are not their primary instrument, because of the hangups they have about their primary. A former piano teacher of mine started off with brass, I think, and he's very self-conscious about playing trumpet, etc. I've read and heard others say that when they write on other instruments, it takes them in directions they wouldn't have thought of on their main instrument.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003052 08/13/19 03:43 PM
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I think also just the nature and mechanics of the instrument can take you in different directions.....open strings on a guitar, black vs white keys on a keyboard, etc. sax and brass certainly lead you down certain paths depending on the key.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003061 08/13/19 04:22 PM
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linwood Offline
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I've never had any piano or guitar lessons. I'm a self taught buffoon. I started on guitar and alto sax in the 5th grade and then when I was around 13 I discovered Booker T and have been chasing him ever sense. Got a Hammond when I was 15. I usually start everything at the keys, but I've got guitars laying around the house. There's a nylon yamaha on a stand next to the couch in the living room, a Fender flat top strung Nashville next to the couch in the den, and where I'm sitting now there's a Taylor and a strat within reach. If I'm doing a classic rock or country cross over piece for a client many times I'll write them from the guitar perspective if for no other reason than it's fun. I'm not that good on it. It's a blast though. I'm very limited as to what I can play on it, but who cares. lol

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003535 08/16/19 06:08 PM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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Mostly self taught as well. Took some piano lessons for a while until I realized what I could do with the guitar tab (around 6th grade). Picked up guitar, bass and drums on my own. Took trombone and baritone horn lessons for a couple of years in school as well, but I haven't touched either of those in years

I keep an acoustic guitar nearby my couch, another one near the piano rig and an acoustic Variax in the studio. I do not have an electric in the house...but I have four really nice basses - wish I played them more... hider

dB

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003611 08/17/19 01:14 AM
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Definitely self-taught here as well, and it shows grin I did do a few months of organ lessons which helped for sure, but aside from a school-based music subject where I learned the basics of reading music, that's it. I do 100% of my writing on keyboard as that's all I know grin

Re: Multi-instrumentalists [Re: Bill Heins] #3003657 08/17/19 01:09 PM
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GregC Offline
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I took 2 years of guitar lessons. Had a great teacher.

I took 1 organ lesson. Teacher insisted I learn " Going out of my head":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu9moZvdUTA

There was no 2nd lesson on the organ grin


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