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Small Town Hero

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Benjamin Goldman, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Hey everyone! Here is a fun, family, adventure track, hope you like it!

    Small Town Hero
  2. 0:05 to 0:20 I'd take the spiccatos down a dynamic marking or so. Whether you do it when the melody starts or from the very beginning is up to you. They're interfering with the melody, and this will make it stand out more. Plus you get a boost of energy when they go up to their current dynamic marking at 0:20.

    0:20 This part is very unclear. If you wish to stick with your current orchestration choices here, I'd suggest to double the woods in mallets (glock or celeste), much like you doubled the horns with the bells.

    0:28 You have a 2-measure bridge where nothing is really happening. The easiest and simplest way to make this work and sound interesting is to have it be a decrescendo-crescendo. 1 bar down, 1 bar up. This will also partly fix the next issue:

    0:32 Drops the ball in terms of impact. I feel not only because of the looping, dynamically consistent violin ostinato, but also because that same ostinato is a bit too loud/distracting, while not providing anything of value. It's the same pattern and you didn't introduce any changes to it. It would be much better if your rhythms had counterpoint, and then you use that as a guideline on where to drop the string ostinato notes either dynamically or completely. Development is as much about dropping notes as it is about adding them. Or however that saying goes :D

    0:55 I think I've made my point with the ostinato, and the same stands for the rest of the piece.

    1:27 Not sure about these 2 measures and what their purpose is when the climax comes at 1:30. If you insist on having them here, I think these can be well used to create a cool modulation, otherwise they're just uninteresting and lead me into expecting something else for the next 2 measures, but I'm then hit with the climax halfway through, because you've set up 4-bar phrases throughout your piece so far, and the one thing that took 2 measures was that bridge a minute ago. I was fully expecting a climax at this 1:27 point.

    1:30. The climax is just bland. It's mostly the same thing you've already state before. If you applied the counterpoint and rhythmic development to your accompaniment I talked about above, it would already sound better. Now, if you want it to stay this way, you desperately need some counterpoint.

    I've been transcribing this lately so it's fresh in my mind. It's got a similar adventurous vibe and showcases some easy ways of developing themes as well as the points I've talked about above and below. Note the rhythm evolving, the counterstuff happening both rhythmically and melodically. For example, the first statement of the theme has stuff happening on the downbeat, while the second time around it does everything to avoid having rhythmical elements on the downbeat, and then the third time around it's a combination of both. I could go on pointing stuff out all day, but you can just absorb it if you transcribe it yourself.

    One other thing is I think you rely too much on the crash cymbal to achieve impact. The fact that it's always the same dynamic and the sample sounds same-y doesn't help. Crash cymbal on the downbeat is the cheapest and simplest way of achieving impact, coupled together with the bassdrum on that same downbeat. It takes very little thought or even setup, and it's as easy as just jotting it down. That's why it should be used as sparingly as possible (in my very humble opinion). Strictly always (and only) using it on every 4th downbeat cheapens your track so much that it's only secondary to having a persistent 16th-note string ostinato throughout your piece.

    Listen to this piece and count how many times Johnny put a crash cymbal on the downbeat. Notice how impactful it is nonetheless.

    I know you could pull out a Johnny piece on almost every track and that there are certainly some more sophisticated examples, but John's stuff really is rock solid while still being very accessible and easy to connect to, so he's a great example for these kinds of things.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  3. Thanks for all of this, Aaron and I appreciate the helpful tips/feedback!

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