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Trying to start slow

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Joe Galloway, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Hey guys! much to your suggestions, I really want to try starting a little closer to where I actually am as a composer and get working on the basics. Here's a short A part that I've written (
    ) and I'd like some feedback on maybe how to refine this and similar pieces I'll write. Anything helps! I appreciate you all very much, thanks again
  2. #2 Alexander Schiborr, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    Joe, I remember you posted a couple of your pieces here on that forum. How about trying to have a bit of interaction with the feedback you got? :cool: I remember I tried to help you with one of your other pieces, see also here:
    but I got no reply, whatsoever I wonder a bit if you either didn´t read my comment or in case that you did which there might be a chance, then I would like to know why you passed on any interaction. I think an essentiel part of feedback is to have a communication, you know? Thanks! :)

    I will try later after my coffee to give you a short brief feedback.
    Joe Galloway likes this.
  3. #3 Alexander Schiborr, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    Ok, here we go :D

    So first of all that´s a great thing that you try starting more basic as I feel you really need to do that. And thats good start overall.
    Still a few thoughs:

    One thing what I would advice here, and that´s a general thing what I noticed in your other pieces too: Concentrate on a strong motif where the melody is able to carry interest on its own. I mean there is nothing totally wrong about that melody, and it is a personal opinion by myself here: But I don´t feel that this melody simply evolves in a way that it creates much interest to my ear.

    Also Voiceleading might be a thing to look into more further and "voicing chords" specifically. You can voice chords in so many different ways to support your melodic material either in an interesting way or simply to have a chord there. I feel in your piece there are these choices not really taken into consideration that much rather to place harmonic support to have simply something there, you know?. For instance in Bar 1 - 3:
    You present a Bm and Bar 2 an inversion of it. Is that inversion really adding anything interesting? I mean in Bar 9-10 you didn´t do any inversion on the other side, why didn´t you do it there? You know, so for me things like that become obselete in terms of that they are done for a specific reason. It feels random. And then in Bar 3 you jump up to the Db major. Its very jumpy in terms of voice leading. Also while the melody is going down, the chords are going down too but then everything both chords and melody is going up in Bar 3. Just this thing can be improved in my opinion thinking about to have:

    a). better and foremost smoother voiceleading using more effective motion from one to the next chord.
    b). considering the melodies contour that you should use also a bit of contrary or oblique motion for instance.

    Also and that is maybe a secondary thing but where do you intend to have your focus overall? Is it the accompaniment part of your melody to have any interaction or simply to create motion but has nothing to do with the melody itself, so I guess its there just to create motion and harmonic glue or support. Also Bar 1,2 there you go up with the left hand, Bar 3 you change the contour entirely and in Bar 4 once again. That makes it a bit confusing for me. Maybe you should stick at least for a couple of bars to one direction. Also considering that your melody in Bar 3-4 is changing the contour as well. That makes both bars not easy to follow at all for me.

    Do you transcribe music? Or is there music you like to listen to? I think by learning other material lets say from composers you like it can help to build a vocabulary and over a longer period of time you build a better foundation for good devices which may help you to improve your own writing a lot. Surerly just making music for your own like that is fine, but if you want to improve seriously as a composer to present interesting material to an audience there is no way in my opinion around that you start studying more in depth repertoire from the greats. And you should start with very very simple pieces imo.

    Having said that, I am no strict academic though and I can only tell you from my own experience what did help me over the last couple of years to improve my own writing as I feel these are some of the important parts to consider doing on a regular workout routine. And that process takes time depending on how frequent you intend to practise, if you lets say do music just as an occasional hobby it may take a lot longer than lets that you seriously consider working everyday on such things which may take a few couple of years to see significant improvements. And last but not least: Don´t take my comment the way to be disencouraged take it as a motivation to start right now working on those things I mentioned. I remember in 2014 I got very similiar feedback on my material and I took that advice to start at the very very basics of writing short pieces utilizing I,IV,V,I progressions plus starting to transcribe a lot of music in order to learn many many devices, modulations, chord voicings and theory in addition to learn why certain things work for the better or the worse. So before writing any new pieces simply stop and study things. Then go back and apply things you have learned and present them here if you like.

    I hope that helps a bit and let me know if you have any questions.
    Joe Galloway and Ethan Toavs like this.

  4. Hey man thanks a ton for your time and help! I really did appreciate what you said to help with the last couple of pieces, but the major concern with those was that no matter what I'd try to do to fix it, there were so many basic functions that need attention first I figured I'd just move on and come back to those later when I can. I did read everything though! Those voices are 100% random and that's a very helpful thing to pointo ut! I can find a way to voice them that's beneficial, and keep with it unless there's an obvious reason to change it.

    I do really want to transcribe music but my options when working on music are extremely limited, and transcribing, for me, requires a significant amount of uninterrupted attention for like an hour at least if I'm going to get anything done. Unfortunately I don't come across that very often but I'll try to transcribe when I can! Thanks again my friend!

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