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Topic: will some teacher/composer help me?

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  1. #1

    will some teacher/composer help me?

    i honestly feel a bit embarassed in posting this...
    a friend of mine recently gifted me a mandolin. it's a very nice instrument (i play guitar so i feel at ease with it!).



    next step would be to write a short composition for GPO orchestra (or small string/brass/wind section) and mandolin (not necessary a "full orchestra")

    i already have written a short and simple tune (16 bars), and i'm working on the arrangement. but since i never studied composition, and did all my songs "by ears", the arrangement process is painful, also because i don't want to make a too simple progression (I, V, I, V, IV,V... !)

    a part of my "composition" (bad played, there is some out-of-time here and there!!) can be listened here
    http://www.alchemystudio.it/docs/mandolino.mp3

    (i listened to the "godfather theme" to have some ideas, but the mood is very different!)

    so, i post here to ask a "simple" thing: will someone help me in writing a good arrangement (chords progressions and maybe some rhytmical idea) for my tune? the top, for my learning puropses, would be first to write my arrangement, and then pass my "work" (in midi) to some teacher/composer who can tell me what i did good, what i did wrong, or what other possibility would be for arranging such a melody. the "teacher arrangement" could come with a few comment lines indicating the reasons for that progession or for that altered chord, or so on.

    if some is so kind to help, please contact me by mail!

    of course, i'm not in hurry to do this! :-)

    thank you to all!

  2. #2

    Re: will some teacher/composer help me?

    in the first place, it would be helpful to have the melody sequenced in midi to look at it instead of recorded

    in the second place, i don't know what's wrong with easy chords progressions when they're needed. that melody is asking for a simple harmony and a sweet orchestral arrangement, so go for it

    I V | I V6 V | II7 V | II7 V | IV IVm I |
    could work right for instance

    another option would be start with the harmony and make the melody on top of it, sometimes it's easier if you want a more complex harmony


    i also had to write a track with a mandolin some time ago without having played one in my whole life hehe it's always nice to try new things

  3. #3

    Re: will some teacher/composer help me?

    Quote Originally Posted by guybrush threepwood
    in the first place, it would be helpful to have the melody sequenced in midi to look at it instead of recorded
    yes, you are right, i'll provide it! :-) but in this way you listen to the acutal sound! :-) nice eh!? (it would be nicer if i played better and in an appropriate room!)

    in the second place, i don't know what's wrong with easy chords progressions when they're needed. that melody is asking for a simple harmony and a sweet orchestral arrangement, so go for it
    I V | I V6 V | II7 V | II7 V | IV IVm I |
    could work right for instance
    i'll try at soon i'll come at home.
    regarding easy chord progression, i'd like to obtain a little variation, otherwise i get bored while i listen to my own music, which is not good...

    another option would be start with the harmony and make the melody on top of it, sometimes it's easier if you want a more complex harmony
    often i proceed in this way, but now i have that melody in my hear to arrange! :-)

    thanks anyway!

    i also had to write a track with a mandolin some time ago without having played one in my whole life hehe it's always nice to try new things [/QUOTE]

  4. #4

    Re: will some teacher/composer help me?

    Hey Bosone!

    That's awesome that your friend gave that as a gift, right on! Well, I'm in school right now for theory and composition and I have a few simple things that you could do to spice up your progression a bit. I apologize if you already know this information

    1) Use inversions- to smooth out the movement, create less skips in the bass movement, unless you want bigger skips. So, let's say in C Major you want to go I--> IV--> V-->. Well, that's:

    I= do mi so (skip a perfect fourth to fa...)
    IV= fa la do (fa up to so is not too bad...)
    V= so ti re (so back to do is a skip of a perfect 5th, kind of skippy line)

    So, use inversions:

    I= do mi so
    IV 6 (2nd inversion) do fa la (smooth...)
    4

    V 6 (1st inversion) ti re so (smoother thant he original progression)

    Then back to the I chord in root position. You can also do this with 7th chords. There are a few rules for second inversion triads, but I wouldn't worry about them too much.


    2) Use secondary dominanats- this is where I am currently at in school. (essential chromaticism/ altered chords) So if you are in the key of C Major you could go:

    I (C Maj)--> IV (F Maj)--> I (C Maj)--> IV (F Maj)--> V7/V (D7)-->
    V(G MAj)--. I (C Maj).

    From what I've learned so far, you can use the dominant of any of the scale degrees except the diminished chords. The chord that you will be tonicizing has to be Major or minor.

    That was simplified to show you how it works.

    3) Modulating to realtive keys- change to the relative minor or Major keys for a bit of a change up. Also using foreign keys, but I'm not really sure on how to do this just yet.

    There's my bit of amatuer info I hope this will help at least someone.
    http://www.jamesjumonville.com

    Captain Hook (if you see Pan let me know!)

  5. #5

    Re: will some teacher/composer help me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bosone
    i honestly feel a bit embarassed in posting this...
    You shouldn't ever feel embarrassed posting around these guys. It's the most friendly and helpful forum I've ever encountered.

    For what it's worth, I think Guybrush made a good point in that something doesn't have to be complicated to be good. Here's another thought about composing in general, since guitar is also my primary instrument.

    I find that when I pick up a guitar, much of my songwriting is done by fiddling around on the instrument, coming up with either comfortable patterns or playing bad notes until I find something that sounds interesting. Either way, the guitar is writing the song and I'm just along for the ride. That's okay as long as in the end, the emotion I'm feeling comes out.

    However, when doing any other kind of music, I find that it works best if I compose in my head first. I'll hear the melodies, counter melodies, chord structures, instrumentation, dynamics, tempo, etc. all in my head, where I can tweak them to my heart's content without having the limitation of not being able to play all the instruments. Once I'm happy with what I hear, I sit at the computer and start putting what's in my head down in MIDI. At that point, it's just putting down each part as I hear it. Although I can't play all the instruments in GPO, I'm quite accomplished at wiggling a mouse, so I encounter no limitations there.

    Anyway, just another perspective on composing from a fellow guitarist. And by the way, the mandolin was a wonderful gift! I'd write the first song in honor of the person who gave it to me!

    Hope this is helpful...
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


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