I like to pretend I’m Brian Wilson (Pet Sounds to Smile era) when I compose music on Garageband and try these unique, different things that are kind of unconventional when it comes to what music commonly is to create something new, fresh, maybe a little strange, with these special little, unexpected touches.
But unlike him, my attempts probably suck. Maybe not suck - but instead of sounding brilliantly unique, it just sounds a little off. Alas, I’m not quite a composer, but I sure like doing it.
Except the last two non-rap songs I’ve composed have ended up sounding peculiarly like they could be a part of the soundtrack to a Legend of Zelda game or something (here's one, if you care to listen to my mediocrity: http://soundcloud.com/channyt/leave-it-all-behind). My brother and I used to share “Link’s Awakening” on our Gameboy pockets when we were kids, and we legitimately loved the music. I may or may not have two of the songs on my iTunes right now.
The stuff I created isn’t anywhere near as good. But I like moments of them. Certain moments really resonate with me, and I know that’s a start. If I can create awesome moments in a song, then I’m on my way to creating great, complete masterpieces some day. I’m still young, I’ve only been doing this for a few months - I’ll keep experimenting, and I get it.
Because those moments are important. I realized that with songs I really love. I can like a song as a whole, but what really gets me are those special touches that stick out and really make the song great. I know nothing of proper musical terminology, so bear with me, but sometimes at the end of a bar, an artist will do something different with the note progression there. Like in “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, I absolutely love the part in the music every time after they sing “something” in the chorus. I think it’s the bassline, maybe. Whatever it is - I live for that part.
And in “Love You Like a Love Song” (yes, Selena Gomez - really take in the subtleties of that song before you judge), which is actually driven by a bassline (a synth bassline, but a bassline nonetheless - Billie Jean style, sort of) - the progression of the notes in that line at the end of each bar helps make the song for me.
Then you have that moment in one of the latter choruses of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” when he sings “I look at you all” but doesn’t complete the line, so it really draws your attention to the music at that part, and you can hear that piano shining over that guitar, and I just listen to that song in anticipation for that part.
So it’s important for me to have these little moments that I absolutely love in every song I created - whether it’s a certain chord change or how the drums go in one particular part. Because that’s what makes a song for me. That little special embellish that sets something apart. The thing to look forward to, that clicks with you, that gets a little rise out of you every time you hear it, you know?
I’m such a poser. I got my degree in film and act like I know what I’m talking about with music. But it’s amazing what you can teach yourself just by paying attention. Really listening to music - and I mean really listening to it has changed up my whole experience, and has really helped me to improve as I experiment with song writing. I’m not expert by any means, but now I really understand a lot about music that I didn’t before. Now I can actually talk about its composition and such (my lack of knowledge of the correct terminology aside), and the further I get, the more I enjoy it and really appreciate what goes into crafting a song.
Adding onto the list: someone I can really talk about music with. Not in a “yeah, I like this, I like that”, “oh, that’s good, but that sucks” sort of shallow, comparing tastes way, but really talking about the composition of songs, comparing songs in that sense, talking about what really makes a song great - picking it apart and truly appreciating it. Someone I can really learn from.
This wasn’t the most eloquent or relevant of posts, but I wrote a song yesterday, so why not write about it in a sense?