How to Compose Instrumental Music?

Ok...the big question eh?

This question is being asked a lot.  I get it from my piano students, from fellow musicians and from random people that just love the music I make.  Is it hard to compose music? Do you start with the harmonies? Do you start with a melody?

I usually have the same answer for everybody, being the fact that it's hard to explain in one sentence. But when I really sat down to think about it, I realized that the process was more simple than what I actually thought. 

I don't want to make this a long boring story, so here are some few suggestions when composing music:

1. Don't have any distractions. (cellphones, facebook, people around you, etc.)

2. Think of the purpose of the song. (Is it a happy song?, melancholic?, Do I want people to dance?)

3. Don't be afraid to experiment with chords and sounds. (Think outside of the I - IV - V - I)

4. If you are a pianist, start developing a "motif". Choose a Scale to work on and start creatting patterns with the notes inside the scale.

5. UNDO...if you need to.

6. Don't be "your worst judge". The fact that maybe you think the song it's simple, it doesn't mean that is not beautiful, powerful or an upcoming HIT!

7. Have any kind of recording device so you won't forget your song when you take that awaited 30 minute break. (DAW Software, cellphone, videocamera, etc.)

8. As you are developing the Melody, make sure it could fit perfectly with the purpose that you had when you sat down to create.

9. If the song is a romantic one, imagine a romantic scene on a movie and try to picture your music in that part. Does it fit well in that scene? Can the audience fall in love with that music?

10. UNDO Again...if neccessary.

There is a lot of ways to create music...I just mentioned what works for me.
Thank you for reading and sharing.



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