Songwriting & Composing

  • Hans Zimmer is one of the most well-known film composers of our time. The Lion King, Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean are just three films that thank their extremely recognisable soundtracks to Zimmer who, believe it or not, actually tends to keep the core of his compositions very basic. In this article, I’ll show you how you can easily recognise Hans Zimmer’s style and apply it to your own productions or film score.

  • As we approach the end of the year, the radio starts to light up with all of the classic festive treats, penned by the likes of Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney, Wham and Slade. If you think you can do any better than these jolly-holly Christmas giants, then read on to find how Christmas pop and Christmas carols work and how you can start making your very own Christmas music!

  • It’s always a great excuse when composers and songwriters are struggling to put pen to paper: writer’s block! Within the space of a short blog, I want to show you that writer’s block might just be a choice, not an affliction, and that you’re actually capable of inspiring yourself to force out ideas and unclogging your own creativity. We’ll just cover five simple tips. Try them all out and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Just to be clear, this blog is about traditional music composition, meaning it’s not going to deal with modern EDM-style workflows involving arpeggiators, drum loops, Ableton tools, and so on. So, if you know your way around a piano and want to start writing your own pieces, by all means, dig in!

  • Nothing is more boring and unappealing than a song that doesn’t go anywhere, which is why any successful song needs to build tension and make sure that the listener is kept curious about what will happen next. So what can you do to keep a song fresh and surprising? How do you make a song instantly recognizable but a pleasure to listen to? Songwriting teacher, Peter van Vleuten offers some handy tips and tricks.

  • If you want to make a living from music – partly or entirely – then it’s worth having a good think about where exactly the money is going to come from. Almost every professional musician and music-maker has multiple sources of income, which in business-speak is referred to as a ‘revenue model’. To help you build yours, Guestblogger, Maaike lines up ten possible money-making options for your consideration.

  • Queen was, and still is, a unique phenomenon in the world of rock. So, if you want to sound like Queen, then you have to sound just as unique, right? Which, if you put it that way, sort of implies that you shouldn’t sound like Queen at all. But in all seriousness, there’s something deeply satisfying, inspiring, and not to mention educational, about nailing the music of the band that you consider to be the best band in the world. In this blog, we take a deep dive into the remarkable sound that Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon managed to weave with such grace and have a look at exactly what made Queen Queen.

  • We all know what today’s youngsters are like. If it’s not bloated with colour and employs touchscreen technology, their attention disintegrates quickly. The concentration threshold of myriad children means they turn off faster than the kitchen light. They flutter from one entertainment to another without embracing the necessary hardship to master a new skill set. How can such uniformity be consoled? Well, you could encourage them to write songs. Guest blogger Steven Brooks explores the benefits.

  • If you’re about to put on your songwriting pants for the first time, it’s worth knowing that most songs consist of building blocks like the verse, chorus and bridge. In this blog, we’ll tell you all you need to know about how songs are structured and why.

  • Want to make your own beats in the comfort of your own bedroom? Maybe you want to start producing beats to help out other artists, make their dreams come true, and in turn, see your own dreams come true? Here, guest-blogger and producer Daddynervs offers a guide through the first steps you need to take to start building your own beats.

  • A songwriter’s dream come true: an original, fresh, new melody jaunting into your mind while you sleep. Guest blogger, Caro, explores this dream phenomenon. Be it a ‘jingle dream’ or ‘symphony nightmare’; how can we coerce a dreamt-up, freshly invented melody from our sleep and bring it to the forefront of our minds? To kick start, you need to reach REM-sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), dream a melody, and then recall it. It’s fun, efficient and free! What’s not to love?

  • You might know the deal. You’re at a wedding reception and an A4 sheet of paper is unceremoniously thrust into your hand. Ahhhhh … Auntie Pauline has taken it upon herself to re-write the words to ‘Your Song’ and you can only stand as witness as she very sweetly and very brutally murders one of the best love songs of all time. But, what if you wanted to offer the happy couple something even more unique? Something even more personal? Here, Guestblogger and singer-songwriter Kevin shares his tips for crafting a tailor-made wedding song.

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