How to start composing?

Jul 2, 2018

I have been playing piano for about a year and want to start moving over to composition. Do you have any suggestions on how to get started composing?

Thank you!


I started transcribing music about a year ago, and I had no idea how to do it. Practice with the Musescore sheet music wizard for a while and just play around with it until you know you have the hang of it. Then I would say after that try out composing and/or transcribing some music (whatever you want to do). Start with some basic pieces and move up in difficulty as you get better. I did this and I know I'm improving pretty well at it. Have fun creating music :)
If you have no method, the best I've found it's just play around with an improvised melody that really means something. Then harmonizing every single note and substracting the chords that are unnecesary. From then on, I start to build backwards or forward depending on the progression. If you play piano you must have an understanding of dominants and modal interchange so I guess it should be relatively easy to make the switch little by little. Today the melody, in one week 3/4 of the structure finished. Welcome to composers's world! =D where we are all weird... or smth like that (?.
I would suggest learn chords and corresponding scales.
I have composed numerous piano pieces in the last year.
I am self taught on the piano and I have been composing classical guitar music for years.
It is the same principal of chords and scales.
I have found them to be a delightful mathematical sound puzzle.
You can hear what fits together and what does not if you have a good ear.

I have a learning disability and cannot read music very strong but
I have found that creating my own music comes easier than reading and playing other composer's music.

Do not limit yourself to any one mind set concerning music.
Do not compare yourself to anyone else.
Be yourself and let your creativity flow.
If you desire to compose it is most likely in you to do so.
Educate yourself in chords and scales and create away.

The key of C is the easiest place to begin.
No sharps, No flats.
C Major, D minor, E minor, F Major, G Major, A minor, B diminished, C Major
These are the natural falling chords in the key of C
With the scale C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

Do not complicate it with to much theory in the beginning just play around with 
chords on the left hand scales on the right for the melody and have fun.

It is a good idea to use the audio record app on cell phone or you might pay something you like and not be able to remember

From time to time I pull out my Aaron Shearer classical guitar book or a simple form of piano sheet music and work on strengthening my weakness but my gifting is in creating and I find it quite therapeutic.

Have fun...

 Thank you for the advice! I have heard a lot of advice about learning scales and producing melodies. And thank you for recommending some scales for me to try at first. :)
 A lot of the time I will just improvise on my piano with different keys until I find something I like. Other times I'll go online to a random instrument generator where it chooses the instruments for me and I basically just image what type of theme or mood would fit with those instruments and work from there.  
I just play around on the piano and eventually find something I like. Then, I just write everything down.
Since you are a pianist, I'd suggest composing for piano since you know the instrument. Sit down and improvise! This is a great way to find an idea you like that you can develop in a piece.

Remember to take it slow, don't start composing 20-minute works or orchestral scores after a few weeks. Composing, just like any other skill, takes a lot of time to learn. Start writing short (I mean REALLY short, max 3 minutes but preferably about 1 min) pieces for piano.

Remember that there are NO rules to composing. Of course, there are still some basic guidelines (like voice-leading) but you shouldn't worry about that too early either.

Lastly, don't worry about finding you "own voice". That comes with time :)
I've had 2 and a half years learning piano. I was like 7 almost 8 then. I've pretty much been self taught since. Anyways, how I compose is I like to play songs. Eventually I find a cord I like. And I play all kinds of different notes until I find stuff I like to go with that cord. Then I make adjustments  and put them in ways I like. Usually when I find a good cord, I transpose it to every key, and I pick the one I like the best. But usually I don't do this every time. There is no formula for composing. There is no rules. You get to do whatever the hey you want. That's the beauty of composing! Hopefully my little bit of insight helps!  But also know, to not have the same mind set every time! Don't use a formula, don't compare your composing to others, and take breaks! Don't work yourself to hard! Sometimes when your composing something, it just stops and you have a mental block. It's happen to me. XD So take breaks and don't ware yourself out too much! 

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