If you have never composed music and this is your first time, you might find it a daunting task and would be confused about how and where to take a start from? Don’t worry composing an original piece of music on piano is no rocket science but all you need is some inspiration, motivation, creativity and knowledge of fundamentals of music. A beginner composer must have basic knowledge of musical symbols along with its music notes. As learning to play piano needs you to work hard, dedicate time and focus, same goes for learning to compose piano music. As you begin to compose music, with time and hard work you will improvise as you finish your composition. You may not be able to compose an entire song in few hours but it may take days, weeks or even months.
What do you need?
For composing piano music you need following things:
- A fully functional well-tuned piano, you can even compose music on a modern digital piano that gives you more convenience in the form of portability and versatile features/options.
- You would need to write down or notate your composition and that could be done on a manuscript music paper with a pencil.
- You would need a voice recorder to record certain ideas. You can opt for a cassette tape recorder, recorder on your phone or can use internal mic of your computer etc.
Composing Piano Music:
Before you begin on composing music, it is best to look for an inspiration. Your inspiration for creating music could be anything such as a close friend, your family, your school life, a book, a movie or any other musical piece. Find inspiration by allowing yourself some quiet time alone where you should close your eyes, relax and look back in time for something that inspires you. It could be something happy, sad, and scary or any other feeling. Thinking for an inspiration would give a theme for your musical composition whether you would be creating something solo piano or something with other instruments included.
- Voice Record: Now is the time to bring your voice recorder close. Think about the music that you wish to compose in mind and think how would it sound like? Repetitively follow this step and then you can record it on a voice recorder. Don’t worry about perfection of what you are singing after all it is only for your own help for composition.
- Turn to your Piano: Once you have recorded your piece, now turn your piano on and begin with trying to find first note of your musical piece on piano. Take a note of all the musical notes on a manuscript paper with pencil. Play notes from beginning till the end of your recording and drag out a nice melody out of it. Once you have written it down, give your recording a try again using left hand.
- Make Improvements: Once you have written the music on manuscript page, let it be there. Relax and return back to it. Play it again and make improvements. Every time you will come back to the page, you may find some ways to make it even better.
- Important Tips:
- Before trying to compose any music, avoid listening to songs so that you don’t have certain melodies of already composed songs in your mind. Think with a free mind. In some cases it may also prove helpful in composing music but in order to avoid composing a melody close to ones that you have just listened, it is better not to hear music for a while before starting composition.
- Repetitive listening to your voice recording can result in an improved melody with changes.
- Experimenting is important, so give a hand on 8 and 4 bars of your favorite chords and make a good sounding melody line. You can even change chords according to a melody that you already have in mind or can alter parts that don’t match the chords.
Technical Details of Composing Piano Music:
- Look for Musical Chords that work well in harmony: In order to find musical chords that work well with each other, you would need to experiment with your piano. Try playing same notes that are played in the melody. Check examples of some other composers in order to find lines that complement each other.
- Tonality: You need to choose a tonality for your composition.
- Find allowed Notes for your Melody: For varied major ascending scales, there will be certain allowed notes. You may even use other notes but the allowed ones usually fit well.
Additional Useful Tips:
- Composing may not be as simple as ABCs so as mentioned earlier it could take months and years and then even it may not result in something that you wanted to make.
- Any idea that comes to your mind in the form of any melody or music, you must record it right away.
- Work out on your songs for melody and chords. Pick up notes that work out well for your melody and work on positions over piano.
- The idea that you have selected for composing your music, you may consider having a look at the pattern of songs with similar genre. Examining their patterns would help you in better formulation of your musical piece.
- Do not limit your imagination as there is no boundary for creativity in music. You can base your composition on any idea you like.
You can always make alterations and improve your melodies and notes during the process of composition. Gather different ideas to choose one that you find best and would love to experience composing. Make changes with varied inspiring melodies but make sure that your composition remains original. Keep style and form of your composition intact and you can make other changes. There cannot be one particular way of composing as it is a creative art but focus and determination with time dedication could result in a master piece in all ways.