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Writing An Instrumental


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Hey

For the first time in ages I have decided to write an instrumental, something not often spoken about on these boards.

How do you approach writing an instrumental? What do you consider the most important bits/must haves in an instrumental? Any other tips you want to share with members?

The instrumental I'm writing is a solo guitar piece. I'm looking forward to it :) Should be a challenge!

Cheers

John

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  • Noob

I have never written an instrumental, though I did get close once and decide that it could be longer if I just repeated a certain part and added lyrics... you have to keep the listener's interest without the lyrics, so consequently the lead instrument part must be more than chords, and the instrumentation in general needs to be far more intricate. It would take a pretty long time to make all of that content... I think I'd get to maybe like one and a half minutes of the instrumental and then get bored and stop.

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Hey

Thanks for your reply :) You're right. An instrumental is not just a song with no words or vocals. For me instrumentals have to be melodically strong, and have a higher number of ideas per minute than a normal song would in the instrumentation. On a solo instrument I thing it also helps to display some create application of technique. The so called fireworks.

Anyone else?

Cheers

John

P.s. Drop by the Introduce Yourself board and say hi :)

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Even though my instrumentals have no words, they are still trying to "say" something. I have an image in my head, and I keep it in mind when I am writing the song. It's almost as though the song is a soundtrack for the image. The music seems to have more emotion when I write this way.

For one of my songs, I used the image of a leaf falling in the mountains in autumn, though the image is far more detailed than that. I can actually explain how different parts of the song relate to this leaf, but I don't because um people would look at me strangely.

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i have seen that picture on crimewatch uk...

you scare me steve!!! :rolleyes:

john when you write an instrumental how will you decide on the title??

i enjoy the freedom of instrumentals for that reason alone

you get more freedom in the title of the song without words

let us know when its done :thumb23:

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I've a small collection of snippets - instrumentals which are either unfinished or only one theme is set down.

The most imp. part is a motiff imo. It has to be; an opening statement melodic and complete to stand alone, an anchor which the song keeps resolving to.

Is your piece just one guitar, I'm assuming, John? Yeah, that's where the chops come in, and the writing. Sounds like a worthwhile endeavor.

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I generally suck at instrumentals and that's largely because I play a keyboard that has so many sounds to choose from and my "fingerpainting" often ends up a muddy brown mess.

Sometimes less is more and all that...

I wish I could play guitar then I'd only have the notes to choose from. :rolleyes:

Anyway, good luck with finishing yours.

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Guest voclizr

I love to write instrumentals. Some of my favorite singer/songwriters, like Dan Fogelberg and Joe Jackson, do an instrumental occasionally. I have one full song instrumental with my newer stuff called "Can't You Tell?" which started as a little melody that was dancing in my mind in a dream (I find I get my beat musical ideas in either dreams or in the process of waking up. Fascinating, huh?) I gave a bit of thought of putting words to the melody, because it does lend itself to a lyric line, but I thought, "Naw, let it be as it is!"

On four of my newer song, I came up with instrumental intros (orchestral). ( I know my old second cousin and clarinet instructor J. Carl Borelli would be proud. He turned me on to classical music).

For the instrumental intros (which I call "Prelogues") I did something different from what would seem expected. Instead of making the intro from the central part of the melody of the song, I took a secondary part of the song and developed that for the intro. I don't know if that worked well in giving away the fact that it's introducing a vocal type song, but I found it interesting, nonetheless. If you listen to the song right after the intro, you're likely to think "Hey, I heard that part somewhere before, but where"? I want to write another full song instrumental sometime soon. The well's kinda dry right now though.

:) John B.

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Hey John, Im writing one too. Some of my instrumentals dont have names. Lots of them are in flux anyway and havnt been finished. My oldest proper instrumental is called FLAMINGO which is a play on words because it has several flamenco techniques used within it.

Oddly enough, I am working on a companion piece for FLAMINGO at the moment because I have at last bought a classical guitar & so am trotting out all those psuedo-spanish ideas I have had over the years. Working titles for the bits that I am adding are such inspired names as LINK-LASH Amin 3, and LASH Amin 3 TS-6. Catchy eh?

Hope you are enjoying the challenge. Good luck.

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I've spent many years writing only instrumentals, most of the times I started with the title, just some crazy title that creates a "feeling" in my mind and in contact with that "feeling" the music grows easier...

hmmm... I think Steve is going to post another weird photo under this post...

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