New (Background) Musician Introduction

Hi! I’m a very not-so-skilled musician who has many ideas but not so many ways of making them into music.
wow, I’m great at selling my self :expressionless:

So, the more I try to say how… not terrible I am the worst I’ll sound so I’ll just let this sit here and you can judge me as you wish.

I am looking forward to making background music (stuff you don’t really listen to, but you hear and notice it’s there), so I’m sorry if you’re looking for something theme music quality or and complex as that. My stuff is simple, usually one or two instruments and I try and make stuff that doesn’t distract you from whatever else you may be doing.

(I don’t think that sounded too bad…)

  • My soundcloud
    ^This is what I have so far as it shows the bulk style of my work, I have some other stuff in the works but might as well let this be out there and see how well it goes!

Welcome! :smiley:

It’s great to have another composer on the team! If you need any advice, ask me or one of the others. Anything new you compose should be posted here, and then we’ll listen to it and decide whether it belongs in the game or not.

I’ve told you this already over email after your application, and I do still think it sounds a little harsh, but be prepared to take criticism if you want to improve. Should you stick around a while, I’m sure you’ll no longer have to say you don’t have many ways of turning your ideas into music anymore.

Of course, you could always ask the rest of us to compose something if you have the idea for it…

By harsh what do you mean? This might be a weird question, but I’m not exactly the best person at guessing what others mean.

Do you mean general audio quality?
Instrument Quality?
Or my terrible playing?

Or something else because I can tell my work is bad but I can’t even tell why it’s bad! (it just… is)

Thanks though, for the tips!

Taking this as an example:

The atmosphere is good, it’s just a bit thin. I know you want to keep it simple, but two instruments don’t keep interest very well unless they’re playing more than one note each (the pad might be, I can’t tell) or have a lot of effects added to them. The bell also feels quite…haphazard? As in, it’s tracing out a melody that doesn’t have much of a rhythm and doesn’t play with engagement level very much. Most melodies rise, fall, speed up, slow down and pause to build tension. You’ve got some of that, but maybe not enough. There’s no section where the bell stops playing for longer than a second, for instance. It doesn’t have much of a recognisable motif running through it either. You don’t always need that, especially for ambient music, but it helps.

It’s hard, I’m having trouble putting my finger on why as well. The audio quality isn’t bad. The instruments could use more effects (see if they have any settings you can tweak, and have a go at changing them for the entire track or even during the track). Really just experiment with all the tools you have available, and try to have as much variety in what you’re composing as possible.

Hope this helps!

1 Like

Thank you so much!
(okay, just going to say this, it’s going to take out any confidence you had in me (althoug, not even I would have had any confidence in me):
This was pretty much the first thing I had ever made music wise. So yeah.

Well, hearing this is actually very encouraging as I really expected you (or someone else) to step in and say ‘ya know what, this is hopeless, goodbye’. Well, nope. I can improve and I can change (and definitely take criticism).

I’ll improve the bells, change tempo and try again!

(thank you so much bye the way, not even people I’ve gone to (as in, music coaches) have said this much help!)

Hey, we all have to start somewhere. When I started helping with Thrive I was composing things like this and this, which are about as bland as bland can get and were some of my very first attempts at composing anything. Two and a half years later, and I’m making things I’m actually proud of like this. It takes a while, but it sure is worth it.

Oops, I might not have been clear enough. I didn’t mean changing the tempo, just changing the shape of the melody around the tempo using new rhythms. You can have a fixed tempo, in fact I’d encourage it while you’re still learning.

Again, I’m terrible at music
I meant to change the shape of the melody!
I have no experience in actually professional (making myself sound terrible again, slow clap me) , or technical side of music, so I meant to change the beating part. The way it ‘moves’ and… umm… the rhythm?
Yeah… probably that.

Read up a bit on music theory. It helps if we’re both on the same page concerning certain musical language. I recommend this guy, but there’s plenty of stuff out there if you’re still stuck:

Thank you so much, this is really helpful!

I am going to get working on improved pieces of music soon!

Welcome to here! Out of curiosity, what process do you use to produce your pieces once you’ve got the ideas for them? Sometimes it really does help to know the ins and outs of the tools you use as well. (This building on top of the need for music theory as Oliver said.)

Don’t worry, many of us are still learning too, so you’ve come to the right place!

i use Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) to make music, as I use both Linux and Windows this is easiest. Trying to learn music theory was a bit of a nightmare, and I’ll be honest I will refer to things if I feel I need them but otherwise it was confusing to me as I cannot play in notes (playing on a keyboard where each key has a different sound for each instrument / time that it is played). So it was more than frustrating.
I am average-ly good at LMMS, although not the best.
Although since what I am using does not allow for any prior music knowledge to be used (it’s the furthest from conventional I can get my head around) I will watch some basic music theory lessons but other than that… well let’s see!

As far as Music Theory goes, there’re a few hurdles that look utterly unsurmountable as you approach them. When I took my first theory class, I almost dropped out/failed so many times because it looked to me like I’d never understand the concepts involved. (I was one of the less bright cookies in the class who struggled with the concept of inversions)

Honestly, it’s a situation where you have to not just learn what they’re telling you, but also practice it as much as you can. I personally recommend picking up software like Aria Maestosa. not for producing, but AM is good for practicing and getting the hang of applying music theory without the use of expensive software like Sibelius, and it challenges you to get creative by being almost exclusively usable for music notation with only the most basic MIDI sounds as far as I know.

Just a quick (probably last) note on this thread from me; How long does learning the very basics take for someone who learnt music theory themselves.

Because that’s probably how long I’m going to be gone from the forums.

It really depends how long it takes for you to practice and become used to the concepts. Some people need months, others longer, others shorter. Don’t worry too much about the end destination because there is none. If you’re making music, you’re always learning something new.

So I doubt that anyone will read this as this thread may be slightly… dead.

But , I have made another piece of music, whilst it is still terrible, I have made another piece of music.

That’s the (arguably) good news, the bad news is that I have made no progress in music theory yet (I am trying, but also mostly failing) and in the piece of music I forgot to crescendo at any point and it’s still one instrument playing on one track as I cannot seem to made anything worth hearing with more than instrument (at this current point).

Any help is wanted and thanks to everyone who has/can help.

Not bad at all!

From a production standpoint, the panning is a bit weird (it felt like everything was happening in the left ear), but you don’t need to worry about that right now.

Musically, it’s actually pretty nice, but I agree that it’s still majorly lacking in dynamics (volume changes). The tempo also has a few blips, and elsewhere it’s a bit too consistent - especially for solo piano pieces, you want the tempo to speed up and slow down organically. What software did you use to make it, and did you place the notes yourself or record yourself playing them? Knowing the answers I could probably give you a few tips to improve on those points.

Thanks for not hating it!

I actually had a hard time panning it as at first it was all in the right ear, so I tried to manually pan across to the left. This was probably a very bad idea as I’m deaf-ish in my left ear so everything needed to be louder to be heard.
I record myself playing them as I have no idea how it would sound if I went off of looks (where keys are placed, manually adjusting the pitch), so I play it on my computer-keyboard.
I used LMMS, which is basically a VST/Midi player strapped onto a virtual keyboard.

I’m going to get to work adjusting the panning.