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Writing knowing you'll throw it away

mikeh-375

old school
I thought that's exactly the point of such excercises?!

........ But just honing your craft for the sake of improving, with no goal or pressure of sharing or preserving that work has been done by most artists that ever lived... it's just part of practice, and that has nothing to do with any platitudes imho.
So true Martin. Doing exercises are also an opportunity to explore and be adventurous - occasionally it might be instructive to push boundaries and even break the rules you are practising to see where it leads, only occasionally mind if you are still learning, because the rigour is instructive and essential too. There is no harm done by refusing to be bound up now and again though imv...a bit like flexing one's imagination, which also needs practice.
 

leogardini

Senior Member
I understand that trowing away your hard work may teach you not to be so precious about your creation but I don't get how it can make you a better composer.
To me it has been an unestimated exercise going back to my old projects and improving them. Not to mention that you can always submit them for licensing.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
I don't throw things away by choice... but I don't save all little mockup tests where I try new sounds or layers combinations. I wouldn't call that composing.
I have a non structured "Collect" folder where I save late night ideas or little groove/bass line snippets, orchestration test runs, chord progressions... things like that. Sometimes I open those files and mostly close it again very fast. But sometimes it's a trigger for a new song. Same with all the little lines of written music lying on the piano. I actually don't really care about. It's like dust. It appears while live goes on. When it's too much I remove it.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I thought that's exactly the point of such excercises?!

For me there's often some inverse proportional relation to how good I want something to turn out and how good it actually does turn out. Expectations can be a a very destructive force. If you're unphased by such things, then more power too you. But just honing your craft for the sake of improving, with no goal or pressure of sharing or preserving that work has been done by most artists that ever lived... it's just part of practice, and that has nothing to do with any platitudes imho.
I have stuff lying around that didn't turn out too well. Working on some of that did have educational value, even if the results sucked. Some other stuff was just frustrating.
It sits on a drive somewhere, reminding me of what I can and what I can't do.

But it takes a conscious effort and a few mouse clicks to delete something you worked on. Don't see the educational benefit there.
 

Will Blackburn

Active Member
Watch a film/docu etc, anything that gets you in a particular mood. Improvise on the Piano while you're watching it. Pretty much guarantees you will subconsciously write outside of your usual style. Totally forget Cubase is even open but it's recording everything via Retrospective Midi. Listen back the next day and let the inspiration flow. It's almost like crate digging! :)

 

VinRice

... i am a robot ...
I'll keep everything that is a definite musical 'object' even if its' just 10 secs; BUT the biggest the change recently is that when in the process of writing I'll just throw away lines that aren't working rather than trying to massage them into fitting. It's a confidence thing - 'that's crap, throw it away and do the line better'
 

NekujaK

Member
The best compositional exercise I ever undertook was to write and finish one track every day for a month, with the following conditions:
- Spend no more than 2 hours writing/arranging/recording
- Send the finished tracks to friends
The second point is important to stay focused on writing music that is somewhat "listenable".

At the end of 30 days, I ended up with about a dozen tracks that were either usable as is, or worth expanding on. The rest ranged from mediocre to bad, the worst of which, I discarded.

Since I was producing daily with nothing at stake, I felt free to experiment with different sounds and musical styles, exploring synths and instrument libraries I had previously ignored or only dabbled with. I learned a lot along the way. There was no time to get overly attached to the pieces, so letting go of the bad ones was easy.
 
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