Inventive Ways of Advancing Your Music Making Skills
Sometimes when creating music (or any creative project) you can start to feel as if you’re getting stuck in a rut. It can be hard to admit it to ourselves but if we don’t continue to challenge ourselves the products that we create can become stale, boring and altogether unoriginal. In order to keep our skills sharp and our output interesting we need to make sure we are learning new techniques, finding new ways to understand the medium and beginning to focus on every minor detail of what we are creating. But how can we do this? What can we do to keep our music unique, interesting and progressive? Here are a few things you can do in order to better your understanding of music and how to create it.
Create a Film Score
Movie’s are a wonderful thing; they tell us stories in a way that really allows us to see what’s going on and associate with characters and situations in a truly intimate way. Though have you ever watched a powerful scene both with and without its soundtrack? The music that accompanies everything you see on screen is just as powerful, it allows us to connect with our emotions in a way we don’t even notice on the surface level. It can create happiness, sadness, tension and even fear. Creating your own soundtrack will allow you to understand how to tap into these emotions in new ways. Listen to other film scores and see how they do it for a better understanding. There are plenty of students out there creating their own films and many of them will need someone to create a soundtrack for them. Why not lend your skills to them? This will not only give you a chance to give it a go but also allow you to create something original, with no preconceptions of what your soundtrack should sound like beforehand.
Make a Video Game Soundtrack
This may seem like doing the same thing as the previous suggestion, after all video games can be just as, if not more immersive as films, however I’m instead recommending you take a look at simpler games. Many independent games play much like older platform games such as Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog, with simple and somewhat repetitive soundtracks. The composer of the music for the former would sit and listen to one of his tracks for hours on end in order to ensure that the player wasn’t fed up with hearing it. This is a great exercise for you and again there are plenty of student game developers out there for you to work with.
Create Experimental Pieces
Finally, instead of just creating songs in your chosen genre why not try and get experimental with your work? Take for example the classical works of Gustav Holst, he created a series of numbers each inspired by one of the planets. It’s a strange concept but on listening you’ll find yourself agreeing with an interpretation without really understanding why even. Creating work like this will really get your creative juices flowing and certainly further your understanding of the medium.