Musicians and Writers: Record Your Work!!

writing down your music

Why you should always record your music on paper. That’s a very definitive statement to start off an article. But it is very important for new instrument players to get in the habit of doing. It doesn’t matter whether you played the trombone or the guitar, you should always be recording everything you write. This goes for music score writers as well.

When people first start playing a musical instrument, it is very exciting and new and they just want to keep on playing and playing. Well that’s fine. Once you get better and develop a fuller range of play, you want to start documenting everything you do. Learning basic sheet reading for music is pretty simple. You can look online or even go to your favorite bookstore and teach yourself the skill of reading and writing music. In the beginning, you just need the basics. What the notes are, how to mark them on a sheet, and how to delineate the different time structures. It is very important that you take a day or two to learn this, because it could save you a lot of time and stress in the future. Jon Kois, who used to created heavy metal scores before teaching basic drum lessons, would record every note he played, so that no creative piece would be forgotten. He could always go back and hear what he had written.

Once you get beyond the stage of playing other people’s music while you learn, you will start to explore making your own sounds. Whether this is by conscious play, or just goofing around, you will be playing lots of different notes and combinations that you’ve never played before. This is where you will see the importance of what I’m telling you. You will stumble upon a series of notes that you find striking, and you will want to write them down so as not to forget. So many times I’ve talked to musicians who found an amazing sound, but then days or weeks later, they were unable to remember the exact combination they used.

That led them to a lot of frustration, and having to backtrack in their minds to try to remember how they did it. So when you come upon a new sound or group of notes that you think could end up being a song one day, it is very, very important that you document this carefully and make notes at the top of the page. That way when you go to revisit it later, you will know exactly what you played, and how you played it. Many famous musicians have boxes and boxes of recorded music that they can refer back to at later date when they are ready to write a new song.

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