Goal Oriented Writing

For years, any time I sat down to write music, I did so without any real goal for the music in mind. I may have known that I was going to write a piece for a music production library and that I was starting with a basic piano track as the bed, but often I didn’t have any set goal or roadmap of where the song would go. Instead, I would start and just see where inspiration took me and where the song ended up.

One day it hit me that what I was doing was akin to pushing a kayak into a lake and letting it go wherever the waves take it. Sure, it’ll definitely end up somewhere, but that’s not saying much. A much better way, I decided, is to lay out the parameters for the song beforehand and stick with them.

For instance:

  1. This track is to be 2:00 in length.
  2. The feel should be light and happy.
  3. Instrumentation will be piano, light strings, and light percussion.

Once I get those parameters defined, I start writing. I don’t deviate from the parameters I’ve established. Right away, I’m guided by these limits, which are good. I can’t tell you the many times when I was creating tracks the old way how often I would get to the middle of it and realize that I had veered completely off course and the track was now something much different than the one I started. Or a track that was intended to be light and airy ended up being an over the top wall of sound production.

With those three parameters for the track set, I get to work composing and producing the track within them. You’d be surprised how creative you can be when you’re forced to work within boundaries. I find it makes creating tracks a much more efficient and concise process. And so far I’ve been liking the results.

Have you done anything similar? Feel free to comment.

Till next time…

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