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Do some of you prefer writing on piano?

cantstoplt021

Member
Messages
1,216
I sure do. I find it a lot easier to get ideas out on the keyboard and find melodies that work over a progression. I'm not really a good piano player at all so I'm sure this process with be much easier as I get better.
 

peskypesky

Member
Messages
5,615
Switching from guitar to piano for composing worked well for Lennon and McCartney!

But I like this quote from another forum:
"Polyphony is easier to work out on a piano, but you can't write guitar riffs on one, so it really depends on what you're writing."
 

dsimon665

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
775
sometimes...keyboards are fun instruments.
You can play interesting spreads since you have 10 fingers and all that.

if you're into synths its the way to go. plus... EP, Hammond, etc. and Pitch wheels.
For synth guitar, I do have a guitar with midi (godin lgx-sa) but don't use it that much.
I have a modular synth but it don't have an envelope follower for guitar pitch input.
 

Seraphine

Member
Messages
3,600
Keyboard workstations are brilliant for composing; with multitrack recording on board and ability to tweak/create sounds as well as use HD samples of instruments etc... They can lay out a whole symphonic imagination from the heart, right out to the ears... I prefer "real" drummers/perc.. what's done with the synths can be scratched and either us or a drummer lay it out.

They're great when it comes to the studio, as much of a tune can already be properly laid out and recorded.
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,180
I have written on the piano but I "think" way faster on guitar. Plus, I can improvise toward compositional ends on guitar in a way I can't on piano. But, for a different musical perspective it can be really gratifying to change things up.

I had to write an entirely composed concert piece for solo piano and forced myself to get 75% of the way through it using only the piano, or extrapolating ideas out on paper and then checking on the piano...the last 25% of problem-solving was worked out on the guitar even though it couldn't technically be played on the guitar.
 

Seraphine

Member
Messages
3,600
I have written on the piano but I "think" way faster on guitar. Plus, I can improvise toward compositional ends on guitar in a way I can't on piano. But, for a different musical perspective it can be really gratifying to change things up.

I had to write an entirely composed concert piece for solo piano and forced myself to get 75% of the way through it using only the piano, or extrapolating ideas out on paper and then checking on the piano...the last 25% of problem-solving was worked out on the guitar even though it couldn't technically be played on the guitar.
I hear that... I'm a gtr player and not a keyboard player. The serious work on keys has to have a "real" player that can ring a bell with keys.. I can do basic ( which "sounds" like I play well lol )... but flying with keys and doing what can be done with them is for a real player... Like the way I can play gtr. I like collaboration in composing/writing music... a brilliant keyboard player can "think" keys and do what I might "hear".. but I certainly can't turn on a dime with it.. let alone really play most of what can be done with it. I can do that with a gtr.
 

dsimon665

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
775
I can't remember the whole story but when Joaquín Rodrigo wrote Concierto de Aranjuez he did get consultation on the guitar parts.
Rodrigo played piano, but the piece involves guitar.

As far as arranging the more you know about other instruments the better.
I feel its a real advantage to know about the guitar because of its unique capabilities.
Similarly with horns ... e.g. their range is something to keep in mind when arranging.

Knowing all the roles played, performance capabilities, etc.

Also the skill level/capabilities can be considered - maybe writing for a specific person.

Drums, etc. the more you know the better,
but when arranging you can also leave it to the "Pros" (e.g. slash marks and "simile" with style indication)
 

MrHarryReems

Member
Messages
241
I'm a crappy piano player, but I find it an immensely helpful tool in songwriting. Shoot, I even use it sometimes when I'm making lead sheets for songs I play on guitar. It's way easier for me to visualize key signatures on the piano, because every one is shaped and played differently on the piano. On that note, however, I'll occasionally work out a flute part on the guitar, or a piano part on the flute, or whatever is working at the moment.
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,180
I can't remember the whole story but when Joaquín Rodrigo wrote Concierto de Aranjuez he did get consultation on the guitar parts.
Rodrigo played piano, but the piece involves guitar.
Exactly, Rodrigo wrote it for Regino Sainz De La Maza, who helped direct him regarding idiomatic things for the guitar.

This is very common when you have composers writing for the guitar that don't play it, and at this point there have been thousands. Benjamin Britten wrote "Nocturnal" for guitar with Julian Bream hanging over his shoulder. Segovia worked very closely with Ponce, Tansman, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Turina, Torroba, etc. on making their pieces not only playable but complimentary for the guitar.

For that matter, when Stravinsky wrote his violin concerto (which he didn't play) he consulted regularly with Hindemith, who was a close friend and excellent violinist

Standard practice for any working composer, I think
 
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KRosser

Member
Messages
14,180
I hear that... I'm a gtr player and not a keyboard player. The serious work on keys has to have a "real" player that can ring a bell with keys.. I can do basic ( which "sounds" like I play well lol )... but flying with keys and doing what can be done with them is for a real player... Like the way I can play gtr. I like collaboration in composing/writing music... a brilliant keyboard player can "think" keys and do what I might "hear".. but I certainly can't turn on a dime with it.. let alone really play most of what can be done with it. I can do that with a gtr.
Fortunately for me in the case of that concert piece, I got to send a lot of rough drafts to the pianist that was performing it and she kicked it back with all kinds of notes about what worked, what didn't, or how to write things the way pianists were used to seeing them. It was invaluable
 

Clifford-D

Senior Member
Messages
17,045
No interest, the guitar provides me with all my needs. In fact I often want to bonk the keyboard player at the blues jams, that harp player too.

Besides, my guitar can be an orchestra and inexhaustible. It can ba a soloist, a horn section, a piano, or a controlled explosion. Plus the ability to bend, all compositional tools I naturally hear in my head.
 

Tmidiman

Member
Messages
4,284
I played both 30 years ago, but decided to make a choice of either guitar or keys as my main compositional tool. I choose guitar and bought a guitar synth for midi input into my sound modules. I also delved more into chords and other playing styles. I do use the keys, but more for the type of input it provides, more percussive.

Not saying one is better or worse. That's just what I use.
 

Clifford-D

Senior Member
Messages
17,045
Earlier I said I prefered guitar for creating music. But that's not true, I use my Yamaha QY100 sequencer to typically step write music. It's hand held, has 540 different instruments, and it has the most amazing list of editing tools or jobs as theyre called, It even has an edit job to make the music sound natural by loosening up on rigid digital robot music. I have like 100 tunes I've been working on, some for years, saved on the removable card so memory is inexhaustible. It has 16 tracks, another whole section of music style samples, and on and on.

It's the best composition tool I've ever owned, and its 10 years old. About $550 then.
 

Seraphine

Member
Messages
3,600
There are people who play paper eh? Between the thumbs.. between the lips... a whistle like Lauren Bacall .. 'just put your lips together and blow', as she said to Bogart..... Paper makes for an interesting composition tool... like blades of grass... hollow reeds... a saw or two and some flat flexible sheet metal.. boing boingo oingo boingo kind a thing... oh! .. and a pencil... makes for great percussion. .. and spoons... washboards... Jugs? rub crystal glasses filled with varied levels of water ( or some liquid )... clang a bowl ( metal ) with water in it and swirl, makes for a swishy kinda space sound. hmmmm, how do we notate that on paper, with or without a pencil:/?
 






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