Most challenging aspects of making music?

valacirca

Trooper
Before I tried venturing into making my own songs - when I was just listening to music - I would have said that the most challenging and critical aspect of making music is coming up with lyrics and/or composing a melody.

The more I delve into making music though, other elements start to figure into the process, and now, I'm finding that the most tricky part of making music is actually arranging it... getting the structure right... and making sure that the elements are in their ideal place so that the song sounds cohesive and not just like a mess...

A close second would be mixing and mastering. I hate it when I've got lots of elements playing at the same time and then I realize that Shit, they're all in the same 'space' such that the music sounds so cramped up without any breathing room. Also, constantly trying to balance the levels of the different tracks is quite tiring.

Then there's also the matter of actually keeping something that I've put down - my own inner-critic tells me everything's shit! I always find myself building a song, constantly listen to it over and over and over again only to ultimately decide that it's terrible so I drop everything and start from scratch.

I'm sure there are other stuff and people can go into as detailed aspects as: writing leads or coming up with a good chorus and other stuff.

What do you guys think are the most challenging/critical/tricky aspects of making music?
 

Mega

Ancient Mariner
I've been working on a song for quite a while, it has gone through many changes. And I mean a lot. Right now I'm not sure the chorus fits perfectly in there, and I need to come up with a slow clean part for the middle of the song. It has been like that for over 6 months, but it's not like I actually put any effort into it. When I did, it was hard to think of something.

But yeah, mastering sounds like a bitch. There's a reason most musicians leave it up to the producer.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
What comes to mind now:

- Not putting too much into a song (parts or instruments)
- Not playing crappy ;-)
- The mix (when I play something to others, the balance always sounds different from the place I mix it :/ )
 

valacirca

Trooper
Forostar said:
- Not playing crappy ;-)
Yeah, I agree. I'm far from being a virtuoso at anything so I end up having so many takes in some parts that it's sometimes frustrating. On a related note: Realizing which 'flaws' are acceptable and that you don't have to play everything perfect, is also tricky.

Forostar said:
- The mix (when I play something to others, the balance always sounds different from the place I mix it :/ )
I listen to my recordings at home and at work. At home, I have a speaker setup and a headphone setup. At work, I have a different headphone setup. On every setup, things sound different; especially for the speakers vs headphones.

Mega said:
I've been working on a song for quite a while, it has gone through many changes. And I mean a lot. Right now I'm not sure the chorus fits perfectly in there, and I need to come up with a slow clean part for the middle of the song. It has been like that for over 6 months, but it's not like I actually put any effort into it. When I did, it was hard to think of something.
I feel your pain. As it is, I have so many bits and piece of recorded stuff that I couldn't fully evolve and develop into a complete song.
 

Babo 91

Nomad
Writing a vocal melody that is not stole from maiden. Seriously whenever i have lyrics i always find myself singing them to maidens melodies.

I also find structuring a solo difficult.
 

Kauha-Apina

Invader
Presenting your song to your fellow band members. It's tough, espescially when you're sober and the lyrics are somewhat personal or "embarassing". And I ain't much of a singer. :p
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Babo 91 said:
Writing a vocal melody that is not stole from maiden. Seriously whenever i have lyrics i always find myself singing them to maidens melodies.
I do the same thing.  :lol: I also try hard not to write in E-Minor.
 

Babo 91

Nomad
The Knife Master said:
I do the same thing.  :lol: I also try hard not to write in E-Minor.
Yep i have that problem also. ive learnt so many maiden riffs and solos in e minor that im incredibly fluent moving around the fretboard in that key. i dont have to think.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Same here. I was able to solo easily in E-Minor before I knew the scale. In fact, once I collaborated with a friend who wrote a song in Cminor and the part I wrote (the middle section) happened to be in E-Minor. I didn't even realize it.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
The hardest part is to come up with piece that you'll be fully satiafied with. Breaking off cliches that your influences set is hard, too...no matter if other people don't realize the resemblence, you can hear it clearly ;)

Personally, i find the process of production the hardest part. Finding the right sound of everything and making sure everything works together. I use MIDI tracks rendered through virtual instruments to "play" everything but guitar. Since i don't have enough provisions to record guitar the right way, i'm using software cabinet modelling. Even with best VSTs out there, i just can't get the right sound, even with physical amp and external rack effects and pedals hooked to pro-grade soundcard.

Sound is too thin compared to lifelessly perfect virtual instruments, that it makes mixing them together real PITA. So, i usually start recodring some ideas, record a few riffs, compose a bacground, all in 30 minutes, then spend two hours trying to fit the bloody guitar in sound image. I usually fail and ditch the whole thing.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Zare said:
I use MIDI tracks rendered through virtual instruments to "play" everything but guitar.
can you tell me how to do that? That is exactly what I want to do.
 

Babo 91

Nomad
The Knife Master said:
Same here. I was able to solo easily in E-Minor before I knew the scale. In fact, once I collaborated with a friend who wrote a song in Cminor and the part I wrote (the middle section) happened to be in E-Minor. I didn't even realize it.
I would love to work with a musician who knows how to play in any key. My band dont know shit. Another problem i have is that i write an awesome riff and then play it so many times that i get bored of it and dump the idea
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Yea that's annoying. I would leave that band. I think the biggest problems people have with key changes is they over think it. It isn't too complicated.  You should consider giving your band a few theory lessons.
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Forostar said:
Is that why rather play covers?  :)
No. Actually, it is because I can't find people who are prepared to work on something out of the ordinary (at least one person more who are in the same wavelength as me, musically) and also, punters don't pay attention to artists own music, they only ask for covers and hardly pay attention to your own music, so the only choice left for me, by now, is playing on a cover band, but I still work on my own songs, which I'll post here for people listen when the right time comes and see what they feel and think about 'em.

What about you, Foro: Do you play anything? Even if covers, are your parts, at least, right on the money? :ok:
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Recently I started playing drums again with a band, where I work. We'll do a gig in June and need to practice covers. It's really fun to make music with collegues.

Further I am only doing own stuff. Here is a topic about Talescape. I had an enthusiastic last post, but now things have slowed down again. The mix of a new song still needs to be done (in collaboration with the bass player), but all the music is recorded.

I also work with a Dutch poet and another friend. We record his poems on music. Mostly he has the texts and we create music (and vocals) on the spot, but sometimes I have prepared music and then he records the vocals separately. We would like to release a CD (probably own release) but this too is a long process.

Sometimes I don't do anything with music for months, and then these projects are sleeping.
 

Babo 91

Nomad
The Knife Master said:
Yea that's annoying. I would leave that band. I think the biggest problems people have with key changes is they over think it. It isn't too complicated.  You should consider giving your band a few theory lessons.
well i play bass in the band because there are already 2 guitarists. They dont realise that the bass and guitars should be in key and they act suprised when things dont piece together. All they would have to do is say their playing in d minor for example and then i could come up with a decent rhythm in about 10 seconds. I havnt even bothered trying to talk to them about harmonies yet. The one guitarist writes a riff and then about an hour is wasted trying to think of something for the other guitar to play and im just thinking harmonise with the octave or minor 3rd or sometihng but they just wont get it.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
That is really bad. Do they make any attempt at learning theory?
 

Babo 91

Nomad
The Knife Master said:
That is really bad. Do they make any attempt at learning theory?
Nope. I played a basic descending natural minor scale one time and the guitarist was like "thats pentatonic isnt it?"  :p. AND, this band expects to be signed at some point this year.
 
Top