Tips on composing music on Piano?

I've been playing piano for 5 years now but I wouldn't say I'm great. But I guess I'm good enough to listen to a song and then find it with my right hand. (I can never find the left hand)

But if I were to compose music, what's a good tip on composing music and how would I make the left hand? If music theory is the only key, is there a way to learn theory free online?

thank you!

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    .....That's a very vague question. Are you going for an informal songwriting approach to composition, or are you pursuing a classical approach, exploiting forms composers for centuries have utilized? What exactly are you trying to compose, a piano concerto or a pop ballad? Are you recording your songs or writing them down onto manuscript paper? These are some points you need to begin to consider before even laying a finger on the piano.

    .....As for asking whether or not music theory is necessary to your compositions, it is again relevant to ask what it is you plan to compose. Sir Paul McCartney, who cannot read music, has made a billion off writing hit songs for years. If you plan to write pop songs, though I would encourage knowing a little music theory, it clearly is not necessary to do so. If you plan to write an opera, you will need an extensive knowledge of music theory.

    .....Music theory, although important to composition, is only one aspect of it. The following will also undoubtedly affect your compositions: How well you play your instrument. What instruments you play. What music you play. What music you listen to. Who your music is to be played for. Who your music is to be played by. How much formal knowledge of music you have. And so on.

    .....In my opinion, music theory, though important, is not nearly as important as musical forms are for composition. Though some people would contest that point, musical forms can be learned quicker than theory. Musical forms, though used for musical analysis like music theory, can use whatever knowledge of music theory you already have and help you produce lots of music using whatever musical ideas you already have created. In 'Rhetoric', Aristotle also advocates the overarching structure of a story to be inherently more important than the important, but very small details and plot devices. To clarify, when I speak of musical forms, I mean forms from opera to verse-chorus-verse songs. Look up musical forms on wikipedia.

    .....Another quick thought on music theory, music theory is highly specialized. It usually focuses on how to write music in a eighteenth, nineteenth century style. So if you plan to write music in this style, great. If not, well, your thoughts will be forevermore colored by the eighteenth, nineteenth century style. However, a lot of people who compose music have taken a music theory course or two, so music theory in the eighteenth, nineteenth century style is universal language on how to speak music to anyone who is moderately versed in music. So while I'm not advocating obtaining a doctorate in music theory, if you are really interested in composing music, you should at very least take a bare minimum music theory course. But, I stand by my earlier opinion in highlighting musical forms over music theory for compositional purposes.

    .....So, now that I've 'answered' your question, I recommend thinking about this question a little more and asking it again with a specific agenda in mind.

    .....P.S. Buy a cheap tape recorder or use the free music software 'Audacity'. Go ahead and record whatever you've already composed with date and time information. Do that so you won't forget whatever you've already composed.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Get Better Playing Piano
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.