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Ever get ideas when you can’t capture them….

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Chad Michael, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. Some of our associates, in the wide wonderful world of music, just seem to have a knack for innovation and creativity. Not only that, they seem to have no problem putting the ideas into recordings. I envy them. I have developed a more-than-adequate musical ear and sense of groove, but my creativity is less than stellar.

    Time to time, a song will develop in my head, complete with bass, keys, drums, and a lead instrument sound … mmmmm, perfect groove, chord voicings, etc. I think for a moment “ Wow, maybe I am creative.”

    The frustrating part is that I’m never in a position to capture what I hear in my head. These ideas come to me when there are no instruments or recording devices around… i.e. at work, driving, waiting for dinner at a restaurant, etc.

    Do you ever get ideas when they cannot be captured? :mad:
  2. aaron f.

    aaron f.

    Oct 21, 2000
    This happens to me all the time. Most often in that short period between being awake and being asleep. I come up with all sorts of good ideas but I have a very hard time retaining them unless I write it down for the next day.
  3. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I try not to think about creating music unless I can get to a bass, just to uh....avoid any forgetting-related frustration later. Now that school's starting up again, I'll have plenty of opportunities to get bored, make songs in my head, and then have them all die before I go home.

    School = bad for creativity.
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    This happened to me all the time at work, I was pretty much alone with my thoughs all day, and logically it went to music. I came up with good ideas, but couldn't do anything about it.

    My idea though... get a tape recorder... hum it, then figure it out later. Makes sense huh?
  5. I guess I'll need to figure out how to "mouth emulate" a funky syncopated bass line, a keyboard 6 chord progression with 3 to 4 notes in each chord, and a groovy drum beat.

    How the hell does one capture that with a little recorder and humming?

  6. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    It's possible to just have a melody and harmonize it later. Often, your first instincts as to how to harmonize it are what you heard in your head to begin with.

    Once in a blue moon, something will come to me away from an instrument. If staff paper or a recording device aren't around, I simply call myself on the cell phone and sing the ideas as a phone message.
  7. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    theres an old saying:if you can't sing it you can't play it.
    if you can sing it,you can hear it in your head and transfer it to paper.if you can hear a m7 chord in your head you can write it down.if you can hear a straight 8th note triplet in your head,you can write it down.if you can hear iim7b5,V7,IMa7 in your head you can write it down.if you can hear a groovy drum beat in your head,and know how to notate for drums,you can write it down.
    otherwise,you'll need your axe,a drummer and a keyboard player,and alotta time.;)
  8. It happens to me when I'm about to fall asleep..In the middle of the darkness , when I can't hear anything but my thoughts and maybe some crickets, wind and noise comming from outside..
    in this conditions, When I get to figure out a good melodic structure or cool beat in my mind, i try singing the most basic component of it.. and try to relate it to something else.. like a piece of another song, or a word which suits the melody for the vocals I thought of.. I put an imaginary label on the idea with the word or phrase I related it to, and tell myself to recall it when I wake up. Most of the times it's gone when I wake up, but sometimes I've remembered those ideas after many days..
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    This has happened to me three or four times in my life. Every time, I had no recorder or staff paper handy, and I was on my way to an important meeting or appointment, and already running late. :meh:
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Seperate each of the parts... obviously. I'm not implying that everyone is one of those beatbox masters who can multitrack by themselves. Put it together later. It will at least be a reminder of how it was suppose to sound later.
  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    All the time, all the time!!:rolleyes:

    I'd have a couple dozen hits by now ...
  12. It would be easy to capture the monotimbral, monophonic melody of "Twinkle Little Star" or "Row Your Boat" with cellular voicemail or a small recorder.

    But... Does anyone have musical ideas that are polytimbral (multiple instrument sounds) and polyphonic (hearing all of the notes of a chord together, as you would play them on a keyboard or guitar)...?
  13. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    The thing is that you do not need to get every single aspect of it in a perfect recording in order to remember it.

    Just get the gist of it. That's usually enough.
  14. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    When I'm driving the car. Mostly lyrical, rather than musical. Rock 'n' Roll is mostly attitude, so lyrics suggest an attitude for the music, in my case anyway.

    Prior to working with 4-track recorder. I would just develope "riffs". Once I started building songs on tape(4-track), any new ideas I developed instantly came with a backing band. IE: One riff would be followed by a bass line, or drums, or such. But it's how I've evolved musically, for you it may be different.
  15. Thanks Gabu, I think that explains what the others have been trying to tell me.

    I over-analyze and over-explain things, it's something I struggle with.:meh:

    Thanks for the thoughts everyone. :)
  16. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    You're welcome! And good luck with your tunes. :)
  17. Only two things needed here;
    1) Buy a little battery-powered dictaphone.
    2) Learn to read music (real music, not tab crap)and learn both bass AND treble clef.
    If you're driving, you can use the dictaphone, if you're at work :D you can write it down. If you have the ability to ascertain chords or notes sequences by relative harmony, you can write it down straight out of your head, no instrument needed. If you dont have this ability, then you need it. Get learning. I dont know what your skill level is, but I get annoyed with people who whine (this is not referring to you, just an observation) about hearing stuff in their heads and not being able to transfer it to an instrument. The answer is blindingly simple. They do NOT know their instrument. Sorry for the rant.
  18. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I don't agree with that completely. If someone's a beginner on bass and they enroll in scholl without having mastered the basics and found a voice, The regimented (?) atmosphere might pull a player's mind away from a style he'd gravitate toward more naturally, but if there's at least the equivalent of three years(IMO) of regular playing, plus some interest on the student's part in learning theory, etc., The school environment can only be helpful. It can expose a person to things they wouldn't think about before and give you tools to get inside music in a number of different ways. I have learned to hear things I can't play yet, but I can identify them in my mind and come up with a method to learn to play them efficiently. It was also immersed in an environment with a lot of like minded people to practice with. I gained a lot of things from going to school. My technique is better, my musicianship is better. I'm pulling off things I couldn't conceive of doing before I went to school for it.
  19. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I think he's getting at being enrolled full-time at a school studying something other than music getting in the way of creativity due to the time constraints.

    I'm not reading a "music school is for fools" message here, FWIW. I could be way off.
  20. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000