charles.patrick wrote:Yes I agree that you need ideas. And I have them of course, just like everyone here probably does. In fact for many years I've been "improvising" little things pretty much everytime I sit with a guitar or other instrument. I think we all do that don't we? We all twiddle around but sometimes we hear something we like and we think "I could probably make something of that...."
There is surely a way to teach it though. Composition is a fundamental module on most undergraduate music courses.
So hurdle number one is taken care of. Maybe if the thread were entitled "where to go next" it might attract more of the kind of feedback you would like.
I suspect the next step is to write down some of the "doodles" then play with one for a while and see where it brings you. Lets say its in walz time. Can you make it into 2 x 8 bar sections for example. You have been playing music for years so a quick look at some "standard" formats will show you the typical number of bars, number of sections, and for more formal pieces, the typical repeat structure. Can you stretch one of your "doodles" to fit the bill? I think getting a few of the ideas written down is key Otherwise you will simply forget the idea and it won't get developed further.
While it is good to understand some of the formality, how many of the undergraduates who "learn" "composition" go on to compose anything in the rest of their lives? I would guess its a number vanishingly close to 0.
Your suggestion about looking more towards piano is probably a very good idea. Professional piano players (or KB if your prefer) are always "composing" in the sense that they will be picking up popular songs of the day and creating accompaniments almost automatically. I doubt is the average prof piano player buys fully arranged sheet music for every pop song they play whereas as people playing classical guitar almost inevitably follow a formally written score.
If you have the ideas (I call them "doodles") then what you have to do is some development and some "arrangement" and that latter is where the piano idea probably comes in. It is interesting to note tht a number of my favourite guitar playing singer song-writers over the years increasing use piano. Seems to go with composing and writing.