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Old 12-09-2012, 10:12 PM
Von Beerhofen Von Beerhofen is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: At home with my guitars
Posts: 2,980

Besides using software, I often play along with an early recording and try to design a simple tune which has a nice accompanying rythm for the song I'm working on.
A little bit of counter point is allways nice but harder to play on a single instrument.
The rythm usually reflects a certain music style, of which the basis is very likely copied from something I've heard before (probably the entire song is, lol).
Then I go to work on it and try not to take it too far or make it too complex, after all it's not a solo. It's usually a repetitive phrase with minor changes here and there to keep it interesting.
A good start is often the chord's base notes and then decide if it's better to have a 3rd or 5th in it's place at some locations. A bass melody will grow from that and the rythm usually adapts itself to it.
Then I look if I can play it that way, if not I make minor adjustments in either part, chords and bass. This way I try to do the hard thing first, but if I can't I'll fall back on something easier and possibly simpler too.
It may grow during practice when I start hearing better harmonies, this will never really stop as sometimes I forget a little and redesign the thing or I just think of even better harmonies I'd like to incorporate.
It may sound like an elaborate process but it's not, in the end it just happens almost without thinking whilst playing along with a recording. I've never worried about it being great or not, as I know it'll change over time and new knowledge will be incorporated.
Just start with something and let it grow on you, it'll get easier every time you try.

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