Having the root key in the background playing while songwriting?

Discussion in 'Education' started by samsome, May 22, 2020.

  1. samsome

    samsome Kapellmeister

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    while songwriting

    is there any benefit to having the root note of the key playing consistently in quarters all along the track...

    For example in C Major Key...having the note C repeatedly softly playing on a piano in quarter notes


    i feel like it could help remind me of where i need to return every so and then?

    but just checking your songwriting process if it involves anything like this

    whats your songwriting process starting a track in terms of Key/Chords?
     
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  3. fiction

    fiction Rock Star

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    Worth a try!
    I would pick an unintrusive sound that won't get annoying after a while.
     
  4. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    It really won't help you in the least bit to play a pedal tone in the background while you are composing so that you will not loose your way. This is not to tear you down or make fun of you, but if you have any musicality in your being, that root note will be every present in your mind and solid in your consciousness and there is absolutely no chance of you floundering, trying desperately to find the lifeline root of the key that you are writing in, even if you are modulating and deviating from where you started in the beginning.
     
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  5. Funk U

    Funk U Producer

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    Sure. If you want your music to go no where.
     
  6. Satai

    Satai Rock Star

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    It's not usually done because in western music in 12-tone equal temperament the root likes to freely change whenever the composer wants. But there are entire music styles which work around a "drone" sound which plays the root tone all the way through. It's got its own charm.
     
  7. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    I don't see how this could "help" in any way. You know the tonic when you write, and you can modulate at any time.

    Pedal-point or drone can be a compositional tool later on, sure. But not during the writing process IMO (it would be more of a hinderage).
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  8. Nought

    Nought Ultrasonic

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    .
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 1:45 PM
  9. Trurl

    Trurl Platinum Record

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    I'm in the camp that thinks this is a terrible idea. But who knows, everyone works differently.
     
  10. Paul Pi

    Paul Pi Platinum Record

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    I suppose in it's purest form, music creation is about taking the 'resonance' of the moment and translating that energy into concrete sound (rhythm, harmony, melody etc) within the constraints of your skills, knowledge & ability. That creative intersection seldom comes fully formed and generally evolves over the hours (days, weeks, months, years, millenia...) you spend taking that initial mote to a final place that satisfies you and/or your creative cohorts/clients... in this light, the idea of locking your expression to an arbitrary key from the outset is absurd; Yes, it might certainly provide creative inspiration (as a pre-conceived conceptual experiment etc) but imho most definitely should be avoided as a default approach.

    I don't think i ever started a song with the root major chord. In fact i deliberately ignore key considerations until i hit the zone. Why don't you try feeling more and thinking less when you approach the act of creation - you might pleasantly surprise yourself. :yes:
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 5:53 AM
  11. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Producer

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    Would work for modal music I think, but not otherwise.

    The only similar thing I do is to have a monitoring submix for vocals where the roots of the chords are emphasized, singers usually prefer these and to me who's not much of a singer it helps me to stay better in tune.
     
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