How To Beat Writer’s Block – Tip #16

For those out there who work and compose through a DAW (digital audio workstation), this one is for you:

Say that you have all these virtual instruments and plugins, but are overwhelmed by the possibilities. Overwhelmed to the point where you don’t know where to start.

The best thing I would advise someone to do is to first program into your MIDI a simple chord progression. I’ll chose it for you… a progression of I – IV – vi – V7.

Next, set that progression on a loop.

Now, while it is in a loop, slowly go through all the instrument and preset possibilities through your DAW till you find something that you like. This will force you be mentally articulate as to which instrument/preset sounds the best.

And from there, you can start building off of what you have chosen. Pick complementary sounding instruments. Change the chord progression. Add a melody. Do some automation. Etc.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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