Genre specific tips

Often as composers and song writers we are proficient in a multitude of different genres. Some of us specialise and others are more a jack of all trades (probably where I’m at)

So I thought it would be extremely useful to post this question.

If there was one or two tips you’d give to someone starting in your specialist genre, what would it be?

My specialist genre would probably be indie pop/rock production. An I’d also add I’m an expert in orchestration and classical/Neo classical composition.

So I’ll start.

Indie Pop - drums and bass are most important in mixing terms. Don’t over compress the bass drum and guitars are often panned a little wider in the verses.

Rock - guitars often sound a lot heavier than they actually are. Get that attack sound with compression and use a moderate crunch, don’t use a lot of gain. This doesn’t apply to fuzz, use as much of that sexy sound as you like :wink:

Orchestral - strings are the hardest to master, don’t underestimate them. They like to be spread very wide, often harmonising a minimum of a 6th to an 11th apart… sometimes even more. The opposite is true with brass, they really sound best orchestrated closely. Woodwind- often the one people are most concerned about but are actually very easy. Learn where the break is on the instrument you are writing for and you’ll be fine (The break is where the player has to change finger position to get the higher octaves). For instance on flute and clarinet (Bb) the break is between a D and an F on the stave (sounding pitches) so don’t write very fast parts around that area, players wouldn’t like you for it if they end up playing your piece. If there’s anything else you’d like to know on this subject just drop a message :smiley:


Great idea for a topic Geoffrey, and great tips!

My specialism is music written specifically for film, but in a wide variety of genres.

So if I had to give just ONE piece of advice for “film music” that can be applied across genres it would be to know the purpose of the music!

Don’t write a note until you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, and what story you’re trying to tell.

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Hey Jonny! Awesome advice! I totally agree, I go by something very similar myself. I tell myself the narrative is the star, not the music, which pushes me towards your statement when writing!

An thanks, I thought it may be useful for those starting out!

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