Already it is necessary to define what I call “knowing how to play”: To know how to play notes / chords on the instrument and to chain them even awkwardly. That’s it!
To know a little an instrument, offers you real more in term of composition. Let’s see which ones:
01 – YOUR RESEARCH IS FAST
It goes without saying that making chords on a piano keyboard or a guitar and chain them together will be much faster with your ten fingers than creating your note-by-note chords in a software. You will save a lot of time doing this. In addition, by recording your sessions, you will have many ideas, riffs, chord progressions with which to work.
02 – YOU CAN PLAY SEVERAL VOICES
This only works for polyphonic instruments such as the piano. Playing a chord progression with your left hand while the right hand outlines a melody will give you a glimpse into the feeling you’re looking for your title. Then, you will be able to play the different melodic lines by other instruments while keeping the original feeling.
03 – YOU CAN INSUFFLATE YOUR GROOVE
By playing live, you can let go and find grooves that would be much longer to implement on a software. You can enjoy the emotion you have right now to rhythm your melody or your bass and give it the desired intensity. Composing with the heart, it always pays.
04 – YOU CAN RECORD LIVE
There is one side that we end up forgetting when we spend our time putting notes on a timeline is the imperfect, subtle and natural side of a melodic line played by a human. By recording the instrument directly live, you will have all its imperfections and subtleties that will give realism to your title. Realism that it is more difficult to achieve on a software.
05 – YOU ARE SURE OF THE PLAYABILITY OF YOUR PIECE
With samplers, you can easily play notes out of the range of a given instrument. Even if it sounds good in your title, it can not be played by the actual instrument. By composing with real instruments, you are sure that your title can be played by any other instrument of the same family or with the same range. This is a significant point.
I really recommend getting by with at least one or more instruments. If you can only choose one, choose the piano. You do not need a 15,000 € grand piano here, just a minimum 49 keys master keyboard will allow you to start having fun. Make sure you have a USB / midi output so you can record your play directly on your DAW software.
I started myself with a 49-key master keyboard and then moved on to an 88-key closer to a real piano and then to a digital piano with a heavy touch. The different approach of each instrument can help you find new ideas.
I hope this list will be useful in your creations. Leave me a message in the comments if you liked this article, if you have any comments or if you have questions or topics that you would like me to address.
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