"With an idea, a piece is formed. The idea comes just before the piece
is brought to life, for the first time, in the mind of the composer.
Some composers write it down."
Step 1 - Composing
For a composer, the skill of writing manuscript (or sheet music) by
hand becomes worthless if the performers in your project do not read
it. If they Do read music, the composer must write it. If the
performers do not read music, there are tools that the composer can
use for composing. The composer can play an instrument and can
perform the composition on their instrument. For example, a guitar
player can compose music on their guitar and teach music with their
guitar, to other performers. The composer can make a scratch
recording utilizing a hand held recorder. Some great composers have
taught their music to musicians by singing or humming parts to them.
The bottom line is; the song needs to exist somewhere outside of the
composer's head so that it can be referenced during the recording
process. If you need sheet music for the recorded performance, and
you do not write, you can have the composition transcribed.
A note from Jason Alan Johnson...
I hear good music all the time, and when I hear it, I record it with my
phone. It is a habit. I then transcribe the phone recording using
Finale, a popular music notation software. Finale not only gives me
printable sheet music, it makes the composition playable with midi.
More often than not, the musicians I work with prefer to hear the
composition, rather than reading sheet music.
Case and point; their are other ways to compose besides writing
Here are some examples of things you should NOT do when starting out (composing)...
1. Go to Guitar Center, or Sam Ash, or some other gear store to ask the sales associate for advice on how to make music. The
people that sell pro-audio gear are salespeople, not professionals in the music industry.
2. Buy a microphone, or software, or some other type of recording gear. Gear has nothing to do with successfully completing a
recording at this step.
3. Scroll through kick drum patches or samples to start making a beat. (Beat-makers, you can use your equipment a composition
tool if you choose. Just understand that you are only composing at this point. Sound choice should come after composing.)
If you are already a song writer/composer you have a better chance of successfully completing the recording process, than
someone who likes to mess around with recording equipment. If you are the later, you must learn composition, or pair yourself
with someone who understands composing. You need a song before you can record a song.