In detail, my question(s) are:
Is it better to start with the climax, or drop, of the song rather than with the intro?
What is an effective way to create your melodies?
What is an effective way to create basslines?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Todd Wilcox, Caleb Hines, Tim, Matthew Read Apr 28 '16 at 0:08

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Depends quite a lot on genre. I'll explain my normal process as they vary so much you can't define a method.

1: Melody/Chords/Sound design
Depending on what I come up with first, this almost defines my process. Most often this is sound design and least often a melody, however, as difficult as it is to start with a melody, these bring out the best results from my experience.

2: Build up a "main section"
I will gradually add more things until I've built up the basis of any section. Whilst doing this, I am normally inspired for new musical material.

3: More sections
With this new musical idea, I will repeat the first 2 steps. This normally goes on for an hour or two and I would end up with 2 or 3 sections. Once I've done that, I move onto arrangement.

4: Arrangement
Here I start constructing the piece. I normally work through this in a "this will work well next" basis. This may involve the creation of further sections or variations of existing sections. It is here where I also add in all the little details such as differing notes or special parts, modulations, et cetera.

5: Final touches and mixing
Here I add in anything I missed or any new parts I want. Then once I'm happy, I'll move onto mixing. I tend to do the mixing as I write as part of my workflow but there tends to be a good hour of work on this, especially with EQ. Then stick a nice compressor on the master, clean everything up and I'm done.


All these take practice. I usually start with whatever comes to mind, maybe a chord pattern, a melodic hook, or even a string of patterns. I like to start with lyrics but other people like to start with melodies.

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