I am no Hans Zimmer, but his work really inspired me to get into music composition. The way he uses notes to build tension and every single chord he designs speaks directly to the character, really moved me. And I just had to take a crack at it.
How it All Began?
I got into music very early in my life. It started when my mom enrolled me in a crash course to learn to play the Harmoniums and sing. I didn’t learn much with just a few months of training, and my singing sucked, but it was enough to get a feel for the notations, rhythm, harmony, etc.
Later in middle school, I learned how to play the Piano, the Guitar in High School but never really explored Music Theory. I was no piano maestro or a guitar god or a singing enigma, but something just always brought me back to music. Think of it as sugar. No matter how hard you try to ignore, you still end up consuming it in some shape or form.
I felt that playing the guitar or the piano following the sheet music are nice, but I really wanted to make my own music. Something that I can call my own. So, I figured it’s time I go really in-depth with music and learn as much as I can. And I discovered that there are plenty of excellent resources that can really speed up your music composition journey. I watched videos on YouTube, paid websites, read eBooks, read Kindle books and learned just enough to start composing.
However, that wasn’t sufficient! I can write music all I want, but if there are no bands to perform it, then all you have is a musical essay! I discovered the software Hans Zimmer was using, and guess what, it was time to learn again! Knowing music theory wasn’t enough, I had to learn the essentials of the software, pay for licenses, upgrade to a new MacBook Pro and set up Virtual Instruments to play my music. As you can imagine, all these took me months and actually over a year now to figure out and put everything together.
The challenging part was not learning music theory or the tools I needed to use but when I sat down to create a composition. Turns out, music is very similar to writing a novel or an essay. Nothing comes to mind right away. And without a voice, character(s) or a story, your composition doesn’t really work well. So, after a bit of trial and error, I created ‘Teenage Love’ and later remixed it by introducing more instruments, and making changes to the chords and harmony.
After the composition was complete (not really, just enough to satisfy me), I felt that I am onto something good. The overall music theory, chords, progressions and composition techniques I have been learning were finally coming together. This track is definitely not my first or the last or the best ever, but it’s one of those tracks that makes me feel good every time I hear it.
So, to summarize, music composition is not something you can knock off in a weekend. It takes significant time to learn and understand the materials, and a dose of creativity to carve out the final piece.
I hope you will like hearing my composition!