JOS 220C Projects
Classical Guitar Part for Handel's "Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me?" (for Elena's project)
I love doing "classical covers", and this is my typical workflow:
1. See if a printed score and/or MIDI file are available:
- Web Search (without quotes): "Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? handel midi"
- First search result is fine
- Also download a score PDF if available, or make one from the MIDI
osleep.midin Logic Pro X
- Play it and watch the score to see that it's ok, which it is in this case
- Edit as desired to make it look and sound better (set the key, choose instruments, add effects, etc.)
2. Learn the music like a guitar player :-)
- Switch the bass to treble clef and transpose it up two octaves to make it look like a guitar part
- Play the bass along with the playback until I more or less have the structure in my head (use "cycles" to scrub tricky parts)
- Write out the chord chart (by hand)
- Play along in free form on guitar until I feel I "know it"
- Think about a nice guitar accompaniment for vocalist and bass (for Elena's project)
3. I am normally arranging for my "band" consisting nowadays of an imaginary drummer, bass, guitar (me), one or more synths, and often a featured soloist (voice, flute, violin, etc.):
- Settle on a final tempo, key, and parts (MIDI editing)
- Record each part myself using a synth patch for each voice/part (normally sticking to Logic instruments so everyone will have the instruments and effects used)
- Sometimes it is necessary to lay down an audio track or two, which is still fine as a placeholder (it can be time-scaled and/or pitch-shifted in a pinch)
- This is now my "demo" for the band (the original MIDI can be muted forever)
- In reality, the "band" may be just me and a flute player, or the like, and we play live to a Logic playback (or "bounce") with our respective tracks muted
- In the lucky event of a full band, we all play our parts and Logic can take a rest (and we are more free with tempo and vibe, etc.)
My workflow for original music is similar, but without the initial MIDI and/or score. The parts may accumulate in any order, but I normally work on one musical "stretch" at a time, but don't fail to capture your ideas in some form immediately!