How to write a song in 5 minutes?

Madison James Smith – Bass & Guitar
Bachelor of Music with Honours (Second class Honours, A division), University of Tasmania

The creation of music can be so different for different people. Some people spend days, months, or even years writing a single piece of music! Other people can write an entire album of music in one day. In this video I demonstrate how easy and quick the composition of music can truly be if you let it flow naturally and piece all the instruments and textures together one at a time. I experiment with looping Guitar, Bass, Electric drums, Electric Piano and Guzheng to create a perfectly cohesive song in only a few minutes.

Using a number of different instruments, I find that I can achieve a number of different musical sounds and textures and this is especially true when implementing the Guzheng with a number of western instruments. Utilising eastern instruments into a western context is a topic I find really interesting and have spent quite a bit of time exploring, as it can open up new tonal paths that would not be available to me without the use of an instrument like the Guzheng.

All my looping was done through the programme ableton live, which is a fantastic program for live and spontaneous musical composition. This type of song writing could also be used in a live context on stage if you discover that this approach to music making really speak to you and results in fantastic musical results.

I find that it is a totally different way to approach the composition of music and can yield many new exciting results and sounds!


Every student is different in the way that they learn and practice and I find it really important to cater to the individual students as opposed to using a one size fits all approach. Since my teen years I have had a love of teaching and tutoring music to a wide range of people and I love seeing how students progress and better themselves on their instruments. To me the bass guitar is a very under rated instrument. I always felt a strong attachment to music that had a strong feel and groove. upon listening to this music I discovered that the bass guitar was tool in which this groove and feel was created. The deeper I have delved into the bass I have found the almost unlimited potential of what the instrument is capable of. Similarly to the bass, the guitar is another instrument with unlimited potential. Rock, jazz, pop, classical and many other genres of music can sound beautiful played on the guitar. I love how the guitar can be used as a lead instrument in a band all the way to a subtle backing for a vocalist to sing over and it’s that sort of musical flexibility I love exploring on the guitar.

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