FAQ

ANY PRE-REQUISITES FOR TAKING THESE COURSES?

Yes, you should know your basic music rudiments.

  • Basic pitch and rhythmic notation
  • Meters
  • Key signatures
  • Scales
  • Intervals
  • Triad construction

I also recommend being able to play keyboard at a beginner level at least to start, inlcuding some sight-reading ability.

A level 2-3 for piano is perfectly fine to get started as you will develop through the ScoreClub lessons as well.

And that’s it!

DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO READ AND WRITE MUSIC TO TAKE SCORECLUB LESSONS?

Yes, but only a beginner’s level is needed if you start with the first courses, as they are created for beginners, and they are designed to get you to develop your musicianship (reading, writing and ear) as you go through the lessons and courses! 

You see, at ScoreClub the idea is that you aim for golden-age level musicianship to have your compositions improve. It’s all related.

I’VE TAKEN FOUR-PART WRITING AND COUNTERPOINT BEFORE; WILL I STILL BENEFIT FROM SCORECLUB LESSONS?

Yes. The courses, even the basic ones, offer much more than just the rules you find in your textbooks and University courses. This is theory and rules for working composers along with how to apply it in musical contexts, methodology and so much more to make clear and applicable and NOT just theory!

I will let students who have gone to college and University, music professionals and even teachers tell you below how they benefited from the courses.

I studied harmony and counterpoint at Uni and for the first time I understand musical reasons for the rules…and it’s so exciting!”
–Rob Kelly

I have studied at University composition and the fresh approach that you have is inspirational.”
– Mike Malone

“I’ve been studying some counterpoint both in College and by myself, but not in the way you are teaching it. It’s so much music in what you do and it’s just a great joy for me following this than it has ever been before!”
– Gunnar Wenneborg

I DON’T PLAY KEYBOARD, OR NOT VERY WELL, CAN I TAKE SCORECLUB LESSONS?

Yes of course! However, I strongly encourage you to use and learn the keyboard. You don’t have to be great at it. The keyboard is really the composer’s best instrument, after the ear that is. You have the entire range of the orchestra at your fingertips. 

So, I encourage you, as you would in any university setting, to use the keyboard. If you are very limited in skills that’s OK because the beginner lessons are meant to progress not just with the theory presented, but also in terms of sight-reading, writing and ear training. 

Solid musicianship is crucial to a good composer.

DO I NEED TO WRITE OR CAN I JUST USE MY DAW?

Writing will give you a clarity that using a DAW will not give you. It’s that simple.

The knowledge and clarity you get from writing translates wonderfully to working in your DAW, but not the other way around.

So, in order to really learn well, writing is second to none.

Later you just use your DAW and you will see the benefits of being able to write.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GO THROUGH ALL THE CURRENT LESSONS ON SCORECLUB?

It’s impossible to answer that. There are too many variables and everyone will be different. But let’s say you take at least a month on each course and there 9 of them as of this writing.

My goal here with ScoreClub is for you to have results. No more no less. This is why I have created ScoreClub as an all-inclusive membership, so you don’t rush but really benefit from the lessons, take your time on the exercises to really get better and re-take as needed!

I am intensely passionate about composition and passing on the golden-age craft of composition to you. The paradox is this: as long as you do daily work and focus on that, rather than how much time it takes, you will reach your goal, but if you try to rush in order to reach it, you may never get there.

WHAT EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE DO I NEED TO GO THROUGH THE LESSONS ON SCORECLUB?

The essential: manuscript paper, pencil, eraser, a ruler and a piano/keyboard…and your ear.

With the ScoreClub lessons I favour you writing and playing your music first, before any automated technology comes in to develop your musicianship, skills and direct connection to your ideas. 

If you wish to create mock-ups of the lessons, then you can take one of two approaches, or both.

  • A notation software such as Finale, Sibelius or the new Dorico.
  • A DAW such as Cubase or Logic with some orchestral sample libraries and a piano.
CAN YOU GUARANTEE I WILL BE AS GOOD AS THE GREAT COMPOSERS? AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET THERE?

I am sure you know the answer to that is that I cannot guarantee that at all. 

You will improve and you will gain new levels of clarity, control and fluency if you follow what is laid out in the courses. That’s for sure! Your ideas will get better and you WILL get better. 

However, that elusive, unquantifiable quality that makes the greats the greats… I wish I knew what that was! I would bottle it and sell it! 

My advice is to enjoy the journey and just love what you do. Approach it with passion and conviction, be regular in your work and do it for the love of music. We have one life to live and it is your relationship with music and the process itself that matters. 

Aim to be as good as the great composers, absolutely. I believe in that 100%! That is the center of the target and why aim for anything else than the center of the target? We might miss, of course, and never hit the bulls-eye, but there is no sense at all to do anything else than aim for the center of the target!

HOW CAN I CANCEL MY MEMBERSHIP?

When you sign up you will have a student dashboard with access to your account and the ability to cancel there at any time on your own. No need to email in for that! Nice and easy.

I WORK WITH MY DAW, WILL THE SCORECLUB APPROACH OF PENCIL AND PAPER WORK FOR ME?

The short answer is yes because the goal is to be a better composer and there is no better way to gain clarity and control over the details of your writing than the methods shown with ScoreClub.

With writing you see how all the moving parts connect together in a way that is very difficult or impossible any other way, and this translates directly to your DAW.

Bottom line is: writing makes your music better even when you’re not writing.

CAN I PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL COURSES?

No, individual courses are not available for purchase and only through membership.

ScoreClub is focused on results. Having full access to all the courses this way removes limitations and allows you to get more for your money and learn at your own pace. You can do a single course or multiple courses at a time like your own university program, fill-in what you don’t know and really get teh benefits from ScoreClub courses.

 

CAN I PAUSE MY MEMBERSHIP?

We don’t have that capibility at the moment.

HOW MANY NEW COURSES CAN WE EXPECT?

The plan is a minimum of two new courses per year.

Alain is a working composer, orchestrator and conductor and two courses a year generally fits his busy schedule.

 

WHAT KIND OF COURSES ARE PLANNED?

Some of the coursees planned, subject to change while being create of course, and in no particular order:

  • Chromatic harmony and voice-leading
  • Octatonic Writing
  • Pandiatonic and Quartal
  • Dissonant Counterpoint
  • Melodic Forms and Musical Development
  • Creativity for the Working Composer
  • Orchestration 101
  • Advanced Idiomatic Writing for Strings
  • And many more
WILL THE VIDEO PLAYER WORK ON MY SYSTEM?

ScoreClub uses an encrypted video player.

To test the player on your system for compatibility before registering as a student, please go to the video test page here.

 

You have other questions not answered here? Send us a note.

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