Ryan Leach
Ryan Leach is an LA based composer, arranger and producer. His music has been heard on NBC, ABC, CBS and MTV, and other credits include additional music for Jerry Bruckheimer's hit series "Cold Case", technical assistance on "The Simpsons Movie", "Bee Movie", and "The Dark Knight", and original compositions for Disney Interactive. He is also co-owner and producer of Short Order Strings.
Latest Posts
  • Music & Audio
    Music Theory
    How to Modulate to Remote KeysWriteathemepreview400
    In this tutorial, we are going to learn a few different techniques for modulating to distant keys. The two techniques we'll discuss in the tut are using advanced harmonic techniques and using bridge keys. Warning: There's some deep theory in this one. Not for the faint of heart!Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    An Introduction to Form in Instrumental MusicWriteathemepreview400
    Musical form is the structure and logic of a piece of music. Under the heading of form you can consider balance, symmetry, proportion, pacing, and other topics related to the overall presentation of your piece.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Arrangement
    How to Arrange 4-Part Harmony for StringsInstrumentalmusicpreview400
    In this tutorial we're going to look at six different ways to adapt four-part harmony to a string orchestra. Four-part harmony is a traditional way of harmonizing a melody for four "voices" (either literal human voices, or instruments). Many introductory harmony courses teach four-part writing because it is a straightforward method for learning chord voicing, good part motion, and proper treatment of dissonances.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Music Theory
    How and Why to Modulate to New KeysWriteathemepreview400
    In music, modulation is the process of changing from one key to another. If a piece of music starts out in the key of F major but then changes, either immediately or gradually, to they key of Bb major, we would say it modulates from F major to Bb major. A piece is considered to be in a "key" if the root of the key is the tonic, also called "home" or the "gravitational center".Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    How to Give Life to Instrumental PartsInstrumentalmusicpreview400
    "If it's not moving, it's dead" is a line that applies as much to life as it does to music. Yet all too often composers write background or accompaniment parts that are lifeless and dull. They might have a beautiful melodic line, but then stick a big chord made up of whole notes behind it and call it a day. The result is music that is lifeless, boring, and feels like slogging through mud.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    Contemporary Techniques for Ending Your SongWriteathemepreview400
    In How to Write Effective Introductions, we learned about the importance of giving your song a powerful beginning. We also examined various techniques for writing one. In this tutorial I'll discuss one specific trend in contemporary songwriting for ending a song: ambiguity.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    How to Write a ThemeWriteathemepreview400
    Many composers and songwriters run into the same problems when they are just starting out. They are often very good at coming up with ideas and getting started, but then they don't know what to do next. In this tutorial I'll show you how to take an initial idea and develop it into a theme.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    How to Write Effective IntroductionsWritingintrospreview400
    The introduction is one of the most important parts of a song or composition. It's your moment to grab the listener's attention, make them want to hear more, and set them up for what's to come. Too often I've seen singer-songwriters begin every one of their songs by strumming out the chords from an entire verse, as if that's just what they're "supposed to do" without any thought to how boring that is to listen to. In this tutorial we'll examine introductions across a variety of styles, from pop to classical to film scores, and learn techniques for crafting introductions that do more than just take up time.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    How to Score ComedyScorecomedypreview400
    Every genre in film and TV has a scoring style to go with it. Horror fans have heard high screechy violins a thousand times and you'd be hard pressed to find an action film without at least one pounding drum rhythm. Comedy comes with it's own set of cliches and characteristics, and in this article I will explain a set of approaches you can use when scoring to help get the intention of the genre right.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    11 Ways to Find Immediate Inspiration for Your Next CompositionInspirationcompositionpreview400
    In a recent tutorial I outlined a method for breaking out of writer's block from the outside in. In this tutorial we'll discover eleven techniques that you can use to consistently generate new ideas from the inside out.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Composition
    How to Kill Writer's Block & Start Composing NowWritersblockpreview400
    Writing music can be hard, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you're a composer, songwriter, arranger, producer, or something in-between, you've undoubtedly had moments of feeling stuck, unable to create, hating everything you produce. Many people call these periods of stagnation "writer's block", but writer's block does not actually exist. What is really happening is simply procrastination and fear.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    7 Ways to Use and Edit MIDI VelocityThumb
    Velocity is a useful piece of data and being able to edit it easily is important. It can be used to control dynamics, filters, multiple samples and a variety of other functions. Understanding all of the options available to you for editing velocity can help you decide which tools to use for different circumstances.Read More…