I’ve seen this question pop up on the internet time and time again. Arranging or composing for instruments you have no in-depth knowledge of is evidently something most composers and producers will have to deal with at some point. And it can be quite frustrating if you don’t know how to tackle this.
As a (largely) video game composer, writing for different instruments and styles is one of the most important qualities. So I’d like to share my approach to this. It might not be perfect, but it got me through more than ten years of production and composition with satisfying results.
In this article, I want to tackle two very different questions:
a ) How do I realistically arrange or write for instruments I don’t play?
b ) Should I even bother?