Do you want to compose funny music for a comedy soundtrack?
This means you can not use funny lyrics, as it’s an instrumental backing track for a movie, TV show or other story.
So how can you achieve the comedic effect with music alone? Let’s explore some great guidelines:
How to make Funny Music
1 – Play in Jumpy & Energetic Styles
Music that is performed in staccato patterns, and overall a very “jumpy” and dancy style, will always feel more upbeat and has good potential for achieving that comedic effect.
2 – Use Funny Sounding Instruments
There are some instruments that have great capabilities to play sounds that by themselves sound comedic. Staccato bass lines on tuba is a very common one. Pizzicato strings have that light-hearted sound.
3 – Glissandos for Comedic Effect
If you want an instant funny moment effect, performing a glissando on any instrument will work great. Works particularly well on instruments that can do true long glissandos like trombones and clarinets. And even toy instruments like the slide whistle.
4 – Drum Fill for Accenting a Funny Moment
After a joke or a comedic moment, a classic “ba-da-ba-tsss” style drum fill can do wonders. Overall groovy drum fills are excellent for accenting comedic moments in a soundtrack.
5 – Runs & Walks and Rolls
Scale runs, walking bass lines and roll-like phrases can also add a spark of uplifting and light energy that works well for comedy.
6 – Major Rules for Comedy
Major is “happy”, but also light-hearted and uplifting. Focusing on major chords and harmonies is therefore the safest bet for any funny and comedic music.
7 – Dynamics and Air
Comedy needs silence, dynamics, expression curves…because the audience needs to build anticipation for those moments of laughter and funny scenes.
You should therefore write the music with a more minimal and sparse arrangement to let the music breath, with plenty of air and headroom.
These are just some starting guidelines for you, so go ahead and try it out now. Have fun making “funny” music! =)