Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.

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20130404

How to write a Focus number - 10 steps

1. Ideally, you need to be Thijs Van Leer or a current band member but in theory you could be anyone.
2. Look for an attractive but subtle melody or two. Ideally, sing it with words of some sort. You can be inspired by an event or a person. Don't be afraid to half plunder the classics or, at a push, more recent music. Collaborations can come later, if necessary.
3. Play around with the melodies a bit. Try them fast and slow and in different keys.
4. Get the band together and try to get things in some sort of order. Start and end with any instrument. Be happy to receive collaborations or contributions and don't be afraid to throw in a yodel or something else that is slightly bizarre.
5. Not vital but if it is appropriate, try it out on the road perhaps. Live in it a bit.
6. Find someone to put words to it. Alternatively, start with the words. Don't worry too much about these as they will rarely be heard, if ever.
7. Attempt a recording with the whole band. Aim for around six minutes worth of music but it can be more or possibly less.
8. Possibly, abandon this recording unreleased and start again or cannibalise it for future pieces. Record it in another form on a solo project, if possible.
9. Add a Van Leer introduction perhaps and think of a title, usually in English. Puns and rhymes preferred.
10. Record it again in a different arrangement with no vocals and release it on an album to critical praise (or otherwise).