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These are just examples, but you get the point. Find the free time in your calendar, pull out your phone, and put stuff in your calendar app (or a paper calendar if you still use one of those). And don’t forget to set a reminder on your phone. This way, you’re holding your future self accountable to be efficient with your music time.

Music creation software follows a few different interface metaphors: the multitrack mixing desk (Pro Tools), the rack of modular synths (Reason), the sheet of staff paper (Sibelius, Dorico, Noteflight). There are also hybrids of all of the above (Logic). Ableton Live is in a category by itself, because it’s organized around a kind of performable spreadsheet. Serato’s metaphor is two turntables, a crate of vinyl records, and a DJ mixer.

My playlists generally had a progression in them. It wasn’t just a random set of songs thrown together, but rather, a journey with songs that connected somehow. I knew that aspect was key for our tool, which ultimately meant we needed to codify the DJ part of my brain. A.I. was still in its early days, particularly for music, but we were confident we could pull it off. However, as we went down the rabbit hole, we came across a very big problem…

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Hunter Farris runs the Song Appeal podcast, which focuses on the psychology behind why we like the music we like. His podcast on music theory and music psychology has appealed broadly enough for Hunter to speak at Comic-Con 2018, and is instructive enough to be used as homework by a music theory professor. He currently teaches people to play piano by ear and make their own arrangements of other people’s music.

Next, I’m raising the white flag at these two choruses. At first I just wanted to label them “title refrains” because there’s different material happening after them, but on the other hand, the second half of the choruses are the same, so you kinda have to go back to chorus over refrain.

The following post comes directly from Soundfly’s mentored online course, Songwriting for Producers. If you’re making music at home, you need to check out this course to learn the techniques and strategies of pro songwriters, master an efficient and productive workflow, and bone up on how simple music theory can improve your storytelling. Free preview here.

All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional support and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! That means you’re not just getting the course content, but a coach who’s invested in your success. With writing-focused courses like The New Songwriter’s Workshop, Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords, and Songwriting for Producers, there’s nothing you won’t improve after a session with Soundfly!

Even though Zen is filled with useful technical tips, all that information is grounded within its proper context: great music and the emotions which fuel it. Based on the success of this volume, Mixerman went on to pen two more Zen volumes covering audio production, so don’t sleep on checking out the full set.

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Delays can either thicken your drums or bring out entirely new note features depending on how they’re used, while reverbs and distortions can add vivid new colors to percussion parts by making them less pristine and obvious. These are effects we are used to using in order to layer over guitar parts, but they can do incredible things to brighten up stale percussion parts as well!

The album spent 66 weeks on the Billboard Top Pop Album charts, peaking at #2. It was a smash hit that elevated James Brown to household name status all over America.

Sophie Chernin is an NYC-based songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. She is the co-founder and manager of the alt-soul band Madam West. Sophie identifies as a musician despite her current full-time job outside of the music sphere — her passion for music and promoting artists she loves drives her every moment of every day.

Writer’s block can be a burden on any songwriter or artist’s progress. There are no hard and fast rules to songwriting and there are certainly no surefire ways to break out of writer’s block. If you are experiencing a block in your creativity, these steps may help you to rediscover your muse or ignite a creative spark that you’ve never had before. Whatever the case may be, the most important step in breaking out of a songwriter’s block is to keep writing and never give up despite your frustrations. The more you write, the easier it is to write. Share your own methods for breaking out of a creative block below.

The same goes for creative lighting, like old lamps or customized Arduino-triggered LED lights. It looks cool, and it’s also handy in case one of the venues on your tour doesn’t have very interesting lighting options. Most venues will also let you hang a banner behind you while you play, which can really help people remember who you are without you reminding them after every song.