Touring is great. But it can very quickly turn into exhaustive, monotonous work. Here are 10 great tips to keep things interesting and fun on the road.
When the studio asked for a song that sounds like The Beatles, Schlesinger decided to use similar instruments, style, and production techniques from the time period. If anyone in their 40s or 50s walked into the theater to watch the film, they were immediately transported back to their youth. For those of us too young to have lived through the early 1960s, it’s likely that our parents introduced us to the music of The Beatles at some point so that we’d have our own developmental reference point as well.
Kronendal Music Academy is a local music program aimed at engaging at-risk youth in the Hout Bay Valley of the Western Cape in South Africa. Located about 20 miles from the next nearest music school, they opened in 2007 to facilitate creative exchanges among the three distinct cultures native to the region. The academy provides quality instruction in diverse genres, instruments, and traditions.
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While the basic idea of sectional form can be stretched pretty far, it’s not uncommon to hear songs with additional types of sections. Pre-verses, post-choruses, breakdowns, ad-libs — there are plenty of examples of alternate forms.
Here’s one of my favorite on the list! One of Michael Jackson’s most uplifting melodies ever, his lyrical ramp up to the title refrain in “Man in the Mirror,” actually gets a jump start with a downward interval of an enormous major sixth gap! At 1:06, when he sings, “I’m” and “start,” you can hear how energetically it leads into the ascending melody. Top-line composers, take note!
A mode is like a scale: It is a collection of pitches which have a certain relationship between each other. Just like any major or minor scale, a mode has a Tonic (a point of rest) and a “Dominant” (a point of tension which needs resolution). I have put the word Dominant in quotations because in the case of modes, the dominant is not always found on the 5th degree — like in any major scale for example — but it is the degree(s) which contain the characteristic note (the note that gives a certain mode its peculiar sound) that functions as a dominant.
When recording acoustic guitars, most of the tone is going to come from the guitar itself, the microphone you chose, and the room you record in. You can find some great-sounding acoustic guitars for under $500 that can easily be used for recording. Pair one of these up with the right microphone and a recording space with great acoustics, and you’re good to go. [*Here are some quick tips on recording acoustic guitars if you need them!]
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A classic example is the LCD Soundsystem song “All My Friends.” The song develops extensively, without an obvious lyrical structure. There are certainly repeated melodies, various layers coming and going, and a strong lyrical narrative, but it never deviates from that repetitive piano part.
Modes are a great resource for both improvising and composing. They give us a great variety of harmonic choices, but it’s often difficult to remember the difference between one and the other. In this article, we will look at a way to remember which notes make up a certain mode. In order to do so, we will have to build upon a previous knowledge of major and minor scales.
Brad Pack is an award-winning audio engineer, writer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. Brad holds a Master’s degree in Electronic Media Production. When he’s not in front of his laptop, Brad can be found in the mosh pit.
Similarly, if you tour or play live a lot, you can consider investing in a nice amp head, so you don’t have to lug a giant amp with you everywhere. If you want to buy a great amp to play classic rock, look for something lightly used and durable. Here are some of my favorite choices for making classic rock music:
Music sure has changed since I was a youth. The way we find new music, the way we listen, and the way we share what we’re listening to has all changed; and the political and social climate of today’s culture is reflected in today’s music in a way that has changed massively since 20 years ago*. But I don’t look back and think, “now that was good music!”