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For example, if you are a solo performer singing along to tracks and all you bring on stage is your phone or iPod, you’re focusing all the attention on yourself as a performer. If you choreograph dance moves, or play into this isolated, “artist in the spotlight” vibe, perfect. But if you’re only doing this because you haven’t yet figured out how to play this music live, it’s a mistake to get up there in the first place. People look at that stuff, believe me.

Alright, this one is another melody you’ve definitely heard before, whether you think you have or not. Francis Lai’s theme song to the film Love Story actually opens with two notes ascending a minor sixth, but if you skip ahead to 0:24, just after a short horn fanfare, those two notes reverse briefly before entering the meat of the run. Either way you play those two notes back, it’s a minor sixth interval, but train your ears to hear it as a descending melody to recognize the gap as such.

Why do some songs tug on our heartstrings while others fall flat? Conveying moods and emotions is a key element of making great music, and doing it well requires a deep understanding of chords and harmony. It’s what allows modern music producers and songwriters to convey a sense of danger, triumph, or melancholy.

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My production challenge this month was an exercise in adaptivity. Instead of going out and finding outdoor sounds to capture and sample, like we did for April’s monthly challenge, we were tasked with the wonderful opportunity to use sounds from a brand new hip-hop adjacent sample pack that launched recently on Splice. [*Skip ahead to hear my final track.]

You can try looking in the mirror and telling yourself: “You are amazing, you are the best singer in the world, Sia has nothing on you!”, or, you can wake up, smell the coffee, perhaps drink it too, and take a more substantial approach to building your confidence.

It’s called Modern Pop Vocal Production, and it’s designed to help you home-recording vocalists and producers get a richer, more dynamic, and harder-hitting sound on your vocal mixes. In other words: Want to sound like the hits on the radio sound without buying a $10K vintage microphone? Then take this course.

In my video example above, my variations were as follows: First, I removed the hi-hat entirely (variation 1), then I added a kick and snare hit (variation 2), and finally I added kick and snare hits while removing snippets of the hi-hat pattern (variation 3). All of which is in addition to an already interesting yet repetitive beat sequence.

It’s an ever-fluctuating continuum. Sometimes an idea will pop into my head completely orchestrated and ready to be written down, and other times it’ll just be a little scrap — something I have to sit down and futz around with for hours before achieving any sense of clarity about what exactly I should do with it. Orchestration has always been my favorite part of the writing process, and I enjoy trying to figure it all out, digging and finding the information already hidden in a piece of musical material that will guide my decisions about how to treat it.

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As you probably already know by now, Logic Pro offers dozens of electronic and organic percussion instrument options, but songwriters and producers working with this DAW often struggle to keep their drum parts from sounding lifeless and conventional, without strategies to put life back into these out-of-the-box samples. Logic has a dynamic range of percussion instrumentation available, but the samples are still essentially blank sonic canvases on which the producer needs to paint.

There is most definitely a way to manage this terrible affliction known as nerves, and push through your vocal performance successfully. The key is to minimize the surprise factor.

All pickups have coils of wire wrapped around a magnet or magnets. Single-coil pickups have one set of these coils, while dual-coil pickups have two. Dual-coil pickups are typically known as humbuckers because they don’t pick up the hum noise that most single-coil pickups do, they “buck” it.

+ Learn more on Soundfly: Want to learn more about how streaming and sales royalties work and how to get the money you deserve? Check out our free course, How to Get All the Royalties You Never Knew Existed, and read up on the differences between getting paid as an “Artist” versus a “Songwriter” here.

Instead of trying to headline or open a show on a weekend (you’re not likely to get those valuable spots in the calendar until you’ve proven yourself), simply say that you’re a new band eager for live performance opportunities and ask to be considered for future shows. Starting out as the low music project on the totem pole, your emails might get ignored, or you might get asked to open a Tuesday night show opening for an artist you’ve never heard of. Persistence pays off here, but only if your communication is professional and honest.