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One of my projects for this summer is to realize my decades-old ambition to learn how to scratch. I borrowed a Korg Kaoss DJ controller from a friend, downloaded Serato, and have been fumbling with it for a week now. The Kaoss DJ leaves much to be desired. The built-in Kaoss Pad is cool, but otherwise it’s too small and finicky. I will definitely want to upgrade to something with big, chunky buttons and more haptic feedback in general. Still, the Kaoss DJ is enough to get started with.

Open mics make lofty promises about what they’re able to offer songwriters of all levels. I’m here to tell you that they’re still a waste of your time.

Fundamentally, the more you study other artists, the more you’ll develop your own taste and palette. No one can explain how good lyrics work, but over time you’ll develop a deep, intuitive sense to guide your writing.

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“If you want the piece to be a lament over someone’s death, then you will really tear into that… It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t really true then and it doesn’t matter if the code theory is dumb.”

A great guitar tone starts with a great guitar, and one of the biggest determining factors in how your electric guitar will sound is the pickup you’ve got in it. There are tons of different pickups on the market you can choose from, but let’s back up for a minute. Here are two common ways pickups are classified.

Instructed by multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and educator Will Marshall, this mentored online course will also help you develop workflow strategies and time (and space) management skills so you’re not wasting valuable time and resources working in your home studio.

As producers, we need to be open to letting collaborators steer the ship for us every now and then. Without giving our music that freedom, we run the very real risk of sounding stale. Any track I’ve made that I am truly proud of has featured someone doing something I can’t do myself and in a way that makes rethink the composition process entirely. We should strive to surround ourselves with those whose skills and visions are different from our own. And it’s up to us to adapt their contributions in order to suit our overall vision and take our music to new heights.

When you’re a musician, it helps to have a job that you can take off every now and then when you go on tour or into the studio, here’s a few of our faves!

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And according to the probe tone experiments, most people also probably recognize that the notes 1, 3, and 5 are also going to be pretty important in the melody. Houston’s song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is not in the aforementioned key of C major, but it is in a different major, the key of G♭ major, and this tonal hierarchy works in any key, so let’s use the numbers and look at it the way we’d look at any song on Earth.

For many artists, finding their ideal fan and learning to cultivate that relationship in a way that’s authentic can feel a little overwhelming. While there are many ways to do this, some of which we’ve outlined in past articles, today we wanted to explore a tool that has made fan growth a priority for the last decade or so via analytics and industry-wide insights — enter, Next Big Sound.

“Bad at Love”: Just like the song Halsey sang last year with the Chainsmokers, “Closer,” this song defies a concrete tonal center, camping on what I first heard as the IV and V chords, with just a flirtation to the I chord at the end of the loop. It’s subjective as to how anyone’s ear is going to hear this tonally, at least at first. It’s like that famous “Rabbit-Duck” illusion where some people see a rabbit and others see a duck.

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It absolutely could make “lazy” DJs better selectors, however, that is not our focus. We want to help people become better listeners and help them identify and understand the music they actually love, so they can confidently find more of it.