Jack McCarthy is a contributing writer for WeSpin, a growth training platform and community. Jack is a singer and songwriter living in Philadelphia, PA; though you may have more luck finding him in the studio or on the road. He has worked with many artists, producing and playing on a variety of tracks.
Freewriting is the act of nonstop writing for a predetermined amount of time without concern for grammar, quality, or any other regulations. Initially, this can look like some serious word-vomit, but if you keep going, you’ll often find yourself coming up with interesting ideas, or finding momentum on specific topics. Much like stretching before exercising, this process can kick-start your creativity and help you overcome any feelings of self-criticism.
Soundfly is a new kind of music school for today’s musician. We create creative courses and daily articles for the curious musician. Meet the whole Soundfly Team here.
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Next is an excellent arrangement of the New Order classic “Blue Monday” by Japanese chiptune superstar Hally (it starts at 3:09 in the video). And if you’re into New Order chiptune covers, be sure to check out my own version of “Bizarre Love Triangle.”
Veteran sound engineer Vishal Nayak of Black Lodge Recording will take you through the process of recording a professional-grade demo in a day using only two microphones. The course covers the “basics” — how to record all of your instruments and sort out your arrangement so you have a track you can be proud of at home. Don’t think of it as recording a “demo” — you’ll be learning how to do a lot with very little. Throughout the course, you’ll follow along as singer-songwriter Arthur Lewis records his original track “We Ride.”
A simple tip for making more engaging tracks is to add or subtract an element every four to eight bars or so. Here are a few variation approaches to try:
Now here’s pianist and composer Nils Frahm jamming out on his Roland Chorus Echo 501 so you can see how someone alters the tape loop in real time to create live warbles. It’s fun to watch, and even more fun to play with!
A great example of this technique comes from P!nk. At 2:03 in “Walk Me Home,” she sings the chorus an octave below, accompanied by nothing but an acoustic guitar, which makes the final chorus that returns later all the more impressive and memorable.
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It may sound corny or cliché, it may sound like bad advice at first, but “fake it til you make it” is one of the core tennets of visualizing your success.
And so, with our eleventh edition of the Student Spotlight series, highlighting the brilliant work of Soundfly alumni created in our courses and Headliners Club mentorship sessions, we humbly offer up some new music for your favorite summer playlist.
Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.
The addition of the F# in the Melodic Minor scale, makes things slightly more complex (if that was even needed at this point!). This time, we would have to work out the names comparing the scales to their most similar mode. For example, there is little point in comparing the fourth mode built on A Melodic Minor scale to an Ionian scale. It is much more similar to a Lydian mode, since it comprises of the note F#. The G# at this point, makes it a C Lydian (Augmented fifth).
After the watershed “Blurred Lines” case in 2016, there has been an influx of music copyright infringement cases bringing songwriters, performers, and publishers to court. More than ever, it is crucial for any modern musician to have a basic knowledge of music copyright law, and at least a grasp of the legal avenues that exist when using another artist’s material. whether by covering or sampling.