“I set myself such problems as: What can I do with a single note? with its octave? with an interval? with two intervals?” He also added that “certain features of these problems and their solutions have something in common with the principles of serial composition.”

When it comes to organizing the structure of your song, where and when certain sections come in, and the roles they play as your song develops, there are a few ways to go about this. Some of the most common types of song forms are just variations of verse, pre-chorus, and chorus, with the occasional bridge or solo thrown in, especially in pop music.

You also may not like this one (“but I need it, it’s my job!”). Well, you don’t need it every day, all day. Consider deleting social media apps from your phone for one week out of every month. You’ll feel so much lighter. You’ll notice the world around you, and realize there’s so much more than filtered, curated content. You’ll be able to breathe. You’ll be able to be yourself and make real connections with real human beings!

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Everything from high altitudes to sweaty summers can deplete your body of water and run amok on your vocal folds. Incorporating a quality humidifier into your life will do wonders to help support your body’s natural efforts to maintain proper hydration. Monitor your room’s humidity levels to help you keep the air around you at an optimal 40% humidity. Make sure to plan for monthly filter changes to keep everything in proper working order.

The first time you offer thousands of dollars to an act can feel incredibly stressful, but if you’re diligent about your research and transparent about your abilities and reach, you should be able to pay everyone — and make a little for yourself. At the very least, you’ll be showing your local music community that you care about equal pay and increasing opportunities.

I find musicians make this last mistake all too often. It’s related to not seeing music as a real job. Musicians set themselves up for disaster when they don’t take their finances and contractual responsibilities seriously. Signing a bad contract has killed the careers of many musicians, and not prioritizing financial literacy even if you’re a DIY artist can be just as dangerous.

As we can see, these scales are almost identical except for one interval, the Augmented fourth in the F Lydian mode. This note is what I called before “the characteristic note” of that particular mode, the note that gives the F Lydian mode its peculiar sound — its “Lydian-ness” — and the one that differentiates it from sounding like a major scale.

Automation can bring a mix to life — it can make your mix growl and breathe in time with the music. Automation can be used to change any parameter over time, including things like volume, panning, plug-in parameters, and more. Simple things like increasing the volume in the chorus, bringing the panning on the guitars in a little for the verses, or boosting the bass in the bridge can make a huge impact and provide listeners with enough ear candy to keep them listening for days.

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From her 1997 live album, right before she launches into “Tyrone”, Erykah speaks to my artistic heart. It took me a long time to admit that I am an artist. The word has a bit of stigma attached to it, usually that artists are needy, too sensitive, too fragile. But I believe we’re all artists in some capacity, and it’s important to embrace it. As Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) teaches, your artist is similar to your inner child — creative, unafraid, free, and incredibly passionate. It’s so important to nurture that part of you and be honest about your humanity. No one is made of steel.

Some songwriters say they have received amounts equal to a ten-year advance on royalties. The money has been used to take their career in a new direction, buy new equipment or fund a tour or music video. However, not everyone may have a roster of songs that will sell for enough money to pay the electric bill. Keep in mind that once you sell your rights to your intellectual property, you waive your right to collect any future royalties it may generate.

Does the solitary fact that Once Upon a Time in Shaolin eschews all forms of distribution and mass-listenability effectively set it apart from its counterparts? I’m not sure the answer is yes, but I would argue that it’s at least a very good step in that direction.

Because of their long, curvy waveforms, low frequencies experience phase attenuation more profoundly than other areas of the spectrum. You may want to high-pass your square wave so that it gives the bass line that extra grit without stepping on the feet of your sine’s big clear lows. Additionally, many producers like to make low-end seem fatter by using stereo widening effects. Use these carefully as the phase interactions between the low end of each stereo side can cause destructive interference. Use the mono/stereo switch on your DAW’s master track to check whether your low end survives when everything’s running through the center channel.

Now that I’m an adult and a professional touring artist myself, I wanted to look back at some quotes from my personal favorite artists whose work I grew up on to see if they still resonated with me. Here are seven that I thought were particularly inspiring.