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Daniel Martin is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, guitar instructor, and rock historian from Lancaster, PA. His music-related articles have been published on Counterpunch and Perfect Sound Forever. His band, Marty’s Invasion, has “invaded” multiple cities on the East Coast.

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.

Another extremely common and timeless technique to make your chorus shine is simply cutting the music out completely for half a measure or even an entire measure in some cases. Some of today’s electronic producers also prefer cutting out effects such as reverb and delay, to make that moment of silence even more dramatic, like you’re falling off a tiny cliff. This technique is especially fun to apply in situations where the chorus vocals start with pick-up notes from the previous measure.

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Professional songwriters can generate many different sources of income from their songs in the same way an author creates additional income turning a novel into a movie, TV series, or graphic novel. It doesn’t matter whether your song has gathered a million plays or just a handful of listens — you can still put your compositions to work for you to generate more revenue. All it takes is a little creativity and a sense of adventure.

The most important thing to bear in mind is that when you’re working with a mix, you’re dealing with a multitude of complex and interconnected phase relationships. EQ that kick drum and you are changing its phase relationship to other sounds appearing in the mix. Hopefully it’s not audible (or at least still sounds good), but it is there.

Major platforms like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music have begun rolling out robust dashboards for artists to not only track and analyze how your songs are performing, but also to provide you with invaluable streaming data that can help you understand who your audience is, where to tour, how to most effectively spend your marketing dollars, and much more.

Delays can either thicken your drums or bring out entirely new note features depending on how they’re used, while reverbs and distortions can add vivid new colors to percussion parts by making them less pristine and obvious. These are effects we are used to using in order to layer over guitar parts, but they can do incredible things to brighten up stale percussion parts as well!

“You’ll find 44 lifelike vignettes of students playing, including a double-page illustration of a full school orchestra performing in concert. Here are boys and girls playing the piccolo, bassoon, bugle, sousaphone, snare drum, xylophone, maracas, violin, string bass, and electric guitar — and even the banjo and bagpipes. These, plus 32 more popular musical instruments, grouped according to instrument type, are ready for crayons, watercolors, or magic markers.”

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Jeremy is a Montreal-based musician, sound artist and improviser who loves giving advice to emerging artists on how to make their tours more effective. He writes, records and performs electroacoustic “concrète” music for tape, oscillators and amplified objects and surfaces, as well as solo guitar. He has performed and released material throughout Europe and the UK, Asia, the US and Canada, mostly with his trio Sontag Shogun.

There were virtually no costs for “Here It Goes Again,” and it makes an excellent inspirational showcase for how creativity can be utilized to great effect to execute something memorable.

While this technique may not work well for subtle genres like folk or jazz, excessive compression is commonly used in Top 40 genres such as pop, rock, and hip-hop productions to create powerful vocals that cut through busy arrangements.

A powerful OpEd on hearing familiarity through artificial musical boundaries and what happens when we look at our own aesthetic tastes under a microscope.

If you’re an introvert this can be scary, but do your best to really talk to people at your shows. Talk to the bartender, the soundperson, the doorperson, or somebody sitting at the bar. Ask people questions about where they’re from originally, what they do for work, what they like to eat, etc. You never know who you’ll meet and the adventures you could have.

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Nice work. This idea of changing melody with changes in lyric is called topic movement and it’s a winning technique for stopping endless lists of lyrics with no direction that can really clog up your listeners’ ears. Professor Andrea Stolpe, of USC’s Thornton School of Music, expands on this below. While the […]

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