You’ve just bought a 180-gram audiophile pressing of your favorite album on vinyl. Getting home, you slide it lovingly from the sleeve. As your boutique turntable spins gently, you carefully place the stylus at the record’s edge, settle back on your beanbag with $400 headphones comforting your head, and savor the music just as the artist intended.
Ellisa Sun cuts out her heart and leaves it on the stage — which is why she never wears white. Currently on her first national tour, Ellisa is showing she has what it takes to make it on her own. Just a guitar, a 30-foot RV, and an insatiable desire to perform. Raised in Los Angeles and (until recently) based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her sound is honest, heartfelt, and textured, combining elements of jazz, soul, and pop.
If you’re an electronically trained home producer, you might not have a lot of experience writing lyrics — perhaps you’re more used to working with outside lyricists, singers, and topline melody writers. But in my online course, Songwriting for Producers, I’ve set out to give you the tools and strategies you need to become a profession, all-in-one producer, capable of churning out mega-hits without relying on collaboration to get you that extra mile.
Pbr studio time
No classic song is safe from the cover treatment… but how many cover versions are actually interesting to listen to? We delve in and pick out our top 10.
Yoshino composes and arranges pop-influenced originals, interspersed with her own arrangements of jazz standards. A classically trained pianist, her arrangements move in ecstatic fits and starts, holding the room with brief moments of tension before bursting into glorious runs on piano, bass, and saxophone.
My writing method isn’t so much about technology as it is about coming up with a process that works for me. We’re living in a climate of immediacy, which can often yield great results, but it isn’t particularly conducive to a rigorous vetting of concepts or ideas. That being said, I have absolutely zero attention span. Writing on manuscript paper with a pen is all about slowing the process down, focusing in, and running through the same ideas over, over and over — essentially beating my head against the wall to get the ideas out.
That said, Hein makes a great point that often the debate is not about current technology versus better technology. Rather, it’s a question of using technology either to achieve a result or to achieve nothing. He says, “If you’re some freshman in music school, usually the choice is not ‘shall I have a live string quartet play this or shall I have it be fake strings in Sibelius?’ No. It’s fake strings in Sibelius or nothing. And certainly when they get out of music school it’s fake strings or nothing.” So, having technology be there to help us along doesn’t take anything away, it enables us to do more. The role of education needs to be to empower students to make the most out of what’s available and not to mistake technology’s comforts for their own creative acumen.
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.
Every time you touch a turntable, it makes the record go out of sync. Then you have to be very careful to line it back up again. And I’m not even trying to use the crossfader yet. This is all clearly going to take some serious practice.
Need help on a specific project that doesn’t quite fit within one of our online courses? Work with a Soundfly Mentor one-on-one to create a custom one-month Learning Plan specifically tailored to your needs and goals through our newly revamped Headliners Club program.
During this program, the initial conversations with your mentor allow you to articulate your targets and then make them explicit through your Learning Plan. You don’t have to adjust to generic goals — you’re setting your own objectives with your mentor.
First, create a list of small, reasonable venues to reach out to, and then write down the names and email addresses for the people who book music for those places (virtually all venues now book talent through email). Instead of putting all your booking hopes in one basket, writing down multiple venue options will give you the best chance at booking shows. Again, instead of focusing on the best local venues, you’ll need to start building your reputation anywhere you can.
For one, the wonderful basslines of Motown make it easy. And standout players in genres like funk, soul and neo-soul, R&B, and prog rock also make it fun to examine that low-end magic happening just beneath the surface. But throughout the 1960s and ’70s, where the songwriter reigned as king — seconded (if even) only by that of the heaven-descended lead guitarist — bassists were mostly criminally ignored.