In a career that spans decades and features collaborations with an array of influential artists, John Gustafson is a name you might not know, even though he recorded on over 100 albums, including his solo album, Goose Grease, in 1976. Read the post.
Power chords might not be chords, but they’re powerful intervals — especially when mixed with distortion. Read the post.
Whatever your aspirations as a musician, there are lessons to be learned from the basement-tapes legacy created by Guided By Voices. Read the post.
A song can take you on a journey, and including a key change — or modulation — can produce various emotional effects, from brightening the mood to creating a sense of unease. Read the post.
The first of a two-part series explores how taking time to learn another instrument will help you become stronger at your first instrument and improve your songwriting chops. Read the post.
While his name may be missing from “top” lists around the web, Jaki Liebezeit forged a legacy with Can and numerous other artists on his way to being one of the greatest drummers you’ve never heard of. Read the post.
If you’re serious about carving out a career in music, you need to learn about the music business. The “Mentoring for the Modern Musician” team can help. Read the post.
Borrowed chords (chords “borrowed” from a key’s parallel minor) are commonly used in music influenced by the blues, including rock, jazz, R&B, even country and folk. Today we’ll focus on the flat-six chord. Read More.
A performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” can be a powerful musical experience when done right and a national embarrassment if things go wrong. Consider this advice if you’re ever called to perform it. Read the post.
“Mentoring for the Modern Musician” podcast producers Adam and Michael Scharff caught up with musician/author/Disc Makers Blog contributor Scott McCormick to dig deeper into Scott’s three-part DM Blog series on the inimitable Brian Wilson. Here’s an excerpt from the conversation. Read More.
Sixth chords have an inherent lack of identity and purpose that can be riveting — a sixth chord can provide ambiguity, set curiously dark moods, and add a layer of complexity to your music. Read More.
Not only does “Good Vibrations” provide a structural template for Smile, it also gives the album its tonal language. Nearly every song or song section is written in one of “Good Vibrations” chords. Read More.
To write a great melody, throw in a dramatic flourish to enhance a moment, but sing the way people speak: It sounds better and makes a melody more memorable. Read More.
While I can’t give you an exact recipe for how to write a great melody, I can point out some common traits great melodies have to help improve your melodic skills. Read More.
Taking liberties with traditional song structures can be a great way to stand apart from your peers, keep listeners on edge, add a sense of drama, and make even a short song seem like an epic. Read More.