One process that may be useful for musicians is mind mapping, a visual tool that requires you to generate, organize, and explore new ideas based on a central theme or concept. Read More.
Nobody is born a poet. Creative writing workshops are filled with aspiring Dickinsons and Whitmans suffering through the same mental block that musicians experience. These writing exercises can help you do something about it. Read More.
Jazz musicians know and integrate substitution chords (also known as chord substitution or reharmonization) on a regular basis, but musicians who play other genres of music can also employ this concept to great effect. Read More.
As a musician, it’s important to listen to music genres outside of your own. The term “bimusical” has been coined to express a degree of fluency in different styles of music, and there are compelling reasons to aspire to being bi. Read More.
There’s no “formula” to write a great chorus or hook, but these techniques can spark ideas to write, rework, or critique your own songs. Read More.
Deliberate isolation helped Cage The Elephant find its voice. Maybe you can try the same to strip away your influences and find your voice as a musician. Read More.
Music theory is a set of tools you can lean on to help you write and compose, and being deliberate in how you arrange your parts can translate to a better sound on stage. Read More.
If your music practice routine has plateaued, it’s time to challenge yourself and try something new. We’ve got tips to get you out of your creative rut. Read More.
While this advice is focused on songwriters looking to land a song on a major label artist’s album, knowing some of the elements that go into hit songwriting can help you excel, whatever your musical ambition. Read More.
A recent show by The Vijay Iyer Trio inspired me as they pushed the limits when it came to creating new musical sounds and organic sonic textures. You can too! Read More.
Playing cover songs can boost your visibility, warm up a crowd, or be a way to earn a living. Whatever the end goal, there is more than one way to approach playing someone else’s well-known – or little known – song. Read More.
You can find inspiration from anywhere – every song has a story, even if the song has nothing to do with the source of its inspiration. Read More.
Sometimes you may need a prompt or a process to keep the creative juices flowing and get your critical mind out of the way. Here are three strategies to get your songwriting on track. Read More.
Active listening will serve you well in live situations, recording sessions, and even in your interpersonal relationships. Active listening is specifically making listening the primary activity and doing nothing else. Don’t clean, don’t drive, don’t carry on a conversation. Just listen. Read More.
Transcribing solos that other musicians have played can be a challenge, as it requires significant music notation chops and a sharp ear. Like any musical skill, though, it can be learned, and is well worth the investment of time to make it happen. Read More.