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.
Our May 24th Disc Makers #DMchat focused on improvisation and soloing techniques featuring pianist, composer, and producer Michael Gallant. Read More.
Whether it’s a virtuosic guitar, a transcendent piano, or a funky breakdown on bass, a great solo can add power and personality to songs in any genre. Read more.
Limiting your songwriting time may seem counter-intuitive, but it can help fuel your creativity in interesting and unexpected ways. Read more.
With the potential to invoke thousands of instruments and sounds at the touch of a button, sometimes using minimal instrumentation and a sparse musical arrangement provides maximum impact. Read more.
Paul McCartney’s bass lines became an integral part of the Beatles’ evolution from world beating pop band to musical pioneers. We identify just what Paul did to make his parts stand out from what other bassists were doing at the time. Read more.
How many times have you been writing a chord progression, when you suddenly hit that wall? For those times when you’re writing a song and can’t find the right chord to complete a progression, this technique – using applied music theory – will help you discover your best options and help you complete your song. Read more.
Knowing a little music theory can help you dissect your favorite songs and better understand how to write songs of your own. We break down “The Hills” by The Weeknd in this post. We’re going to start by transcribing the chorus melody, figuring out the key, and then using the key to find the chords. Read more.
One of the most important jobs I have as a teacher is to identify and share the common elements I observe in successful songs while steering students clear from the pitfalls in songs that fall short. If you want to learn how to write a country song, here are some of the biggest lyric pitfalls to avoid. Read more.
Over the years we’ve posted songwriting advice that covers music theory, children’s music, interviews with hit songwriters, excerpts from books, songwriter’s block, and a variety of other topics that relate to the craft of writing a song. We’ve collected them here – check ’em out! Read more.