When Public Enemy released “Fight The Power” in 1989, there were few rules when it came to sampling. While today’s artists face constraints, they’re finding ways to keep hip hop the most vital, and popular, music genre. Read the post.
A pedal point is the repetition or sustain of a single note throughout various harmonic changes that can make a standard progression more interesting or ground a complex progression in something familiar. Read the post.
Here’s the story of how an unlikely collaboration met with a massive riff, memorable chorus, groundbreaking samples, and an in-your-face solo to produce a surprise hit single in 1983. Read the post.
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.
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.
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.