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.
All work, when properly evaluated and processed, is a learning experience and just another step in the life-long journey of discovering and deepening your own artistic voice. 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.
Among the great writers, performers, and trailblazers in rock music, women who have advanced the cause hold a special place. We look at three women in rock whose music still resonates as they continue to influence modern music artists. Read the post.
Being creative is not an innate ability that you either have or you don’t. Creativity is not, in and of itself, a talent. Creativity is not related to IQ. Creativity is a way of operating. Read More.
If you are interested in writing lyrics with depth, you need a deep artistic well to draw from. All output requires input, and as a lyricist, I recommend you begin with words. Read More.
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.
Brent Baxter and Johnny Dwinell discuss strategies on how to behave as a member of Facebook songwriting groups. Excerpted from The CLIMB podcast, “STOP Ruining Facebook and Your Career.” Read More.
“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.
If you’re hoping to land a cut, there’s one listener who definitely must connect with your song: the artist you’re pitching to. That’s your first listener, the one who will hear it before the masses. 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.
There’s nothing wrong with big, noisy rock, but here’s a perspective from three guitarists who use their instruments to create a vibe rather than flex their muscular musical chops every chance they get. 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.