Music arrangement might be the invisible art, but the results can spell the difference between a smash hit and a “nice” song. Dr. Richard Niles has a storied history as an arranger and shares some thoughts and insights in this interview. Read the post.
The fade out, the cold ending, the endless loop, the key modulation… there are so many approaches to a song ending — at least on record — so, how are you gonna do it? Read the post.
As an independent music artist, you’ve got a few seconds — at most — to reel a listener in to your single or lead-off track. Here are some strategies to craft a song intro that will make your listeners pay attention. Read the post.
Though labeled a Lennon/McCartney song, “She Said She Said” was more truly a Lennon/Harrison song that was a late addition to one of the pivotal albums in the Beatles’ esteemed catalog. Read the post.
We take a look at the true innovation and widespread influence James Brown had as he evolved his sound and created funk music in the process. Read the post.
If you need to collaborate with others to make your project come alive, when do you look locally and when do you search beyond? Here are some guidelines to help you decide when remote musical collaboration is right for your project. Read the post.
When I realized my latest recording project needed live strings to add the energy and timbre the song needed, I ended up collaborating with a cellist from Toronto, with stellar results. Read the post.
In part two of our series, we break down two more iconic songs from the Rolling Stones’ library: 1966’s “Under My Thumb” and “Ruby Tuesday.” Read the post.
With guitar riffs like the one in “The Last Time,” the Rolling Stones established their musical signature on the way to becoming songwriting legends. 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.
At different stages of your career, you may find yourself collaborating with musically inexperienced partners. These tips can help you engage in constructive communication with non-musical collaborators. Read the post.
When you’re constructing a song, think of it in relation to the human body. You build the skeleton first, which can be a melody, and develop your song from there. Read the post.
Power chords might not be chords, but they’re powerful intervals — especially when mixed with distortion. Read the post.
Not all these songwriting tips deal with the minutes and hours you’ll spend with your instrument in your hand, but that’s partly the point… your life outside your music studio should be rich and inspiring so that the music you create is too. Read the post.