4 Ways To Improve Your Songwriting Chops

Pál Szakács/ September 4, 2021/ General Article/ 0 comments

Are you a songwriter who’s feeling creatively dry? Is it a challenge lately to come up with new ideas? Relax — you’re in good company. Even the most high-level songwriters deal with creative challenges. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to break out of a songwriting rut. Read on for a few ideas. 

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1. Get Recorded

If you’re not doing this already, start. It’s as easy as using the memo app on your phone. When you wake up, grab your phone and record any ideas that might have come to you during the night. Let yourself hum and record nonsense vowels. Nobody has to hear it but you. Listen back later. Many songwriters jumpstart their creativity by booking studio time. Not sure where to look? Do a search using terms such as music recording studio Chicago to find a skilled professional. 

2. Get With a Mentor

Even one mentorship session with a professional songwriter can make a major difference in your level of confidence and motivation. Find someone who has qualities you admire and a track record of success. Their style doesn’t have to be exactly like yours, but they should “get” you. 

3. Go To a Workshop

Online or in-person, free or paid, workshops are pleasurable, eye-opening experiences that put you at close range with talented mentors and peers. You’ll get the chance to see how others go through their creative processes, give and receive feedback, and possibly get the chance to do a co-write or two. 

4. Write Outside the Box

Try writing a song from a different perspective (a story song, for example), using the groove and chordal outlines of a song you love, or changing up the genre. You never know what you’ll come up with. 

Improving your songwriting chops takes focus and intentionality. Keep these tips in mind as you craft your plan. 

4 Music Styles To Explore

Pál Szakács/ September 3, 2021/ General Article/ 0 comments

Music is a wonderful and powerful force in the lives of many people. Despite the wide variety and accessibility of musical genres that exist around the world, people tend to stick to listening to music that they are familiar with and miss out on new styles of music that they might enjoy. Here are four styles of music to explore. 

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1. Classical

Classical music generally refers to the genre of music that follows traditional principles of the Western world dating back to Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. However, many contemporary classical music artists continue the genre on the piano, violin, cello and other timeless instruments. Give classical music a try if you are looking for something containing a more relaxing pace.

2. Caribbean

Caribbean music contains heavy African influences such as the use of percussion and call-and-response vocals, and includes styles like reggae, ska and calypso. Consider finding and listening to a Caribbean station Brooklyn NY on the radio to learn more about the rich variety and history of this upbeat genre of music. 

3. Jazz

Jazz originated from Black musicians in the Louisiana area and includes elements such as complex harmonies and an abundance of improvisation. Improvisation is one of the major traits that sets jazz apart from other genres of music, where songs sound largely the same each time they are performed. Common instruments used in jazz include the trumpet, clarinet, guitar, saxophone and drums. 

4. Electronic

Often described as trance-like, electronic music makes use of digital instruments to produce rhythm and sound. This genre of music is commonly associated with dance clubs and discos but consists of many other styles besides the ones commonly played in these venues. Techno, house and dubstep are some other styles associated with electronic music. 

If you are looking to expand your musical palette, give one of these four styles a try. 

The Key to Better Musicianship

Pál Szakács/ August 5, 2021/ General Article/ 0 comments

Mastering music is a life-long pursuit. Whether you are a vocalist or an instrumentalist, you know the importance of diligent practice. With great patience, you work on the basics. First, you learn how to make intentional sound and match a pitch. Then, you progress to reading notes and interpreting Latin terms (forte or pianissimo) on a page of music. Once you are proficient, you may want to write your own music. To understand composition, you need circle theory.

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Understanding Basic Music Theory

Music is made up of three basic elements: melody, harmony and rhythm. Most people recognize a melody as the main theme of a song. Harmony gives it a certain feel by adding other pitches to the melody, creating a blend of sound. Melody and harmony together determine the tone, giving the piece a particular emotional feel. Rhythm is the beat of the music, also known as tempo. 

Applying Circle Theory

Once you understand the basics, you can start using circle theory Rockford IL to improve your composition skills. This theory is based on the circle of fifths. The term “fifth” refers to the interval between two notes in a chord. All 12 notes of the Western scale are depicted in a wheel-like diagram. The position of the notes on the circle indicates their relationship to the other notes in the scale. By studying the circle of fifths, you can tell which notes harmonize with others. You will also be able to create natural-sounding chord progressions, which are the transitions that take a song from beginning to end. 

Knowledge of circle theory gives you a strong foundation for composition. Understanding the relationships between the notes of the scale will make writing music easier and allow for greater freedom. You can feel confident that the music you create will elicit the desired response in your listeners.

How to Set Up a Recording Studio in Your House

Pál Szakács/ July 3, 2021/ General Article/ 0 comments

If you want to be a recording artist either for fun or for commercial purposes, you will need to find a space to lay down some tracks. Although the upfront costs might be less to rent a place for a few hours here or there, it may be worth your while to drop one in your home. Here is a quick guide to get started.

Soundproof the Room

Everything emanating out of your space might be music to your ears, but that won’t be the case for everyone, especially any neighbors. That is why it is important to use noise control insulation Chalfont PA. You will hear everything you want without bugging your spouse or kids. Also, have you ever been in a large empty space such as a basketball gym? You have probably noticed how much the sounds echo and carry. A soundproof room will keep all the noises right where you want them.

Set Up the Sound Equipment

Now that you have carved out a niche for yourself, it is time to deck it out with some nice and shiny tools. A room and a microphone is most likely not enough to provide what you want. Check out the following list of items you should look out for:

  • Workstation and monitor
  • Soundproofing materials (as discussed above)
  • Noise scatterer
  • Reflection filters
  • Cables
  • Headphones
  • Sound mixers

This delicate ecosystem will push you in the right direction. You will also need sophisticated recording software.

Start Recording

Everything is in place. You are a true blue sound engineer at this point. Now what? It’s time to play! If you want to just sing or rap, the microphone and surrounding acoustic setup will play big roles for you. You can use drum machines and other programs to make beats. If you want to play your own instruments, get comfortable and start jamming with the microphones next to the sound output. Some drummers opt for electronic kits instead of acoustic ones.

You might not ever become a superstar, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or have a limited amount of success at some point. Just the simple act of putting in a recording studio in your residence is awesome.

4 Facts About Voice Acting

Wade Horton/ June 30, 2021/ General Article

commercial voice talent

You have most likely encountered voice actors at parties, shows and other entertainment venues as well as on television and radio. However, not much is known to the ordinary public about this profession. Here are four interesting facts about commercial voice talent.

1. Most Work at Home, On Call

Many of us picture voice actors as sitting in a studio saying their lines together, but that is not how most of the work is done. The large majority of voice acting is performed solo. In addition, many in the profession receive work with very little notice, so they must be available most hours of the day. 

2. They Use Props

While we usually think of props being used by on-screen television and movie actors, you might be surprised to know that voice actors use them as well. Computers are useful for some voice adjustments, but different acoustics are still achieved by using ordinary objects found in the studio or room where the actor is working. This might even involve eating or drinking actual food and beverages if that is what their character is doing. 

3. Some May Be On Screen

Although most voiceover work is done behind the scenes, some voice actors are employed as movie extras, appearing on screen to generate talking and other noise in the background. Their main focus here is blending into the film set and creating the desired ambiance. 

4. An Amazing Voice Is Not Needed

Surprisingly, having a wonderful and easy to listen to voice is not necessarily a requirement for the job. There are characters out there for all types of voices. For example, many young animated characters’ voices are portrayed by someone much older who happens to have a high-pitched voice. 

Voice acting is often taken for granted when we watch forms of entertainment. Hopefully these four facts will provide insight into this profession.