That’s not to say that your writing will automatically sound better overnight as a result of opening a book by one of the greats, but so much of songwriting is about “borrowing.” Whether that’s taking a direct phrase and setting it to a new context, or borrowing some syntax and ideas to open up new pathways for approaching a song, having an influential reference provides a great place to start.
Learn more about modern mixing production techniques (like EQ, compression, level, pan setting, digital signal processing, FX sends, and so much more) from some of today’s leading sound engineers, to get your record sounding crisp! Preview Soundfly’s newest and most in-depth mentorship-assisted online mixing courses, Faders Up: Modern Mix Techniques and Advanced Mix Techniques, for free today!
“I worked with Jeff in earlier sessions of Introduction to the Composer’s Craft and the Headliners Club. He has a beautiful perspective and really seems to look at his music from multiple angles. In addition to writing music, Jeff is a gifted photographer, and that comes through when you listen to his work. In the composition course, we discussed the foundations of writing music — things like form, tonality, etc., and then went on to develop his artistic voice during a follow-up session of the Headliners Club.
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Once you get a motif, you can repeat it. A very good idea: Repetition is the songwriter’s friend. The more times you repeat the motif within a song the more easily it will be remembered. And you can repeat it at either the same pitch or at a different one.
If you’re like me and want to quickly maintain and update a solid website for your band so you can get back to making music ASAP, check out Bandzoogle. They’re a website-building platform built by and for musicians. For a low subscription fee, they offer tools to help musicians build great websites in minutes. They also give artists access to commission-free merch, ticket, and download sales through their online store feature.
All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Whether you’re interested in diving deep into a production-related topic like Modern and Advanced Mix Techniques, Songwriting for Producers, or Making Music in Logic Pro X, or just in working with a Soundfly Mentor directly to achieve a musical goal specific to you, we can help you get there!
Explore how common music theory is used in pop songs like “Superstition,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Teenage Dream,” and many more and how you can use the same basic theoretical concepts to add color and complexity to your songs with our free Theory for Producers series.
To collect these royalties, songwriters must be registered with a performing rights organization, or “PRO.” These organizations exist to track, collect, and distribute public performance royalties. The U.S. PROs include ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. In the UK, there’s PRS For Music, France has SACEM, Germany uses GEMA, and so on.
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I was met with a lot of pushback and resistance when I first started Muru. People didn’t really identify with the problem as it was somewhat technical and they thought I was trying to compete with streaming services by building a playlist tool. The word “crazy” was thrown around a few times, but once I got validation from a few investors and industry experts, the conversation changed, and those in my network were happy to start making introductions to the right people. I’m forever grateful for the first investors that took a leap of faith in Muru before I was able to prove that the tech worked.
You will then be prompted to select the kind of track you would like to create. For the basic piano vocal demo, you will likely be using a software instrument and an audio track.
Cole Porter’s standard, “I Love You,” sung below by Sarah Vaughan, provides a broad, sweeping plunge into the major seventh interval. Listen as Vaughan sings “Love” and “You” after briefly holding on the “I” around 0:21.
As we just saw, one musical principle that has reverberated throughout time and across continents and cultures is theme and variation. To revisit that classic example, here’s the theme from Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and the first variation of it, displayed in Ableton Live’s piano roll. The simple shifting of the notes downward is very effective.
Once you’ve got your sound dialed in, you’re ready to start getting creative. Keep in mind, these bass lines are simple — they’re not going to have the same fluidity and movement as the electric bass lines we looked at on the previous page.