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I’m one of those people that treats their dog like a person. I schedule my entire life around him, and relish in saying things like: “Oh sorry, I have to go home now, my dog is waiting for me.” I take approximately 15 photos of him doing the same things every day; my current favorite is when he sits on the top of our staircase so he can see out the window. We call this “watching TV.”

It absolutely could make “lazy” DJs better selectors, however, that is not our focus. We want to help people become better listeners and help them identify and understand the music they actually love, so they can confidently find more of it.

This record was a hair away from not being produced at all. Syd Nathan, the “king” of King Records at the time, saw James Brown as more of a single artist and refused to finance the making of a full album, nonetheless a live one. Nathan signed Brown and put out “Please, Please, Please,” which sold quite well. Unfortunately, Brown’s next nine singles were complete flops.

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This is another simple, yet effective music video with a strong visual aesthetic to create lasting resonance. Here, the directors make use of distinctive colors, body art, and semi-raw footage to alter Gotye’s physical presence throughout the story. The continual changing of Gotye’s body represents the shifting of emotional qualities when recounting a painful breakup.

Knowing your audience is a crucial aspect of marketing your music, but it is also important to consider your audience when writing your music. What kind of people (outside of your friends and family) do you want your music to appeal to? What artists do people in your target audience listen to? Which moods and lyrics does your audience relate to?

If you want to know why I didn’t lump the tag in with the bridge here for a tidy eight bars, I’ll tell you. Firstly, it just feels to me like 1+7. And secondly, the chord loop established at the start of the bridge (after the little rest) is repeated without its established fourth chord, making a kind of sneakily soon II-to-ii chord transition to the chorus. Neat. The outro is just a hold on the vi chord, proving once again that modern pop often refuses to end songs on the tonic like you’re supposed to.

Comparing yourself to other singers is a recipe for disaster. The trick to cementing your confidence is by finding your niche — working to discover that thing that makes your singing completely unique. Whether it is that you can belt like a demon, hold a note for two minutes, have a sexy glottal growl, a husky sultry tone, a perfectly seamless vibrato… Whatever it is, it’s your task to identify it, master it, and exploit it!

Erik Veach is the owner and lead audio engineer at Crazy Daisy Productions, providing mixing, mastering, and sound editing services since 2001. He is the original pioneer of automated intelligent mastering systems, introducing them for use in professional music production in 2003.

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Don’t stop learning about music theory and composition just because you’re stuck on the subway! These podcasts can keep your brain active while on the go!

So I wanted to pluck out a bunch of very famous songs from between the ’60s and ’80s where these stalwart rhythm-section warriors were able to eek out a few moments of their own in the limelight — those fleeting moments where any listener can catch the bass filling an iota of space very cleverly, or otherwise blending particularly well with the vocal, lead guitar, or other instrument. We’ll also examine the melodic techniques used in each case.

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.

Motivation is something that can be difficult to hold onto when music is your side gig. We get overwhelmed with all of the things we could or should be doing to move our music careers forward. Hustling day after day with little progress can suck the go-getter-ness right out of you. So here are some tips to combat that temptation to lose motivation.

Planning your next cross-country tour? Here are 8 cities where you’re guaranteed a great, youthful, and excited audience, and a variety of spaces to boot.