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You can listen to Terminal on Bandcamp, and he’s also worth reading: “When people talk to me, whether it be the press or peers in the scene I operate in, I am often approached with a preconceived notion of pretty much everything from my influences and taste to my politics and lifestyle, solely based on my nationality. It is a caricature that has proven very marketable, one that makes for a more interesting read/conversation/booking, apparently, than a multi-faceted (hence unique) human personality just like each and every one of us.”

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.

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In the diagram below, the left side demonstrates how two in-phase waves sum to an amplified resulting signal. The right side demonstrates two precisely out-of-phase waves are attenuated to silence.

For my first serious remix, I thought I would take on Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” I have the a cappella and the instrumental, and it feels like a timely song. I put the instrumental on one deck and the a cappella on the other, and did my best to improvise a mix in real time.

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It’s totally fair to assume this song is in C minor. Sure, C minor chords shows up here and there, and much of the melodic content could be attributed to the C minor pentatonic scale. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking this song is in C minor.

One of the questions I get asked most frequently as a professional songwriter is: “How do you stay inspired when writing every day?” And it’s a valid question — one with multiple answers!

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As a youngster, Mercadante took on the flute, violin, and composition at the Naples Conservatory, and frequently organized concerts with his cohorts in school. The famous opera composer Gioachino Rossini once offered his compliments to the conservatory director, saying: “your young pupil Mercadante begins where we finish.” It was Rossini’s encouragement that drove Mercadente to fall in love with writing operas, though he would also write a number of symphonies and concertos, including many for the flute, which he often premiered with himself as the soloist.

Guitarists often jump to the conclusion that if you want a bigger sound, you need to add more layers. The downside of adding more layers to your guitar tracks, though, is that you lose some of the textures that make your tone so great. So, instead of layering, try using more complex harmonic chord shapes like open voicings and sevenths. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to build seventh chords out of simple triads, courtesy of Soundfly’s popular Mainstage course, Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords. 

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If you sample someone else’s music, make sure you’ve covered all your bases too. Reach out to the original songwriter to discuss splits and obtain a mechanical license to use their sample in your music, and then register and administer the percentage that you both agree upon. Don’t find yourself in a sticky situation — do your homework and know how to properly go about using samples.

After a piece is fully composed, I turn to technology for the organization and administrative side of things: Making charts, organizing rehearsals, emailing harsh MIDI demos to everyone while simultaneously watching Columbo in the background.

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The course goes deep in guiding students through the methods of learning how to sight sing more fluidly by mastering intervals and grasping harmony and chord theory, and offers tips and surefire strategies for making audition cuts (or dealing with cuts when they’re made on the fly!).

When you establish a color scheme strongly, it becomes even easier to then subvert it and supplant a freshness into your look. White’s video for his solo song “Freedom at 21” exemplifies this perfectly. Here, he puts a ton of emphasis on the neon green of his sports car and the bright pink of the policewoman’s lipstick; the colors feel as though they’re going to jump off the screen at any moment.

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Now here’s pianist and composer Nils Frahm jamming out on his Roland Chorus Echo 501 so you can see how someone alters the tape loop in real time to create live warbles. It’s fun to watch, and even more fun to play with!

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But, your live setup may also have to do with convenience, especially if you tour consistently and frequently. Famed guitarist and composer Kaki King found that the specificities of a new live set featuring projections mapped to her body and music that heavily relied on electronic processing called for her to simplify her pedalboard setup. She switched to a digital pedalboard and explained to us how and why you can too. And we made a free online course about it! Check that out here if you’re interested.

If you’ve got friends in a town you’re touring, don’t forget to tell them! Also, if you post to Facebook that you’ve got x amount of hours in x city, you may have old friends you had forgotten about come out of the woodwork. Maybe that person you knew from high school will want to take you out and show you their town.

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Good music is whatever you want it to be! But because of streaming services like Spotify and the affordability of distribution for independent artists, more people are able to make their voices heard rather than a small number of people the record labels deem worthy of influencing our youths’ ears.

It sounded straightforward at first — to complete this challenge you had to open up that sample pack and let the sounds guide your music — easy. But these sounds just happened to be so funky and exciting right out of the box that I began to realize the real challenge here was to make something unique and personal and interesting enough to stand up to that original material!