Try to create a space that is free from distractions, especially if you’re easily susceptible to checking social media during down times, like when a session is saving. One way to do this is to just be diligent about taking periodic breaks and working towards a goal before you get to your break. Another way is to shut your wifi off and put your phone on airplane mode when you’re in your home studio.
Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.
This idea has changed my life as a part-time musician (I’m not exaggerating): Do one thing today that will move your career forward, even the least little bit. Don’t think of all the things you want to be doing — all the things that could boost your career. Just think of one of those things. Then do it.
Best selling song of all time
The year’s half over but tons of great conferences are still ahead. Here are our favorite North American music gatherings that you need in your calendar.
“I am very, very happy I found out about Soundfly. Tim was great. Polite, professional, and easy to reach. I have been making beats since 1999 but learned a lot from your course and from Tim.”
Give yourself a very clear sense of what you’re hoping to accomplish and discuss it with your engineer(s) ahead of time. For me, that looks like setting some clear “Must-Haves” (e.g. all the bass tracks for the entire album) and then a few “Nice-to-Haves” (e.g. a random track of all of us hollering like banshees). Accomplish the “Must-Haves” first and then allow yourself to go crazy on the “Nice-to-Haves” with whatever time you have left.
I’d hesitate to call Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music for Nine Post Cards a lost treasure, as this record has very much been sought after since its initial release. Yoshimura composed this music while watching the scenery outside the window change; clouds passing, sunlight flickering, and leaves moving in the wind. He recorded it and offered it to a contemporary museum in Tokyo to be played next to the window overlooking their courtyard. After some time, Satoshi Ashikawa (see below) started his label and the resulting “Wave Notation” series, to publish this ambient masterpiece after museumgoers started calling to ask where they could buy it.
+ Learn more on Soundfly: Learn to find and engage your superfans and build your band’s community in our month-long course, Crowdfunding for Musicians.
Pabst blue ribbon coffee
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One of Martin’s most memorable musical moments happened while working on the score to the indie film Experimenter, composed by Bryan Senti. During the recording session, Marty was asked to re-voice and notate a section that involved a lot of string harmonics — one of the toughest things to notate, given all the math of matching which note works with which harmonic and which finger hovers where. Marty dove in head first and got it done, despite biting his nails the entire time — and in the process learned not to be afraid to put it all on the line for the music.
In my video example above, my variations were as follows: First, I removed the hi-hat entirely (variation 1), then I added a kick and snare hit (variation 2), and finally I added kick and snare hits while removing snippets of the hi-hat pattern (variation 3). All of which is in addition to an already interesting yet repetitive beat sequence.
Producers: You are also songwriters in your own right. What’s the difference anyway? You are the one making compositional decisions with every click. You should make sure to negotiate publishing percentages where you can. Register your splits properly and collect the money you are due.
Curious about putting your musical skills to work? Here’s a bit of information about each level of education and what is required of you as a teacher/tutor.