Lots of times we think the best practice should feel easy, when the opposite is actually true. I remember this point coming up a lot in the another useful rundown of effective practice techniques, the book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. The authors talk about “desirable difficulties” — basically, by practicing in such a way that feels difficult rather than easy you facilitate more long-term learning.
It’s an ever-fluctuating continuum. Sometimes an idea will pop into my head completely orchestrated and ready to be written down, and other times it’ll just be a little scrap — something I have to sit down and futz around with for hours before achieving any sense of clarity about what exactly I should do with it. Orchestration has always been my favorite part of the writing process, and I enjoy trying to figure it all out, digging and finding the information already hidden in a piece of musical material that will guide my decisions about how to treat it.
Carter Lee is a bassist/educator/producer. He is originally from Edmonton, Canada and now resides in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to leading the hip-hop group, Tiger Speak, Lee is the music director for the bands of both Shea Rose and Moruf. He is also a sideman for countless other artists. Carter brings his wealth of experience in many different musical situations to the Soundfly team and is eager to help any musician who is hoping to better their band. Check out his course Building a Better Band on Soundfly today!
Emergency financial assistance for musicians
Talking about money can feel awkward, but it’s an important part of turning your passion into a business. You’ll want to offer either a split from the door take (usually to support acts or all acts when it’s a non-hierarchical bill) or a guarantee (usually to headliners). Here’s a short video explaining how touring bands typically expect to make money on the road, from Soundfly’s free online course, Touring on a Shoestring.
Insecurity comes from a lack of faith in your own ability. Faith boosters include hard work and experience. Things that swing murderous blows at your faith include laziness, and trying to be someone that you’re not. You need to put in the work, and you need to find your own unique “edge.” Instead, try telling yourself: “Practice, practice, practice!” and that, “No, you do not sound like Sia, and that’s okay.”
Or you can divert expectations by dropping out most of the instruments right before the chorus, creating the illusion that we’re about to hear an explosive chorus, only to find a mellow one instead. When done right, this is a technique that can lead to some unpredictably climactic aural experiences, but it’s less formulaic compared to the other methods, and therefore it takes practice to get it right.
We look at Ligeti’s famous composition in order to decide how much, or how little, the use of music’s foundational parameters really matter in composing.
In particular, the overall aim of all of our programs is to promote active learning, where students are putting concepts into action, getting feedback, and making progress by doing, rather than passively ingesting information. We do that through intense personalization — by providing a personal mentor matched to your needs and a structure that supports your learning experience.
Tone and slap sounds are both produced by striking the drum closer to its edge where there’s more tension in the skin than in the middle. It is actually the contact area of the fingers that determines the pitch of the strike.
Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from Sydney, Australia. He founded the post-rock band sleepmakeswaves, with which he has toured Asia, America, Europe and Australia. In his spare time he writes music for short films, produces bands and subsists on altogether too much coffee. Alex is the instructor of the free Soundfly course, Live Clicks and Backing Tracks.
The main takeaway here is that you don’t have to follow a typical form if you don’t want to! There’s so much great through-composed music, and sometimes, it can be really freeing to embrace this kind of writing.
Lauren Hill’s “Ex-Factor” is a timeless song that will always give me goosebumps. I danced around my living room to this song — lip syncing and wishing I was in a music video, wishing I could sing like her. Today there exists another artist, and another song, that encapsulates Lauryn Hill’s soul, but more contemporary, and that’s Lianna La Havas’ song “Green & Gold.”
The archetype of the brilliant-but-jaded musician, beaten down and thwarted by life’s onslaught of challenges, is something we’ve all seen over and over again in popular culture. And that’s because it happens all the time in real life. Whether it’s a songwriter foolishly signing away the rights to their music or a promising band breaking up because of bad blood between its members, mistakes in music can be detrimental, but they are almost always avoidable in most cases.