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If you have been writing songs for some time and find yourself feeling creatively stifled, consider listening to your older songs for inspiration. Map out those songs and identify elements or themes that you can expand upon, improve, or alter. If you are new to songwriting or don’t have music that you previously released, take a trip down memory lane and listen to music that you enjoyed two, five, or even ten years ago. Identify the elements of those songs that you enjoyed and try to incorporate those ideas into your own writing.

Of course, you don’t need to know whether your listener wears a raincoat or a windbreaker. You just need to know your listener’s musical experiences, and that’s not that hard to figure out! You can base a lot of that off educated guesses if you know both the target audience you’re writing for, and the basic context of the show or film’s fictional world.

The first time you offer thousands of dollars to an act can feel incredibly stressful, but if you’re diligent about your research and transparent about your abilities and reach, you should be able to pay everyone — and make a little for yourself. At the very least, you’ll be showing your local music community that you care about equal pay and increasing opportunities.

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It’s really something, even in robotic MIDI form. The chromaticism leapt right out at me on first hearing. It’s worth going on a little journey so you understand what chromaticism is and why it’s a big deal. The chromatic scale is the one you get when you play all 12 notes in the Western tuning system, all the notes on the piano or guitar or whatever. The chromatic scale sounds pretty bad. It’s too much information. The notes don’t feel like they’re related in any particular way, like there’s any logic to them.

Learn tons more about hip-hop beat making, production, and history in Soundfly’s new mentored online course, The Art of Hip-Hop Production, and get one-on-one feedback on your work for six weeks with a Soundfly Mentor. What are you waiting for? Preview the course for free here.

It starts in a Motown style with the chorus which uses a dotted and sustained two-note motif on the lyric — title and hapless subject “Jerome,” with variations — before the verses crank up the pace. Enjoy and take note of the contrast.

If you’re considering taking an online course to become a better songwriter, composer, or producer, head over to The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony to preview Soundfly’s mentored online course for free, and read on below to see what recent students have said about the experience! 

If random people give you their two cents, remember that you don’t have to take their word at face value. Do a bit of a background check before taking them too seriously. A swift Facebook stalking session will do.

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I’m serious. No matter how cold it is, if you find a creek or a lake or a river (and it’s clean, of course,) jump into it. It’s good for your circulation and your immune system, and it feels like a reset.

You know that wretched feeling you get when it’s 3 AM and you still haven’t begun loading out from the venue, and you have to be up in three hours to make it to your next show in Sacramento?

The addition of the F# in the Melodic Minor scale, makes things slightly more complex (if that was even needed at this point!). This time, we would have to work out the names comparing the scales to their most similar mode. For example, there is little point in comparing the fourth mode built on A Melodic Minor scale to an Ionian scale. It is much more similar to a Lydian mode, since it comprises of the note F#. The G# at this point, makes it a C Lydian (Augmented fifth).

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Late last year, Congress came close to rescinding the Songwriter’s Capital Gains Equity Act as part of its tax code overhaul. But fortunately, last-minute lobbying by representatives from Nashville and other songwriting communities across the United States saved it.