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The art of songwriting is a noble one. The task of storytelling through music, whether fictional or inspired by events in one’s life, is challenging and rewarding. But all delusions of grandeur aside, songwriting can be a real pain, especially when deadlines, stress, and writer’s block come into the picture. Whether you are writing music by yourself for a project, collaborating with your bandmates for your next release, or composing for another artist or a soundtrack, writer’s block can, at best, slow you down and make you question your creative abilities and, at worst, make you wonder if you’ve reached your artistic peak and question your entire career. If you find yourself experiencing these negative doubts about your songwriting, here are four steps to consider while you try to escape writer’s block.
Financially-savvy songwriters have been taking advantage of this loophole by quietly selling a portion of their catalogs. In addition to receiving a big lump sum payment taxed at half the rate, these songwriters are diversifying to hedge against industry turmoil, inflation, and declining royalties. It’s something worth checking out!
It is real easy to mess up an entire mix with too much processing — in particular, mix buss compression. Over the years of searching the internet creeping on my favorite mixers’ (Jacquire King, Dave Pensado, Chris Lord-Alge, and many more) mix buss compression settings, I’ve found that a little goes a long way.
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All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Share your goals with us and we’ll find a course for you, or create a custom mentorship session with a pro musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran, to help you achieve them.
Course: Headliners Club
When saving your projects, make sure that you label them clearly so you can recall their specificities. You can also use folders to organize different projects and versions of songs. Here’s an example of how I often label my tracking projects:
Now you can begin working on the next step in your journey towards building a sustainable fan base away from your hometown – figuring out how to maintain this following when it might be a little while before you can come play live for them again.
As for that editorial coverage, the best case scenario is to have your event previewed by local tastemakers and curators — essentially anyone who makes lists that look like: “Best Shows to See This Week!” or “What’s Coming up This Weekend!” Send out a press release to local or regional music and news outlets, and make sure to include information about each band with links to their music and social media accounts. Big blogs and publications are great, but finding smaller highly-curated outlets will give you a better chance of actually driving traffic to your event page.
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When we’re listening to a song, how much does the tune’s structure really matter? How much does it really matter which notes are in the verse versus the chorus? How much does it really matter when the chorus happens or when the verse happens?
We are conditioned to think that great vocalists are just born that way — “gifted,” “blessed,” and we wonder if we were given those gifts too… Really? No. Shut up. Try to remember that this is not true. You need to put the work in if you want to be great. It starts with getting yourself a good vocal coach.
Start by copying down the kick MIDI, or try playing your bass sound like it’s a kick drum. After all, it should mirror your kick, maybe even exactly. As an example, here’s the bass line from Future’s “First Off.”
In our program, your mentor works with you to break your goals up into specific weekly activities, designed to be constrained, relevant, and escalating in difficulty. They will provide an overview of these projects in your Learning Plan, but then adjust them as you go to make sure that they are meeting your goals and focusing on the areas of most relevance to you.
Song Facts is an excellent blog to get inspiration from — its focus is around interviews of writers that many of us pros look up to, talking about songs they’ve written, and often through a historical lens.